This article has been contributed by Abhishek Talreja.
Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or just starting out, an essential way to grow your business is to be consistent with your marketing efforts.
Let’s take a look at some intelligent strategies to understand how to squeeze the most out of each dollar and hour you invest in promoting your business.
1. Create a Website
As more and more people use the internet, launching a website is the perfect way to showcase your products and services to potential customers. It’s an essential channel to generate leads for your business.
Make sure your website is easy to use – structure it in a way so that site visitors can glean the relevant information with ease. Here are some must-have website features:
- Social Media Integration: allows users to visit your social media pages and follow your business on those channels
- Live Chat: the integration helps you connect with users in real-time and answer their queries. The feature enables you to collect contact details of first-time visitors.
- Blog: helps you publish search-friendly content and build a loyal follower base.
- Conversion Copy: Make use of compelling words to grab the audience attention and more conversions. Learn how to drive affiliate marketing conversions with content.
2. Position Yourself as an Expert
There is a massive difference between being one of many and being a sought-after expert in your industry. The power of being perceived as a leader in your field is immense.
Here are some benefits that you get from being a niche-expert:
- Choose who to work with because you have more business than you can handle.
- You don’t need to look for new business. Instead, customers come to you to seek your expertise.
- Charge higher prices for products and services because people won’t compare you to your competitors.
- Get access to the cream of the crop when it comes to hiring talent because everyone wants to be associated with the top dogs.
There are definitely more advantages and benefits for those who successfully positioned themselves as go-to experts in their fields. However, just those four can completely change the course of anybody’s business.
There is no doubt that if you want your business to thrive, you need to position yourself as an expert. However, how you can do that and preferably fast?
This extensive expert positioning guide can help every entrepreneur with a dozen of highly effective and inexpensive strategies to create a fine reputation for themselves.
3. Sponsor a Local Event
Sponsoring a popular local event is a great way to spread brand awareness and to reach out to your audience.
You could associate with a charity event or a sports event in your area – they’re great ways to create goodwill for your business. People in your community would get to know about your business and its products and services.
If you’re looking to target a niche audience, go for an industry-specific event.
Ideally, aim to earn yourself a speaking spot in such an event – you can spark new business relationships by sharing your ideas and knowledge with potential customers.
4. Create a Social Media Community
You can create a community of like-minded people on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Create a Facebook Group or a LinkedIn Group and invite those who might be interested in discussing a topic related to your business.
Raring to go and spark some fresh-new social conversations? These social media tools should help.
5. Create a Newsletter
Send out useful content from your blog in your newsletter. You can also include company news and updates.
A monthly or a weekly email with valuable tips and industry trends helps to build a strong relationship with prospective customers.
Business owners can add a section on their website that offers visitors an option to subscribe – this could be a popup or a slide-scroll that asks visitors to share their contact name and email address.
A good way is to integrate your website with an email marketing tool that automatically stores these contacts. You can then set up automated email campaigns and save yourself the time to send manual emails.
6. Network Like a Pro
Meeting new people is the most effective way to spread awareness about your business and pocket more deals.
Networking helps you to know about the latest in your industry and learn from the experiences of those you meet. It helps you to generate qualified leads for your business.
Here are some quick and smart networking tips:
- Attend events that are relevant to your business. Research the audience before deciding to participate.
- Make sure you’re prepared to create that killer first impression.
- Send out a follow-up email or a social media connection request after you’ve attended the event.
- Offer something valuable to those you meet – it’s essential to break the ice before building those precious connections.
7. Optimise for Search Engines
Most internet users depend on search engines to find answers to their questions.
By providing the right information to online searchers, businesses stand to benefit by getting in front of potential customers. By participating in the internet’s knowledge pool, you can help your audience by offering your advice on a query.
SEO is an organic, a.k.a. non-paid, promotional strategy to get traffic back to your site – the process helps you to get relevant leads and sales.
- Make sure to optimise your website for SEO
- Produce and publish search-friendly content to establish authority in your niche.
Do search rankings seem far-fetched and too technical to achieve? Find out creative ways to climb the rankings ladder.
8. Try Co-Marketing
When you’re on a shoestring marketing budget, it makes a lot of sense to collaborate with similar, non-competing companies.
For example, a fitness studio and a dance academy can team up to promote each other on social media.
Complementary businesses can offer product bundles at discounted prices. You can organise collaborative workshops and educational seminars for your audience.
