If you’re like most small business owners, you’re always on the lookout for great ideas to help grow your business and make it more profitable. Realistically, though, you can’t – and shouldn’t – try to adopt all the marketing tips for small business that come your way, no matter how great they sound.
To be successful, your marketing has to be well focused. You’ll get the best results if you create a strategic marketing plan that will help keep your promotions on track. Here are five marketing tips for small business that will help you create a strategy you can rely on to reach your marketing and business goals.
1. Remember that you have multiple target audiences.
Some businesses cater to a broad group of potential customers, and some have a narrower client base. But every business has distinct sub-groups within their customer base, and you need to target each of those key segments.
When you hear interesting marketing tips for small business, ask yourself how well those ideas apply to your prospects. If the tips aren’t directly relevant, they’re not for you.
2. Create a loyalty program.
The most valuable segment of your marketing audience is existing customers. Too often we think only in terms of attracting new prospects when we plan our marketing, and you definitely need a steady flow of new customers to build your business. But neglecting your existing customer base is the worst thing you can do.
For one thing, studies have long shown that it costs more – sometimes considerably more – to acquire a new customer than it does to keep one. And have you ever computed the lifetime value of your average customer? The more a particular customer spends with you over the years, the higher the return on your marketing investment.
Certainly customer retention depends on factors such as offering high quality products or services, attentive service and reasonable prices, but creating a loyalty program demonstrates to people just how much you appreciate their repeat business. Saying “thanks” never goes out of style.
When you give your best customers an occasional discount or some other special goodie as a reward, you strengthen their loyalty. They will keep buying from you, and they can also become some of your most effective sales people.
3. Cross-promote your various locations.
Your office or store, your website, your print advertising and social media interactions should all be working in concert to drive more business your way. For example, your reception desk or check-out counter is an ideal place to post a small (not too small) sign asking customers, patients or clients to post an online review about their experience with you.
4. Think holistically.
Everything you do reflects on your small business, so consistency is essential to build a recognizable brand. That includes the look and feel of your visuals – things like your logo and other marketing materials as well as the colors and presentation of your physical location.
But it also includes intangibles such as the demeanor of employees and even how you interact with people during your off-hours. When you’re a small business owner, you’re always “on.”
5. Focus on what generates the best return on your investment.
No marketing tips for small business will help you grow if you don’t take the time to monitor and analyze the results of your promotional efforts. Because many small businesses have tight budgets, evaluating your marketing ensures you’re getting the most leads and sales from every dollar you spend.
Compare the return on investment you’re getting from each type of marketing you’re doing, too. Keep only those techniques that perform strongly for your business.