Marketing your business is an important part of owning a business, though it is often overlooked. Without marketing, you won’t have customers and your business could fail. With the right marketing plan, your business will stay consistently busy.
Here are some tips for marketing your small business. Continue reading
Most businesses operate under the belief that in order to corner the market and attract a loyal customer base, a website and social media accounts are pretty much mandatory. However, many retailers are now finding that this is simply not enough anymore.
What do we know?
Online business is booming! Business Insider reports “This holiday season indicated that there’s never been a better time to be a consumer. The rise of online and mobile shopping has given consumers more choice, flexibility, and often better service, and retailers are shifting their strategies to keep up.”
As more and more consumers are taking to their smartphones and tablets to shop, small retailers find themselves once again heeding the ever-changing call to keep up with their habits.
How does it affect me?
As customers visit your website on their mobile devices, challenges could arise involving the clarity and functionality of your site, even if it is responsive, making the shopping experience frustrating for the consumer. To alleviate these problems, the demand heightens for a more mobile friendly shopping experience.
After the holiday whirlwind, it is time to start the new year of 2016 with a bang! How do you continue to keep the steady flow of customers coming in after the holiday season? The answer is to take advantage of the many Q1 holidays and use these clever strategies to ensure that business keeps booming.
Q1 Holidays to keep in mind:
- Valentine’s Day: The ultimate day for expressing love and appreciation for the special people in life. Start planning now!! Consider putting together gift baskets with a sampling of your products as an easy “grab-and-go” gift idea for your customers. Spruce up the baskets by adding red or pink themed ribbons and packaging to give it that perfect touch. For companies that provide more of a service than a product, your basket could include a gift card with candy or some other small treat.
- For President’s Day, offer “Presidential Discounts.” For example, if the customer spends $10 or more, they save one George Washington ($1). If they spend $100 or more, they get the Andrew Jackson discount ($20).
- Your St. Patrick’s Day promotion might be 25% off of everything green in your store or a promotional campaign on “green” products that you offer.
According to the CAN Small Business Health Index, 61% of small business owners expect their business to grow over the next 12 months, and one-third expect to do that through trying new forms of marketing and advertising. For similar small businesses looking to grow through new marketing tactics, consider expanding your inbound marketing.
According to Wikipedia, Inbound Marketing is marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention; it earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.
If you are looking to focus on inbound marketing in 2016, here are a few tips to get started:
- Make sure your website is easy to find (SEO!), easy to navigate, and informative without being too salesy or disruptive
- Develop regular content (images, infographics, videos, tutorials, tips, etc) that interests your audience/readers and publish it in a blog on your website, in an e-newsletter, and/or on your social media channels – these are all places where consumers will come to you – so don’t make the content too salesy – keep it interesting and informative.
- Don’t forget visibility in the community is a good way to spread the word about your business. Volunteer or help coordinate community functions and make sure your business logo is displayed somewhere.
Many small and mid-size businesses, particularly retailers, are tapping into customer histories and using social media reports to discover buying trends when planning their holiday marketing strategy. Although the term “big data” might seem daunting, there is plenty that small businesses can do with their data to increase productivity and sales! Even if your company has only been in business for a few years, tapping into the data history of repeat customers can be a valuable and useful asset.
Analyzing your company’s data can tell you which marketing strategies have been the most effective, which products or services your customers are most interested in, and can help you estimate what kind of inventory to stock.
Here are a few tips for how to use your “small” business data this holiday season:
- Email Reporting: If you are sending out email blasts, use the reports to see what topics/subject lines got the most opens, as well as when the emails were sent – the time of day and day of the week the email is sent does matter! As you notice trends, your email data will help you know what to send and when.