If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either the owner of a small business or are considering becoming one.
Based on my own experience and that of my clients, I’ve put together this information on how to market your business and keep your customers coming back for more.
Focus On The Basics
Even at the most fundamental level, business marketing is not as simple as it seems. The vast majority of businesses make the mistake of focusing on the shiny objects, like pay-per-click ads or affiliate marketing, and neglecting the more foundational work of marketing.
As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you’ll inevitably have to make countless decisions every day. Some of them may be urgent and life-or-death matters, like whether or not to launch a new product line. But other daily marketing decisions, like which ads to run and which blogs to write on, can be a lot less stressful and a lot more fun if you do them efficiently and effectively.
Marketing Is A Life-learning Process
Just because you have a business now, it doesn’t mean you know everything there is to know about marketing. Just like with any other area of life, you’ll never know everything and you’ll never feel like you’ve made it to the end. That’s one of the beauties of marketing. It’s an ever-learning experience.
Instead of looking at marketing as some sort of finish line, where you’ll go out and start earning dollars immediately, consider it as a journey. You’ll start by learning the ropes, working on your craft, and improving your skills, and over time you’ll develop into an expert marketer.
Attracting, Retaining, And Motivating Customers
The reason why businesses continue to operate is because they attract and retain customers. If you can understand how to do this effectively, you’ll be able to create demand for your products and services and bring in cash flow regardless of the economic climate.
Customers will come back when they feel that your business understands and appreciates them as individuals. This is known as ‘Customer-centric Marketing’. Think about all of the retailers that you’ve ever shopped at. Chances are you’ve bought something from these businesses before, because they knew how to target and appreciate your needs.
Create A Marketing Plan
Before you start executing on your marketing plan, it’s essential that you have one. Having a plan will help you to stay organized and ensure that all the details are there. It will also help you to gauge the success of your efforts. Without a plan, you’ll likely end up doing a lot of trial and error.
In terms of the content that you put out there, you need to look at what resonates with your customer base. If you can get a feel for what they want and need, you’ll be able to create compelling content that draws them in.
The Importance Of Testing
Many businesses expect that because they’ve heard something works for one person that it’ll work for everyone. But this is not the case, and in fact it can be very damaging if you rely on this ‘wisdom’.
If you’re testing a new product or approach, you’ll soon realize that not everyone is going to respond the same way. It’s important to continue testing and learning even after you’ve found something that seems to be working. You can never tell what might change tomorrow, so you need to be prepared to continue adapting and evolving your strategy.
Even those companies who’ve been in existence for hundreds of years will eventually need to adapt to changing times and technologies. But the most effective businesses understand the importance of staying true to their roots while always looking to the future. You need to do the same.
Last but not least, we have measurement. Simply put, without measurement, you have no way of knowing if your marketing efforts are working or not. You’ll be flying blindly, not knowing if you’re getting closer to your goal or farther away from it.
The best practice here is to track everything you do, from new leads generated to customers acquired to dollars spent. You can set up automated tracking using tools like Google Analytics, or you can get a manual account from a company like HubSpot, which allows you to track countless performance metrics and analyze results in great detail.
The bottom line is that marketing is a lot more complex than selling a product or service. But it’s also a lot more rewarding when you’re able to successfully navigate these complexities and create effective marketing strategies. So don’t be afraid to take the time to learn the ropes. It’ll be worth it in the end.