Marketing small businesses is a challenge for entrepreneurs because of the limited budget and resources at their disposal. The excitement of starting a business often fizzles out soon in the absence of a marketing plan which can soon ring the death knell of business. Almost 80% of small businesses that start with a lot of excitement fail to survive beyond the first birthday, mostly because of their inability to market it properly. This explains the importance of marketing for small businesses. Marketing does not always require a big budget, and it is possible to create a marketing plan and appropriate marketing strategies. That suits the small budget, as demonstrated many times during his career by the marketing stalwart Eric J Dalius.
Business owners who do not have marketing experience find it extremely challenging to figure out how to start a marketing campaign. One of the hurdles they face is how to spread word of mouth about the business if it is a startup. For an established business, the challenge of marketing is to acquire new customers and work out ways for growth. Both tasks can seem overwhelming for entrepreneurs who do not have any experience in marketing.
Despite having the best intention, many small business owners are often at their wit’s end. How to start marketing, especially when taking their business online. Moreover, how to create a balance between online marketing initiatives and offline marketing strategies is a perplexing issue for many business owners who are keen to find out low-cost marketing strategies. That can complement their online marketing efforts.
In this article, we will discuss both the marketing aspects. That small business can adapt to market business efficiently and easily and propel it towards growth.
Establish a unique value proposition – The Eric J Dalius way
Knowing where your business stands with respect to the market and the way customers perceive it. It is critical for planning a marketing campaign. It consists of understanding the capabilities of your business and the space that it occupies in the market. Take the competition in your stride instead of feeling threatened. By it and introspect about the factors that differentiate your business from many others. Gather as much information as you can about your industry. By reading relevant trade publications, signing up for trade industry letters, and participating in industry events. It will help to identify trends and stay updated besides identifying competitors. It is an opportunity to learn what they are doing and how they present themselves to their customers.
In the next step, identify your target customers and learn about what they want by conducting research. Evaluate the services you provide to customers and how it helps to resolve their problems. This will help to ascertain the unique benefits that you offer them, which constitutes your UVP or unique value proposition. You must sell your products to a section of customers and not to everyone. You must define your targeted customers, why they want your product, and how to reach them. Having understood these clearly, you must focus on consistently implementing the marketing plan.
Expand your online presence
Until now, you have just prepared to launch the marketing campaign. Now that you are ready to take the plunge to market your business with commitment and conviction by choosing a cost-efficient but effective channel like online marketing. Although there are many other channels to consider, online marketing has very wide acceptance due to its enormous flexibility and versatility that suits every budget.
Create a website to take your business online and since it becomes the face of your business on the web, ensure that the website design resonates. With your brand and stays consistent with it besides being user-friendly so that it is easy for visitors. To navigate and pick up the information they are looking for. Depending on your marketing goals, you can adapt the process of customers subscribing to your mailing list easily. It helps to build a customer database, and you have their consent. To interact with them regularly with your product updates, coupons, and interesting news.
Besides listing your products and services, think about adding a blog to your website. To provide tips and updates to customers about products and services.
According to EJ Dalius, expand your online presence by going beyond the website and make your presence felt. On review websites by spending time on sites like Angie’s List and Yelp. It is a way to validate your business that can boost sales. Maintain consistency when communicating across different media like websites, email, review sites, etc. so that your business acquires a distinct voice that customers can recognize.
Consider paid content
Social media is a great place to take your business in front of customers and to boost your efforts to consider using the paid aspects of social media. Take advantage of advertising on Facebook and LinkedIn to target the exact type of customer you want to attract. This effort should complement your free social media effort and help to gain more mileage in marketing. The beauty of this approach is that it is tailor-made for the audience that promises better results. The advertising campaign need not be very elaborate because many times, a small campaign can make a huge difference.
Start a conversation
Remember that at the beginning of the article, we had mentioned the anxiety faced by small business owners in devising ways of spreading word of mouth. And this is where social media comes into play because it is a great place to spread word of mouth, even without spending a dime.
Take your business to the social media channel most frequented by the target audience. While choosing the channel to consider its applicability for your business because channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. have their own traits and serve the different purposes of marketing depending on the kind of content you like to post.
To make it easy to interact with customers on social media channels, use channels that are specific to your business. Create a schedule for posting content regularly, share updates about your business, and do not forget to thank customers while engaging with them by answering their questions.