No matter what industry your business is involved in, an effective marketing campaign is the key to setting your business apart from its competitors and ensuring maximum growth. This is especially true with small businesses, which often have to dive headfirst into saturated marketplaces that are already filled with more well-known competitors.
Sadly, it doesn’t really matter how great your business’ products or services may be. They have to be backed by a great marketing strategy if you want your small business to not only succeed, but thrive.
1: Garnering Legitimate Online Reviews
Online review platforms are often the first place customers venture when they’re deciding where to spend their money. Comparing businesses that often similar products or services has never been so quick and easy. Customers can simply spend a few minutes typing in keywords related to the business or service they’re considering on Google, Yelp, or Facebook, and they’re given an extensive list of competing businesses along with a slew of reviews for every one that is worth its salt.
Take advantage of these platforms by ensuring that your business is well-reviewed by as many customers as possible. The reviews have to be organic and legitimate. For one thing, review platforms cutting down on paid reviews and banning businesses for posting them. Even more importantly, customers are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to spotting fake reviews, and they’ll perceive your entire business as sketchy and dishonest for posting them.
Garner as many real, positive reviews as possible by offering incentives to your customers. For example, give out coupons and promo codes to your satisfied customers for posting positive reviews on all of the major online platforms. Not only will that drastically increase the number of positive reviews your business receives, it will also help increase the number of repeat, long-term customers you have.
2: Organic Social Media Interaction with Consumers
If you want your business to stand out from its competitors and establish a positive relationship with your customers, you need to build and maintain effective social media profiles. It’s not enough to simply list your business on internet social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You have to periodically post interesting content to get the attention of potential customers and bring more potential money-spenders into the fold through increased brand awareness and visibility.
Additionally, you should organically interact with your customers on online social media platforms. Keep it as formal as your industry requires, but make sure you develop at least some form of unique voice and personality for your business. Also, respond directly to the posts and comments of your audience. That will make them feel unique, cared-for, and more intimately connected to your business.
3: Official Social Media Advertising and Paid Promotion
In addition to organic interaction, social media platforms offer paid advertising platforms that you can utilize to reach new customers. These include advertisements of the more traditional variety such as banner images that display your logo and website or paid commercials before videos on YouTube, Instagram, and other platforms.
Social media platforms also allow you to pay to make your business’ more visible to potential customers. For example, if you post a status on Facebook or Twitter, you can pay them to promote it and display it at the top of users’ news feeds. You can even use these platforms to target extremely specific demographics who are more likely to pay for your business’ products or services.
For example, imagine you ran a web development business that specialized in coding websites for local small businesses in New York City. You could pay to have your posts premier at the front of the news feeds of small business owners living in Brooklyn who have specific internet search histories related to the average costs of paying a website development company for building, maintaining, and hosting a site on a server for a year’s time.
4: Local Marketing in the Digital World
That leads into the next important asset you have to utilize in the world of digital business growth: local marketing. Of course, local marketing is mostly important for traditional brick and mortar stores as well as digital small businesses who target customers and clients in their local marketplaces. Without doing so, you’re simply leaving money on the table from potential customers who are easier to reach than ever. In doing so, you’re directly limiting your business’ potential short-term and long-term growth.
However, even if your corporation operates on a national or international scale, it’s important to establish and maintain a positive local profile. It can lead to future opportunities in growth in a myriad of ways. Your business may one day be featured in local news stories, for example, which is essentially free advertising for you. If that happens, you want the local perception of your business to already be established and positive. Most businesses are also best-known in the local marketplaces in which they are based. A positive local image can set your business apart from your competitors and bring in a multitude of new customers.
The Future Is Digital
The digital marketplace can no longer be ignored, no matter what industry your business operates in. It once may have been a niche place only for future-minded, forward thinking consumer, along with tech geeks and computer nerds. Now though, pretty much every consumer is online, and you have to reach as many of them as possible if you want your small company to succeed and grow to its maximum potential.