Running a small business takes a lot of hard work. Not only must you have an idea (product or service) that the general public can benefit from, but you must develop a strategy that will get consumers interested in it. For many entrepreneurs, all of this must somehow be done on a limited budget and fewer resources than their larger counterparts. Fortunately, there are marketing strategies both online and off that provide an affordable means for small businesses spread the word about what you have to offer.
You may believe that, in a digitally inclined world, no one would still be using snail mail as a means for getting the word out. The reality is that it is still very effective. As fewer businesses invest in traditional methods such as mailings these methods give you a better opportunity to shine. Whether you’re informing local residents of a grand opening, following-up on customer requests, sending out notices of thanks or mailing promotional offers, you don’t have as much competition when you send word through the mail. For a direct mail campaign to be efficient, entrepreneurs must be creative in their approach and pay attention to even the tiniest details from the type of fonts used down to the rubber stamps used to ink a logo or company address on a postcard.
As the use of email accounts increased over the last several decades, businesses have taken a new approach to sending out mass mailings. Email marketing campaigns can be very effective for generating new leads, building brand awareness and developing customer loyalty. Entrepreneurs have used such campaigns for newsletters, promotional offers, press releases, and more. For it to be a success, business owners must have a clearly defined goal, a strong understanding of their target audience, and, of course, a list of emails. Proper execution will require the use of the right platform whether you use a popular email account (Google, Outlook, etc) or through email marketing service platforms like MailChimp and Constant Contact.
Videos have picked up in popularity over the past few years. Online users enjoy watching videos about topics relevant to them and often prefer such digital content to other options like print. Entrepreneurs can take advantage of this by developing a video marketing campaign. Videos can be used to tell a story, demonstrate how a product or service is used, introduce your brand to the world, to entertain, and as a delivery mechanism for testimonials. In order for it to work effectively, you must develop engaging and entertaining video content that speaks to your target audience. Creating Vlogs, sending out videos through email campaigns, posting explanatory videos to your website, or introductory videos on social media have all proven to be effective in increasing online visibility and sales.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is an affordable and very resourceful tool for entrepreneurs to leverage. These are platforms where small businesses have the opportunity to really connect with their target audience on a personal level. Social media marketing campaigns can be used to build brand recognition, strengthen customer relationships, collect data relevant to their target audience, resolve conflict, and gain credibility within your industry. Of all the above-mentioned marketing strategies, however, social media is the most tedious. As each platform is different and draws in a different audience, it will be necessary for entrepreneurs to first identify which platforms their target audience uses. Next, they’ll need to create professional pages to gain a following. Each social media page will need a variety of content (blog posts, memes, pictures, videos, etc), and will also need to be managed with timely consumer responses and daily interaction.
As the “little guy” in a big world, if you’re going to make it in business, you’ve got to be willing to put in the hard work. Defining your brand, learning your target audience, and consistently executing marketing campaigns like direct mail, email marketing, social media, and video to cultivate new relationships, generate leads, and build your online (and offline) presence is necessary. Thousands of businesses are successful at doing this each year. The trick is to find which strategies work best for you and execute them with precision.
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