At the core of every business is a strategic marketing plan that helps spread the word about your brand to as many consumers as possible. Nowadays, having a strong online presence is crucial as most customers shop online or rely on online platforms to learn about businesses. However, words like return on investment (ROI), conversion rates, and targeted ads can all sound daunting, especially if you are new to the business world.
At the same time, having so many marketing aspects to consider, such as branding, promotions, pricing, and social media, can all seem overwhelming. That said, there are ways to develop an effective and strong marketing strategy without necessarily making a huge investment or exhausting all your resources. By knowing where to focus your priorities and attention, you can help your business grow and generate higher profits!
Research Your Market
Every strategy has to start with a thorough understanding of the market. You know that you want to increase your visibility and reach more customers, but who exactly are you targeting in the first place? Start by researching your target market and understanding their needs, wants, purchase behavior, and thinking patterns. This information will help you understand what channels you can use for marketing your product and what strategies will best appeal to your customers.
Likewise, conducting market research gives you insights and trends that can help you forecast sales and understand your competition. Know that developing a marketing strategy does not happen in isolation. To do it effectively, you have to know what others in the industry are doing, so you can look out for opportunities that you can capitalize on, such as untapped markets or industry niches.
Set a Budget
Marketing activities will come at a cost, so before executing anything, it will be helpful to come up with a budget to know the extent of your expenses. Though expenses may vary significantly depending on the nature of your business or your intended strategy, there are some aspects that you should not leave out. For example, web design and development, branding, printing of collaterals, advertising, and hiring marketing staff or agencies are common elements that you need to consider in your budget.
Profile Your Target Market
When developing a marketing strategy, it is important to know who your potential customers are, so you know where to focus your efforts. One way to do this is by profiling your target market and identifying their characteristics to know how you can address their needs. Segmentation typically occurs on four levels: geography, demography, behavior, and lifestyle, so go through each of these factors to come up with a clear customer profile.
Leverage Social Media
You have the freedom to select the marketing channels you want to use to promote your brand and company. However, among the many choices you have, social media should be at the top of your list. Up until today, the wave of social media continues to be huge, and it is clear that the hype will not die anytime soon. Thus, you can leverage these platforms to capture your target market and engage with them to create a connection with your customers.
Make a Website
In today’s day and age, having a website matters more than ever. It is one of the best ways to solidify your online presence and communicate your company’s brand, and it is also one of the first places that customers will look for to learn about your business. Make use of search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to ensure that your web design is responsive to different devices. See to it that your website is user-friendly as you want to boost organic traffic and get your site visitors to convert into customers.
SEO can be tricky to implement, so if you are determined to increase your search rank, it may be beneficial to hire an agency to help in this aspect. Optimizing your website requires many considerations, such as using the right keywords, backlinks and calls to action (CTAs), rich snippets, and other elements. Thus, it may be best to leave this job to professionals if you do not have the expertise or resources.
At times, marketing ideas may not translate to your desired results as many factors can affect the success of your strategy. Thus, you must always test your ideas to see what works and what does not. You can try your approaches on staff members or even a few of your potential customers to gauge their response and determine the idea’s feasibility. Know that the first idea may not always be the best, so take the time to try different tactics to ensure you come up with the best strategy.
Monitor and Track
After you execute your marketing strategy, you still have to keep a close eye to see if your marketing activities generate your desired results. Monitor them continuously and review your marketing plan every few months–ideally every three months–to ensure that your investments are translating to profitable returns. The business landscape is always changing and innovating, so retaining the same strategy may not necessarily retain the same results over a long time.
Today, the Internet is recognized as one of the best platforms to capture a large following and increase customer base. Regardless of whether you have been in business for a long time or recently joined the business world, you will benefit from e-commerce sales. More than ever, having an online presence is so important to get your company’s name known, so using online channels for sales is crucial if you want to generate significant returns.
That said, selling online is much easier said than done, and with tons of other businesses doing the same thing, the competition is undeniably tough. Increasing sales online requires more than having a well-designed website for your e-commerce store as you also have to employ proper strategies to get your desired results. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can boost your e-commerce sales. It comes with a challenge, but this does not mean that it is impossible, nor does it mean that you have to go through painstaking lengths!
Use Customer Testimonials
Building trust with your consumers is important to boosting customer loyalty, and one way you can do this is by displaying testimonials on your site. Testimonials and online reviews serve as “social proof” that your company offers quality products and services. These are so influential that nearly 95% of online shoppers start by looking at reviews before deciding to purchase a product.
