9 Best Ways to Market Your Small Business
Marketing is centered around building your brand, maintaining your existing customer base, and creating a new sales pipeline. There are many different approaches to successful marketing programs, but here are a few things that Expansion Capital Group focuses on that translates to other small businesses.
- Define and know your target market: One of the worst mistakes a small business owner can make is trying to be all things to all customers. For example, at Expansion Capital we define our target customers as small businesses with annual revenue between $500 thousand and $5 million. If your product or service is not a fit for a particular segment, then why spend time and energy there? Staying laser focused on a set market to produce a high ROI on your marketing spend, especially in the earlier stages of the small business lifecycle, is a critical piece to establishing longer term opportunities.
- Leverage existing customers: Success stories, reviews, and customer testimonials are more impactful than other forms of engagement. It lets others talk about your great service or solutions, where new customers can relate to how it will positively impact them. Set up a recurring, established process to ask for reviews about your product or services from existing customers, and promote those reviews.
- Identify and capitalize on channel partnerships: Identifying partnerships other businesses with captive customers in your target market creates opportunities for quicker and more efficient scalability. Leveraging technology to create an easy sales process and seamless interaction with the end customers positions you to reach new audiences, expand reach, and scale cost effectively.
- Build a strong brand: Your brand is how customers perceive your business. It’s essential to have a strong brand that is consistent across all your marketing channels, including your website, social media, and advertising. Your brand should reflect your values, mission, and unique selling proposition.
- Develop a website: For many small businesses today, a website is a cost effective and efficient approach to build your brand. Your website should be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and optimized for search engines. It should also be easy to interact with and offer a unique customer experience. Include information about your products or services, key customer success stories, contact details, business history, and customer testimonials.
- Social media presence: Social media is an effective way to engage with your audience and promote your brand. Choose platforms your target audience utilizes and post regularly. Share valuable content, engage with your followers, and run targeted ads or specials to drive engagement.
- Identify and execute effective engagement strategies through a CRM: ECG works to employ its customer engagement strategies by leveraging how the customer prefers to interact. This can be website, portal, phone, email, or text – whichever the customer prefers. It is a way to engage, but more importantly a way to capture all data around contact, engagement, and conversion strategies that can be leveraged to create more efficient interactions and conversions. It also allows you to keep an effective pulse on existing customers – after all, existing customers typically will provide the highest ROI through either referrals or repeat business.
- Leverage email marketing to nurture: Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach your audience and promote your products or services. Build a subscriber list by offering valuable content or incentives. More importantly, leverage email to share updates about your business, wins for your customers that others will relate to, as well as promotions.
- Offer exceptional customer service: Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. Offering exceptional customer service can help generate positive reviews and referrals. Respond promptly to customer inquiries, resolve issues quickly, and go above and beyond to exceed expectations.
These are only a few methods available, but effective marketing blends consistent contact strategies, engagement, data, and monitoring to maximize growth opportunities. By combining many of these strategies, small businesses can more effectively market their products or services.
Author: Tim Mages, Expansion Capital Group Chief Strategy Officer