Many small businesses owners also neglect this concept. Small business marketing must focus on this marketing concept just as much as large corporations do. Branding consists of the pictures, logo, design scheme, layout, make up, and image of your products and even your company. Branding is how your customers perceive (please place a lot of emphasis on that word!) your products and company. Make sure to pay special attention to what kind of brand you are building through each step of your planning and implementation.
Promotion and Advertising
Promotion and advertising is a very complex marketing concept, but must be considered for any type of business and its products and services. Once you engage the previous 8 marketing concepts, you must finally let your target market know about you and your products. Proper promotion and advertising will result in effective brand recognition, and, ultimately, increased sales.
Now, let’s talk about a question to ask yourself as you are developing a winning marketing strategy and plan.
Do you really understand your market and your competition?
I’ve known web designers who designed a website entirely off the “cool factor.” When Flash first hit the scene, everyone wanted to integrate flash into the site. These web designers were primarily graphic designers who were building web sites. But the really successful webmasters looked past all the cool stuff and animation, to the real functionality of the site. In that field, there has always been an argument of aesthetics vs. functionality. It takes a very wise and talented webmaster to find a good marriage of the two. Think about your own business – are you gaga over a really cool product or service to the point that you’re blind to what the market really needs and wants? No matter how “cool” you think your product or service is, if people don’t want it or think they need it, you won’t sell it. It’s that simple. So, try to remove yourself from personal attachments and do some market research. A profitable market is like a river full of starving fish. Just cast your line with some good bait and watch what happens.
Here are some questions to help you stay on track:
Is there a segment of your market that is not being served well?
Is this segment large enough to make a reasonable amount of income?
What percentage of this market do you need to gain to see profits?
Who are your major competitors? Is the market flooded with competition?
How well is your competitor serving the market? What are his weaknesses?
How can you capitalize on the mistakes he is making or where he is falling short?
How can you uniquely serve this market?
Do you feel your market will be receptive to your unique offering?
I recommend that you spend some time with a notebook and pen and really get these questions answered – in writing! It may take you a while to come up with the answers, but you’ll be glad you spent the time in the long run. Don’t skip over this step.
Ideas for Small Business Marketing
Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC)
For a tech-savvy business man or woman, Pay Per Click marketing proves to be a strong business marketing method. But, entrepreneurs using Pay Per Click should know what they’re doing or their cost per conversion could rapidly break unknowingly. The key to a productive Pay Per Click marketing drive is continuous oversight.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Unlike Pay Per Click advertising, Search Engine Optimization pays off slowly but a lasting prospect is feasible. On average, 75% of a business website’s traffic come from organic search engine queries. Remember that search engines wouldn’t mind your advertising budget. What they look into is the SEO strategies you employed on your site What are important are the SEO strategies that you have on your site.
Public Relations (PR)
Public relations are perhaps the parent of all small business marketing ideas since advertising campaigns was started. Nailing your offline and your online PR campaign is a very good way to build-up awareness, authority, trust, and loyalty to your business. Online public relation through PR Wire is very cost-effective small business marketing strategy, for example.
Twitter and Facebook Places
Adding to the micro blogging and the syndication power of Twitter and Facebook are their new free service to all business marketers: the Twitter and Facebook Places. This application allows you to integrate your Tweets and Facebook updates to display a map where your business is located.
Online Business Directories
Today, clients are prepared to junk yellow pages in favor of the more interactive online business directories to find local businesses. If you’re not included on several online business directories, then it means you’re losing on a lot of small business marketing ideas. You’re missing on citation burst that could have tremendous positive impact on search engines.
Online Word of Mouth
And the last small business marketing strategy that’s paying huge dividend is online word of mouth. This includes glowing customer reviews on online directories, blogs, and social media sites. Seventy percent of future clients trust online reviews, so it’s time to start looking into ReviewBiz, for example, and start strategizing.
I know that was a lot of online small business marketing ideas to study let alone implement. In fact, imposing and managing all these online marketing ideas can even be time consuming. Don’t worry though because there are solutions you can find on the Internet that should help you implement the marketing strategies above.