Marketing is an essential tool in a small business owner’s arsenal that is essential to master if your business hopes to survive. The value of a good marketing strategy in today’s business world cannot be overestimated, however, not all businesses start out with a good strategy, and many have been running for years without updating their approach.
Whether you are a new business looking at your marketing options or are an existing small business who is looking for ways to reach new clients and grow your brand, the four tips below can help you kickstart a successful marketing strategy.
- Use Social Media as a Marketing Tool
While many people regard social media as a valuable tool to stay connected with the world, some are still on the fence about using the service, thanks in part to ongoing debates relating to data privacy. However, the impact social media can have on the bottom line of small businesses cannot be overlooked.
In a study on social media and user-generated content, it was found that 45% of the total population of the UK are active social media users, which means there is a huge advantage to making use of these various platforms in order to market your business to a large audience. Not only can it be used to draw in additional customers but it can also be a helpful, and inexpensive, tool for building relationships with your clients and improving brand loyalty and awareness.
Your social media presence for your business may take a while to grow but, with the right strategy in place, the benefits are well worth the effort.
- Build and Maintain a Website
Social media can be a great marketing tool but having your own website for your business, even if you only own a physical store and don’t sell goods or services online, is still a great idea. Many people use the internet to find businesses and to check if they are reliable and trustworthy through exploring reviews and testimonials that should be displayed on your website.
In order to get the most benefit from a website, it should be easy to use and accessible on all platforms, be it through a desktop PC browser or on a browser on a mobile phone, and it should be able to load quickly on all these platforms. Studies have found that you have an average of 10 seconds to leave an impression on someone online. Making the most of this time is essential if your website is going to be an effective marketing tool.
- Collaborate with Other Businesses
While the business industry can be a cut-throat one, there is also a lot that can be gained from teaming up with other local businesses in your area and beyond, in order to grow your brand’s reach and ultimately bring in more clients through co-opetition, an act of cooperation between businesses in either competing or complementary sectors.
By joining forces with other business owners to share contacts, knowledge and even collaborate on business opportunities together, you not only can offer clients a wider range of services but you could even leverage off these relationships to improve your buying power. You can also use these relationships to share your experience in running a business in order to streamline and improve your own processes.
When looking to collaborate with other businesses, it is important that you leverage contacts that you already have, in particular, if you have relationships with other professionals.
This is one of the reasons why pursuing a business degree makes so much sense. Whether you studied through a university or online through a business school like Aston University, visit their website here for more information on why enrolling in a business school can help you build a strong network of business contacts and mentors. The relationships you form in these environments can offer great networking opportunities for your business.
- Testimonials and Reviews
For our last point, we are going to touch on the importance of asking for testimonials and reviews from clients. According to data analytics company Nielsen, word of mouth marketing is more important than ever as over 90% of people trust the recommendations of family and friends over other types of advertising. In the age of social media, this often encompasses Facebook friends and contacts over other platforms. Asking clients to leave reviews and testimonials on your website or social media pages is an easy way to build trust in your brand as well as attract new clients.
Running a small business involves a lot of time, effort, money and resilience, however, with the right marketing strategy, you can put your small business on the road to success.