You have so many options when it comes to small business marketing strategies that it's hard to know where to start. You need some solid, proven plans, from understanding your customers to sharing the benefits of your products and services, to using services like CRM software to manage your plans.
Fortunately, when it comes to getting your message across, there are several reliable strategies that will get it all out. Whether you're new to the world of marketing and creating your approach for the first time, or looking to hone your messaging and tactics, we'll share some strategies for optimizing your time, energy, and budget.
You'll probably want to follow them step by step, as each marketing strategy builds on the one before. This will help you improve your focus and maximize your return on investment.
In small business marketing, this is the foundation of everything else you do. You've probably been told that knowing your customer is half the battle when it comes to making sales. But what does it really mean to know your customer?
Your ideal customers are those who are most likely to buy your products and services. That means developing "ideal customer profiles," and to do that you'll need to ask yourself a few questions.
You can start with key demographics. This could include your age, marital status, occupation, geography, financial status, and other factors. Some useful questions are:
Who are they?
Where do they live?
What do they believe in?
How do they spend their days?
What is important to them?
What kinds of things do they look for ?
What are their behaviors?
How do they make their decisions?
You can develop multiple profiles for your ideal customers. You'll want to "segment" these ideal customer profiles into different audiences, so you can develop a personalized marketing approach for each one.
For example, you might want to group business customers into
You could divide individual consumers into:
Your segmentation depends on the type of business you run, the products and services you sell, and how well your offerings meet customer needs.
You have to connect with your ideal clients on an emotional level. That means creating a relationship with your company and your brand through the products you sell. To do this, you will need to know what the values and benefits of your products are.
Product value is something your product does for people. It is the problem it solves, the need it satisfies, or the experience it creates. A benefit is what your customer will get when they buy or use your product. It's the reason they choose your products over your competitors' offerings.
To determine what those values and benefits are, ask yourself:
Refer to the ideal customer profiles you created above to help answer these questions.
Once you've defined your product values, relate each one to the profiles of your ideal customers. Identify the key needs or problems of each profile and show how your product can benefit that customer.
These benefits will become the core of your marketing messages. They will let the customer know that you "get it" and that you have designed products and services that can meet their needs.
You need to reach your customers where they are, and use the right messaging channels and formats to capture their attention. We have already discussed marketing channels in our basic guide to marketing. Next, we review the main online marketing channels and how to use them.
Review the profiles of your ideal customers and identify the most appropriate channels and types of messages for each of them. From there, you can craft specific small business marketing strategies based on each channel, profile, and product benefit.
Once you've sorted out your ideal customer profiles, product benefits, and marketing channels, it's time to create the actual messaging. You may want to focus on:
When you're done, show your messages to a small group of customers and ask for their feedback. You may find that they react better to some messages than others, letting you know what resonates with them the most.
We have already completed much of the work required to run a successful campaign:
There are only a few areas left to cover: Now, decide how much you want to spend on marketing your small business. You can divide this budget between different campaigns and marketing channels. Next, make a list:
That's it, your small business marketing plan is complete. It's time to put it into practice.
You've started executing your small business marketing campaign, but you're not done yet. now is the time to do a monitoring the results and making any necessary changes.
Make sure you have good marketing metrics, for example
You should break these metrics down in several ways: by marketing channel, by customer persona, by message type, and by other segmentation. See if they can answer questions like
These metrics will let you know what is working and what is not. You can use this information to make changes. Then track the impact of those changes on your revenue and conversions and adjust as needed. This will allow you to optimize your marketing strategies, maximizing your ROI.