If you’re a small business owner struggling with promotional problems, you’re not alone. Lack of know-how is a common concern. Nearly half of small business owners aren’t sure if their marketing efforts are successful, and one in 10 are sure they aren’t working, an Infusionsoft survey found. Ineffective use of marketing tools is another widespread shortcoming. One-third of small business owners don’t use any marketing tools, while less than half use tools that could help them automate their promotional efforts. Keeping the exterior of your business attractive is also vital. Custom outdoor neon business signs can attract many customers that would otherwise pass by. It’s a great way to increase your marketing
A related issue is time management. The survey found that half of small business owners do their own marketing, and the majority say that finding time and resources is their biggest marketing challenge.
You can overcome these types of promotional obstacles by adopting a smart marketing strategy. Here are four tips to help you promote your business more effectively.
The foundation of effective marketing is branding. The way you brand your business determines how potential customers perceive you, how they feel about the prospect of doing business with you, and how they evaluate you against the competition. Developing a compelling brand identity positions your promotional campaigns for success.
The first step toward building a brand is doing some market research to determine what your target audience needs, says Photon marketing communications manager Arun Agarwal. You can then define a brand mission and unique value propositions that offer what your audience seeks and make you stand out from competitors who aren’t delivering what you offer.
To communicate your brand identity to your target audience, create a style guide that lays out how you plan to build your branding into your promotional campaigns. For instance, you might specify how key brand elements such as your logo will be used in your official stationery, on your website, in your promotional emails, and on social media profiles. You can also build your brand into your standard operating procedures. For instance, if you want your brand to be known for customer service, you can lay out guidelines for how you will deliver superior customer service, such as how long you will take to respond to service ticket inquiries.
Social Media Promotion
In order to communicate your brand to your target audience, a key promotional strategy is social media promotion. Today’s most effective social media strategies leverage influencer marketing, saysForbes social media director Shauna Gleason. By creating content that appeals to influencers who already have your target market among their following, and then reaching out to them and building a relationship that makes them want to share your content, you position yourself as an expert while accelerating the process of acquiring qualified leads.
To craft content that will appeal to social media platforms,Gleason recommends approaching social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube as publishing platforms in their own right, rather than merely means to distribute content. Study which type of content is popular on different platforms, and use your market research to design content that will appeal to your designated audience.
One of the most appealing types of content across several platforms is video. Successful promotional campaigns place a strong emphasis on video marketing. For instance, leading direct sales company Amway uses its YouTube channel to share informative content with entrepreneurs that includes information about Amway’s business model as well as its health, beauty, and home care products. Brands such as American Express use Facebook to post videos targeted at their social following, and have had great success.
Landing Page Design
Social media promotion can help drive traffic to your website, but to convert this traffic into customers, you’ll need effective landing pages. Website optimization site Optimizely recommends that your landing site should clearly communicate a strong value proposition to your visitors, with a headline and call to action that closely mirror the type of language your target audience uses to describe what they want. Use the pathway of your customer’s previous interaction before they landed on your page to pinpoint what language will appeal to them. You can strengthen your value proposition by emphasizing compelling benefits, offering bonuses, and using risk reducers such as guarantees.
To hone the effectiveness of your landing pages, use split testing to try out different versions of your pages. Track the results for different target markets and campaigns, and optimize your landing pages accordingly.
Your landing page design should include an email marketing strategy to capitalize on the leads you capture. Create an automated follow-up sequence to convert your leads into buying customers. Most prospects take six or more touches to convert into customers, so design your follow-up strategy accordingly.
Automated Promotional Tools
Managing social media campaigns and email marketing campaign scan be tedious and time-consuming. For instance, logging into each of your social media profiles to upload content, publish it, and track results can take a significant amount of time. Automated marketing tools can allow you to manage and track all your social profiles from a convenient central interface. Today’s leading automated marketing tools range from low-priced solutions such as Userfox to premium solutions such as Marketo.
Automated tools can also help you track the success of your promotional campaigns so you can optimize them for your visitors and customers. Tools such as Google Analytics can help you analyze traffic to your website, while tools such as Facebook Insights can help you track your social media performance.
Automation can also ease the task of managing your follow-up marketing and sales efforts after you acquire leads from your promotional campaigns. Customer relationship management software such as HubSpot CRM, Zoho, and Insightly can help you identify your hottest leads, analyze their sales profiles, and customize your sales efforts to match their buyer fingerprints.
If you’re based in a particular niche, it makes sense to research the CRM tools available specifically for your industry. For example if you’re in real-estate, consider this guide from Follow Up Boss.
Promotion is a challenge for any business, but pursuing a smart strategy can make it easier. By honing your branding, implementing social media content marketing, optimizing your landing pages, and automating your marketing and sales procedures, you can make your promotional efforts more efficient, more effective, and more profitable.