Even if you’re just starting your business, chances are you’ll be familiar with the importance of small business marketing – if not as a business owner, then as a consumer. After all, you’ve probably seen statistics about how much money big companies pour into sales and marketing.
However, even as a small business owner, marketing is vital. If you don’t do it, how are potential customers going to find you? And even if they do find you – maybe because you’ve done some outreach or sales calls, how are you going to prove you’re the best firm for the job?
These days with every man and their dog hanging a ‘marketing expert’ shingle, you might be overwhelmed by all the single marketing ‘secrets’ and ‘systems’ out there that promise the world, but often deliver not terribly much – if anything, except for $$ to the person selling it.
So, hence we thought you might appreciate a real and broader view on what’s required to successfully market your business – hint: it actually involves you doing some work (sorry, but that’s the true secret to business success for you).
10 small business marketing commandments
- Have a mobile friendly website (with a blog)
In a world being taken over by technology, it’s important to be able to reach customers where they are. And that could be on their phones, their tablets, 11inch laptops or a computer. If you’re selling to business owners (rather than consumers), chances are the majority of customers and prospects are still viewing your site on a computer. But, if you’re not mobile responsive, that is that your site changes for a better mobile experience, you will be penalised harshly by Google in organic search. And if you’re not in the first 3-4 pages, realistically, you don’t exist.
So, make sure your website is available and easy to navigate on mobile. And you must have a blog so prospects and customers can see what you’re all about (Google likes those too). And your website efforts don’t stop when you finish building it. The key is to keep updating your website and blog, creating new content for people to find, and using SEO to make it easier for them to find.
- Stay in contact with your customers and prospects at least every 90 days
Research has shown that it takes considerably more touches than you think it will in order for someone to buy from you. We’ve always worked on 5-13 – but recently we heard 273 from King Content – which seems ridiculously high and they didn’t say how they came to this number, but still, it gives you an idea of how often you need to reach out to your customers. A LOT!! So how do you do that?
Find a way to stay top of mind with your customers. It might be a promotion, a newsletter, commenting on LinkedIn, a phone call, a coffee. However you do it, you need to find interesting ways to reach out to them so that the next time they’re thinking about doing something that your product or service could be perfect for – you’re right there waiting to be of service.
- Create a marketing calendar and work the plan routinely
The key to business success is doing the work and doing it consistently. And the only way to do that is to plan the work and then work the plan. Having a marketing calendar gives you a clear sense of what you need to do, with whom and when and when you need to follow up. There’s lots of automated help in terms of sending things out (MailChimp, sendlater as well as a bucket load of CRM and diary apps to remind you what’s due when), but the most important thing is that it gets done.
- Create value bundles
This is the B2B/service version of “would you like fries with that”. Value bundles allow for you to upsell your customers based on the primary purchase. Ie: if someone is buying website design, think about bundling in creating content or ongoing maintenance. This is a win-win strategy. The client is likely to get a better outcome and you’ve increased your revenue. It’s even better if it’s ongoing service – that keeps you top of mind on an ongoing basis (as long as you deliver on your side of the equation).
- Get involved on social media
Gone are the days where we debated IF social was worth bothering with. It absolutely is – and there is new business to be found in ‘them thar social hills’. Your task is to find the social network where your customers hang out and engage with them in a meaningful fashion. The key here is to engage like a ‘real’ person – so no over the top banging on about your business. People like people who are interested in them, not bore them to tears with blurb about how great their own company is.
Of course, that’s just the first 5 of the 10 commandments for small business marketing success. In the next blog “10 marketing commandments part 2” you’ll find commandments 6-10, plus two extras just for good measure.
In the meantime, if you’d like help with your small business marketing strategy, we’d be delighted to chat. You can always give us a call on (02) 8012 8008 or drop us a note.