You’ve written a business plan, designed a logo, built a website, launched on social media and BAM! Time for sales to roll in. However; if you are like the majority of new businesses you may be hearing crickets.
You might be sitting on a great business but that means nothing if your customers can’t find you. Have you ever heard the saying, “Build it and they will come?” Well, that’s not usually the case. Don’t worry. We’re here to help you gain some brand exposure to get you off on the right track. Learn 5 marketing strategies to kick start your growth.
1- Know your customers
Customer profiles, also known as “personas,” are a way to define your customer. Before starting to advertise, perform an exercise to create the ideal customer for your business. By defining your customer, you can notice patterns that will benefit your advertising efforts. Identify attributes such as demographics, product usage, generation, income level, and geography. For example, the brand, LuluLemon’s ideal customer is a single, professional female named Ocean who makes $100,000 per year and drives a Subaru. Ocean is also engaged, owns a condo, travels, is fashionable, and has 30 minutes to work out a day. Pretty specific.
Pro tip: If you find out your ideal customer is not what you thought, don’t be afraid to pivot your marketing strategy.
Photo credit: Medium
2- Understand the importance of SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial when building a website. When people think of SEO, they generally vision a developer in their basement hacking away on a computer fooling us all with their algorithms. If you envision this – you are probably right. Google is really just a giant algorithm and while SEO gurus might not be hacking away in their basement, they have spent countless hours learning the system. Hire a professional or dedicate some hours teaching yourself the tricks and trades of SEO. If done right, it will pay off over time.
Pro tip: beware of the web designer who designs a really beautiful site but is not knowledgeable in SEO. You will be left with a masterpiece that no one will see.
3- Instagram and Facebook Social Media Engagement
Unless you are Kim Kardashinan, building a social media audience takes hard work and time. Forget the “get rich quick” ads that pop up in your newsfeed to grow your followers. They are using tools that Instagram frowns upon. Instagram knows when you are not being genuine and they will rank you lower in their algorithm preventing your followers from seeing your posts. Growing your accounts takes hands on action. For Facebook and Instagram, follow relevant users, businesses, and groups that would be interested in your business. Start interacting with these users by liking and commenting on their photos. In turn, they will be curious about who you are and if they’re interested they will follow your account. If you’re short on time, reach out to Chair 9 Marketing. They have an entire team of social media professionals who would be happy to give you some manpower.
Pro tip: strike up conversations with your followers. Facebook and Instagram will rank you higher in their algorithm if you are a real, genuine company who generates questions and interest from your followers.
4- Build Reviews
We cannot emphasize the importance of reviews. We live in a time where trust is the forefront of consumer buying decisions. Consumers are reading reviews at an increasing rate while the accessibility of reviews is growing. The market can be saturated and when a consumer is debating between your business and a competitors, they are likely to read reviews, especially in the restaurant, hotel, and the travel industry. A couple of ways reviews can help is by increasing brand credibility, improving SEO with mentions on external sites, create brand awareness, and drive traffic to your site. Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews.
Pro tip: Respond to EVERY review, good and bad. Companies that demonstrate they are present and on top of reviews stand out even if you are politely responding to a bad review. Don’t worry – they happen to everyone.
5- Google My Business
By creating a Google My Business profile you are setting yourself up for increased traffic, credibility, an easier way for people to contact you, and local foot traffic (if that pertains to you). Google My Business has tons of features such as Google Maps for your business, photos, contact information, reviews, posts, and social media links. Therefore; if a potential or current customer is conducting a search on Google, they can find what they are looking for on the results page without clicking. We are all looking to save time and as a business you should make it easier for customers to get the information they need. No clicks needed.
Pro tip: Keep your information current such as your hours, contact information, photos, and posts. As you can see below having current photos, reviews, contact information, posts and social profiles can lead to better search results and help your listing shine!
6- Do what works for your business and Always Be Testing (ABT)
Are you selling nursing bras to millennial mothers? You might have an entirely different marketing plan than a company selling thai chi to active seniors. What might work for one company will most likely not be the silver bullet for the other company. Don’t be afraid to test out different marketing channels, website layouts, and execution. You might be crushing it on Instagram but Facebook may be dead in the water. Your business may become a smashing success on YouTube, while another business may be getting 11 views. Always be testing.
Pro tip: Make sure you have tracking in place that measures success such as Google Analytics, social media pixels, and bookkeeping from day one to ensure you have full visibility of your analytics. Out of your wheelhouse? Hire a professional that can help you set it up but make sure you educate yourself with the general knowledge on how all the tracking is reported. Google Analytics and your accounting books will most likely places you visit often.