Whether you are just launching your business or have been in business for years, having a strong online presence is important. 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase. A digital marketing strategy is no longer a nice to have, but now a requirement for your business’s promotion.
- Building a marketing strategy is the key to building brand awareness.
- Knowing and understanding your audience is the first step to take. This will help you determine your value.
- Consider using the digital space to promote your business in areas such as social media platforms and blogs.
- Creating a consistent marketing strategy with a clear message will lead to success.
Small Business Marketing
The purpose of building a marketing strategy is to promote your business’s offerings, products, or services. In short, you are building brand awareness that will turn into leads that will turn into customers.
As a small business owner, it can be difficult to put together a digital marketing strategy. You already wear so many hats. And often, hiring someone to manage a strategy for you is not an option. I have put together a list of action items to take to help build a winning online presence and marketing strategy.
1. Know Your Audience
Before you can begin to put a strategy together you must know your audience. Who uses your services? Who buys your products? If you are a general contractor who builds homes your audience is extremely different than a general contractor who builds high rises. Understanding and knowing your audience is imperative not only to your digital strategy but to your long-term success.
Too often when I ask this question I hear the response, “everyone is my audience.” That is a lazy answer. Take some time to understand who is buying from you and how you can continue to reach more people like them. Do they belong to associations? Would they participate in certain social media networks or forums? Understand who your audience is and where they spend their time and then spend your time there.
2. Provide value
You are not the only business that provides your services. Determine your key differentiators and how you provide value to your clients. You will want to use this when talking about your business both in-person and online.
3. Have an online presence.
As I already mentioned, a large majority of people rely on online research before making a purchasing decision. Having a great website and a Google My Business page can help establish yourself as an industry leader.
4. Leverage your existing clients.
Customer testimonials provide social proof that what you are offering is worth the price. When researching, people value other’s opinions. Reaching out to past customers and asking them to leave you a review on your Google My Business page or a testimonial for your website is a terrific way to establish yourself as a trusted expert in your field.
5. Use social media to your advantage.
If you post on Facebook and no one sees it, did you really post? Creating engaging content that leads to shares and a conversation is a wonderful way for your business to stay on people’s minds. Social media can become a daunting task, take time to create a social media calendar that outlines what you would like to post.
You do not need to be on every social media platform. Find where your audience spends their time and invest your energy and resources in that platform.
6. Consider blogging
Blogging is a fantastic way to drive traffic to your website and your brand. Having a blog strategy can also add value to your customer experience and assist in selling. Easiest way to come up with content? What questions do you get asked most often from customers? Write a blog(s) answering those questions in detail.
7. Capture leads
It does not do any good to have a great website, blog regularly, and build a social media presence if you are not capturing leads. It is important that you call people to action – that action being to provide you with some information about themselves – name, phone number, email address. Capturing leads can be valuable in turning a prospect into a client.
8. Hire someone
The best marketing strategy starts with consistency. If you do not have the time to invest in building out and executing a strategy, then hire a consultant to help. This expense may seem unnecessary, but if you find the right consultant it will really pay off in the long run.
9. Create a Clear message
Quickly being able to sum up what your business offers without making it complicated is imperative to keep people interested. If people do not understand what you are selling or do not understand the pain point you are solving, they will look elsewhere.
Creating a consistent marketing strategy with a clear message will lead to success. Just remember, like Rome, great marketing plans are not built in a day. Take your time to develop a great strategy that works for your business. If something works well, double down and do more of it. If something is failing, do not keep doing it! Evaluate and try something different.