What’s the difference between the confident entrepreneurs who lead growing businesses and owners who can’t get out of survival mode?
It all comes down to this: All successful businesses have a clear marketing strategy that makes everything they do more effective.
Sometimes people say something like, "I've placed some ads, but they just don't seem to be doing anything," which simply means that they are not getting the desired results. But marketing and advertising are different things. Just placing a few ads will not draw the kind of sales that a business needs to be successful.
Marketing is a process, not an event. It involves planning marketing goals and implementing marketing strategies to achieve them.
The strategy is simply the decisions you need to make so that your tactics work better. Your marketing strategy is the foundation for creating awareness, generating interest, closing new sales, and continuing customer engagement. Your marketing strategy guides your company culture, your products and services mix, and pricing. Marketing isn’t a complex process, but you have to be clear about your objective. Here are six simple marketing strategies you can use to increase your customers and sales.
1. Tap the right button
The first step in any marketing strategy is to identify your target market and target customer. Who do you serve and who can be your customer? This needs to be answered before you execute any strategy efficiently.
If you are spending time and money on marketing, it’s important to define the right market and audience. The narrower you define your market so you can focus on those that you can best serve and those that can best service you, the more effective your entire business will be.
What few words will your customer say to describe your business? Dominos is about yummy pizzas, Starbucks is about high-quality coffee.
You have to clearly define the category of product or the service that you provide to the customer. People should always have a clear idea about your business so that they can share it with other people. Be laser-like in your focus of defining the category and market, so that it can amplify your marketing and sales efforts.
Always describe a unique feature of your product and the benefit of using it. Your unique benefit should highlight the one or two main things your product or service actually delivers (benefits) that your target customer really wants, not a long list of all the things your product does (features).
A company that offers e-marketing and sales automation need not describe much about its software, it should focus on customers' interests and tell them how their software will help the customer to grow their sales and save time. The more simple and short you can describe your benefits, the better your marketing will work.
Also, offer some free classes/workshops related to your products or services — in your home, in a rented venue, or through a local education institution, such as a community college. Target specific audiences or events, if appropriate.
For instance, someone with a leading business might offer special workshops on Beaded Christmas Projects or Beading for Girls. A yoga instructor might offer a free session in the nearest school or college.
2. Build a website to present your work online
If you have a business and don’t have a website, you are losing out on opportunities for your business. A website itself can be used to implement many different marketing strategies to help your business grow. As a business owner, you need to know where your consumers are.
But what if consumers know your business and what you can offer, but they can’t reach you?
That is one of the risks you take by not having a website for your business. Your website and social media are accessible 24/7/365 to your customer. The more professional and creative your website, the more marketing advantages you can gain.
By building your website, you can tell your customers why they should trust you and about the testimonials, facts, and achievements that backup those opportunities. Your website should be user-friendly and it should answer the queries of the customer. Also, adding live chat support can be a good solution to providing them with answers and briefing them about the whole ideology of your business. Real time chatting with a customer support expert not only builds customer’s confidence during their shopping experience but also helps to improve your conversion rates.
It can be convenient for customers to get their queries answered through this medium; it also saves them time, which they can utilize by doing more research on your service.
For a visitor, as long as you manage to create an ideal first impression your target audience is pleased with, you will start to build a successful website, following, and community.
It is important to regularly update the content and improve the design of your website. Your website will be the tool that will reflect your business position, your goodwill in the market. So in just a few seconds, the user should know the whole DNA of your business.
3. Design a strong advertising strategy using both online and offline platforms
Advertising your product is a very important tactic in any kind of marketing strategy. While incepting a strategy, you should understand many things, like what type of advertisement plan is best for your brand and can attract your target customer. If you want your advertisement plan to work and your sales numbers to grown because of it, then you have to put faith in the traditional mediums of advertisement. No advertisement will work well without the usage of newspaper or magazine ads, radio ads, billboards or banners, etc. Using these mediums is one of the most effective ways to portray trust and commitment to your customer.
Create your own blog and use it to build an audience of people who would be interested in your products or services. Then write regularly about topics related to your business and what your business is doing. Use Search Engine Optimization related words frequently in your content. You'll start connecting with other bloggers, business people, and potential customers.
Social media is at its peak. Make a Facebook page about your business and keep posting and updating people with the new trends in your business. Twitter is very simple and easy to use. Keep tweeting, not only about your products but with like-minded people who may be interested in your business.
Using online tools like Gainbuzz can help you plan the whole advertising campaign and allow you to cater to a much wider audience.
4. Join local networking and business groups to promote your work
Many such home-based business groups and local institutions are inexpensive to join and you can get huge marketing benefits from them. You should join such groups and introduce your business so that more people can know you. Once they get to know you and what you do, the other business people in your group will mention your business to others and may even give you referrals.
You can also be aware of inflation and economic trends in business, and build a good network by joining such groups. Local business organizations are great opportunities to create and participate in some cooperative marketing strategies, such as holding special Market Days or other events.
5. Participate in some charitable or industrial events and also ask for referrals
You can get huge amounts of press and reach from events like this — which can give you some new customers. Many charities have events established on a particular day or during festivals. You can be very much a visible part of that event by sponsoring them. This can also be a noble deed through which people will know you and, if it’s a large-scale event, you will also get the huge benefit of sales automation in the near future.
If you are a service-based business, asking for referrals is one of the easiest and least time-consuming marketing strategies. Don’t fear or feel awkward asking for a referral. Remember that most people like to help other people if there is no negative cost to them.
Always make asking for a referral a part of your project routine. In most projects, there is the last meeting with the client, which is a perfect time to receive feedback and a referral from the client. Don't let your own shyness or fear get in the way of building your business.
Referrals will get you more clients. And the more referrals you ask for, the more referrals you'll get - just because the customer knows that you want some. It's a small effort for a great reward.
A mix of marketing strategies, such as advertising in conjunction with the marketing strategies above, will get you the marketing results you want. None of these marketing strategies are going to draw hordes of customers overnight, but assuming you have a good product or service, if you do them and work at them consistently, you will see an increase in customers and sales.