You own your own small business. You need to stay competitive and keep up with the competition in order to be relevant in today’s market, but you don’t have the luxury of an in house marketing firm that larger companies do. Small to medium size businesses face the challenge of looking and being competitive using strategic, creative plans that share their message and find their audience.
What is most important for small businesses to know and to incorporate in their marketing plan to do just that? They need to think about the message and the brand they are sending and how they are sending it. Coming up with a very specific program in this era of ever-evolving marketing strategies that is cost effective and detailed is important in building a loyal consumer base.
- The Human Factor
Personal relationships are by far one of the most important tools in marketing. This is nothing new, but as consumers become less and less brand loyal, the relationship you create with a new customer is extremely important in keeping them as a customer. What can you do as a business to go above and beyond your competition to create, develop and secure the relationship you have with your new consumers? Find that difference, develop it and engage your customers so you keep them coming back to you time and time again. Interact with them through social media, personal e-mails and rewards so they are constantly reminded what sets you ahead of the competition.
- Content Marketing
Embrace it now if you have not already done so. While the e-mails, e-mail marketing blasts, social media are extremely important in your plan, content marketing allows you to be the leader and the expert in your field. Continually changing the content to your website with a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly blog keeps customers engaged and reassured that you know and understand the industry and are the industry leader. By providing key facts and information with out pushing sales, it keeps you top of mind and when consumers are looking to engage, purchase or retain, you will be the company they look to and respect.
- Rethink Mobile
Smartphone usage has and will continue to effect relationship marketing, and small businesses must adapt to the change and the need to be mobile friendly. There are MORE searches on mobile devices for businesses then on desktops or other devices and Google has responded to the consumer demand. Google (search engines) penalizes sites that are not optimized for mobile and gives more weight and relevance to those that are. Along with your website being optimized, you must look at your e-mail marketing campaigns, how do they appear on a mobile device? What and how are you using social media? Facebook is the most heavily trafficked social media site and 54% of those users are strictly on mobile devices.
- Get Targeted on Your Market (Really Targeted!)
Small businesses don’t need to simply throw a line and bait into a large pond and hope and wait for the perfect fish. Geo-precise marketing and re-direct targeting allows businesses to specifically go after their consumers. Tools like Google Adwords, Facebook ads and other advertising platforms offer geo-targeting services that help businesses find the perfect consumer, both locally and globally. This is based on exactly where your buying power is coming from. By fine tuning your targeting, you can increase your conversions and focus on your landing pages or content marketing campaigns to the geographic norms and preferences in the areas where their consumers are coming from. These campaigns will allow you to spend a specific budget on your exact needs.
- Try, Test, Analyze
Small or large, all businesses must continuously attempt new programs in order to keep up with the constant evolvement and changing environment that today’s savvy consumer’s demand. Staying current with the ever changing opportunity’s is a must. Study your results and watch carefully over your analytics to understand what is working and what your customers and potential customers respond too. Tweaking your campaign and testing the results needs to be part of the plan in order to stay competitive and must be part of your overall marketing program. Failing to adjust in order to stay competitive will leave you behind your competition. Flexibility, quick reaction and ability to change will keep you competitive now and in the future.