This article was contributed by Lidia S. Hovhan.
Goals are very important for business success. And vision is also equally important in attaining business success. That is easier said than done though.
You need to break down your goals into real actions so that you can visualize the end results that you want. In this article, we will discuss some vital steps you need to do to advance your business to the next level.
Use Social Media Groups like LinkedIn
In the beginning, social media was used by people just for fun. Not anymore. Today, modern businessmen have seen the power of social media in finding and convincing customers. Now they are leveraging this power to achieve their business goals. If you haven’t yet joined the bandwagon yet, it is time you have to or you will be left behind.
Why look at social media as something good for your business? Here are some of the reasons why you need to consider its use in advancing your business:
- Your company and your product or service will be able to attract the attention of your target market
- You will be able to connect with new customers as well as existing customers in a way that is deeper and more interactive.
- You will be able to build and improve your brand
- You will be able to discover fresh ideas and new trends about your product or service
There are many businesses that are dovetailing their email marketing campaign with their social media promotions. Why shouldn’t they since statistics have revealed that approximately 81 percent of Americans have their own social media accounts? This is a very inexpensive way to promote your product or service to those who don’t know it yet.
For instance, you can use LinkedIn to promote and sell your product or service. As of the last count, this social media platform has already built up a network of over 610 million users. Approximately 40 percent of these people visit the site every day. That would be a whopping 268 million target customers. If you could just attract 1 percent of that number, you could be entertaining 2.68 million new customers. But of course, you can’t reach out to those people if you don’t have a LinkedIn account. So, what are you waiting for?
Be In Touch With Your Customers
It is not enough to build hundreds and hundreds of customers. You must also be prepared to do the heavy work of getting in touch with them regularly. If you do so, you will easily earn their trust and loyalty. However, if you forget to communicate with them, even occasionally, they will easily soon forget your brand and your product. If you do competitor research of your leading rival, you will see that getting in touch with customers is one practice that led to his being the leader in your line of business.
There are many effective ways by which you can regularly get in touch with your customers. It is not just sending regular emails to your customers and the like. That is good practice. But here are some additional suggestions that you may want to consider:
- Send them query letters asking about their opinion regarding your product or service. But don’t just ask the standard question: How can we improve our services or our products? Ask them if they want to try a new product that you are launching and if they can give their recommendations about it.
- Show them that you are concerned about their well-being. It’s not necessary for you to do this personally. You won’t be able to especially if you already have hundreds of customers. But you can convey this approach through the content that you are publishing on your site.
This is called content marketing which is effective in holding the attention of your existing customers. Endeavor to always have fresh and relevant content on your site. We continue to see trends favouring to video content. The video marketing statistics tells that about 9 in 10 companies use video in their content marketing strategy. If possible, publish one fresh and original content every week.
It won’t be hard for you to think about fresh content that is relevant to the interests of your customers. Just ask them to share some of their interests, desires, strategies in life, tips and advice with you. Use their answers to create new and unique content suited to their inclinations.
Create an alert with every one of your customers.
There are plenty of alert tools that are free to use. Some examples are Mention, Talkwalker, Google Alerts, and others. Use the customer’s name or his company or his line of business to create an alert. You can then communicate with him in various situations such as if he has achieved a milestone and you are offering your congratulations. Or you can tell him about a new product that you are launching which is better than the old one he bought from you before.
Give something nice but not expensive
Getting loyal customers is not always sell, sell and sell. Once in a while, you need to give them something nice. But that something should not break your bank. The thought of you giving something to them will not be lost in their consciousness. Your company will be well thought of.
Improve Your Product
A restaurant may have a posh ambiance but if its cuisine is bland and tasteless, you won’t get caught in its premises again, right? It’s the same way with your product or service. All the bells and whistles won’t do your product any good if it does not really fulfill what it is supposed to do. A product must have the right combination of features and functions to be patronized by loyal and new customers.
There is a need for you to improve your product even if you think it is already functional and useful. Here are some of the most important reasons why.
- The reputation of your product is at stake. You would want to sell a product with a good reputation, right? You don’t want to sell a product that breaks down the moment you put it to work. Pride is something that your product must have; therefore, if there are any issues about it, it must be returned to the drawing board.
