Being a marketing consultant in Cumbria, I think is one of the best jobs in the world! We are so lucky to have the Lake District on our doorstep and have so many visitors to the area every single week. But how do we harness this to market a small business? How do we ensure we are getting the most from our marketing efforts? Here I have 10 top tips to help you get started.
- Work out who your target customers are
Give them a name too!!! Yes I am being deadly serious.
To prevent wasting handfuls of your hard earned cash marketing to the everyone, or maybe even to the wrong people, how about spending some time thinking about your current customers and your target customers and making a list of why your business appeals to them. Make a note of demographics too; how old are they? Where do they live? Do they all fall into a similar age bracket? Do they all have the same type of hobbies and interests? Check out your competition too. Don’t be afraid to do some market research on them. Building a clear picture from the beginning based on research and analysis will really help you target your marketing more effectively both on and offline.
- Socialise on Social Media
There are so many statistics out there that give you an idea of the size and scale of social media and the most recent figures state 45 million social media users in the UK. This equates to 67% of the entire population! Of these, 39 million of them use social from their mobile devices and spend on average 2 hours scrolling through social media sites. More stats can be found in this article from We Are Social. Now it’s not too late to get in on the action and start using social media to market your business, but the key to success is working out which platform(s) will be most rewarding for you and your business. Go back to your target market and do some research into which platforms they are likely to be on and using frequently. I found this report from Avocado Social which may help too!
- Understand that marketing and advertising are different
Please don’t be fooled – there is much more to marketing than just advertising and having a website. Think about creating your brand, what do you want to represent? What is the tone of voice? From your research and analysis try and determine and create a language that will best influence the audience you’re trying to target. Certain groups of individuals respond better to images and others respond better to words. Figuring out what works best for your target audience is one of the most important processes of marketing.
- Set sales goals and targets
Marketing in the modern world really is a numbers game. Having a basic understanding of what your goals are in terms of revenue, expenses, profit, number of enquiries and of course, new sales will help plan your marketing campaigns. Marketing efforts that won’t directly or indirectly bring in new business really are probably not worth your valuable time or cash. Think about producing campaigns that will excite and engage your audience.
- Ask for referrals
Don’t be shy to ask your customers for referrals. No doubt you will have seen all of the big banks offering you free money to refer one of your friends to take a bank account with them. This is referral marketing and something that is VERY valuable for any business. Asking your customers refer someone for a small reward may seem like a costly marketing exercise but it can really prove its worth once new clients start rolling in.
- Build relationships
It’s a lot more cost effective to keep a customer you already have than to go out and find a new one. Establishing strong, trusting relationships with your customers is critical. Keeping in touch with them through email marketing, direct mail marketing or another method that they are happy to be contacted by, can prove to be very effective. Draft your communications so they are helpful, informative and professional and your customers will start to look forward to receiving your marketing messages.
- Get yourself a Google Business Place
I can’t begin to stress how important it is that you have a Google Business Place and that you keep it up to date with relevant imagery, opening hours and contact details. Not only will it drive customers to your premises or website, but it plays a vital part in local SEO. It also allows customers to leave reviews about your business too – so make sure you keep an eye on it and respond to all reviews.
- A show stopping website
Your website’s job is to grab the attention of your potential new customer but should also keep your existing customers engaged. The online world may seem very scary to many small business owners but embrace it successfully and your business will fly! Make sure your site is well built, easy to use and will engage your target audience. Make sure you share regular content updates to your site and that you use it as your digital shop window.
- Set up a blog
Speaking of SEO and Google, there really isn’t a better way to engage with your customers and keep the search engines happy than writing a blog. Setting one up costs very little and as long as it is maintained it will allow you to create content that is useful for your search engine presence and that you can use to share posts onto social media. Interviewing staff members, getting tips from other experts in your field, or giving top tips are always useful and can help you to build trust with your audience.
- Get Nattering
Every opportunity, planned or not can represent an opportunity for you to promote your business venture so always carry a couple of business cards wherever you go. You will be amazed at how many people are interested in your business and how quickly word can spread! Keep in touch with as many people as possible – you can never have too many friends, even if they don’t end up as customers, they can still be ambassadors for you and your brand!
Drop us a line and let us know how you get on, we would love to hear from you!