What makes the difference between a successful business and a failed one?
Of course, the quality of the product or service offered by the two firms will make a big difference, but more often than not, everything comes down to marketing. Even if your business sells a groundbreaking product, without adequate marketing there’s little you can do to boost sales.
As a small business owner, you certainly know the importance of investing in marketing. But it’s not just enough to invest in marketing. You need to invest in the right marketing strategy.
In this article, we’re giving you top marketing tips you can use to take your business to the next level.
1. Understand Your Target Customer
How well do you understand your target customer?
Are you the kind of business owner who only knows the customer’s general location? If yes, you’re doing your business a major disservice.
It’s true that if your business is located in Town X your target customers will generally be in the same area. However, this isn’t all there’s to know about your customer. In fact, it’s not even close.
To have a good understanding of who your customer is, you need to know a lot more than their location. You need to know their average age, household income, marital status, hobbies and interests, and even political views.
When you have a clear picture of who your ideal customer is, it’s far easier to implement a marketing strategy that targets them. Most digital marketing platforms, including social media platforms, will give you the tools you need to target your specific customers. So the more you know about your customers, the more you’ll be able to make the most of these tools.
The big question is: how do you identify who your ideal customer is?
You can hire a market research company to do the hard job for you, but if you don’t have the budget for that, it’s fairly easy to do it on your own. Running online customer surveys and even making visual observations, especially if you run a brick and mortar store, will yield positive results.
2. Set Up Your Business Website as a Marketing Tool
Are you among the 46 percent of small businesses that don’t have a website?
It’s 2020! No, seriously. It’s hard to imagine that at a time when the vast majority of Americans are shopping online you don’t have a small business website.
And if you already have a website, have you set it up as a digital marketing tool? If you didn’t even know you could use a website for marketing, it’s clear you’re not making the most of this handy tool.
A website is more than an online store for your business. Utilized properly, it can be a powerful marketing platform.
The secret lies in search engine optimization.
Today, when most people want to buy a product or service online, they go to their favorite search engine and type in their query. The search engine then returns a results page with links to websites that offer the product or service.
When you optimize your business website for search engines, it’s possible that search engines will include a link to your website in search results. The higher the number of people landing on your site from search engines, the more sales you’re likely to make.
There’s a lot that goes into creating a search engine friendly website, but the biggest elements to observe include:
- Ensuring the website URL is keyword-based
- Adding meta tags to identify your site as mobile-friendly
- Writing a detailed, keyword-relevant description for your website
- Making your site accessible and user-friendly
- Ensuring the site loads quickly, typically within three seconds.
3. Invest in Search Engine Marketing
If you’re a marketing newbie, you might think that search engine optimization is similar to search engine marketing. Yet, comparing SEO to SEM is akin to comparing to oranges to apples.
They both involve search engines, yes, but SEO is all about getting your site to rank higher organically. SEM, or search engine marketing, involves all the paid efforts you’ll take to boost your site’s visibility on search engines.
Pay per click, or PPC, is a common method of SEM.
If you’re looking for quick results, you can pay a search engine like Google to display your site on top of the search results page. Users will be able to see the link to your site, but they will know it’s an ad.
4. Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
If you’re skeptical about the effectiveness of paid search, your doubts are well-founded, as long as you’re investing in content marketing. The numbers don’t lie.
Content marketing is three times as effective as paid search!
But what is content marketing all about? In a nutshell, it’s blogging.
A blog gives you a platform to share information about your organization, products, workplace, and other aspects your target audience might be interested in. What’s more, blogging is good for SEO. If you can create your blogs around keywords that are relevant to your business, there’s a good chance your business website will show up higher in search engine results.
5. Don’t Ignore Offline Marketing Methods
With digital marketing becoming the go-to marketing method for most marketers, it’s easy to forget about traditional marketing methods.
Yes, some offline channels, such as TV ads and billboards are expensive and not necessarily effective, but there are some strategies that can deliver good results for your brand. For example, trade show marketing can help boost your sales, especially if you’re selling a physical product.
Newsletters and brochures are also effective, as are promotional items like branded mugs.
Put These Marketing Tips to Use
A proper marketing strategy can do more than just boost your sales. It can also give your brand a competitive edge. With this guide, you now have some of the top marketing tips you can use to promote your business and its products or services.
All the best and keep reading our blog for more marketing insights.