Just like every other article present on the web, I wish I don’t start with 10 key marketing strategies to grow your small business. Rather I would like to start with a quick brief explanation of what marketing strategy is all about.
Many of us have a misconception that marketing strategy is advertising, promoting, viral advertisements and so on and so forth.
But all the above-said ones are just a part of marketing strategy. In reality and academically marketing strategy is a collection of many elements which involves product designing, pricing, the place you sell it, which segment your product caters to, ways you are targeting that specific population, how you wish your product to be remembered by the audience so on and so forth.
In short marketing strategy starts somewhere from market research. And trust me it is gonna take hell lot of time to define and implement each and every variable of the above-said list.
So let me leave you with those thoughts on what really a strategy is. I don’t want you people to bang your heads thinking “what these lessons are?” 😀 .
Right enough of marketing strategy. Now, what really is a small business?
Thousands of you will raise your hands to say “it as a web portal or a mobile app or something related”. Well, each one of you are right, but take a pause and think “what were small businesses traditionally?”.
Yes, you are on track, a small dairy products business, an ice cream business and the list goes on. A quick recall of what their strategy was in those days.
Most of those businesses preferred to operate in their locality or in their districts initially and slowly expanded to other areas without being caught by major/big dairy business firms, mind the words ‘without being caught’. The moment they are caught they will be wiped out off the industry.
And now getting on to modern small businesses, the awaited part. Never mind, here I have to start writing “10 key marketing strategies to grow your small business”. That is how modern businesses work and focus upon. The below marketing strategy list will work for any kind of small business.
1) Budget and Goal: This is the basic step and where people fall flat for lack of clarity. Have a budget and make clear what your goal is. Your goal can be to create awareness or conversion of leads. They both may seem same but different in their own ways.
So be clear about what your budget is for and try not to deviate from your goal.
2) Online advertisements: The first thing that strikes here is facebook ads and google AdWords. Well, there will be a lot of apprehensions to get into this space. You may feel it is not worthy and more often than not you won’t realize the conversions soon. One golden rule here is “You have to spend money in order to earn money”.
So never back out from this stuff as these can be game changing and often the first step to generate awareness. Just a word of caution, don’t anticipate for conversions with facebook ads, probably google Adwords is a better way to achieve conversions.
3)Google’s local offerings: Google has come up with an initiative “Let’s put our cities on the map” to get local business online.
Reports from BCG suggest that business with an online presence grow 40% more than those that don’t. What this does is it highlights your business on maps which can bring you some unprecedented conversions or leads. So start using Google’s My Business account.
4) Master one social channel: One of the most frustrating things is to manage all social media handles of facebook, google plus, Instagram, twitter and so on so forth. Instead of following the herd of creating presence across all platforms, better stick to one where you find you can get more eyeballs. Suggest to use tools like Hootsuite, Buffer to track usage/reaction statistics.
5) Email marketing: I know you love to do this.
But added to what you do normally it is suggested to use tools like MailChimp which provides stats on favoured subject lines, time of the day, day of the week. This helps to use your resources optimally to generate maximum benefit.
6) Blog for your business: How much I press the importance of this, yet people give it the last preference.
Well, the blog is the place where you can demonstrate how your small business is an expert in the industry. Quick things to keep in mind while blogging is: to do it consistently, at least thrice a week, and optimizing it for SEO.
7) Network: This is one thing that helps to understand how the industry is moving. Be active on LinkedIn and form relations with peers. Host some recreational activities or a lunch. Again don’t confuse industry with just a set of similar businesses, it can also be a group of small business
8) Local leverage: Trust me there is no question of ethics here, a prior caveat. Get on to help some social causes, preferably which fall in your area of business. This helps to spread a word about your business.
Never ever think of it as taking advantage of a situation. Remember that is the best way you as a business can react to that. Follow your volunteer ship, one media follows you.
9) Survey about yourself: It is not a bad idea to seek an opinion from your customers. What you are going to survey holds importance.
It is not just a rating but a properly channeled feedback about your service, flaws, product offerings. The trick is to find your customer at the right place in order to get it done.
10) Share your knowledge: What more can be more satisfying than to share knowledge. Well, this creates a positive opinion on your business that you aren’t just up for transactions but also involved in bringing some changes to current practices. Start youtube channel or webinars to demonstrate about your small business and never forget to follow up your attendees and non-attendees.
Hope you implement these strategies in best possible way and wish your small business grows big exponentially.