Life as a small business owner is often unpredictable. While short-term success is frequently enjoyed, it can be difficult to maintain in the long term. An astonishing number of small businesses fail within the first few years of establishment, across a variety of industries.
By nature, long-term success for small business is challenging. As the world grows closer due to technology, small businesses are forced to adopt strategies more akin to much larger organizations. Operating with less staff, limited capital, and lack of industry expertise, it is becoming increasingly hard to be competitive. Which is why you need effective small business marketing strategies.
One of the major issues experienced by small business owners is that they don’t have enough time to cover all aspects of the business. They take on a lot of responsibility and end up being stretched too thin. This leads to the neglect of key functions and can ultimately damage the business. Although work ethic shouldn’t be criticised, sometimes task delegation and outsourcing are necessary for growth.
While failure is part of life and business, it’s not always necessary. There are certain actions, decisions, and strategies that can reduce the risk of failure. One of the most important strategies to concentrate on for any small business is marketing. It is an essential operation that can set you apart from your competition, particularly in the digital era.
If you want to enable your small business for long term success, here are seven key marketing strategies that you should consider.
1. Expand your client base
Customers are your most important ally in business. You should do everything in your power to please your existing customers, but you must avoid relying on a small client base. Work diligently to retain loyal customers while implementing marketing strategies to expand your small business client base.
It’s important to realise that existing and potential customers represent two very different groups. Lead generation strategies are intended to draw in a new audience. From here, you must implement conversion techniques.
By staying in regular contact with existing customers and targeting them with tailored offers, you can increase the likelihood of repeat purchasing. A 5% increase in customer retention can give an increase of 75% in the value of an individual customer.
Consistently increasing your client base and effective customer retention will lead to improved sales figures, reach, and potential for growth.
2. Utilize technology
Technology has made its way into every aspect of life, from your personal communication device to advanced analytical software in business.
The utilization of technology by small businesses can make life a lot easier, and it can give them a serious competitive advantage.
Management software, automotive technology, and other programs can improve time efficiency, organization, and make tedious activities more manageable. Research digital tools for marketers and utilize technology to benefit your small business.
3. Establish a strong brand identity
A brand identity is the unique personality that makes your business relatable to your target audience. It not only puts a “face to the name,” but it also represents the values, beliefs, communication style, and attitude of your company.
Although a business can experience success without a stand-out brand, a strong brand can last in the minds and hearts of customers. It is much more likely to resonate with an audience.
Your small business brand should be unique and follow your vision. However, there are some effective ways to establish a strong one.
The first step is to research the marketplace and to come up with your unique value proposition. What do you offer, as a brand, that the competition doesn’t?
Secondly, the visual aspects of the brand must be designed. Make a list of important visuals that will represent the business, such as the logo, colour scheme, website design, merchandise, packaging, etc. Hire a professional graphic artist to help create the best visuals possible.
Thirdly, you must develop a communication strategy. What language will you use, and how will your personality be portrayed through advertising and social media? Don’t forget the offline side of things however, as signposting your office or retail location may be just as important, as well as its internal public-facing areas. For instance, outdoor neon signs can help you notify incoming guests of where your entrances are.
Finally, remain consistent with your branding across all platforms. Develop a set of branding guidelines and stick to them. The only reason to stray from the guidelines is if you are undergoing a rebranding period.
4. Invest time in data
Any modern business, big or small, should be investing considerable effort into gathering and analyzing data. With such a reliance on technology, social media, and websites for marketing and communication, even a one-person business generates a lot of data. This data provides valuable insights into customer behaviour, interests, and habits. It also provides information relating to the online performance of your business.
Pay attention to the data, spend time analyzing it, and let data and analysis be the main drivers in your decision making.
5. Effective social media strategy
Typically, many small businesses don’t use social media very well. Sure, they know to post regularly and that visual content might be more favourable on the homepage algorithm. However, social media platforms are perhaps your most powerful advertising tool. You should have a strategic approach that works consistently across all platforms.
Spend time putting together a content calendar and create a series of campaigns to run throughout the year. Analyze your channels and created targeted ads to hit your ideal demographics and target audience.
6. Quality content
Creating quality content sets your business apart from your competitors. From a website blog to your social content, placing your efforts into creating high-quality content provides value to your audience and develops relationships.
Consider hiring a copywriter to help execute your content strategy. This will ensure in-depth research and professional level content are being created regularly.
As a key communication point with customers, don’t settle for mediocre content.
7. Focus on mobile users
Mobile web browsing has now surpassed desktop searches, making the mobile marketplace an essential area of focus for all businesses. Mobile users spend a lot of time just browsing on retail sites, but there has been a steady increase in mobile conversions over the last couple of years.
Ensure that your website is optimized for mobile users as well as desktop. When creating adverts or content, always be mindful of mobile users and make sure all content is adaptable to the smaller screen.