For most companies the past few years have had unique challenges and all indications show that early 2022 will continue that trend. So how can small businesses get the most for their marketing efforts during this time? Below are a few easy ideas that I find many small businesses haven’t yet implemented.
- Harness relationships
We are a social species and the need to belong is innate. Join a few networking groups or associations, even if they only meet via Zoom, you can use this platform to get the word out about your business. But don’t stop there, belonging is not enough. Find a few members in each group and build partnerships. Businesses that have similar audiences are great referral and marketing partners. Nominate each other for business awards or local recognition. Most of all, remember you get what you give. The more you help promote others, the more they will promote you.
- Create a referral system
Let your peers and clients know how you reward for referrals. Think of your business peers as potential sales staff. If you had a sales staff, how would you compensate for a closed sale? You should have the cost of acquisition built into your marketing/sales budget, referral rewards should be part of this budget. Gift cards, discounts and finder’s fees are a great way to keep your business top-of-mind.
- Keep up on marketing trends
Technology and the way we use it to market is constantly changing, so to do it correctly, you need to understand what’s going on. There are tons of online resources discussing social media marketing, online advertising and Google search trends. One of my favorites is the Social Media Examiner’s videos, articles and newsletter. Also, check out Google’s tips for business profiles on Google My Business. But, if you don’t have the time to understand algorithms, platforms and the current legal nuances, find a small agency to help. Maybe they will train you on best practices. Or, hire them to take this part of marketing off your plate. If you don’t have a large monthly budget, training is perfect. Keep in mind, it’s either time or money. Which do you have more of?
- Don’t ignore current customers
The old adage asserts that it’s easier to keep a customer then to get a new one. And that’s the truth. If you have a budget for obtaining new customers why not have a budget for keeping current customers? Rewards systems, referral programs, VIP discounts and VIP events can be priceless. Let your current clients know how much you appreciate them, but make it worth their while. Nothing is more insulting than a special that isn’t really “special”. A personal, phone survey of top clients could help you pinpoint what sort of promotion will motivate them and what they really need from you. Nothing says “I care” more than a phone call vs. email to touch base. When you call, if you don’t get to talk in-person, leave a detailed message and then eventually follow up with a digital survey if you end up playing telephone-tag.
- Give yourself 6 months
Nothing happens overnight, so give each initiative at least 6 months to pan out. Keep track of successes and watch your statistics. Tweak messages, platforms and budgets along the way. Ask others for feedback and make changes accordingly. It’s best to market before business slows down, so always be working on promoting your business.
Hopefully this blog is a reminder of easily implemented, proven marketing tactics that when utilized together can add up to success. For additional ideas on “easy marketing resolutions” check out my prior post here. Also, I am just a call away if you need any help formulating a plan, have training needs, or even to off-load marketing tasks. 502 435 8825… and wishing you a wonderful 2022!