What is marketing in business, and how do you do it effectively? Ideally, good business marketing reaches the most significant number of people for the smallest cost and, therefore, provides you with a high ROI. This can be tough to pull off, especially for small businesses that may already have limited resources to draw from. When money is tight, it can be tempting to write off marketing and pour your costs into production or staff. Follow our five business marketing tips to find out why this is not the right idea for you or your business!
Plan Your Business Marketing
Whether you’re starting from scratch developing your business, or you already run a business but are not generating the profits you’d like, you need a business plan. Creating a marketing plan for small business operations is one of the most vital aspects of being a company owner. Whether you run a B2C or a B2B service, your business will undoubtedly fail without a reliable client base. People need to know who you are and where to reach you if they’re going to spend or invest in your products!
One of the classic mistakes people make when devising a business marketing strategy is failing to zero in on a target audience. Firing resources out in all directions and hoping that something will stick is a massive waste of time and money! After all, advertising is usually not free, so if you use a variety of platforms, you’re likely paying for most, if not, all of them. It pays to do your research and discover who is likely to want your services and where these people can most effectively be reached. This way, you can find your niche and focus all your energies into placing great marketing content on one site, rather than wasting money, putting mediocre content on different websites. Sit down and draw up some business plan ideas. You’ll be amazed at the ROI you can get with some careful thought out strategy.
Create a Blog
One way to generate interest in your business is to create a blog. Blogging is cheap and not particularly time-intensive. You can set up a blog on a free site, like WordPress, and produce a weekly or monthly blog in just a few hours. Outsource this work to a creative member of your team or write posts yourself. You’ll find that this is a great marketing plan for small businesses.
Blogs are a brilliant way to generate customer engagement and to create trust between you and your customers. Giving your clients updates about your business, any offers you have coming up, or just reminders about your products gives your business a personable presence that customers can engage with. It’s also a chance to optimize your online marketing using SEO content. You can even upcycle old content and compile a series of blogs into an e-book or business guide, which you can then sell to new customers at a later date.
Provide Incentives and Encourage Reviews
If you know anything about social media marketing, you know that giveaways and competitions are a treasure trove for customer engagement. If the goal is to raise awareness about your services, small business owners should take advantage of their social media presence. Say you have a new product that you want feedback on. Offer to send out five of these top five randomly selected people who comment on your post. This will generate huge amounts of engagement with your new product and will likely generate sales even though you’ve given something away for free. Ultimately, the ROI is likely to drastically outweigh the loss.
You can also use giveaways like this to get people to sign up for your blog or newsletter. Instead of giving away a product, ask customers to send in their email addresses and give out discount codes to a small number. Social media platforms are also a great place for customers to review your products and encourage others to purchase. You can also offer discounts for referrals or testimonials.
Apply for Small Business Loans
As small business owners, you may also be eligible for small business loans to help with marketing and exposure. Even with the best plan in the world, it can be hard for small businesses with low-profit margins to realistically spend enough on marketing. This is where small business loans can help. Check out organizations like the Small Business Administration for information and advice or discuss a business grant with your bank or insurance company.
If you are applying for a loan specifically for marketing purposes, make sure you have a solid and comprehensive strategy laid out. You should emphasize the ROI of your strategy to show that you make wise spending when it comes to advertising. This will give whoever you borrow from the confidence that your business is a secure investment. Many companies are also offering business support during the Covid-19 pandemic so that companies can continue to operate and to reach their customers.
Use Email to Advertise
Newsletters and email updates can be a great marketing campaign for small businesses. Although there is some merit in distributing flyers or putting up posters (especially if you work in a small area), most businesses get the ROI from online advertising. Business-to-business marketing has long used email campaigns to reach a wide client base, and it’s a practice that even small businesses should consider adopting. After all, it’s extremely cheap and easy to draft a single email and send it out on mass.
Just be sure to keep your marketing emails brief and relevant to your potential customers. Include a link where they can sign up for any other offers or platforms that you run and keep to a regular schedule. Don’t over promote your business as this can put customers off – you don’t want to end up as spam mail! Keep to a weekly or bi-weekly update at the most.
Small business marketing doesn’t have to cost the earth or bankrupt your business. We hope you’ve found these tips to generate ROI usefully!
Are you a small business owner with a foolproof ROI marketing strategy? How do you make sure you find the right customers for your company? Share your tips in the comments!
Thomas Quarry is a data scientist, real treasure hunter and self-employed online business owner who specializes in business management advice and business-to-business marketing strategy. He runs a blog that features business tips and has organized several large business conferences seeking to help small businesses find investment and maximize profits.