The most relevant question every small business owner has is, “How to effectively do marketing for my small business and scale sales on a tight budget?”. It can be daunting when you have to decide where to invest your time and limited resources in marketing.
A well-thought-out marketing plan has a large share to contribute to the success of your small business. Using various strategies, you can attract customers and scale your business. Companies usually have a sales goal and formulate marketing strategies to achieve that goal
Your efforts in marketing reflect increased brand awareness and a peak in sales volume. As a small business owner with a small source of resources, spreading the word can be difficult. It can be challenging to grasp the prevailing marketing trends. You might not be sure about where to get started. You will have to figure out what works best for your small business and invest in it.
In this read, you will learn the concept of marketing strategy and various popularly working strategies for you to choose for your small business.
Marketing Strategy – the Basics
You have a particular sales goal when you run a small business or an e-commerce store. But, how are you planning to get it? That is when marketing comes into play. With concrete marketing strategies, you can push your sales by attracting customers.
A marketing strategy is a detailed plan on how you will reach your sales goal. It includes all the efforts you will put forth to overcome the risks and pain points in attaining your success. It also analyses the present and past performance of your business. It predicts your business’ performance in the future with some implementations on the marketing side. Also, it spells out what you have been missing in line with your set objectives and suggests plans to accomplish them.
Marketing strategy is more than a tactic.
A strategy is not merely guessing what is about to happen and taking efforts accordingly. It is a clear-cut step-by-step plan focused on helping you attain your sales goal. You must also be able to figure out what will be your proactive steps if plan A does not turn out well as a part of formulating your marketing strategy.
Marketing strategy usually involves three things.
Set a specific achievable sales goal
A sales goal is the destination to which a marketing strategy is a road map. Without a specific purpose, you have no direction to move forward. There is no point in deriving a marketing strategy without a sales goal. So, primarily, have a sales goal to run towards it.
Understand the challenge
It is a realistic understanding of the current state of the business and the market. Look out for what is happening in your market and where your business stands in the market. You will be able to find out the hurdle that is keeping you far from your sales goal.
Design an overall approach to subdue the challenges
Here, you have to formulate a strategy that directs action towards overcoming the challenge. Also, this step rules out the other methods. Analyze the platform and its highs and lows, and stick to a system.
Write a step by the step action plan.
You need to be more descriptive and elaborative in this part. Think of every inch you will take forward to achieve your goal and arrive at a set of coherent actions you need to take to get there.
Eight Small Business Marketing Strategies for Sales Growth
Some tried and tested techniques are practical and affordable for small businesses to understand various marketing strategies better
1. Paid Media Marketing
When a popular and credible media vouches for you, it is a surefire succeeding marketing. It is not just a matter of reliability earned from them, but it also puts your brand in front of a broader range of the public. You can take advantage of the media’s existing customer base.
Not only press and public relations, but you can also reach influencers and bloggers. These people can share your brand with their followers and endorse it. Choosing a credible influencer from your domain can give you an exponential reach and a potentially significant sales boost.
Though primitive, publicity stunts can also help you gain media attention and target the market.
2. Content Marketing
Content marketing is an online marketing strategy that works for any business these days. Content marketing not only touts your brand but also intends to stimulate interest in your products and services.
Creating content for your target audience adds a lot to your marketing efforts by generating new leads. Make sure that your content is relevant and exciting to the people. Your target audience is your potential customers. So, capture their interest and build trust by offering an appealing range of tips, tricks, how-tos, discounts, and offers.
Try to answer your customers’ questions online. This improves your brand awareness. Always push in your prospects and reasons why they should choose your product.
When we say ‘content’ marketing, it is not just about texts, blogs, and articles. Instead, you can offer heterogeneous content incorporating infographics, videos, and podcasts and can be of any presentable form
Content marketing can be as simple as a Twitter post, Quora answer, a YouTube video, or as garnish as a tutorial or events on your social media. Moreover, great content can earn you backlinks that help your website’s domain authority.
3. Partner Marketing
Collaboration with another company with a typical target audience can increase your reach. You can pool your marketing resources and widen your marketing abilities. You can partner with products that compliment your product or service. You can bundle offers, co-branding programs and run ads and campaigns together. Partner marketing, when done right, is a win-win for both parties involved and can achieve exponential sales growth
4. Social Media Marketing
Social networks are a great way to build a community around your brand and product. You can create a relationship with your customers through your social media channels and posts and encourage conversations and engagement. This is where you directly connect with your target audience and manipulate them towards your product. These channels cost you nothing to set up and engage
Most customers check out the social media pages for reviews, feedback, and even customer service concerns. As a result, social media presence improves your conversion rate to a greater extent.
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Studies have shown that more than 90% of searches happen through Google. The same applies to customers who want to buy a product or know about a brand. This is where optimizing your website for SEO becomes extremely important.
You can rank your website up on the ladder and introduce your brand and products to leads with high purchase intent with efficient SEO practices. Then, when a potential customer surfs through the web for a particular answer or solution, and your website pops in and renders what they are looking for, you earn credibility and brand recognition.
6. Email campaigns
Email campaigns help you build a personal connection with your customers and greatly benefit customer retention. This scheme works great when you have garnered an email list of people interested in your products. Right and persuasive promotional content at the right time to potential customers can boost your sales. With an efficient email campaign, you can build relationships with your present and future customers and influence their purchase decisions without hurting your marketing budget.
7. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliates are an efficient way of marketing. You can cut out the cost of heavy advertising and can pay only for the sales that happened. As an affiliate, they get paid for every sale they push forward, and you need to pay only for a successful sale. These affiliates can again be influencers, review sites, or even leading professionals in your industry. Depending on your business nature, you can structure the program to pay per click or lead or sale.
8. Loyalty Programs and Referrals
Your happy customers can earn leads to your subsequent sales. For example, draw up a loyalty program and offer coupons, discounts, and freebies to recurring customers to encourage long-term customer retention. Or set up point-based loyalty programs where they get offers on reaching a certain point.
Also, you can reward your customers when they refer your products to someone else and make a purchase. Or you can offer discounts to both your existing customers and the ones they refer for the first time to cultivate loyalty from both of them. But make sure the freebies and deals do not hurt your profit score.
There are tons of marketing capabilities through which you can scale your sales on a tight budget. Use different approaches to build a solid customer base and sales growth. Think creatively and strategically about your marketing efforts and make the strike. You can surely achieve and even exceed your sales target.
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