What Marketing Strategies Should Small Businesses Use?

As a small business owner or marketing professional, have you been relying on word of mouth and referrals for lead generation? Although being referred by happy clients is a welcome way to grow business, it’s not a guaranteed marketing strategy.This year, consider developing a real marketing plan. Now you’re going to need some formal tactics to attract leads, engage customers and position yourself as the ‘go to’ resource in your industry.

What tactics should you try?

With so many tools, tactics and strategies to choose from, it’s difficult to know where to start. Your marketing mix should consist of any combination of the following:

  • Your corporate website
  • Content marketing (blogs, keywords, webinars)
  • Email marketing
  • Direct mailers
  • Networking events / in-person meetings
  • Social media
  • Outbound calling / telemarketing
  • Public relations
  • Traditional media (TV, radio, print)
  • Digital advertising (Facebook, Google Adwords and pay-per-click)

Decide on an approach

Clearly, you can’t do it all. So you need to settle on a few of the best options. Research how your target audience wants to receive your message so you can deliver it in a way that makes it likely they’ll pay attention. Do they prefer email? A direct mailer? A networking event? Try surveying clients in both print and electronic media to find out.

Expand your reach with a combination of tactics

Any marketing tactic used in isolation will likely miss a portion of your target market. Consider a combination of tactics to expand your reach: Try networking, email marketing and direct mailers to give you broad coverage, connecting with a larger number of prospects and existing clients on different levels.

Networking

Meeting people in person provides special value. You can find many opportunities to make an impression and find new clients at industry conferences, educational workshops or Chamber of Commerce events.

Remember that networking has its own set of protocols. Don’t oversell or push your business cards into the hands of everyone you meet. Make friends first.Be helpful and take an interest in others. Then if someone has a need, your best marketing tool is waiting in your pocket – your business cards.Invite your networking contacts to call or direct them to your website for further information.

Push your networking strategy further by holding your own events. Why not set up a series of workshops to help your clients learn more about your industry? A client appreciation night can build relationships and possibly lead to referrals. Use your imagination – could you hold a professional networking event with a guest speaker?

Email marketing

You may have heard that email marketing is dead, but nothing could be further from the truth. According to a 2015 survey of over 5,000 marketers, 73% agree that email marketing is core to their business and 60% claim that email is critical to selling their products and services.

When used properly, email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies in your toolbox. Many customers want your news, discounts, offers and promotions and are happy sign up as subscribers.

Email marketing is effective because it allows you to segment your subscribers into groups with similar interests. That means you can personalize your email by matching your offers to their interests and purchasing history. The power of targeted, personalized email marketing should not be underestimated. To retain your subscribers, always provide something of value and include the option to unsubscribe.

Direct mailers

Traditional media complements digital media. Posters, flyers, brochures and other print materials such as business cards are often the vehicles directing potential clients to your corporate website, encouraging them to call, sign up or buy.

Print media’s advantage is that it lasts. Where attention is fleeting with digital media, a poster is a great way to catch attention outside your location, a brochure is often kept, and a card is frequently displayed on a counter or fridge door. Along with your logo and contact details, include a handy list, guide or a schedule of events that can be referred to in future, make it a useful reference source.

Some of your customers want to receive offers and promotions through the mail. Don’t miss out on connecting with them. Adding traditional print and direct mailers to your mix ensures you can connect with everyone they way they want to be contacted.

When planning your marketing strategy, trying to decide on which tactics to use can be overwhelming. Print Three can help you choose the methods that will be most effective for your business and target audience.Get started and learn more by contacting your nearest Print Three location.