It’s the booming era of entrepreneurship. Everyone wants to be their own boss-in-command, take charge of their daily schedule and expand or shrink the horizons as and when they wish. Hence thousands of business initiatives are taken every day. Usually these set-ups start on a small scale and with correct blend of planning and execution, they scale them up to record successes.
Most of the small businesses originate with small term objectives, that vary from achieving certain number of Balance Sheet total to opening up a new division in the dream city or just spending on your favorite designer’s fall collection. You might have drawn few blueprints to face those short term challenges which mainly revolve around managing cost and improvising daily operations, you might yet need to focus on long terms strategies to solicit maximum possible sales leads and investment within the business. A strategically thought marketing plan during the incubation period of the start-up, strengthens the basic foundation on which the business t hrives for the unforeseen future.
Here are 7 simple yet amazing tips for taking your small business to the sky height and getting you all of the designer dresses of your taste.
‘An Investment in Knowledge always pays the best interest’. Putting extra efforts in letting people know about your business, products and services and highlighting their unique features brings in more clientele and establishes your business as a significant brand in the market. In this digital day and age, creating awareness about your brand through fascinating and reliable content has clearly become one of the most vital steps of marketing. Developing creative content means writing about the appealing and distinguished characteristics of your brand, following the latest trends and updating on a regular basis. This attracts more masses, thus unleashing your brand power. Some strategies to distribute your content
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)- SEO is a technical way of saying that what you write must be intelligent, genuine and popular. SEO ensures that different search engines like Google or Yahoo showcase your content and website on top position when someone is browsing through it. This is achieved by using the appropriate keywords that are relevant to the target group of customers, creating smart headlines and reader-friendly content. There are lots of SEO-training videos available on the free web and a firm hand can be gained on it by trial and error method.
Pay-Per-Click – This online marketing tactic involves paying a predetermined amount of money to online vendors. These channels promote your brand website link on their platforms and drive in traffic for your content. The most frequently trusted PPC hosts are Facebook Ads and Google Adwords.
Hype up your Brand - Creating online hype through social media apps is the most profitable trend these days. With so many areas of promotion available, small business owners can easily market their brand in a very convenient and creative way. Social Media influencers play a great role in marketing of brand products. Your main concentration should be on choosing the potential audience and highlighting the features that align with their preferences.
Just creating a content base is not enough to enhance the number of sales leads. You need to check up on the lead gateways on regular basis, grab the opportunity and then later convert them into profitable transactions. Following pointers can help you in pushing upwards your traffic-
Keep it simple – Simple and on point data entries are always preferable over complex and detailed web forms. Avoid asking unnecessary credentials and stick to name and email of the organization or other mandatory information. Extra number of fields makes users ask for more value for the data shared. Make it genuine – Accurate and evident information about your brand on the web portal aspires credibility and builds trust. Website visitors look forward for informative and genuine content without any exaggeration. Sharing testimonials, area of expertise, customer cases and other certificates and awards, inculcates a sense of belief in the brand name.
Have it highlighted – Level up your traffic by using attractive headings. Write in a way that appeals to the visitor’s specific taste and opens up chances of exploration of the brand.
A great marketing plan involves not only identifying correct leads but also following up on those leads. Each business prospect that comes your way should be treated as an opportunity to flourish your business and establish a long-term relationship through it. The stronger the follow-up, the higher are the returns. Business should device an effective and well versed communication plan so as to remain in constant touch with the prospects. Below are some points that would aid you in building that plan – Customized Communication - Any visitor who shares their contact with you should experience a welcoming touch. Send personalized message to every opt-ins and follow up on their behavioral pattern. The more effective way of drawing their attention to your campaign is by using their first name in the email or discussing their recent online activities.
Value is Vital – ‘Excess hinders the access’. Your communication with the prospect should be regular but each message or email that you send out should deliver a certain value. Once a client subscribes to your portal, they only want to read what is relevant in their decision-making process. Always convey genuine and educative information that adds up real value to the brand without over-flooding their inboxes. Consistency is good but relevancy is genius. When any contact unsubscribe, honor their request within a reasonable period of time.
Automated Audience – While many of the online shopping platforms send a system generated ‘Thank you’ message for each time you shop online, leading tycoons such as Amazon are one step ahead in communicating their gratefulness. They intake the contact’s database information which involves the latest online transactions, browser downloads, location of places and other tastes. This generates an automated list of target customers with their own needs and interests. Hence further, personalized messages can be sent to them and make them crack a deal with your brand.
