The reality of being a business owner is the constant upward struggle. Not everyone makes it; not every business survives. However, those who do come to have a profound appreciation for the value of marketing. In the words of one of America’s most remarkable entrepreneurs, Henry Ford, “Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.”
Marketing efforts are the heartbeat of your business; without it, there would be no flow of customers and sales coming in to replenish your business with lifeblood. Furthermore, when it comes to business, if you’re not growing, then you’re falling behind. With steady growth as the goal and marketing as the means, you’ll be ready to watch your business accelerate from nothing to what you always envisioned. Get started revamping your marketing strategy with the following tips!
Outsource to Professionals
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to marketing. Your strategy could include social media buzz, online content creation, advertising on television or radio, search engine optimization, branding, and much more. Especially in this technological day and age, the avenues for marketing and advertising are as varied as the media available. Understanding all of these options, which combination is best suited to your business, and how they work together to complement each other is a full-time field of study.
Yet, as a business owner, you are already tasked with being the expert on your product or service, leading your employees, minding your accounting, and so much more. Consider outsourcing to professionals, such as this Asheville marketing agency, who have years’ worth of experience, research and study in the field of marketing. Outsourcing your marketing requirements saves you time and effort and ensures your business’ marketing is performed correctly and optimally.
Identify Your Target Audience
If you do choose to venture onward independently in your marketing journey, you must first understand one of the key basics of marketing. Before you even start looking into which social media platforms to sign up for or where to spend your advertising dollars, you need to know your target audience. “Target audience” is a marketing term referring to your intended or ideal customer base, comprising the people who need your product or service and resonate with the core values of your business.
For instance, a transportation service for the elderly probably won’t reach its target audience through a presence on TikTok, a social media platform popular with Generation Z (currently age 10 to 25). In contrast, a North Carolina real estate agent will probably gain some leads after an SEO campaign places them in the top rank for a keyword like “Asheville houses for sale.”
If you’re not sure who your target audience is, start with demographics. What age, gender, or ethnic background are your customers? Next, consider life circumstances. Is your target audience highly educated? What is their socioeconomic background? What kind of job do they hold? Keep hobbies and interests in mind too. For instance, if you own a sports-related business, would your target audience be high school football players or pro-level athletes? What are their behaviors and habits? In what region or city do they live? What competitor currently profits from them?
The kinds of products and services you sell will reflect the kinds of people you need to attract; and the kinds of people you want to attract should be reflected in where and how you are marketing your business. Not all insects are bees, but if you want to attract bees, you’ll need to use honey.
Streamline Your Branding
Knowing your target audience helps you to find them. Conversely, knowing your business identity helps your target audience to find you. You can perform all the right marketing campaigns geared toward the right types of consumers, but your message may not stick if you don’t have a consistent brand. Your “brand” is just another word for your identity as a business and what you stand for. Everyone knows that a checkmark followed by the phrase, “Just do it,” is about the inspiration to strive for excellence, perfect for an athletic wear brand. Similarly, everyone recognizes the Cockney-accented gecko as the quirky critter who will save you money on your car insurance.
Branding asks you to identify your business’s core value and represent it through symbol, color, word choice, and story. Thus, streamlining your branding involves keeping all these elements consistent across all media outlets. This does not mean your advertisements and content output must be perfectly identical. Rather, it just needs to be thematically consistent with your previous and future messaging to prevent confusion around who you are and what you are about in the eyes of the consumer.
Update Your Website
You may attract hundreds of bees with your honey, but if they have nowhere to land, then your efforts are useless. If you have a storefront, that will often be the landing zone. However, in the modern era, many customers prefer to buy online or research more about your business before spending any money. A website is like digital real estate, and it provides a place for your target audience to land at any time and from anywhere once you have gotten their attention.
Your website should provide basic information on what your business is about, what products or services you are selling, and how to get in contact with you. Not only this, but an attractive and easy-to-use website will instill confidence in your prospective customer and provide a satisfying experience. If your website hasn’t been updated since the ’90s, it’s time for a makeover. Even if your website hasn’t been updated in a few years, it will need attention. Make sure all of your information is up to date and that all your plugins are working correctly. Consider starting fresh with a professionally designed site, or hire a developer to enhance your existing site with new features.
A website is a critical point in the sales funnel. It provides the customer with more background on your product or service. It can be a means of starting a dialogue with your customer, whether by allowing them to contact you directly or by keeping in touch with an email newsletter. Most importantly, it can enable your customers to buy directly from your site.
Become A Known Expert In Your Field
All marketing and business lingo aside – business is about relationships at the end of the day. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to cultivate trust in your customers and any collaborators, suppliers or vendors. Nothing instills a greater sense of trust than expertise. You know your business like no other – so show it!
Show off your extensive knowledge of your field. The simplest way to do this is to start writing a blog on your website. Alternatively, you could contribute articles to other sites that are considered reputable in your industry. You could also speak at local events, charitably volunteer services, donate products to a good local cause, become a mentor for others who want to learn the trade, or start an informative YouTube channel or podcast. The more you position yourself as a genuine expert in your niche, the more others will look to you as a thought leader and think of you first when in need of what you’re selling.
If you call yourself an entrepreneur, you have earned the right to consider yourself among some of the bravest individuals in the world. Establishing a business means you dare to create an original product or service and blaze trails others can’t or won’t. It means you possess the authenticity to represent a significant belief or aspect of your identity in the broader economic sphere.
Those who align with what you have to offer, not just in products and services but also in beliefs and mission, will be the majority of your customer base. Well-executed marketing efforts help you to find and connect with your people. A well-designed marketing strategy allows you to stay tapped into that lifeblood. Invest your time today on a marketing plan makeover, and you’ll keep the gears of your business turning year after year.