Advice About Marketing Strategies For Small Business
With the marketing analysis complete, it is time to turn your attention to the marketing strategy.
When it comes to marketing, often, the marketing effort is more important than the quality of the underlying product or service.
An often-overlooked element of a business marketing plan is the packaging. Packaging is not only related to businesses that sell products but extends to everything the customer sees and experiences.
A small business has three basic strategies to drive revenue. They can be sales-led, market-led, or product-led.
Click on the “Pricing” link below to explore various pricing concepts, strategies, and tactics. When you select the link it will open a new tab in your browser. When done, simple close that tab and resume the discussion below.
Creating a Memorable Message
Marketing is all about being memorable. So, when it comes to the message, be sure to consider using a schema to make the message more memorable.
Also, be sure to leverage a prospective client’s tendency to remember the first and last parts of your message.
Your message also needs to be sticky if you want prospects to remember it. Here is a paper that addresses the six elements to make prospects remember your marketing message.
Paper: Making Your Message Stick
Writing Marketing Copy
Before we dive into how to use the various marketing channels, it is important to understand that marketing should not be seen as a war of attrition.
The first reaction most business owners have is to consider using paid promotions like advertising on TV or in the newspaper to make sales. Then, they consider search engine optimization (SEO) as a way of appearing on the first page of a Google search. But there are a few easier and free alternatives. One way is to go where the prospectors are and ambush them.
Another option is to write link-bait content to entice other sites to link to your evergreen content.
Another way to stand out and get noticed is to be a brand authority.
Or you may want to consider writing a book to be know as an expert.
And another way is to use a strategy to locate customers that are ready to buy in what I call the viable customer model.
When you have a brochure that advertises your products or services, a take-one box in places frequented by your prospects is another very effective way to have customers self-identify themselves and give you the ability to measure your location choice, based on the number of brochures that are taken by prospects.
Brand Awareness is vital for any business. Brand Awareness has two goals. The first is moving the knowledge of your product or service from the unknown or unconscious mind to the conscious mind. The second is making a positive association with the brand.
According to John Jantsch’s book “Duct Tape Marketing”, a customer needs to Know, Like, and Trust you to make a purchase. Brand awareness helps with the “Know” part and may contribute to the “Like” part of your marketing effort.
A prospective client’s awareness of your brand aids in the sales conversation but does not necessarily produce a sale. Brand awareness helps to associate the company’s name with the brand’s message. Brand awareness requires a constant effort and cannot be done just a few times and abandoned because it has not produced sales.
Direct marketing, often confused with brand awareness, however, has one goal: to convert the prospect into a customer through direct means. Direct marketing accomplishes the “Like” and “Trust” as part of the marketing effort. Direct marketing need not always be done face-to-face or on the phone but can include direct email, interactive websites, etc.
If the prospective customer is aware of your product and thinks positively about it, it is infinitely more likely that they will buy from the company when they become viable buyers. When it comes to sales, direct marketing alone without any brand awareness is far more difficult.
It is, therefore, important to know the distinction between brand marketing and direct marketing.
As well as the concept of pull vs push marketing.
Attempting to explain the various marketing channels and the role each play in a marketing strategy, I have settled on three distinctions that I think make this topic easier to understand. The following sections address the various marketing channels and sorts them into ones that help attract prospective customers, ones that you can rent an audience, and channels that help you get the most out of the prospects you have.
Here is a list of nine marketing channels a business can use to attract prospects.
With a basic understanding of the channels used to attract prospects to your brand, this section looks in more details at how to make the most of some key attraction channels.
The first step in attracting prospects is to make people aware of your product or service. Here are a video and a few posts that look at several free and low-cost ways to build brand awareness.
Sequence signs are an interesting twist of yard signs to make people aware of your product or service.
Seven signs placed along traffic routes are especially useful to bringing brand awareness to your mobile stand.
Once some degree of brand awareness is established, organic traffic is the next hurdle. Organic traffic relates to how a prospect locates your business. This is, generally accomplished by an internet search. At the core of organic traffic is what is called content marketing.
Here are five content marketing ideas to help you attract prospects.
Many businesses use an attraction character that prospects can relate to.
Here are four common attraction characters.
Having a website is something that used to be an option. Today, it is mandatory. Here is some basic information every business owner needs to know.
Once a prospect has found your website, here are a few ideas all businesses need to consider to make sure the prospect stays. Such as:
One particularly effective way to encourage prospects to give you their contact information so they become prospects that you ultimately own, is to host a contest.
There are a few ways that a business can attract attention and one of them is doing something completely unexpected.
Since such a big part of content marketing is getting a prospect to click on your content, it is vital that you write a great headline.