A small business entrepreneur is always at war. Overcoming everyday challenges, investing in an array of profitable activities and ultimately gaining maximum customers. And they need an iron-clad plan to win this war. Technology plays a greater role in assisting the business to grow and prosper in the market at a rapid pace. How to exploit that technology to achieve the competitive advantage?
Suit up your Sales Team – The sales team is your army that works on the customer-front, executes strategic plans and brings home the victory in the form of profit and loyalty. A well educated and equipped sales team can prove to be the most valuable asset for the business. The strategy is to deploy right sales personnel to acquire right customer at the right place and time. Employing sales team on the scheduled time brings in client-satisfaction for which every business strives for. This requires several statistical analysis of customer data in which Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is immensely helpful. This program automates list of target customers as per their preferences and smartly matches with respective sales personnel.
Grease your cart – Here is where the technology comes in the handiest. Every small business has one motivating motto- The bulkier the carts of the customer, the heavier are the stacks of profit. While shopping online at your portal, customer should get a smooth cart-experience without feeling the burden of the products they have purchased. The cart page must also display the products that would complement the customer’s recent purchases or that suit their persona. Technology judiciously decides which product to pitch to which customer. If done intelligently, you can persuade the customer to buy more products at a single cart page.
However clichéd it might sound, but for every business, customer success is the most important factor in decision making. The entire business should work in the direction of customer satisfaction. To establish a business as a well spoken brand , it should not only focus on delivering a quality product to the customer but also taking feedback, listening to their complaints, informing them about brand updates and upcoming ventures and finally convincing them to buy again from your shop. Customer relation is of the utmost importance for business and it can be cemented by following points-
Strong Services- Strong customer service speaks volumes about how considerate and helpful the brand is. Smooth communication with customers while solving their problems inculcates a firm reputation of the brand and they are more likely to buy from your shop in the future. Well satiated customers are assets in themselves and would promote the brand in their social circle in a positive light. Thus, investment in customer services is an indirect yet effective investment in marketing itself which bears long-term and fruitful interest.
Actual Value Delivery- Many a times, brands do not meet customer expectations and deliver products that might not be par with the promised and advertised standards. This might put brand’s goodwill at risk in the market. Automating customer services may help brand strengthen its relations with customers. For example, substituting personal training with educational campaigns for overall customers.
It is very important to talk to your customers. Get a tool to schedule appointment with your customers. We published an article on 21 Wonderful Benefits of Online Appointment Scheduling for Small Business
This comes with a caveat, you should first ask some questions and evaluate which online appointment scheduling tool fits your bill. We wrote an article that helps small businesses evaluate which scheduling tool should be good for them
Loyalty for small business means, persuading the customers to come back again at your shop and make happy purchases in future. After converting prospective leads to successful sales, the majority of the marketing strategy focuses on retaining those customers for a lifelong time. This is achieved by being in constant touch with the customer environment and keeping an open channel of communication with them.
Customer Centric Efforts- While acquiring new leads in the beginning is a hard task, holding on to the existing customers is equally ardent. Regular conveyance of information about brand products and services, upgrade in technology and other related products would allow brand name to stick with the customers and not escape their mind-frame. Offering good worth to customers always keep the brand in their good books.
Last but not least, a significant number of the customer base is formed through referrals. Such referrals are given by satisfied customers who have previously consumed your product or use your service. The more the number of happy customers, the more they are likely to recommend your brand to their social group.
Chain of Contacts- Creating a new contact through your existing contact is the most easy and efficient way of marketing. Ask your present customers to just talk about your brand with their friends, family or acquaintances. It directly impacts the person’s trust in the brand. Also, give appropriate incentives to such customers in the form of a gift hamper or any other consideration.
Through the Affiliates – Affiliates are third party vendors who provide marketing services and facilitate brand promotion on various platforms like social media, blogs or emails. One of the appealing benefits of affiliate marketing is that it is performance oriented. It involves payment based on the volume of traffic that the affiliate brings in. It is helpful in reaping more gain with less pain.
Partner’s connection – A partner’s interest in referral programs can be non monetary as well. In such cases, you need to identify such incentives and offer them smartly so as to encourage more referrals and more promotions.
Ready, Set, Go - It’s a fast moving world. We have to handle business, family and occasional appearances all while thinking about future scenarios. These tips are not shortcuts but a smart way of designing and executing a marketing plan which would definitely help small businessmen to achieve success in a sooner period than they thought. Following these steps would mitigate efforts, resources and cost. And Hey! Then we’ll finally buy you that dress.