Marketing

Quick Guide: Kickstart your small business marketing

Struggling with getting your business off the ground? Try educating customers about your product, personalizing your offering and other strategies to get your product to the right people.

Starting out, business owners are thrown into a sea of competition, with countless competitors fighting to get customer attention. Standing out in this competition requires a mix of strategies which involve informing and educating the customer about your product, while creating personalized content that allows them to relate with your brand. 

Consistent marketing is key to success and in this article we’ll break down five steps businesses need to take to commence your marketing efforts and take it to the next level. 

Create a Customer Persona

Before you can market your brand, you need to know your brand intimately, along with the people who are most likely to use it. Creating custom personas of possible customers helps you create marketing plans that reflect their problems, needs and values. 

An easy way to start is by visualizing the perfect customer. The perfect customer has everything you could ask for, they use your product regularly, they love using it, and they also offer positive feedback and share it with their family and friends. Now visualize the customer. Ask a couple of questions to help with visualization:  

  1. What gender is my ideal customer? 
  2. What’s their age? 
  3. What level of education will they reach? 
  4. What are their interests? 
  5. What are their day to day struggles?
  6. What are their desires?
  7. What do they value?  
  8. Where do they get their information?

Based on the answers to these questions and more, you can create a custom persona and device marketing strategies that work for your audience. For example, if you offer a product to single mothers, you want something that helps them manage time in their busy schedule or to help them take better care of their children. 

Once you’ve made your ideal customer, get a real person coffee and get to know the real people behind your personas. This exercise is necessary to limit any misinformation, misconceptions and biases you may have regarding your audiences. Expand your marketing by creating multiple personas, based on variable ages, career paths, political views and more. 

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This is an on-going process. As you interact and get to know your customers, you can improve or even redo your customer personas to reflect real people. Now that you know who to target, it’s time to start building content.

Create an Email List 

Early on in your brand’s life, create and maintain an email list. An email list is a vital asset for any brand because it forms a direct line between you and the customer. But is it worth the effort? According to a study, emails have as much as an ROI of $42, compared with only $17 for keyword ads. 

Start small by inviting friends and family to join your list, and continue from here. Your audience should find it easy to opt in and out of the email list. 

If you’re serious about building your email list, here are some tried and tested methods that work:

Get a website or landing page

Customers should have a way to sign up to your website, and have the option to subscribe when signing up (like a checkbox to subscribe to your email list). This will be your face on the internet, and it’s a great way to tether your socials into one spot too. Try one of the following websites to start with your landing pages. 

  1. Hubspot.com
  2. Unbounce.com
  3. Wix.com

Interest the customer 

Having a pretty face is never enough to get a subscriber. Offer content that prompts the user to share their email address. Here’s where your customer knowledge comes in. Know their pains, desires and values and offer that which they would find valuable. Depending on your business, there’s a couple of ways to go about it:

  1. Offer a free comprehensive guide regarding a particular topic. For example, as a blog teaching marketers to present content better, your ebook can tackle everything they would possibly need to know to make a compelling blog header. 
  2. Provide updates about discounts and special offers on products. 
  3. Provide exclusive updates on a particular event. This can be a local workshop, a tour to a resort. 
  4. Offer a class! If you have the knowledge to create/sell the product or service, odds are there is value in teaching people more about it.  

Getting engaging and professionally written content prepared for your blog and website is easy. Narrato.io is your place to hire seasoned freelance writers, without making a dent in your budget.

Personalize Your Content

Everyone’s tired of the same old ‘Hello [name]’ emails. It was an easy trick to fool customers into thinking the emails were personalized but customers have moved way past that. Like tons of other emails inundating the customer, yours can also end up being unread and ignored. 

To go past that, personalize your marketing. Try it with emails. 

  1. Divide your audience into various segments, by dividing them into customer personas. 
  2. Change up the products you offer for each customer subset. Not everyone’s interested in your indoor plant offering delivered at their doorstep. Others are interested in the gardening tools you have to offer.
  3. Create a variety of imagery and test out which work best for each given demographic. There’s no perfect formula, as every customer is different. Trial and error will get you the best results. Change up images, email headers and text content (even amount of text content) can help you identify what kind of emails work best for your customers. 

You can personalize content outside emails just as well: 

  1. Offer real-time help to customers after they’ve made a purchase so any quips about your product can be dealt with and they get a great experience. 
  2. Social media ads fine-tuned to certain demographics, each offering a different product, or at least outlining benefits the target audience is likely interested in. 
  3. Create multiple landing pages that offer products and discounts to different demographics. 

Create Eye-catching Content 

Personalizing, when done right can produce wonders, provided your audience notices the content. No matter your target audience, they’re inundated with content on their social media, web searches and emails. According to Forbes, the average American sees anything between 4000 to 10,000 ads per day! Where does that leave you? 

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Your task is clear: Your content needs to be clear and stand out from the rest. Even if you’re not the best designer around, PosterMyWall’s professionally designed templates have you covered. Pick a template, customize it with your brand’s and campaign’s details by adding logos, text content and images, save, download and share. 

Great content comes in many forms. Here are some strategies to help you create engaging ad content: 

  1. Make every word count in your ad. Focus on your customer by using words like ‘you’ or ‘yours’. Words that trigger an emotional response (words like fun, exciting, relaxing etc) should be used. 
  2. Maintain brevity. Your headline length should be just 5 words, with the ad text no more than 19 words. 
  3. Using attention grabbing visuals is a must. Your cafe ad should have a steaming hot cup of cocoa. Similarly, a charity ad should have a photo of a person in need. 
  4. Minimize clutter. An ad stuffed with content drives away customers. Your ad has a purpose, and that is to provide very specific information in the least amount of time. This can only be achieved by prioritizing content for your ad which also looks attractive. 

Create a Social Media Presence 

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When we talked about your website being the face of your brand, your social media accounts are your limbs. With minimal time and money spent, you can spread good word about your brand and create a following. 

To make the most of social media, it’s necessary to do both the social and the media part. In other words, it’s all about creating a conversation, which means you need to create content that your audience can immerse and interact with. 

Brands create conversations online all the time and here’s how you can too: 

  1. Create a summary of your latest blog post, and create a vibrant slideshow of each header. It’s useful information that’s easy to digest. 
  2. Ask a question. We talked about creating custom personas of your customers. The best way to do this is by having real customer input to back it up. 
  3. Create a hashtag for your brand, and prompt customers to review your product by using that hashtag. Then share your favorite reviews found with that hashtag.

Over to you

Starting out, every business owner has financial and time restraints, but overcoming them with creative and sound strategies can make your job much easier. Stay ahead of the trends and start creating small business marketing content today.