Business Counselor News Brief

Marketing Tips & Tools

Thanks to technology, the Internet and social media these days, there can be significant marketing advantages to being a small business, particularly where they can act faster, innovate and are more closely involved with the selling process. Below are 5 Tips that can make a BIG difference! Click on the tip that interests you to learn more.

Test Marketing: Leverage cost-effective and convenient ways to test what you sell in the marketplace before investing in extensive business development or inventory production.

For many small businesses, there are local and online opportunities for connecting with prospective new customers to learning if and why they might purchase your goods and services. This includes:

Publicity; A no-to-low cost, creative channel for building buzz.

Publicity is all about thinking outside of the box. There is almost no limit to using this form of marketing to build brand awareness and drive sales. Publicity is about getting someone's attention. Think about who your target market is, where they go and what they like and then come up with innovative ways to capture their interest.

Forms of publicity include kids who stand out with a car wash sign on the side of the road to get you to stop and have your car washed, and getting a person who is well-known in your community to wear a t-shirt, button or other form of attire that advertises your business. Writing an article, report, reply to the editor, white paper, blog commentary or other published piece is a form of publicity. Making a presentation, staging a debate, issuing an award, organizing a tour, and announcing an appointment are also forms of publicity.

The more appeal your approach has to your target audience, the more likely you will gain their attention. Keep in mind that once you capture that attention, you want to also provide a convenient way for prospects to act upon what they've experienced. For example, be sure to provide contact information such as your web site, telephone and email address. If you operate a brick and mortar establishment, include your physical address. For other ideas on generating publicity, visit How to Get Free Publicity for Your Small Business.

Social Media; A no-cost platform where highly targeted outreach can return highly profitable results!

As with all forms of marketing, the more you know about who your target market is, the more likely your marketing outreach strategies will yield sales. This is particularly true with social media. Social media represents different types of Internet-based applications that allow you to connect with other people to engage, influence and ideally, motivate to buy from you.

There are different types of social media channels including applications that serve to facilitate communication, build collaboration and validate credibility, share multimedia messaging, entertain and monitor brand positioning. All of these channels are accessible to small businesses at no or low-cost and most provide step-by-step instructions that make it easy for a non-techie or non-programmer to use. The most important point to keep in mind is that while social media offers cost-effective access to many individuals, you want to be sure that these individuals represent your type of prospective customer. Otherwise, you can waste a lot of time creating and publishing messaging that yeilds limited to no increase in sales.

SEO; How common sense relationship-building techniques can improve SEO (search engine optimization).

SEO, or search engine optimization, is all about having a web site and driving traffic to it through various techniques. One of these techniques is getting other web sites to include a link on their web site to your web site. For small business, this is all about collaboration.

If your business is local, think about other local businesses you can exchange web site links with. If your business reaches a larger population beyond the local area, think about other industries where adding a link to your web site may represent a complement. For example, the travel and tourism industry represents many different kinds of businesses including restaurants, hotels, gift shops, health clubs, theme parks, etc. When each of the businesses promotes the others in a local area, everyone stands to benefit. For other ideas, visit Secrets of Reciprocal Linking Strategies Revealed.

Loyalty Programs; Let prospective customers know that you care about doing business with them.

Offer different forms of incentives to prospective customers that lead to their wanting to do business with you. Loyalty programs are also referred to as customer retention programs. Different types of loyalty programs include:

To learn more about developing and managing loyalty programs, visit Guide to Launching Loyalty Program.

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Linkedin GooglePlus Ask Dr. Deborah Small Business Financing With Dr. Bill

Newsletter Subscribe