There’s a lot of confusion around marketing.
Many businesses hop on hot marketing trends by hiring flaky freelancers or diving into six months contracts with expensive agencies and end up blowing their budget.
Thinking about doing it yourself? Here are some DIY options for you;
Because business owners have lost trust in marketers, they try to take care of everything themselves. However, running a business wearing 100 hats is a good way to fail. So why are businesses wasting time and money on marketing that is ineffective? In this simple guide, we de-mystify marketing and show you how to promote your small business online.
How to get excited about marketing again
When it comes to marketing anything, your efforts should be guided by an understanding of your customers journey. Customer journey’s aren’t linear, so your sales funnel shouldn’t be either. Where a person stands in the customer journey depends on their needs and your ability to seduce them. They may come into your funnel at any point, leave and come back again at another point (chart below). This means you need to win at every stage.
Key 1: Improve Conversion Point
Ultimately, your goal is to lead people toward making the sale. That’s why the conversion point is the first crucial aspect of your marketing strategy. All other marketing efforts should lead your customer here. The conversion point can be your website, or something else like your facebook page. Once consumers are at the conversion point they are looking for a quick, easy way to make a booking, make an order, make an appointment, etc.
There are many things that can stop your customer from buying. Here are some quick tips to improve conversions:
- Having a clear call to action (which is essentially whatever step needs to be taken for the sale to be made)
- Quick website load speed
- Mobile friendly sites
- Easy site navigation
Key 2: Search Presence
Every business wants to be found online and stand out where customers are making buying decisions. 90% of searchers haven’t made up their mind before starting a search. Remember what I said about seducing customers, based on their needs? This is where your listings & reputation ratings come in handy. Consistently accurate listings and generating reviews will directly effect your brand’s visibility by boosting local search rankings. The more visibility your business has online, the more customers you win.
If customers can’t find you through search, do you even exist? Listings are essential for customers to find you. The more information you include across all listing sources and directories, the easier it is for people to purchase your products and services. Don’t lose potential sales because your listings aren’t pimped out with helpful, correct information.
Here’s how to “pimp out” your listings:
- Hours of operation
- Accurate phone numbers, including different department lines to help customers save time
- Real life pictures of your building, products and services
- Link to your website
This basic information helps customers research and build the trust to contact or locate your business.
People love to talk. Use it to your advantage! More than 88% of online shoppers use reviews to make purchase decisions. That means that feedback through reviews can turn into more sales and more advocacy for your business. Make it easy to get higher ratings by sending customers a direct link to your review page through text, email or having the option available on e-receipts.
How to get good reviews
What really gets customers raving about your business? Results. After making a sale, your customers journey isn’t over because they haven’t experienced the result they desire from buying your products or services. Ensure that your customers have the best possible experience by supplying their wants while anticipating their needs. Assuming that your customer knows nothing about your product or service, how can you provide the information and assistance they need to get the best result?
Key 3: Awareness
Before we cover the last key area, it’s important to understand one thing: advertising is not marketing. Advertising is a tactic, marketing is the strategy on how to execute tactics. This is a common misunderstanding for small businesses, leading them to wasting time and money on marketing.
If prospects have a roadblock in any of the key areas of marketing, they will quickly find the next available business. That’s why the first two keys areas are farther into the funnel. You need a good foundation to attract customers to, or you’ll be paying to attract customers that chose your competitor.
At this stage in the buyers journey, mass marketing is not effective for small businesses and thats why we stress digital marketing tactics like social, email and search advertising, which can be tracked, measured and retargeted. The use of metrics and measuring ROI will help to determine how your advertising is performing. When measuring ad performance, the important factors will differ, but for the most part, measuring ad success lies in simple calculations.
Audit your brand
Now that you know how to market a small business effectively, audit your brand to see where it stands in these key areas. Book a complimentary 20 minute brand audit from a pro to help you market your small business!