Running a business takes a considerable amount of effort but it can also be very rewarding. For one thing, you’re your own boss; you get to choose how many hours you want to work and what you want to do. No one else is going to set the rules but you! Aside from that, it also gives you an opportunity to pursue your passion.
Thinking of going for it? Want to launch your own startup? If so, there are several things that you need to do. First and foremost, you want to do research. Ultimately, the goal is to understand the market—how else would you succeed? Second of all, you’ll want to map your finances. After all, you’ll need money to start a business. In some cases, you might have to get a loan. At the end of the day, that’s just one of the risks that you have to take as a business owner.
As you can imagine, the work doesn’t stop there. If anything, you’ll only get more and more busy once everything is set up. Take marketing, for instance—it’s definitely something that you’ll want to invest in. In fact, it’s probably one of the most important aspects that you want to pay attention to. Why? It’s the thing that will help drive your sales. In other words, it will determine how successful your business is. Ideally, you want to come up with a strategy that will not only get the word out, but will connect you with potential customers. Take your time to really think about it; don’t rush into any decisions. The key is to make sure that whatever you come up with is suitable for your business. The last thing that you’d want to do is to spend your money on something ineffective!
The Most Popular Types of Marketing
There are numerous types of marketing strategies that you can use to grow your brand. Of course, they all have their own pros and cons. We’ll be highlighting some of the more popular ones below. Ask yourself—”which would work the best for my business?”. Don’t hesitate to pick more than one type. If anything, that’ll only work in your favor (just make sure that it’s within your budget)!
Digital marketing, as its name implies, uses digital technology to promote products and services. For instance, individuals might use social media, search engines, emails to reach potential customers. One of the reasons why these tactics are so popular is because it allows you to target your interest group—something that you can’t do with traditional marketing. Not only that, but it’s also much less expensive compared to other strategies.
Guerrilla marketing relies on unconventional practices to gain prospective buyers’ attention and interest. For instance, an individual might place a piece of artwork in a high-traffic area to attempts to reach audiences. Ultimately, the goal is to make it creative and intellectual. Generally speaking, this type of marketing is most effective for small businesses as it generates a considerable amount of attention for minimal cost (aka it’s budget-friendly).
Content marketing targets potential customers through the creation and distribution of content. Unlike other strategies, it relies on customers who have a need for information—that is, the marketing itself doesn’t create demand (i.e. the customers will come to you instead of you coming to them. As it is, the information can be presented in various formats. For instance, a company might decide to go for e-books, newsletters, podcasts, blogs, or infographics. More often than not, everything is done through the digital channel.
Traditional marketing utilizes methods such as print advertisements (e.g. billboards, magazines, flyers etc), radio advertisements, television advertisements, and direct mail. One of the main benefits is that the materials can be kept; individuals can read them again and again if they wish to do so.
3 Most Effective Marketing Strategies For Small Business Owners
As mentioned earlier, marketing is crucial, especially for small businesses. Not sure what type of marketing strategy you should use? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! We’ll be outlining three of the most effective approaches below. Keep reading to learn more!
1. PPC Advertising
Pay-per-click, also known as PPC is a type of marketing that’s used to drive traffic to websites. As its name implies, advertisers pay publishers a certain amount whenever the ad is clicked. Put it simply, it’s a way to ‘buy” visits to your site (as opposed to relying on organic traffic).
As with most marketing strategies, PPC comes in various forms. Perhaps the most popular, however, is search engine advertising. Ultimately, how it works is that advertisers make a bid for an ad, which then appears as a sponsored link on the search engine page whenever someone searches for a particular keyword. You’ve probably seen them before—they’re typically at the top of the page.
Every time someone clicks on the ad, the advertiser has to pay the search engine a certain fee. With that said, the amount is typically trivial. As a matter of fact, the visit will probably be worth more than it. For instance, you might have to pay $2 per click, but the click might end up resulting in a $200 sale. Given that, it’s easy to see why PPC advertising is so popular. If anything, it’s an easy way to gain leads to sales!
Having said that, it does require some effort on your part. For one thing, you’ll have to decide what keywords you want to target. Generally speaking, this involves a bit of research. How else will you be able to put together a well-organized campaign? Not only that, but you’d have to set up a proper landing page. Not only would that increase your conversion rate, but it would save you money too. Why? Search engines tend to lower the fees for those with relevant, targeted pages.
Benefits of PPC Advertising
One of the best things about PPC advertising is that it’s easy to measure and track. All you have to do is open up Google Analytics. Do that, you’ll be able to see all your performance details including clicks, impressions, and conversions. Compared to other marketing and advertising channels, the picture will be much more clear. You’ll be able to see exactly what you’ve spent and what it has done in terms of your goals.
On top of that, it will allow you to reach the right audience. After all, you’re able to choose exactly where your ads will appear on the page—that is, you can customize the keywords, location, time, date, device, and more. Ultimately, it’s this flexibility that allows you to bring your products and services to the right audience. Don’t forget, the targeted ads will appear on top of the page. In other words, they’ll be hard to miss. With a little bit of luck, you won’t have to wait too long to see a return on your investment!
Last but not least, you don’t have to depend on SEO with PPC advertising. This is massive; it means that you won’t have to dance around Google’s algorithms. For those who are unfamiliar with how it works, Google has a complex set of rules that determine where your website will appear on their page. Want to be at the top? Then you’ll have to keep up with their ever-changing algorithms. With PPC advertising, however, you’ll be able to skip all of that—your ad will automatically be visible at the top.
Even if there are updates to their PPC system, they won’t nearly be as disruptive as those that affect SEO. Your ads will operate as usual on the site.
2. Handwritten Notes
Believe it or not but handwritten notes can benefit your business. Essentially, what you want to do is to include them in your marketing campaign. You’d be surprised just how effective they can be! The reason for this is simple; they allow you to add a personal touch. Ask yourself—who would you rather buy from? Someone who sends you mass-printed flyers or someone who takes the time to write something by hand? I’m guessing most of us would answer the latter. At the very least, recipients would be more likely to read a handwritten note than a copy-and-pasted piece of mail.
If anything, it’ll make you stand out from your competitors. Once you’ve done that, you’ve already won half the battle. For those who are interested in numbers—a personalized note can increase your response rate anywhere from 30 to 50%. That’s huge!
Not only are handwritten notes great for attracting customers, but you can also use them to retain customers. How? By including them in the orders—that is, you want to include a note with every purchase someone makes. As far as what to write, you can use it as an opportunity to thank them for their patronage. Let them know that you’d be happy to help if they run into any questions. Remember, you always want your customers to be happy; the happier they are, the more likely they are to come back, which will lead to more sales.
3. Email Campaigns
Email marketing involves sending promotional messages to a group of potential customers. Not only will it allow you to interact with your audience, but it’ll also promote your brand. Put it simply, it will help strengthen and maintain your existing relationships. Typically, this method works best if you keep the messages personal and relevant.
One of the easiest ways to succeed is to build an email list. Essentially, it’s a list of subscribers. Through emails, you’ll be able to provide them with an incentive to come back to your site—because let’s face it, most of them will not be returning. According to DMA, businesses can expect an average return of $32 for every $1 spent on email marketing. Does it surprise you that existing customers are also more likely to make repeat purchases? It’s true—people tend to buy from brands that they’re familiar with.
How do you build an email list? It’s simple. There are many services that you can use such as Constant Contact or MailChimp. Sure, they’ll cost you a bit but they will be worth it in the long run.