As a small business owner, you know that marketing is much more than just advertising. You need to have an understanding of who your customers are, commit to a budget and track your results.
Today we’re going to talk about a few marketing ideas for your small business that may help you get better results.
Know Your Customers
Before you start advertising your business, it’s important to know who you will be directing your message to, and that means having an understanding of who your customers are. This will get easier the longer you’re in business, but targeting your message to every living person is never the most cost effective marketing strategy.
Once you know who your customers are, think about what they may do, where they may go and how you can get your advertising to them effectively.
Commit to a Budget
If you’re lucky enough to have an unlimited marketing budget, then this won’t be very difficult for you, but for the rest of us it’s imperative to decide how much you are able to spend on promoting your business. Not every advertising venue will be successful, so be prepared for a few campaigns turning into duds.
Duds, however, are important too. It’s how we learn what doesn’t work, and how we can do better.
Mix Traditional Advertising with Your Online Campaigns
You should probably be spending some of your marketing budget online, but don’t let yourself get completely wrapped up in the hype about online advertising. Traditional offline marketing should be an important part of your campaign too.
Everyone is different, and while some people are more motivated by social media ads (young people, especially), others prefer a good old newspaper advertisement to loosen the purse strings.
By limiting yourself to just online advertising, or just offline advertising, you shrink your captive audience significantly.
Track Your Results
Keeping track of your spending doesn’t help much if you don’t track how effectively your campaigns reach your audience. Always track your sales over the course of an advertising campaign and try to ask your new customers how they heard of you. If you’re not getting new customers from an advertising venue, then you’ll know that your money is best spent somewhere else.
Don’t Stop Trying New Things
Often times businesses find an advertising venue that gives results and then never even think about doing anything else they haven’t already tried – even when the tried and true venue stops producing new customers! Another reason small businesses fall into advertising ruts is that new technology is often intimidating, so we don’t even try.
The truth is that advertising campaigns get stale, good sales leads dry up and we often have to adapt and try new things for the business to be successful. Don’t be afraid to dip your toes into something new because you never know from where your customers will come.
Be Prepared for the Long Haul
Sometimes advertisements can spur almost instant purchases from customers, but not every campaign or business works that way.
Consumers often think over their options when it comes to service businesses and expensive purchases, so an extended campaign is often needed to lure new customers. If you’re getting positive reactions from your advertisements, but not a lot of purchases right off the bat, consider giving it time. The payoff may be down the road a little further than you planned.
By understanding your customers, sticking with your marketing budget and tracking results you’ll have a much clearer understanding of how your marketing plan is performing. With that information you’ll be able to get your message out much more effectively and that should lead to more sales for your marketing dollar.
Do you have marketing ideas for your small business that you would like to share? Let us know of Facebook or Twitter!