Try to reach out to some of your loyal customers, ask for a testimonial, and then place them on your website’s landing pages. With testimonials, customers are not limited to speaking about a specific product as they talk about your company’s brand. Make sure to include the name and photo of whoever wrote the testimonial, provided that you got permission. Doing so can create an even bigger impact as readers are more likely to trust in the words of a testimonial if they can identify the writer as a real person.
Improve Customer Service
Now that technology and automation are rampant, you can utilize chatbots and other engagement tools to improve your customer service. In the world of e-commerce, customer service will be one of your best marketing assets since shoppers are always looking for brands that can cater to their concerns. If possible, set up a live chat option that allows your agents to talk to customers directly, so they can answer questions immediately and without delay.
Many times, users may visit your site or click an ad to your site but do not necessarily convert into customers. This group of people presents a massive opportunity for you as you can leverage on this by retargeting them. Through analytics, you can track your site visitors and see who made a purchase and who did not. With this information, you can then work on targeting your ads towards these people.
You can even incorporate psychological marketing strategies, such as the scarcity principle, by offering these users a limited-time discount if they clicked on your social media ad. In other cases, users may leave after adding an item to their cart, so you can retarget them by offering a small discount if they finish their purchase. Overall, the goal is to increase your exposure as much as possible. It is a known fact that customers will not always buy the first time, or maybe even the second time, but the more visible you are, the higher the chances that a customer will purchase.
Accept Many Payment Options
Now that online selling has become a norm, it is important that you accept different payment options to accommodate many customers. If you tie yourself down to accepting, say, Visa or MasterCard, then you lose out on potential sales from customers using debit cards or merchants like PayPal. The last thing you want is an interested customer who is ready to check out, only to find that his or her preferred payment option is not available.
Optimize for Mobile
Among the many people who shop online, a large chunk of them use their mobile devices. After all, browsing through products on your phone is extremely convenient. As such, you must ensure that your website design is optimized and responsive to mobile. You may have the best interface and user experience on desktop, but if you cannot deliver the same to mobile devices, then you miss out on a huge opportunity for sales. Thus, make sure you test out your design on different devices to ensure that you provide the same user-friendly interface on all of them.
Holiday seasons are the best time to offer promotions as they are the peak times when customers shop for items. Capitalize on the fact that many people look at online stores during this time since malls tend to be crowded. Give out some of your best offers, such as flash sales or massive discount codes, to get as many sales as possible within that time frame.
Starting up a small business is a huge challenge as it involves procuring the funds to start operations and filling in gaps in the workload with the limitations of a small staff. Without an investor or source of substantial finances, you may experience difficulty in leveraging your business and bringing in sales. As with any other business, you will undoubtedly benefit from a marketing strategy that bridges the gap between your audience, platform, and overarching goals.
Unlike traditional businesses that can go all-out with marketing efforts, small businesses need to be strategic in keeping costs low and results high. Generally, you want to focus on pushing your brand name out there by utilizing as many platforms that your team can manage. It is a multi-level process that, when executed correctly, will bring in consumers and revenue.
Create A Marketing Plan
The first step to marketing your small business is to create a plan. It can be as simple or as complex as you want but ensure that it focuses on three main themes: the brand, the brand position, and the target market. Forcing your team to spend time thinking about the business’ brand strategy will enable you to create a brand or product’s foundation, which will eventually springboard to bigger marketing and advertising decisions.
By understanding what your brand is truly about and what it aims to achieve, you can narrow down your target market, and from there, decide how to market your business. For instance, if you are opening a theme cafe, then your demographic market will likely be teens to young adults. Knowing this information is crucial in understanding which social media platforms to focus on, how fun the brand voice can be, what kind of designs you can use, and more.
Set Up An Online Identity
People of all ages are highly dependent on the convenience of digital platforms, especially in the decision-making process. As a result, it is pertinent for small businesses to set up a digital footprint. Even if you are aiming to sell your products or services to an older demographic, your business has to be searchable online for consumers to access customer service or information-driven functions.
The very core of your business’ online identity is a website — a business domain is relatively low-cost and an effective way to ensure online engagement. You may have to pay for a web designer, but if you are on a tight budget, then you can look into a free website builder for the meantime.
Apart from creating a website, the best free marketing platform you can utilize is social media. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok, you can directly communicate with your market, take feedback, respond to queries, and generate conversations and reactions. These are important in keeping your business relevant and processing feedback for later improvement.
