Top Small Business Marketing Strategies to Prioritize in 2017
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Marketing Strategies have historically set large brands apart from small businesses. High cost, both in creative talent and actual activation costs, gave a huge advantage to companies with deep pockets, keeping small businesses small and growing corporations to huge world powers. And while there’s no denying that these costs still exist, the rise of the social internet has given more access to huge audiences ready and willing to listen to your marketing message.
So what are these marketing strategies that can help your small business beat the big brands? Many of these strategies don’t have a monetary cost but understand this: Nothing is free. While many marketing strategies are now readily available for small businesses, their cost is less about dollars and more about “keyboard equity”.
There are no magic bullets and executing your marketing strategies will take time and commitment, but those are the two things most small businesses have in spades. Utilize and prioritize your limited resources. Whether you have a small advertising budget, two summer interns who only have 3 months to drive value, or you just have your nights and weekends after your full-time job, ruthlessly plan and prioritize every aspect of your marketing strategy.
Create Customer Success Stories & Case Studies
Why? The internet is a scary place, full of false promises and impersonal communication. Your customers are bombarded with big promises and flashy sales copy all across the internet. So make it personal.
Customer stories make your message, product, service, or idea personal. They validate your claims from an independent third party. Customer stories are the holy grail of marketing collateral.
Case Studies accomplish the same goal with a slightly different tactic. Rather than playing on the emotional connection of a Customer Story, they target the analytical thinkers. A great Case Study will offer proof in numbers, a step by step guide that a potential client can plug their numbers into and see their return.
How? If you have happy customers, tap into them! You should always be learning which customers are having success whether through surveys, reward programs, or just talking to them. Reward your best clients with new product launches, samples of new products, freebie, extra support, free enablement and get their feedback. And consider all positive feedback for marketing and advertising campaigns.
Don’t have clients yet? Give your product or service away through a beta program and gather feedback for your stories. If you’re on a fremium model, give away the product when they agree to be a case study or customer story.
Pro-Tip: Your customers want to be featured as Customer Stories and Case Studies. It’s great marketing and promotion for their company and sets them out as a model business. Build you PR campaign around your customers’ success and you will ensure the next Customer Story or Case Study volunteer will be much easier to find.
Focus on Creating Amazing Content
Why? Content is King. And content is present in every touch-point from prospect to buyer to renewal.
How? Understand that content is more than just the words on the page. Headlines matter. Graphics matter. Spacing matters. Amazing content will guide your visitors down you funnel to a conversion. For bloggers, great content is not just the post, but the headline, meta description for your social media shares, the images in the design, the image in the social share, and the connection to the theme of your site.
For bloggers, great content is not just the post, but the headline, meta description for your social media shares, the images in the design, the image in the social share, and the connection to the theme of your site.
For eCommerce companies, great content is needed for the emails, the print and web ads, the product description, the product specifications, the images used to show all aspects of the product.
For service companies, great content is needed in the sales copy, the daily emails, the client onboarding, the prospecting copy and the even the upsell communication.
No matter what industry or business, creating killer content will help you stand out.
Experts & Resources
Think Outside the Internet
Why? Internet marketing is booming and it’s easier than ever to start advertising your business online. As the money moves online, more traditional offline strategies are becoming more and more affordable! And there are plenty of offline opportunities that only cost your time and energy. While this may not be the best strategy for a SaaS company selling to
How? Be creative.
Are you a mommy blogger? Setup a free stroller parking space at the gates of a Disney on Ice show in your local area.
Do you sell internet coaching programs? Use local radio and rent a hotel ballroom and hold an in-person seminar where you invite your current clients in the area.
Do you have a web development company? Setup a 24-hour hack-a-thon where you help build apps or websites for local non-profits. Invite the media.
Do you sell homemade items on your site or Etsy? Partner with local businesses for a wine and craft night or offer the local summer camp craft blueprints with your branding to take home with your parents.
Do you own a local business like a dentist or doctor? Volunteer to do a free seminar at the local schools and give away a branded goodie bag to every student and parent.
No matter what type of business you run, it’s often times easier to get people interested in your business from an emotional way by getting out in the community and off the computer.
Experts & Resources