As the head of a small company, it’s hard not to become overwhelmed when you compare your marketing campaigns to big businesses with massive marketing budgets. Don’t be intimidated. Rather, apply a couple of intuitive tips and start punching above your weight.
Narrow Down Your Target Audience
When you’re devising a marketing strategy for your company, your first step is to get to know your target audience… better than you know your own family! If there is information out there about them, you want to know it.
There is no such thing as knowing too much, but to cover the bare minimum, you’d need to be able to answer the following questions: Who is your target audience? What industry do they work in? What do they care about? How do they prefer to talk about themselves?
As you begin to collect this information, you may start to notice that one distinct avatar or customer profiles are starting to emerge. Perhaps there will be several different profiles, depending on the scope or your product or service. Don’t be intimidated if you realize that you are marketing to more than one customer demographic. Splitting your advertising efforts means you won’t be tempted to resort to a “one size fits all” approach, which is often a source of complacency in small businesses.
The more data you can get your hands on, the more “fleshed-out” your customer avatar will get, until eventually, they have a name and even a way of speaking. Recognizing particular demographic characteristics will help you get to know them intimately. Once you’ve invested time and money in identifying and getting up close and personal with your customer persona, your marketing material is more likely to generate engagement and sales.
Clean Your Data Regularly
Whether you’re promoting your brand with a Facebook campaign or flags at real-world events, the success of any marketing effort depends on how accurate your customer data is. You’d be amazed how often small businesses neglect to ensure that the data they feed into their marketing campaigns accurately reflects their customer demographic. Unless you get rid of the stale data from your database, you could be wasting all your precious marking dollars on reaching out to the people who are not interested in your product, which the people who would be engaged are not even seeing your adverts.
Inaccurate data paves the way to poor marketing decisions, which is not only a waste of money but is a huge waste of your company time. Even worse, poorly pitched marketing material will not only fail to land with the people who do encounter it, but it will be a turn-off for many potential customers who happen to see it. To ensure that your marketing hits the mark, it’s essential to get your marketing efforts in sync with genuine, up-to-date customer data. Periodic data will help you up to your accuracy.
Content Marketing is the ultimate buzzword when it comes to generating a following for your business and ensuring that your site or business page rises to the top of Google search. Getting the demographics of your target audience exactly right makes it easier for you to produce the informative and relevant content your target audience wants to read and engage with.
To ensure your company blog keeps up with content marketing trends for small business, avoid “clickbait” content and anything that smacks of a “hard sell”. Those out-dated methods tend not to generate trust among your audience. In fact, you risk alienating potential customers. Rather, invest in the skills and resources to produce the type of content that will allow you to connect with your target audience on a more personal level. Show that you “get” them, and appreciate who they are as individuals. Make them feel that their needs are important to your company.
Though this may sound like a challenge, you needn’t focus too much on your business. Rather, provide informative and insightful information, tips and advice about subject areas that your audience cares about. And that doesn’t mean your content has to be dry and uninteresting. Remember, entertainment value has a lot to offer in terms of reach and sharability. Simply offering something entertaining, without seeming to want anything from your customer, has been shown repeatedly to gradually convert casual web traffic into paying customers.
Whether you’re devoting your budget mostly to online marketing or nailing local business citations, marketing a small business can be challenging. These tips will help your small business avoid the worst marketing pitfalls and stand out from the crowd.