Where large corporations succeed, small businesses often suffer. Coming up with a Small Business Marketing Strategy is a complex proposition, but one that is necessary for the growth and survival of your business.
But if you have limited resources and knowledge of the concept, how can you succeed? Here are 5 steps every small business owner can take to get started in a successful and sustainable marketing strategy.
5 Steps to a Small Business Marketing Strategy Anyone Can Follow
1) Start With a Website
In the past few years, a business website has gone from optional to absolutely essential. Without it, you cannot provide a reliable way for potential clients to find you and contact you for more specific information.
Without a website, you have to rely entirely on the notoriously unreliable word of mouth alternative. A website, however, especially when optimised for search engines, allows your audience to find you easily when they look for a business like yours.
2) Find Your Niche
Next, it's time to understand exactly what type of audience you will be targeting. Your choices here can vary wildly. Audiences differ based on their geographic location, demographic information, and even the interests and aspirations they tend to share. Which of these segments works best for you depends entirely on your product or service.
One step to finding your audience niche is to better understand your existing customers. Can you find common characteristics among them? What exact needs does your product or service solve, and what audience group might be most interested in that solution? What income levels are you looking to target?
3) Understand Your Competition
Within your niche, who are the businesses most likely to provide competition for your audience's attention? That competition may be direct, such as other business offering the same products or services. But it could also be indirect; a women's clothing boutique, for instance, may compete with a shoe store for the same audience segment and discretionary income.
The key is to find a niche with the perfect balance of audience size and competition. Narrowing your niche too much may reduce potential competition, but will also limit your business opportunity. Widening it, on the other hand, not only makes your messaging less focused, but also increases the competition. Finding middle ground is crucial to success.
4) Highlight Your Benefits
With the above two variables in mind, it's time to work on your messaging. More specifically, you have to formulate what marketing experts call a unique value proposition: what is the core benefit you can provide to your audience that no one else can?
That value proposition may be focused on convenience (no one else can do it on such short notice), price (no one is cheaper), or value (you get the most with our product or service). But be careful to focus on sustainability. Price, for example, can easily turn from unique to problematic if a competitor decides to slash its own prices.
5) Find the Right Marketing Partner
By going through the above four steps, you have established a marketing framework poised to help you succeed. Now, you need to build a strategy based on that framework.
This is where many small businesses struggle the most. A large number of online and offline marketing opportunities all promise to be effective, but how do you know which is best?
One way to make the right decision is to partner with a marketing agency who has experience in your field and working with companies your size. In fact, the right partner can help to both build your website and find the right marketing channels to help you grow your brand awareness.
We'd love to be that partner for you. Contact us today to learn more about our services, and how we can help you be successful in marketing your small business even if you have limited knowledge of the topic.