This way, two or three companies can sell more by reaching out to each other’s respective contacts, like Starbucks and Spotify have done through their partnership.
Image source: forbes.com
9. Create Buyer Personas
A marketing strategy without buyer personas is like a building without a foundation. Make sure you create 2-3 core customer personas for your business.
Creating character sketches of your ideal customers involves a deep understanding of their habits, preferences and problems.
Personas help you to develop targeted brand messages that are often the most critical aspect of any successful marketing campaign.
Image source: blog.alexa.com
10. Create a Brand Identity
Think of companies like Apple, GE, or McDonald’s, and each has a distinct brand identity that comes to mind.
Every business needs to create one such personality. A unique brand presence helps the audience to recognise your business and feel a deep sense of emotional connection with it.
It helps you to build trust among your audience. Besides customer loyalty, a brand promise helps your business to come across as professional. It brings forth the commitment and purpose of your business.
Here are some tips for building a brand identity that stands out and creates an impact:
- Define a set of values and emotions that represent your brand.
- Make sure your brand communication and experience is in sync with each of these core values.
- Keep your brand promise and stay consistent with your brand voice.
11. Create a Referral Program
Big companies like Uber and Airbnb have used the power of referral marketing to get new customers for their business. Smaller businesses, too, can make use of this cost-effective and innovative marketing technique.
A simple referral program requires you to offer a reward or a discount to those customers who refer your products and services to their friends. To get customers to participate, you can talk about your referral program on your business website and social media channels.
12. Tie Up with Influencers
When it comes to social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook, it’s the influencers that grab all users’ attention. Getting the right influencers to talk about your products and services can do wonders for your business.
Make sure you’re not collaborating with influencers who have a large number of fake followers. Connect with niche influencers who have worked hard to build thought-leadership.
Don’t know how to hit it off with a niche influencer? You check this list of influencer outreach email templates.
13. Earn Media Coverage
Press coverage is another priceless asset that many small businesses end up ignoring.
Good publicity in relevant media is a fantastic way to promote your brand amongst your targeted audience. Whether you do some kind of community service, sponsor a charity event or offer expert tips to journalists, getting media coverage is a low-cost marketing option.
Check out this article to learn about some creative ways to get press coverage for your business.
14. Work on Customer Feedback
If you want to create a win-win for your business and your customers, then feedback can be a handy tool. Knowing what your customers want from your products and services is vital to understanding their needs and preferences.
To know what your customers think, you can create a simple feedback mailer or add a feedback form to your website.
Image source: mopinion.com
For instance, some customers may want a more customised version of the software you’re selling. See if you can offer a higher-priced version of the tool with more customisation options. Small changes can go a long way in helping to retain customers and improve your revenue manifold.
15. Produce Videos
The latest iteration of Cisco’s Visual Networking Index found that video will account for 82 percent of all online traffic by 2022. Video content is fast gaining ground, and you must use it to your advantage.
A video adds charm to your website and gets visitors to stick around. Start by making a brief introductory video of your business. Next, you can choose to create a variety of video types: educational series or client testimonials.
Videos make content a lot more human, so it makes a lot of sense to reach more eyeballs with this necessary marketing tool. Wondering how to get started? Find out how to make terrific video content.
16. Hire a Virtual Assistant
As a business owner, you’ll often find yourself starved of time and resources. Hiring a helper who can post updates on your social media pages or to create email campaigns is a great option. A virtual assistant is a remote resource who can handle a variety of miscellaneous tasks.
However, hiring a good virtual assistant (VA) is not as simple as it sounds. You have to take into account cultural differences, mentality, time zones and other differences. This guide provides some insight on how to hire a virtual assistant in 5 simple steps.
Find yourself a VA with knowledge of online marketing, and you can save a lot of energy to focus on the strategic aspects of your marketing efforts. Plus, a flexible hire will come at a much lower cost than a full-time employee.
17. Collect Customer Testimonials
Most prospects look for social proof before deciding to make a purchase. A simple strategy is to get your customers to say a few words about your products and services.
Put up customer testimonials on your business website and showcase them on your social media pages.
Building the right reputation goes a long way in helping you to get repeat conversions for your business.
18. Create a Google My Business Account
One way to reach out to people searching for local service providers is to create a Google My Business account. It’s a free service from Google that helps you to appear on the search engine’s list of local businesses.
The free-to-create profile helps you to spruce up your site’s listing on search results, as well as push up your rankings for local search queries. Check out this guide on how to optimise your Google My Business profile.