Also, the visuals that you choose need to be compelling enough to break through the visual clutter and make a prospect intrigued enough to want to know more. You should also make the content more memorable.
Assuming the prospect clicks on your content based on your headline and image, the next thing we need to make sure is that the prospect reads and engages with your content as well.
Most of the time, as consumers, we are emotionally preoccupied. This makes us filter out the rest of the world. It is, therefore, important to consider using creative marketing techniques to grab a prospect’s attention.
It is also important to understand that not everyone in your audience takes in messages the same way. Some do best with visual content, some with audio, some by reading, and some by doing.
All things considered, a business needs to make sure that their marketing content goals are designed to help the business achieve its objectives.
While most social platforms provide some kind of business access to their vast audience through paid advertisements, growing a business’s fanbase can also be done organically. At its core, social media is about leveraging your friends’ and customers’ connections to drive traffic to your business via social recommendations.
Today, social media is ubiquitous and can no longer be ignored by small business owners.
Here are six reasons as to why your business must use social media if it hopes to remain relevant.
Facebook marketing is a great way to use a platform to create brand awareness and engagement. Here are a series of posts to allow you to make the most of Facebook marketing.
When it comes to social media, there are a ton of metrics that marketers look at. However, many metrics are vanity metrics which therefore means that a business should make sure to measure the right things.
Let us not forget that social media is about getting feedback. So, why not ask for it from time to time.
It is also important to recognize that not all fans are created equal.
One way to create a more engaged prospect and to create a buzz is to consider the idea of gamification.
Hashtags are a great way to find and create online conversations.
If you want local people to find your business, you will need to get it up on Google My Business.
Writing a review of a product is an extremely powerful way to organically attract new people to your business.
While having a digital presence is important, too many business owners can spend too much time on social medial.
Search Engine Optimization
While having a digital presence is important so is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is how to create gravity to pull prospects into your website’s orbit. Here is an SEO Primer to provide the business owner with the basis they need to know.
Rent (AKA Advertising)
Some businesses like Facebook, Google and broadcast media outlets like TV and radio offer users access to their content for free. This, therefore, means that they have lots of people viewing their products every day. With this large audience, these platforms are designed to rent a business access to their audiences through paid advertising.
Here is a list of twelve marketing channels where a business can rent access to prospects.
With a basic understanding of the channels that rent you access to their audience, this section explores in more detail how to make the most of some of these channels.
Display ads are one way to gain access to an audience.
There is a trust factor within the advertising continuum. A referral from a friend is considered the most trustworthy while text ads on mobile devices are considered the least trustworthy. It is, therefore, important for a business to recognize that some advertisements rank higher with prospects than others, in terms of trust.
Better targeting of advertisements can dramatically improve the odds of your prospect paying more attention to your message.
And better targeting using long-tail keywords is why traditional advertising that is less targeted is slowly becoming less relevant.
But if you do decided to advertise, here is what you need to know about ad fraud.
With a unique niche, perhaps it is time to create your own channel and become a thought leader.
The Internet is full of influencers that have very large and often highly targeted/segmented audiences. Getting an influencer to talk about the virtues of your product or service has the potential to expose your offering to a new audience.
Unfortunately, many businesses abandon their marketing efforts too early because they do not understand the rule of seven.
I used to offer my books and video courses for sale only on my blog. I soon realized that the viewership for SteveBizBlog in one-month was nowhere near the number of visitors on Amazon in a single minute. Moreover, when a person visits sites like Amazon and Udemy, they are there because they are ready to buy. Therefore, commission sites like Amazon for books and Udemy for courses were a far better place to sell stuff than on my site. So, it is important to go where the customers are.
It is the goal of every business to ultimately own the prospect’s contact information. Once a prospect has exchanged their contact information for something of value you gave them or a customer has bought from you and you captured their contact information, you can continue to sell to them for free. Therefore, once you attract a customer through organic means or paid someone to get access to their audience and they click through to your landing page, you need to make sure you get their contact information.
Here is a list of five marketing channels to make the most of prospects that you now own.
At this point, it is important to understand the difference between interruption marketing, where most often you paid someone to gain access to their audience, and permission marketing where you now own them and can upsell them.
Of course, the best form of marketing is word of mouth, so make the most of it.
Next to word of mouth, email marketing is a valuable way to make the most of prospects once you own their contact information.
Sometimes, you can use marketing automation to keep up with customers and clients but it must include empathy.
It is important to make a distinction between an influencer who gives you access to their audience often for a fee and what we talked about previously in paid channels, and a social agent, which is your evangelist.
By nurturing a group of social agents, a business can scale upwards by creating a word of mouth epidemic.
A key marketing strategy is Networking which deserves its own page, so select the following link to explore what is necessary to make the most of networking opportunities.