If you’re looking to generate more income for your small business, then you should look no farther than marketing. Larger companies and multi-million dollar corporations like Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Target, etc. spend millions of dollars each year just on marketing. This marketing allows them to understand their demographic, understand how much their target demographic is willing to spend, and what exactly it is that they want.
So, the question stands: how can you, as a small business owner, improve advertising your small business and your brand in a way that can rival the big league players? It’s not exactly easy – or cheap – to have a whole marketing department at your disposal as a small business owner. Here are nine tips to help you get your foot in the door:
1.) Know your audience.
Big corporations get the inside scoop from their target demographic from doing things like surveys, watching trends, gauging what gets the most attention on social media, and so on. There’s no reason why you, as a small business owner, can’t do the same. Keep an eye on trends. Does your audience want more organic products instead of more manufactured products? What kind of clothing trends are popular right now?
Ask your customers. See what they like. The more you can cater to your clientele, the more business you’ll be able to generate. After all, if you’re able to keep the customers satisfied that you already have, then they’ll be more willing to bring others to your door.
2.) Interview customers.
This ties in heavily with knowing your audience, but interviewing your customers can really turn out to be one of the best ways for advertising your small business. Take surveys on what was the most eye-catching thing to your current clientele. What slogans, or advertisements, or products are they most enraptured by? What makes them want to be a repeat customer?
Finding out this information can be key to spreading your influence farther than you may have thought possible.
3.) Have a website.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but in this information age, having a website is more important now than ever before. If you don’t have a good website, it’ll be even harder to advertise your small business than you thought possible.
In today’s Internet-driven world, the first thing that people are likely to do once finding out about your business or product is Google it. They will want to see your hours, your product information, your customer reviews, any other products you may have – and that’s even before taking a step in your doors or ordering a product for themselves.
Having a solid, eye-catching, up-to-date website is more important now than ever before, when word of mouth advertising is more like sharing a post on Facebook than actually picking up the phone to call someone. Making sure that you have full control of your online presence is vital when trying to reach customers, and may even be able to increase your reach beyond the local.
4.) Have a social media platform.
Having a social media platform, especially in today’s climate, is one of the best promotional tools available. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and even TikTok now are incredible ways to get both you and your small business out there into the public eye.
Creating beautiful advertisements and insightful posts that your followers can share can provide a big boost in sales to you and your small business. Or, you could create something silly and memorable that falls in line with more current trends.
In fact, some of the most popular TikTok accounts are brand accounts. The Duolingo and Scrub Daddy accounts both take popular TikTok trends and bend them to work in their brand’s favor. One thing is for sure: no one who goes to their TikTok accounts will forget what they saw. It may be unconventional, but it definitely works!
5.) Turn to print advertising
It might seem a little too conventional when you first think about it, but in reality, newspaper advertising is still an effective way to get your name and brand out there. When so many ads pop up on our phones, computers, and TVs, we always find a way to fast forward through, or close them out, as quickly as possible. With print media, it is more intentional, and grabs the reader’s attention. When looking at advertising your small business, check out our website for information!
6.) Have a great customer service team.
No matter how many advancements in technology you may make, or how many rewards or promotions you may offer, there’s nothing that can beat just simple, good customer service. Good customer service can make or break a brand or business. As your business continues to grow, make sure that all of your staff is trained well and is able to answer most general questions about your business.
However, even more important than knowledge is good communication skills. Sometimes, the most memorable part of visiting a local business is the incredible and knowledgeable staff that work there. Good communication builds relationships, and relationships can build returning clientele.
7.) Do your research.
If you don’t know who you’re competing against, what kinds of similar products are out there, or how much your competitors are charging, there isn’t a lot of hope to be competitive in this market. Make sure that not only are you paying attention to what your customers want, but look around at the competition, too. What are they selling? How are they marketing it? What is their customer service like? Do they have loyalty programs? Are your prices fair for the market that we’re in compared to theirs?
You always want to make sure that you aren’t undervaluing your services or your products, but charging too much can also be detrimental. Be sure not to drive away your business due to your high prices, because you haven’t been up to date with the market. It’s also important to note that while you don’t have to do everything that your competitor does, knowing that your products or services are as easily – if not more easily – accessible can make for a better experience.