As a small business, effective marketing strategy is key for sustainable year after year growth. Without it, you will be missing out on a large percentage of potential customers. Maybe you’re just starting out or have been operating for a few years without much growth. How can you integrate new marketing tactics if you don’t have a huge budget? Luckily, there are many things that you can implement that cost nothing in the way of dollars. With thorough brainstorming and planning, you can achieve the growth your small business needs without spending a fortune on things that may not offer great returns in the first place. Here are 5 excellent tactics to consider when creating a new brand strategy or revamping your existing one.
1. Get to Know Your Target Audience
This is one of the most crucial things you can do when creating a marketing strategy. It’s important that you identify who you’re truly targeting, and it’s not “everyone.” Casting a huge net like this is a great way to miss out on huge niche opportunities. Consider your brand identity – when you look at your logo, style, and overall message, who are you wanting to reach? Is it fitness enthusiasts? Coffee lovers? People who seek out eco-friendly clothing? You need to be able to understand your target audience’s problems, the things they value, and what will prompt them to make purchases. Think about your favorite brand. How do they connect with you in a way that pushes you to make a purchase on their site or in store? This is not to say you should copy them, but rather apply the strategy in your own marketing tactics. Learning about those you wish to connect with is something that simply takes time, not dollars.
2. Cultivate Relationship with Existing Customers
Maybe you already have a few customers that have enjoyed your products and/or services. These people offer a ton of opportunity for growth that won’t cost you a dime. After they’ve made a purchase, reach out asking them about their experience with your brand. Maybe you offer them a small discount on their next purchase. Should they seek assistance with their order, go above and beyond for them to ensure they’re 100% satisfied. You’ll find that these customers will often times become evangelists for your brand. Word of mouth, whether in person or on social media, is incredibly powerful. One Instagram or Facebook post could reach hundreds or thousands of potential customers! You’ve likely seen a friend post about something they’ve recently purchased that they’re in love with. When you cultivate trust with your existing customers, they’ll want to tell others about you.
3. Make Social Media Work for You
Social media isn’t a great option for some businesses, but in general, it can be a powerful and useful tool. How do you know if Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook is right for your small business? If your target audience is using it and following competitors! These are platforms that you can build using original content relevant to your brand’s image and voice. As you build your following, more and more potential customers will be drawn to your website. The key here is to only post relevant, interesting content. People enjoy high quality photography and video, so if you can provide it, they’ll be more enticed to follow your page. As customers post about your brand, you can re-post their images as free advertising (with their permission, of course). Social media also opens up the possibility of contests like giveaways to boost your brand’s visibility.
4. Beef Up Your Website
How’s your website looking? Is it full of interesting content or does it feel a little empty? Creating a blog or resource section on your website is an excellent way to attract more prospects to your website. Not only will blogs and article generate organic traffic, but these pieces can help potential customers find answers to the questions they may have about your products and/or services. This is also your opportunity to capitalize on your brand identity, helping prospects feel more connected with your brand. The more information you have on your site, the more you’ll be seen as an authority within your space. A good practice to keep in mind is to include a “call to action” at the close of your blogs, articles, and other pieces of content. This will direct prospects to a specific product page or wherever else you’d like them to go.
5. Integrate Email Marketing
Want to capture prospects’ information and keep them informed on the latest with your brand? Implement email marketing. There are tons of ways you can utilize email to help potential customers through the sales pipeline. Notify them of abandoned carts or upcoming sales. Send out unique content pieces relevant to your brand that make recipients feel as if you’re personally emailing them. Sure, you can expect some to overlook your emails. However, those who have taken interested in your brand will click and read what you have to offer. That’s the thing – what are you offering in exchange for their time? Make every email count! General email is free, although you can choose more sophisticated email platforms such as MailChimp to handle specific campaigns.
The above marketing tactics are just the beginning of the many ways in which you can bolster your small business’ marketing strategy! When you nail down your target audience(s) and incorporate email marketing, social media, and other tools, your brand will grow and become much more visible in your space.