Kevin Costner, in the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ just knew that cutting a diamond out of an Iowa cornfield would bring the “they”, whoever they were. His undertaking was one of faith. While a healthy dose of faith is required in business, so is the proper know-how to bring them through your doors.
Let’s face it…you got into business to make money. The freedom of being your own boss is great. But nobody said it would be easy. One of the most overlooked aspects of every small business is employing an effective marketing strategy. The operative word in that last sentence was effective. From keywords to content and SEO to ad spend, there are several things that, if overlooked, simply cede customers to your competition.
In just the past few years, the marketing landscape has significantly changed how business is conducted and how customers interact with companies. If you are operating your business like this is still the 1990s, you most likely want to see the Top 5 Can’t Miss Requirements For Small Business Marketing:
1. Embrace Social Media
This seems like a no-brainer and you likely have social media accounts with the big 4 already (Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn). But it’s not enough to set it and forget it. A social media strategy requires planning and discipline. Make sure you are posting regularly. For some, a post on Tuesday at 8am and Thursday at 4pm might be sufficient. For others, a greater frequency may be preferred. The key to effective social media marketing is consistency.
2. Learn and Understand the Value of Keywords
I think most everyone has at least a cursory knowledge of what keywords are. Where a lot of small businesses get into the weeds is not fully understanding the value of keywords and how the proper use of them can help your company stand out among the pack. As an example, a local florist might think that “florist” is a responsible keyword spend. However, if they specialize in exotic flowers, spending a bit more on “exotic florist” will drive your visibility up in search rankings, likely resulting in greater sales.
3. Profile Your Customers
In law enforcement, profiling is wrong. In business, profiling is essential. Sit down with pen and paper (or a keyboard) and write out the characteristics that make up your ideal customer. Understanding who your customer is will help you to identify appropriate marketing techniques and strategies that will speak directly to them, getting them to visit your website and, ultimately, purchase your product.
4. Blog, Blog, Blog
Just like social media, maintaining your website’s blog requires dedication and discipline. You should publish posts, come hell or high water, on a set schedule. Your company credibility is bolstered by consistent posting. Conversely, people shy away from patronizing companies that post sporadically. Your blog is a way for you to speak to potential and returning customers about your industry, generally, and your business specifically. Your blog is a way to establish yourself as a trusted thought leader. People buy from who they trust.
5. Follow Up With Leads As Quickly As Possible
In today’s fast paced world, we want what we want when we want it. If a potential customer takes the time to tell you they want to hand over their hard earned money, you owe it to them to respond in a timely manner. Contacting someone more than 24 hours after you received their information tells that customer you don’t really have time for them. That sale is likely lost.
Of course, there are far more than 5 aspects you must focus on to carry out an effective online marketing strategy. But obeying these rules is a very good start.
If You Build It, They Will Come
Your business requires all of your time and attention. Properly marketing your company is but one of many components that you can’t afford to ignore. As beneficial as effective online marketing is, a poorly executed campaign can be disastrous. IntelliBright works with small- to mid-sized companies, leveraging enterprise level marketing techniques for clients who might have thought such a solution was out of their league. Our Performance Marketing model means $0 cost to you and your business until you make a sale.
Are you using some or each of these tips in your current marketing strategy? If so, take a moment and tell us about your experience in the comments below.
Contact IntelliBright today and learn how our innovative marketing solution can benefit your bottomline!