Discover The Essentials Of Effective Small Business Marketing Strategy

A good small business marketing strategy creates a method of efficiently communicating to current customers and prospect customers to prefer your business over other businesses coming from the same industry you belong.

Your local venture’s success depends greatly on how you are going to market it. This is usually done with a bunch of advertising efforts which are primarily done online. You can either get help from marketing experts or do the promotion by yourself.

Here are some important marketing ideas that every marketing strategy should have.

Target Market

Select your target market. Right from the start; make it clear to whom you are going to offer your products and services. This can help you develop more effective advertising campaigns.

Market Research

Once you have identified the object of your small business marketing strategy, research about the behavior, desires, interests and needs of your marked audience. Discover what they are looking for in your type of business and then use this information to develop an advertising campaign that will attract them.

Know your market environment. Marketing a product or service that nobody wants is a sure way to small business failure. Most entrepreneurs assume that their customers will like the things that they personally like and decide to sell. This practice definitely limits a business’ ability to produce profit, thus, business fails. So, support your assumptions with market research.

Competition Analysis

Analyze the status of your competitors. Know the strategies they use to promote their products and services. Study their strong and weak points. You can use your findings in advertising your small business.

Distinctive Business Spin

Discover how your business is going stand out in your niche. Offer what your competitors can’t. Perhaps, it is better quality or faster services at lower prices. Be careful though, in marking down your prices just to attract customers. Customers may not always be looking for lower prices. They may be willing to pay higher fees for the best product or services.

Communication

How then are you going to make yourself reachable by your prospect market? Big, medium and small businesses go for online marketing when it comes to promoting their ventures. In connection to that, what has worked big time for small businesses in the recent years is local search engine marketing.

It is similar to the typical search engine marketing, the only difference is the size of the business it promotes and the specific market it directs. Herewith, website owners compete for top rankings in the search engine results to ensure getting the first views from potential customers. This is important as these views can convert to actual sales.

Consistency

The moment you go for online marketing, use a consistent statement or brand with which you are going to use in promoting your products and services to your market. This helps your customers remember you and return for more of what you have in store for them. Although, you will just be targeting a local market include branding in your small business marketing strategy as this makes you distinguishable amidst a pool of competitors.

4 Common Mistakes In Small Business Marketing

Keeping new customers coming into your small business is vital. In fact, new customers are like oxygen to your lungs. But there’s a lot of confusion about the best ways to add new customers to a small business. And as a result there’s plenty of bad advice that’s waiting to steer you in the wrong direction.

In today’s article, I’ll show you 4 common mistakes to avoid when advertising a small business.

Are you ready?

Small Business Marketing Mistake #1: Using the cheapest marketing.

This is a common mistake I hear all the time. In fact, you should not look for the lowest priced advertising. What you want is the most effective advertising that at least breaks even, and even better puts money into your business on the first go round. The only measure of a good small business marketing promotion is whether or not it puts enough new customers into your store to at least pay for itself. Sometimes, a great piece will even make money on the first go.

But remember, the money in new customers is their value over a period of time.

Small Business Marketing Mistake #2: Getting concerned over image.

This is another mistake that’s very common. And I understand why it’s made. After all, you’ve invested a lot of time and money in your business. So it only seems right that your marketing image should be foremost in your mind.

But understand this:

The sole purpose of your marketing is to get a new customer. Plain and simple. And what works is being outrageous. Being fun. And grabbing attention so you set yourself apart from your competition that are busy launching boring (me too) campaigns.

Small Business Marketing Mistake #3: Not testing.

Many people have opinions on what they think good marketing is. But few are qualified to give advice. The way around this is TESTING. Testing your marketing trumps opinions, theories, and beliefs from all the so-called small business marketing experts. So if someone recommends you do something, then so be it. But make sure you test this idea to see if it produces or not.

Small Business Marketing Mistake #4: Not being clear

Don’t try to be cute or funny in your marketing. Instead focus on giving your reader something that benefits them. Maybe that’s a sample of what you sell… or a one-time deal… or even some free information to help your prospect make a decision. But no matter what, your advertising must deliver crystal clear benefits to your target audience.

So keep these four small business marketing mistakes in mind the next time you try to attract new customers to your business.

Developing Your Small Business Marketing Plan

Along with your business plan, your small business marketing plans is only of the most important long-term plans you’ll make for your small business. Some small business owners choose to ignore that advice, instead preferring to fly by the seat of their pants, so to speak, to “wing it.” While some of those small business owners are successful, they’re not nearly as successful as they could be had they laid out a well-defined small business marketing plan.

Small business marketing strategy step 1: Know your market

The first step in developing a successful small business marketing strategy is to make sure that you have a really solid handle on your target market. Ask yourself: Who are my customers? Once you’ve identified who they are, ask yourself: What are my customers’ problems? What are their dreams and aspirations? The surest way to answer those questions, of course, is to ask your customers themselves. Even if you can’t afford to hire a small business marketing firm that will conduct focus group tests for you, you can do your own simple survey by hitting the streets and talking to those people you plan to sell to (and make contacts at the same time!). You’d be surprised how powerful that simple task is yet how few businesses do it.

Small business marketing strategy step 2: Know yourself

The second step in developing your small business marketing strategy is to get to know yourself (your business), once you’ve gotten to know your customers. Ask yourself: What does my business do? How is my business different than my competitors’? How does my business help solve my customers’ problems or help them achieve their dreams? Answering these questions will help you to define your unique selling proposition – those aspects that set you apart from your competitors.

That unique selling proposition should become your brand – your business’s identity. Your brand is what will pervade all of your marketing materials and what your customers will use to identify you. The importance of diligently developing your brand as part of a successful small business marketing strategy can’t be overstated.

Small business marketing strategy step 3: Analyze your competitors’ small business marketing strategies

Once you’ve developed your brand – that unique identity that tells your customers who you are and how you’re different – you can begin thinking about how you’re going to actually market your business. First, look at your competitors’ small business marketing strategies. Are there obvious gaps that you could fill (and thereby stand out among the competition)? For example, if you see that none of your competitors have websites, you could stand out with a small business marketing strategy online.

Wherever you market your business, it must be where your customers are. For example, small business marketing online will be a waste if none of your potential customers use the Internet. Likewise, you may think that writing a monthly column in your local newspaper would be a great way to advertise your services and establish yourself as an expert; but if none of your potential customers read that paper, that small business marketing strategy will fail.

At this point, your small business marketing strategy will not only be defined by where your customers are and what your competitors are doing, but it will also depend on your small business marketing budget. A full-page spread in a national magazine may be the best way to reach your target audience, but if you can’t afford to shell out tens of thousands of dollars, it’s not the small business marketing strategy for you.

Wherever your small business marketing plan takes you, the careful development of your small business marketing strategy – by knowing your market, knowing your business, and analyzing your competitors’ strategies – will be a critical determinant of your long-term business success.