Top Tips To Market Your Small Business

There are several factors a small business could focus on to ensure that their marketing activities are more effective. As small businesses do not have an inexhaustible marketing budget, it is very important for the money to be well spent. Here are some tips for small businesses to ensure their marketing is as effective as it can be:

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is how the consumers will find you online when they search for things on their browser. There are five components of inbound marketing:

1.SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): Allows your potential customers to find you when they are searching for something related to your business.

2.Website: Where your potential customers will go to learn more about you, your products and services. Update your website, gone are the days where small businesses weren’t expected to have as engaging websites as big businesses. Make it as interesting as possible and make sure it is mobile friendly.

3.Blog: Your place to share with people what you do and allow them to get to know you better. Be as visual as you can, in this day people are trying to digest as much information as quick as possible so give them what they want. A picture says 1000 words, and infographic says even more so choose appropriate rich media to ensure your target audience is engaging with you.

4.Social Media: Another way to share the personal side of your business to your customers and interact with them. Again, use as much rich media as possible to interest your customers. Be yourself, your customers will appreciate it. Let you personality shine through – appropriately!

5.Email: Use your website and social media to gather an e-mail database of your customers and engage e-mail marketing. As a small business you are able to get much more personal with your customers so use it to your advantage and make sure you send your customers promotional e-mails they will genuinely be interested in.

 Investing in inbound marketing can do wonders for your business as it will ensure that your online presence is perfected. These days most customers like to do their research on-line when finding a business to work with. According to Business Network International, 75% of business owners have been put off by a particular company due to their poor use of social media.

Inbound marketing is also significantly cheaper than traditional marketing therefore it promises a big return on your investment. In the first instance, seeing results could take up to 3 months so get started quickly!

 Manage Your Reputation Online

Before this technological revolution, businesses would be expected to spend a lot of money conducting research to determine what their customers thought of their products and services, so that businesses could get an understanding of their reputation and improve it.

However; today, the internet does it all for you. Customers are much more aware of their purchases and majority of them do online research before making a purchase no matter how big or small it is. Therefore, knowing what your customers think of your business will help you improve your business. There are many review sites where customers actively share their views on their experiences with businesses so keep an eye out for your name and see what is being said about you.

You can also encourage your customers to contribute as much as they can by asking questions on your website or leaving reviews. Positive reviews are the best marketing you could ever ask for and to get positive reviews you will have to make sure your services and products are excellent.

If you receive a bad review it won’t be the end of the world but the way you handle the situation will either make or break it. Don’t ignore it, solve the problem you are faced with and your customer service skills could win you more customers and even please your angry customer.

Mobile Marketing

Use of mobile phones and smartphones are constantly on the rise so make sure you are involved in mobile marketing too. As mentioned above, make sure your website is mobile friendly and compatible with all devices. More and more people are browsing the internet on their phone and Microsoft predicts that by 2014 more people will be browsing the internet on their phone than their computers.

One of the biggest advantages you have as a small business is how intimate you could get with your customers. You could use this to you advantage and encourage your customers to you their mobile numbers so that you can engage in SMS Marketing.

Mobile phone numbers are very private and majority of the customers will hesitate giving them out to people for business matters, however, when you are a small business you usually get to know your customers very well. You can ask them for their mobile phone numbers but you must ensure that they do give you the permission to contact them for marketing purposes otherwise you’ll be in a lot of trouble.

You can send bulk SMS messages to inform your customers of your business updates, you can build a relationship by celebrating their birthdays or send bulk SMS messages to celebrate holidays.
This post was written by James Harper on behalf of Collstream, the marketing experts.

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