19. Host a Podcast
A study by Neilsen reveals that 50% of all US homes are podcast fans. Listen to a podcast, and you’ll feel like you’re listening to the good-old radio. An entertaining and educational content format podcasting appeals to the audience emotionally.
As a business owner, if you can build a solid audience base with a niche podcast, it can turn the tide in your favour and help to get consistent revenues.
20. Hack the Latest Trends
News, stats, and research are all great sources of the latest industry information. More power to you if you can use these to share your opinion and grab audience-attention.
Pick a state of industry study and create a summary post or a social media update, for instance. Most online users love bite-sized, snack-able, and valuable content pieces – chunks of information that give them a glimpse of what’s going on in the industry.
You can even quote and tag industry experts to get more visibility for your business. Invest a little bit of time in these intelligent hacks, and you might be able to reach out to the most potential customers. You can check out this list of tools for tracking the key trends in your industry.
21. Run Paid Ad Campaigns
Wordstream found that paid ads get 65% of all clicks from people looking to buy now. You can quickly set up paid campaigns on platforms like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn and start expanding your business’ influence.
While running a paid campaign, you get to choose from several audience-targeting parameters: time of day, keywords, demographics, and location. Besides that, you can use retargeting campaigns to connect with those who’ve already visited your site.
22. Do Charity Work
When you work as a volunteer or offer your services for free, you tend to feel a tremendous level of internal satisfaction.
Moreover, community service is the best form of free advertising.
Getting involved with a cause gives you a chance to aim for a higher purpose and build your network – a natural way to grow professionally and personally.
23. Offer Giveaways
Marketing isn’t just about how well you talk about your business USPs. It’s about engaging with your audience so they can fall in love with your brand.
A contest or a giveaway is an exciting technique to have a two-way conversation with prospective customers. You can create a simple quiz, for instance, and put it up on your site and your social media pages.
24. Try to Go Viral
Hold on! The thought of going viral can be quite enticing – the implementation is far from easy.
For inspiration, check out this viral video from Dollar Shave Club that helped the razor brand skyrocket its sales.
Going viral is never a sure-shot, but it does promise big rewards. If you can show something outrageous, extremely funny or thought-provoking, you have better chances of going viral and getting mass publicity for your business.
25. Run Festive Offers
Running promotional offers and discounts is a cool way to clear your inventory of goods. The strategy works very well for eCommerce businesses that cannot afford to pile up your existing unsold stock.
Not just that, promos are an awesome way to improve sales and get that much-needed business visibility.
26. Watch out For New Tools and Platforms
The right set of tools can help you improve campaign efficiency and scale. Amidst changing technology, make sure you keep looking out for the best ones.
For instance, you can now find a host of AI tools that can reduce manual effort in tasks like content optimisation, SEO, and social media management. For now, you can check out this list of marketing resources.
27. Build Relationships with Existing Customers
Some business owners may not give much thought to retaining customers. But, on the contrary, customer retention can be a great way to get recurring sales for your business.
Here are some quick tips to take customer loyalty more seriously:
- Know your customers well – understand how to keep them happy with the quality of products and services.
- Build a personal relationship – go out of your way to help them.
- Offer rewards and discounts to buyers who decide to come back and make repeat purchases.
28. Offer Free Samples
The rules of the game remain the same – you start any new relationship with some form of gift or value addition.
Distributing product samples can help you to induce trials. The strategy works as a tremendous awareness campaign.
If you’re selling a tool or a subscription-based service, then the best way is to offer a free trial of your service.
29. Hire a Lead Generation Agency
A lead generation agency will offer you a team of experts who will work on getting you new business. Such agencies focus on understanding lead quality to make sure you get the most relevant leads for your business. Outsourcing to an agency helps you save time in generating and following-up with leads.
30. Be Patient
Marketing is not a short-term game. You’ve got to be persistent with your efforts so you can keep getting the results. It’s a continuous process of attracting the right people to your business – so be ready for the long haul. Riding high? It’s still not advisable to stop your marketing efforts.
Over to You
Now get going, because you’re now equipped with the right weapons in your marketing arsenal. Don’t forget to draw lessons from your own experience of marketing your business to find newer, more creative promotional strategies
Make sure to stay focused on activities that work best for your company. And share the love – tell us what works best for you in the comments below.
About the author: Abhishek Talreja is curious about everything content and marketing. He loves to keep it short, simple, and meaningful. He is the founder of Prolific Content Marketing.