While every interaction in any form is branding; marketing is everything you do to promote your business. For a small business, investing in marketing is essential but it can be confusing at best to know where and how to get started, so we’ve compiled a shortlist of some inexpensive ways to get the most bang for your buck.
Having an online presence is essential in today’s market. Not only does this increase the number of eyes on your product or service, but online marketing methods may open unique opportunities for finding and connecting with potential clients.
In order to be successful in the social media game, you have to choose the right platforms. For example, why spend all your time and budget on Facebook ads when your customer base is on Instagram? Get to know your audience and where they’re most likely to see your content, and direct your focus there. It’s also important to fully utilize social media. Many platforms have started integrating stories on top of the regular feed. These can allow you to give audiences a more personal look into the day-to-day of your business and lets them see you in a different light .
This point is straightforward - visual content is a quick and easy way for consumers to digest your message and build an emotional connection. There’s been an undeniable increase in visual marketing and with a little bit of digging, it’s easy to see why. We process visual information far more quickly than text. Buffer found that tweets that included images were retweeted 150% times more than those without. It’s vital to use strong visuals that properly represent your brand.
There’s a lot to consider when thinking about email marketing; we’ll cover more on this topic in a subsequent post in greater detail, but it must be mentioned in the context of digital marketing. The most crucial element of an email marketing campaign is to create content that’s valuable to your client base. So you need to know your audience. People won’t engage with your emails if they roll their eyes every time they get sent a new one, you must respect the inbox. It’s also important to ensure the right emails are going to the right people. Not everyone is going to be interacting with your company in the same way, so why should you treat them all the same? The bottom line is you need to build a solid email list and better know your customers so you can provide content that makes sense for them. Never fall victim to buying an email list. Focus on building your tribe rather than a list of randoms. It will be much more beneficial in the long run when you are considering the benefits of word-of-mouth and referral marketing.
If you are a small business, you should be blogging. With more than 409 million people viewing blog posts every month, according to WordPress, you could miss out on reaching a potentially massive audience. Not only will you boost your SEO rankings by providing content for engines to index and crawl, you can also position yourself as a thought leader in your industry by providing your customers helpful and informative content resulting in higher customer conversion. A blog can also allow people to connect to your brand in a more conversational and personal manner, build credibility, increase website traffic and foster relationships with potential and future customers, an opportunity no small business should pass up.
It’s easy to forget about the importance of offline approaches, but it’s a great way to make new connections with people who have limited interactions with online marketing tactics. And offline marketing isn’t just print - it’s so much more than that. You want to think of ways to build your brand with every interaction and you can gain trust in ways that simply aren’t as accessible in an online playing field.
Word-of-mouth goes a long way and when you’ve built a customer base that truly appreciates the work you do, that’s a resource you don’t want to squander. People are catching on to traditional advertising campaigns and are less likely than ever to buy into them, but one method that’s not facing this problem is recommendations from friends. 90% of people trust recommendations from friends, so why not capitalize on that? Referral discounts can go a long way and incentivize your already solid customer base to do some of the leg work for you.
Having a local network can be an incredibly useful asset. Not only can they be a great source of information and support, but can also aid in any new marketing campaigns. Teaming up with non-competing businesses can draw on a new pool of clients that you didn’t have access to before. There are lots of ways to go about this; referral discounts can come in handy again here and creating discount packages that combine your services can be just the hook that people were looking for.
Public Relations & Community Outreach
There are several things that can come out of public relations. In the modern age, it can be easy to overlook your local community and devote all your time to your online presence but doing so would be a mistake. Trust is essential in marketing and showing that you walk what you talk can go far. Speaking at local events, sending out press releases, applying for awards and certification, contributing to local charities or doing pro bono work every once in awhile can show you care about your community and want to be a part of it, not just another company minding their own business.
Realistically, a lot of these tactics interact with each other in both the online and offline world. Knowing how to combine them can supercharge their effectiveness and get you seeing the returns you’ve been dreaming about. Afterall, branding covers every touchpoint and experience a potential customer may encounter, not just digital and print.
Across the board, it’s essential to be building relationships, both with clients and others in the field. Customer retention and word-of-mouth referrals are the biggest assets to your business so cater to it! Let your customers know that you care about them by providing them the content they crave. Again, a lot of email marketing is about creating personalized information that they’re going to care about, but try applying that concept to other realms as well! User generated content is huge if it makes sense for your company and if possible, having one on one connections with your clients will make them feel they’re being taken care of and in the best hands. As far as other businesses go, building bridges can be helpful both in the here and now and down the line. Collaborating on projects can show both of your client bases that you value one another, but the perks of networking are limitless. We make this a huge priority at PUNCHY, most of our past clients have become lifetime friends.
You won’t be able to understand the impact any of these new marketing campaigns will have if you aren’t tracking their real world effectiveness. You’ll likely have to make adjustments as you go, but that’s okay! Surveying your client base, either online or in person, and viewing analytics on online marketing campaigns can give you hard data to drive any choices you may make.
And we can help you make the right decisions. When you’re a small business, you want your marketing campaigns to be hitting with the power of a heavyweight but still be accessible to the featherweights. As a small business ourselves, we at PUNCHY get that.