Search Engine Optimization
The extent by which you can use the digital realm as a free marketing tool does not end with social media. You can look into search engine optimization (SEO) functions to bring traffic to your website. Consider using Google AdWords to target an interested audience through keyword optimization, a strategy that benefits large corporations and small businesses. Most companies create a blog section on their websites to centralize traffic generation. Focus on creating high-quality content, use titles that pack a punch, and keep a minimum of 1,000 to 1,500 words to fall higher on the Google search engine.
However, much like advertising, SEO is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on the type of services that you offer and the demographic that you are targeting, an entire blog section on the business’ website may not be necessary. Look into alternative solutions such as SEO through social media, and print and video content.
Establish A Local Presence
A fault that many small business owners make is utilizing a strategy that is too ambitious. There is nothing wrong with dreaming big and putting in strong marketing efforts, but it is sometimes more beneficial to start small and then make your way up. Establishing a local presence is a great way to spread word-of-mouth about your brand and get some of your first customers. It is as simple as letting friends and family know that you opened a small business. Word will eventually spread, and sometimes, a local audience is enough to keep small businesses afloat for years.
In consideration of a more tightly-knit consumer base, you can utilize traditional marketing strategies, depending on your business. For instance, if you opened a small cafe, handing out coupons or discount codes can bring customers. On the other hand, if you start a beauty supply business online, you can offer wholesale prices to local brick-and-mortar stores.
The possibilities of marketing small businesses are endless. Think outside of the box and be as creative and loud as possible to get people talking. Eventually, you will be able to generate a loyal consumer base, expand your business, and move on to higher-level marketing strategies.
If you’re looking for help marketing your small business be sure to connect with us via our chatbot, by email at [email protected] or over the phone.
Summer is here, and that means cold drinks, camping trips, and hot weather. But what’s a good summer without the right place to stay? We’re here to help! We’ve compiled a list of 5 unique listings in Canada that can complete your vibe for these hot months!
The first on our list is this gorgeous beachfront property in Gimli, Manitoba. This gorgeous property at 42 Merlin S is listed at $1,000,000 and features 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. With all that space, it’s the ideal spot for small gatherings this summer, and large gatherings down the line. For the artsy type buyers, this location also features a private art studio! So what makes this spot perfect for summer? Well, that would be the direct waterfront access, and jacuzzi overlooking the water. This spot is destined for lovers of water sports, and hot weather enthusiasts. See it here!
Next up on the list of properties is another gorgeous Manitoba property, however, this one uses a more modern design, perfect for those who may be used to urban environments. The property at 129 Autumnview Drive is currently listed at $1,050,000 and features 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. This smart-style home is a perfect party spot thanks to it’s built-in IPad controlled-stereo system & Basement game room! This property also has many windows that offer a panoramic view of the lake! See it here!
The third property on this list is located in Kamloops, British Columbia, and offers a unique look that can’t be seen on any other properties on this list! Featuring a whopping 9 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms, this is the perfect spot for big families who like to party! Currently, the house is listed at $1,020,000 and is a steal for the price! Though this property isn’t as updated as others on this list, for the space you get, it is totally worth every penny. The lot is located at 1979 Tranquille Road! The open concept of the kitchen, dining, and living room make it the perfect venue for your next big event! The property also comes with a massive backyard, to help with all your entertaining needs! See it here!
Fourth on this list of amazing summer homes is a country-style property located in Smithers, British Columbia! This property may only have 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, but it makes up for it with atmosphere. This property, which is located at 4679 Tyhee Lake Road, is currently listed at $1,190,000. This special lot gives you access to 30 Acres of lakefront living in a secluded little area. This spot is perfect for those who like a private and quiet spot. More interested in parties? No worries! The massive backyard is perfect to have all of your friends over to enjoy some drinks. See it here!
Last, but certainly, not least is a gorgeous property located in Birch Cove, Alberta! Though a Canadian property, there’s no doubt this design looks like it would match perfectly in Beverly Hills! Currently listed at $1,200,000, this property features 2+3 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms! What makes this the perfect summer home? Well, the large family room, bar, and sauna of course! This house is a perfect way to help get Still gotta work in the summer? Not a problem with this property, as it features an amazing office to help you be productive! See it here!
Hopefully one of these properties is exactly what you need for all your hot weather adventures, or maybe you’re just like me and would much rather just window shop and dream that works too! Hey, While you’re here, check out the rest of our website to see some amazing web design, graphic design, or more blogs!