Small business marketing, done right, increases customer flow, money flow, and (you would hope) your free time!
Small businesses need all the help they can get these days. We don’t have the huge budgets of major corporations.
Cutting costs and stopping money leakage is essential for small businesses, and especially new small businesses
At the same time, the payoff for investing in the right marketing tools and strategies can be worth the money spent.
Your marketing doesn’t have to be a huge expense if it’s done correctly. Even if it seems like a “huge expense” at first, if you’re getting an even larger return — even if it’s $1.50 for every dollar spent — it’s a boon, at least until you find something cheaper or more effective.
If you’re seeing a positive return, your marketing is an asset, not an expense. This means that your marketing tools are an asset, as is your small business marketing expert.
Think of it this way: Your secretary is an expense to your small business. Done right, your marketing is an asset.
There are a lot more ways to advertise than there used to be. Not all of them work for every type of small business. And they should all be explored to find which ones will and will not work.
You may want to seek the advice of a reputable marketing consultant or strategist.
But thankfully, small business owners don’t necessarily have to have a degree in marketing to make it work for them. There are a lot of online tools business owners can use which are designed to guide them through the process easily.
There are also a lot of online outlets and marketing opportunities for business owners to take advantage of which are easy to use and affordable.
Why should you consider marketing for your small business?
While you may be in a prime location with a lot of exposure to the public, it doesn’t necessarily mean every customer who walks by is going to notice your business.
On top of this, even if they do notice it, a lot of customers are skeptical of things they aren’t familiar with. You might have the perfect storefront and great products and services to offer, but they don’t know that.
Word of mouth marketing may not be enough, either. While it’s highly effective, and we are quick to trust our friends and family when they recommend something to us, whether a book or a new frozen yogurt shop, you may want to be more in control of your customer flow and your income.
Turning those up and down at will (preferably up!) is not something you can do with word of mouth.
One of today’s most effective forms of marketing is text message marketing. Since 97% of people open a text message within the first hour of receiving it the message you broadcast to your subscriber list is sure to be read.
Numbers don’t lie… some of those people will come back to visit you for more of what you offer!
Combine text marketing with a digital loyalty program and you increase the effectiveness of your marketing even more.
Of course if you’re a new business, you’ll have to build this list of customer-subscribers, so you’ll have to do some form of acquisition advertising or marketing to get new people in your door and build your customer base.
The more you get your business’ name out there, the more people get used to seeing it. And that can do a lot for people who don’t necessarily have a “legitimate” reason yet to come check you out.
It’s all about repeat exposure. The more people “see” your business through advertising, the more they’re exposed to you, the more legitimate reasons they form in their minds to come see what “all the fuss” is about.
With the advent of social media, marketing opportunities for small businesses have grown exponentially. Word of mouth through these platforms can garner attention for your business.
By sharing compelling, entertaining content you can get attention to your business. Some of this attention will turn into paying customers.
Creating a Facebook page for your business is good! It’s free to set up and you can reach a lot more people by spreading the word and/or advertising than you could through traditional marketing tools.
Nearly everyone uses Facebook. Why shouldn’t they see your business page while they’re at it? Even if you have to pay a few bucks for it (remember: done right, it’s an asset)…
Facebook Ads is a cost effective marketing solution which allows you specify the specific demographics you’re trying to reach.
And it’s not just Facebook. You’ll want to make a Google My Business page on the big G. This allows you to list your location, hours, description, etc.
And, if you do it right, you’ll land a spot in the Maps listings of the search results when someone searches for a phrase which relates to your business.
Google Adwords is an option to drive instant traffic to your business. To use it, you’ll need either a website or a Google My Business page.
The way it works is you select certain keywords which people are searching for related to your business.
For example, say you are an espresso bar in south Seattle.
You would choose the keywords “espresso bar in south Seattle” and when the searcher types in those keywords or other similar words (which Google suggests to you), your business website or Google Page pops up.
If that searcher clicks on your (expertly written) ad, then you pay.
With AdWords you only pay for clicks. You can set your daily budget, as well as the maximum amount you’ll pay for a click.
These are just a few examples of easy-to-use small business marketing tools available for you to generate more traffic through your doors.
There are still plenty of more traditional ways to advertise.
A lot of people still read the newspaper, although it seems to be a dying form of media and ads in newspapers can be expensive to run.
Television ads are even more expensive, not just to run, but also to produce in high quality which will appear attractive to potential customers.
While any advertising shouldn’t necessarily be discouraged if it gets your name out there, there are some marketing outlets which are more useful than others.
For instance, would you rather pay per click to be on Google or pay a steep fee to be in the Yellow Pages phone book? Which one gets used more?
As long as you are investing at least a small portion of your budget to advertising, you should see some return on your investment. 10% is a widely suggested minimum amount to invest in marketing for any business.
Be sure to research all the different marketing avenues before pigeonholing yourself into one expensive outlet. Your business has a unique set of needs and a unique way of operating. Your advertising should mimic this unique quality because it will resonate with potential customers.
“Name recognition” is the name of the marketing game for small businesses, especially new small businesses.
Use every opportunity available to gain exposure. Start with smaller, cheaper marketing tools available online and build from there.
What you can do right now to start getting exposure…
Get the essentials going: Create a Google+ Page, a Facebook page, and a Yelp page. These are three of the most powerful platforms you can be on. Use them to your advantage.
Given time, all of your small efforts will add up and it could turn out to be huge for your business.
To learn more about the products and services RedFynn offers, visit www.redfynn.com or call 888-510-9871.