Marketing is an essential part of running any business; it attracts customers and promotes your services and products. It is a process in which you must research your market in order to truly understand your customer. A smart marketing strategy reaps a successful business. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be a long and expensive endeavour. But we’re going to break it down to the basics for you to get started marketing your small business.
Unsure Where to Start? Read On:
In business these days, it's all about who you know. Get out there and attend events where you can meet and mingle with names in your industry. Take it one step further and volunteer to speak at events. This will give you the opportunity to interact with clients and competitors alike, while simultaneously boosting your brand visibility. Associations such as SFA and REI are known for their many events throughout the year – constantly giving their members access to networking opportunities.
A good website can become a source for free marketing. After an initial investment in building your online presence, your website will help define your SME's brand and values – ensuring customers understand you. Unsure on how to go about creating a website? Check out our blog on the Dos and Don’ts of creating a website.
Social Media Presence:
By being available to the public through social media, you create a direct line between you and your customers. Using both traditional platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube, as well as apps like Instagram and Snapchat are creative ways to communicate your business’s message to your target market. If you are unsure of where to start with your social media presence, the Tweeting Goddess will guide and help you to build a social media strategy and connect with your customers.
But How Do I Stand Out?
Rather than the aggressive tactics of traditional marketing, inbound marketing provides a cheaper, solution-based alternative. Inbound utilizes many forms of pull marketing – e.g. content marketing and blogs – to create brand awareness and attract new business.
One of the tactics of inbound, email marketing allows for communication with your customers through carefully crafted emails. There are a few ways to get your customers’ contact details, including giving something away for free or offering a newsletter or product updates. The most important thing to remember with email marketing is that you should be relevant and helpful to you customer. You must adhere to GDPR regulations by ensuring that you have your customer's clear, free consent to contact them.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):
SEO is a pillar of inbound marketing. After creating a website, it is important to then optimize it for search engines. We’re sure you’ve heard a lot about SEO, but what does it actually mean? Simply put, it is a free, organic way to improve your website's visibility on search platforms. One of the easiest ways of achieving SEO is through the use of keywords and tags. Check out HubSpot's comprehensive explanation of SEO here.
Despite all the benefits of having a great online presence, you can’t beat the professionals at marketing. Don’t be afraid to invest in your marketing strategy. By planning and budgeting in advance, you will set yourself up for the long-term promotion of your company. As the old saying goes, “You have to spend money to make money”.