A digital marketing guide for small businesses
It’s never easy getting started as a small business; trying to establish a presence in a crowded marketplace means getting off the ground and boosting brand awareness among potential customers quickly and effectively. With so much competition online and off, knowing where to begin can be difficult.
Thankfully, small business marketing and marketing for start-up businesses doesn’t have to be difficult. With our comprehensive checklist for small business marketing, you can kick-start your promotional and marketing activity confident that getting your name known will begin in earnest.
Build your website
In an age when everybody checks the web for everything, creating a website for your business is a no-brainer. Thanks to simple-to-use content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, building your initial website is easy and quick. You can even hire web developers for little investment to help get you up and running; best of all, you won’t have to get bogged down with coding.
Optimise your website
Building a website is one thing, making sure it’s optimised for ultimate effect is something else. Search engine optimisation as a discipline is multifaceted and requires a significant investment in time and effort. Making sure your website appears in the search engines and with the highest ranking possible requires the input of industry professionals, who will conduct technical SEO, link building, and on-page optimisation to the level required for success.
Create, create, create
Once you have a website (and a blog), and have optimised it for search engines, it’s time for the real work to begin. Content creation is all-important to business success, communicating your brand values and marketing messages with your target audience. Without content, there is no communication with potential customers. It’s also vital that content is created and published regularly, and is of the highest quality. Search engines like websites that are regularly updated, while social interactions and valuable links will be afforded to engaging, informative content.
Social media is about so much more than simply sharing pictures of food and updating a relationship status. For small businesses, social media can prove a boon for success. Word of mouth is among the most trusted of all types of marketing, so establishing a presence among the leading social networks, and providing easy share options on your main website, will enable you to interact with an audience direct. What’s more, you will able be able to monitor what’s being said about your company, and react in a manner that breeds trust and fosters lasting relationships.
Make it simple to connect
Customer contact is the cornerstone of making a sale. By making it easy for potential customers to get in touch with your business, you can anticipate more leads, more sales, and more revenue. Add simple contact forms to your website, obtain a free-to-call business telephone number, and advertise your email address for clients to see. With social media networks also representing a channel of communication, keeping connected with your customers should be simple.
Once you have everything in place for your business, generating the leads you need becomes top priority. Of course, if lead generation were simple, everyone would be doing it, so you need to focus your attention on providing customers with something unique and different, or which inspires action. As you might expect, nothing triggers action quite like giving something away for free, so why not find a niche in your market and give a little something for nothing. You’ll soon see interest in your company soar, and develop a vast database of potential clients you can sell to.
Build on data
Lead generation is just the start. Once you’ve captured the names and email addresses of your leads, you should start developing marketing strategies to make the most of the data. Whether it’s targeting people by email at seasonal times of the year, or spreading the latest special offers across social media sites, knowing who to target where will prove essential to converting prospects into leads.
It’s easy to think that, once a sale has been made, the relationship with your customer is over. This could not be further from the truth. We as consumers like to complete purchases with as little effort or fuss as possible. As such, when it comes to reinvesting in a product, being able to support them immediately will prove invaluable and help establish a lasting rapport. It doesn’t need to be much – and it certainly shouldn’t be a bombardment of emails – but keep connected to your customer and enjoy taking advantage of repeat business in the years to come.
Another valuable benefit of the relationship you establish with your customers is having them help with your marketing activity. We’ve already detailed the importance of social media and having people share content for you, but by asking customers to offer a review or testimonial regarding the product/service they received will generate invaluable content for your marketing material. By acting quickly and obtaining a testimonial, you can use the information in persuading potential customers to go with your company; after all, we all like to know that what we’re paying for represents great value for money, and who better to confirm this than past customers?
Contact Whitefish Marketing for more info
To find out more about small business marketing strategies, contact Whitefish Marketing today. We are a specialist digital marketing agency in Folkestone, Kent and we’ll be delighted to answer any questions you may have to help you develop an effective and successful marketing plan.