On your customer’s viewpoint, they will also be the proud owners of a product that is dependable and one that can really do what it is designed for and something that can make their lives easier. But that can only be possible if you are in the habit of constantly improving the features and capability of your product.
- Your income depends on a good and reliable product. It all boils down to money. Yes, you will be spending some amount on improving your product. But if your customers patronize the improvements, which they would, you will be the ultimate winner.
More customers will buy it, adding to your income resulting in the improvement of your bottom line, which may have been already sagging because of a problematic product. It is your bottom line that is at stake if you don’t implement the improvements.
- In selling a product or service, there is that important ‘word of mouth’ way of advertisement. This is closely related to product or brand reputation. If your product has been proven effective, you can count on its word of mouth power. That means potential customers are positively influenced by the testimonies of the existing owners and users of the product.
To put it more clearly, there is a need for you to improve your product because it will nurture the belief of its owners and users that it is really effective and would not hesitate to recommend it to their family and friends if there is a need for it. An improved product will have greater chances of getting referrals than an old product that stays the same through the years.
Be Informed of Your Competitor’s Plans
Being aware of what your competitor is planning to do is not being sneaky; it is just being prepared to face the battle as a good soldier would. Knowing who your competitor is and being aware of his plans is already a battle half-won. But if you are in the dark, you won’t be able to shield yourself from the effects of his attack. And he is targeting your customers, old, new and the future ones.
Here are some important reasons why you should keep tabs with the plans of your competitors.
You will discover new opportunities in the market
If you are always keeping abreast of competitor’s activities and plans, you will be able to learn the new avenues that he is exploring. You might not have thought about certain areas in your business that has the potential to provide you with additional revenues. But if you constantly have your ears in tune to the whereabouts of your rival, you will discover new ideas, concepts, and venues by which your product or service can be applicable.
You will be able to pattern your marketing strategies from their successes.
It is not good to copy everything down to the smallest i’s or t’s that your competitor is doing. You might be charged with plagiarism or copyright issues. But you can pattern your marketing strategies after what they are doing which you see are producing the right results.
Look at their overall promotional strategies and put in your own ideas that you feel can improve your marketing efforts. This will save you money because you already know which tactics are fruitful and which are not.
You will avoid committing costly mistakes.
If you will regularly keep up with the news about your competitors, you will be able to learn about their important events and happenings, even their mistakes. The last item is what you really need to be concerned about for this will help you avoid costly mistakes in your marketing campaigns.
In today’s internet of things, it wouldn’t be difficult for you to dig key information about your competitors, i.e. their board of directors, their line of business, their products or services, their latest news and even things that they are trying to hide.
If you regularly do your research work on them, there is a strong chance that you will learn about the mistakes they’ve done while they are on their way up. That is good information for you to use in traversing the difficult and bumpy road to business success.
Realize Your Goals
With the information given above, you will have the key concepts that can bring your business to the next level. There is no reason why you can’t advance your business and realize your business goals – so long as you use the information discussed in this article. In addition to the above concepts, you might want to consider the following tips that will help you achieve your business objectives.
Evaluate your priorities
We all want to achieve many things. But since we are limited to just one body, one head, two hands and two feet and so forth, we can only do so much. Prioritizing your goals is therefore very crucial in achieving your business goals. Set your first, second and third priorities so that they won’t confuse you or your teammates.
Be aware of your potentials and your obstacles
If you are aware of the opportunities and the problems prior to your journey, you will not be caught by surprise. A ton of preparation will help you navigate the road when difficult times come. It will also put your feet solidly on the ground if triumphs suddenly appear.
Keep your eyes on the goal of advancing your business
No matter what happens, successes or failures, always stay on course, keeping in mind that you are guiding your company and your products to the next level. When you reach that level, keep going to reach the next one.
Be specific with all your plans
You should be very specific in developing your plans. This could mean specifying your business activities on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. It is just like planning your itinerary if you want to travel to a place you’ve never been to before.
Lidia S. Hovhan is Digital Marketing expert and SEO guru. She contributes articles about how to integrate digital marketing strategy with traditional marketing to help business owners to meet their online goals. You can find really professional insights in her writings.