In our digital world, marketing has become quite mobile. Gone are the days of pen and paper, typewriters, and heavy metal billboards. Today, with smartphones becoming more popular than ever before, businesses can utilize online marketing platforms to their advantage. Whether you’re a large corporation with a massive budget or a small business owner trying to make ends meet, you can find an online marketing platform that suits your needs. Here are seven local marketing tips for small businesses.
Build A Database
Before you begin any type of marketing activity, it is essential to have a solid database of potential customers. With a solid base of customers, you can begin to segment your market and target your audience with precision. Without a customer database, you’ll be wasting your time and effort trying to reach people who aren’t even interested in your product or service.
Establishing a customer base is relatively easy. You can either rely on existing customers to refer you to potential new customers or take the time to actively acquire new customers. The choice is completely up to you. However, you should always opt for the second option. It’s far more efficient and cost-effective to find new customers than rely on referrals from existing customers. If you want to grow your business and become more established, building a solid customer database is a sure way to get there.
Create An Online Brand Voice
Once you have compiled a decent customer database, you can begin to craft a voice for your brand. Your brand voice will dictate the overall ethos of your business and, as a result, will impact your product, pricing, and customer experience. For example, if you feel that your target audience is mostly Millennials, you might want to put more emphasis on being youthful, trend-setting, and digitally savvy.
If, on the other hand, you establish a distinct brand voice for your business, it can help you stand out from competitors. Most importantly, your customers should always feel as if they’ve arrived at the right place – whether that’s a physical storefront, an online shop, or a phone app. They should feel as though their needs are being heard, understood, and acted upon.
Dress The Part
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to marketing. Each business, product, and service has a different optimal visual branding strategy. However, you can take certain guidelines to ensure your branding strategy is cohesive and easy to understand.
Your branding strategy alone won’t transform your business. You’ll need to put the pieces in place to ensure that your branding is effectively communicated across all platforms – website, social media, and phone apps.
Take time to research the demographics of your potential customers. Find out what they want and need. Begin to segment your market and identify distinct groups of buyers. For example, you might want to create a special section of your website for older generations. Or, you could create a special phone app for families. Having multiple channels of communication is crucial when promoting your business.
Marketing in an age of digital transformation isn’t confined to traditional avenues. There are numerous ways to reach your audience, and being creative will always be a key to success. If you want to stand out, be innovative and make your audience work hard to find out more about your product or service. Sometimes, the simplest ideas can be the best. For example, you could create a short video highlighting the features of your product and why it is special. Or, you could offer a free sample or give out vouchers for free shipping.
Being creative doesn’t mean that you have to leave your creativity on the table. You can always incorporate business-end requirements into your creative strategy. For example, you might want to create a unique logo or specify the typeface you’ll use. Creative freedom within reason. Of course, these are all things you can ask for when you negotiate the terms of your contract with the agency that will be doing the work for you.
Instead of just marketing your product or service, you can evolve your strategy and begin to provide solutions for your customers. For example, if you are a plumber, you could offer to fix their plumbing problems. If you are a lawyer, you could offer to draft a will or make a business arrangement. Providing solutions for your customers is a powerful tool in establishing trust and credibility with your audience. When a buyer knows that you can solve their problem, they’ll feel as though you’ve understood their needs and can be trusted to not only provide a good solution, but also to not charge them excessive fees. In return, you’ll gain credibility with your customer base.
Use Personal Branding
When you’re personally branding, you are not simply marketing your services or products. You are taking on a new identity and representing yourself as an expert in your chosen field. For example, if you are a life coach, you would be taking on a personal brand that encompasses your expertise in helping others. In branding yourself, you must also decide on your professional and personal objectives. What do you want to stand for in the world? What do you want to communicate to your audience?
Your personal brand will guide the way you interact with the world. It will dictate the type of customers you attract and the type of results you achieve. Ideally, your personal brand should be a reflection of you, your expertise, and your values. To begin constructing your personal brand, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who am I?
- What do I want my business to stand for?
- What are my professional and personal values?
- What is my expertise?
- What separates me from other business owners?
- What makes me unique?
- Why should people hire me?
Answer these questions, and you’ll be able to craft a personal brand that will help you prosper in business. Of course, this is easier said than done. It takes time and effort to develop a personal brand that will be effective in today’s world. However, if you put in the right effort, the results will be worth it.