Would you like to know my top marketing strategies to help you get more customers and more sales? Then read on!
I’m going to share with you 8 marketing strategies for your small business to help you get more customers and get more sales.
The first thing I want to point out before we really go deep into the strategies strategies is you need to start out small: just focus on just one or two strategies. In my book “Small Business Marketing Made Easy” I share the ACTION system – 6 simple steps to get your marketing into action – literally and figuratively. The “O” is for ongoing and that’s what I’m talking about there. It’s about doing something every day, just one thing, to move your business forward. It’s not about doing everything – because that’s unrealistic and you’ll just end up frustrated – and probably broke. Can you take one of the strategies I share below and focus on it with consistency and persistency? Yes you can! And if you do you’ll see amazing results!
Here’s the top marketing strategies to help you get more customers and more sales:
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If you do business within a certain geography, you need to be listed on local directories. Google, Yahoo, Yelp, Facebook. There’s hundreds of them, but these are the biggies. You need those to help you get more traffic, get more people to your website, get more people contacting you and visiting your store. Local business pages are pretty easy to setup and most of them are free. This is the best time, effort and money you can spend when it comes to your marketing because people WILL search for what you do or offer online. Don’t you want to be on the front page in that search without spending money running ads? Focusing on local directories for your marketing will get you the biggest bang for your buck.
A blog is a simple way to share content that will get you more traffic. The more you blog about things related to your industry, related to your small business, and the questions people are asking/searching for online, the more traffic you’ll get. Instead of just trying to rank the home page of your website, you need to have content.
A blog will allow you to put out content regularly so you’re never out of sight and out of mind with your potential customers. They’re always going to be thinking about you because they’re always looking forward to your next helpful blog post that has lots of value in it for them, talking about what your business is up to, talking about tips from your business, etc. Make it easy for people to subscribe so they can get updates. Want to make sure you never miss my helpful marketing tips? Click here. Having a blog will help you get found online, bring you more traffic, and build your brand.
We now live in a video-based world. If you cater to Millennials, people between the ages of 18 and 30, you definitely want to have a YouTube channel. This age group will watch a video over reading a blog. An added bonus of having a YouTube channel is that Google owns it and they put video content on the top of search results. Search for anything “How To” and the top results will be YouTube videos.
It’s easy and free to setup a YouTube channel. Don’t worry about having a super-perfect professionally created video. That’s not what people want to see. They want to see you, your business, what your story is about, what helpful tips you have, etc. That’s why I do “Marketing In Two Minutes Or Less” . . . . short helpful tips to help small business owners with their marketing. You don’t need fancy equipment either. Your phone is the most powerful tool you have. Take people behind the scenes, share what’s going on in your business, promote an upcoming event, get testimonials. Video is powerful. While words “tell” (in a blog), video “sells”.
“The money is in the list.” This is one of my mantras I’m continually telling small business owners because when you have a list, it’s like printing money. Every time I send out an email to those on my coffee and smoothie business list, I get business. Pretty cool!
Email return on investment is one of the best of any marketing technique. There’s two important things I want you to know about email: 1) Respect the inbox and 2) Automate what you can.
Don’t send out an email just to send out an email. Everyone’s inboxes are overfull today with email, so respect their inbox – only send something when you have something important to say.
The “C” in my ACTION system stands for Connection. This means delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. Automation can help you do that. What most small business owners do is send one email, don’t see a lot of response and then say “Marketing doesn’t work.” Bah humbug! When you deliver valuable content based on where that person is in the customer journey with you, they’ll want to know more and you’ll ultimately be moving them further down the sales funnel and expanding your relationship with them.
If you give people too many choices, there have been studies that show that people will tend not to make a choice at all. If you have too many products, too many menu items, too many solutions, it overwhelms people and they can’t make up their mind to make a decision.
If you want to look into that and see the test behind whether fewer choices would make sense or not, check out this post Are You Losing Sales By Giving Customers Too Many Choices? It goes into a very extensive study about people who did an experiment with flavors of jam and they compared offering 24 flavors of jam compared to six and recorded the results of what people did just to show the marketing benefits and problems with doing this based on the different number of choices.
I advise my clients to offer three options: good, better, best. Keeping the choices simple helps people make a decision and when structured correctly can maximize your revenues and profits.
There’s many metrics that matter in running your small business, but it’s easy to get bogged down in looking at and measuring too many. To me, the only metrics matter are the ones you can put in the bank. Metrics like how many Facebook likes you have, or how many people opened your email are great, but they don’t put dollars in the bank. They’re vanity metrics – they make you feel good, but at the end of the month when you have no money in the bank, you won’t feel so great.
When you make decisions based on ROI, you’ll know what’s working and what’s not. In my coffee and smoothie business it can cost between $6 – $10 a click for Google ads. A CLICK! So if someone clicks and then leaves I’ve just spent $6 – $10. Money can wash away quickly. Yet, I’m happy to pay that because I have a big ROI. I have a 34% conversion rate. My average catering job is $800. Would I spend $10 to get $800? Heck ya! Wash, lather, rinse, repeat. I’m making decisions on where and how to spend my marketing dollars based on metrics.
Another of my mantras is “Gross if for vanity. Net is for sanity.” If you want to sleep well at night focus on the net. It’s the only metric that matters.
This is a topic I have very mixed emotions about. Personally I hate social media. Personally I’m rarely on it and rarely post things. However for business I leverage it to the max. It works. It drives traffic, builds connections, and puts cash in my pocket.
What I hate seeing is business owners spending their days hanging out on social media, posting things that don’t matter for business, or focusing too much on those vanity metrics I mentioned such as how many likes they have.
“Do what you do best, outsource the rest” is the mantra you should apply to your social media marketing efforts. I know you’ve got a million fires burning and so many other things you could be doing that will generate revenue. Let an experienced company such as the Small Biz Marketing Specialist help you with your social media. You’ll be much happier with your results.
Can you tell me in a few words what makes your business so special and different? The last thing you want to be is a commodity. You need to have a slogan, a one-liner that’s very catchy, easy to remember, that tells people why they should do business with you.
One I really like is the Dollar Shave Club. Theirs is “Shave Time. Shave Money.” It’s all about shaving but it’s also about how they save you time and they save you money. And they say all of that with just four words, so it’s a great tagline.
There’s nothing that’s more of a commodity than a coffee or a smoothie. So to stand out in a crowded and competitive marketing I use the tagline “A vacation in a cup”. Which would you rather have a smoothie or a vacation in a cup?
Notice how these taglines focus on the customer, not you or the business. It answers the question of how they’ll benefit, what makes your company different, and why they should do business with you.
Which of these top 8 marketing strategies did you like the most? What’s the one you’re going to focus on first? Share in the comments below.
Stacey Riska, aka "Small Business Stacey" is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small business and rebuilding Main Street. She helps small and local business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients/patients, MORE sales, and MORE money. Stacey is the founder of Small Biz Marketing Specialist, THE go-to place for marketing tips, techniques and strategies that get results. She's also the author of "Small Business Marketing Made EZ" where she shares the 6-simple-step plan to get your marketing into ACTION - literally and figuratively. Stacey is also the creator of the Daily Deals for Massive Profits, an online video training program that teaches small and local business owners how to use daily deal sites like Groupon to skyrocket their business growth and get massive profits. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn't!) and spending time with her amazing husband.
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