The future of small business marketing
What really matters to your small business marketing and to your customers, in the foreseeable future, is the connections they have with your company and your team. As a small business owner, you must be looking to your outbound and inbound marketing and branding strategies to provide you with real plan to help you reach your business goals. All the trends in marketing are starting to form around four major ideas and these ideas are starting to gain traction with main stream marketing efforts. The secret is that large corporations have been using these tactics long before they hit the main stream. They are not the big secret everyone makes them out to be. You can build a plan to market and brand your company with that will bring customers to you. The pillars that support Brand Journalism and small business marketing in the future marketing will incorporate a brand centered strategy, build customer relationships, have defined ROI and incorporate storytelling.
Building brand for your small business marketing
When you build your overall marketing plan it should include your brand and who makes up your company. Some part of the plan must establish the owner and or the team that works for the company as an expert in your field. We suggest to our clients that they find ways to help their customers by answering the biggest questions they have, or addressing the most important aspects of the product or solutions they provide. This will help them establish them as experts as well as start to help identify a person they will do business with. If you combine this expertise with some of the things you do in your community it will help you build brand in a very powerful way to an audience that wants to know more about the companies they do business with.
Build relationships with customer base in your small business marketing
As a small business owner, you get to know your clients in ways that bigger companies do not. As you grow it is a struggle to meet with everyone you do business with. A small business marketing tactic that we use with our clients is to make sure that on a consistent basis the owner of the business is the focus of the outgoing marketing. We do this though images, content writing, and short video that help put a face to a name for the clients you have, we also enable everyone from the team to get involved in the monthly social media outreach. This allows that customer base to get to know you and your team in a way that build great connections. They will feel like they know you and that helps build real relationships. Often on a monthly or weekly basis we will have the owner answering questions that the customers commonly have through live events. These do not have to be long but if you address 2-3 questions each time the payoff will be big to the company. As a mobile phone society, it seems like we should be more disconnected than ever, but that we all crave authentic interaction with the people we do business with.
ROI for your small business marketing
When you spend money on marketing and branding you want to know that your efforts are paying off. Most of the time with any online advertising strategy seeing a return right away is rare. It takes time for a plan to get the right message out enough times to work. Here is the deal though, it should not take a long tome though. This comes down to that the content of your messaging needs to be better. Most of the time with our clients we see an impact in the first 48 hours an outbound effort. You should see a direct correlation between your marketing pieces and sales. If you do not see a monthly return on the effort then spend your time and money on more effective content. Sure, you can do some AB testing and see where your customers are responding. It is sad how many small business owners we meet that are doing the same marketing and advertising they have always done and not seeing any results, but keep doing it, because they know they need to do something to get the word out. Just make sure in whatever efforts you have you can see the results and they are helping you reach your business goals. Numbers do not mean results, so do not get sucked into a numbers game, make sure that each marketing effort has a goal that is reached.
Storytelling in your small business marketing
No longer do we listen to or watch commercials. We just skip them or tune them out. The age of super slick commercials is over, because consumers to not make buying decisions that way anymore. They want to hear a story that will be compelling and shareable. You focus for all your marketing and branding efforts should be focused on telling the story around your company. Who are you as a company? How do you solve the problems for your customers? What did your intern do this past summer? What is a hobby that you are into and why? The best way to pull all of this together and the cornerstone of brand journalism is to tell a story. In today’s market it is just better to have great content that pull people in. It is the glue and the heart of all great marketing plans today. Tell the story and do it authentically. Do it with your face, voice and words because that will make it real to people. Authentic content will get you a long way in marketing these days.
Small business owners that are marketing online or through traditional formats need to know that their efforts will pay off. The best way to ensure this will happen is by having a marketing plan that produces content that is compelling, shareable and authentic. Brand journalism is the way to deliver a realistic marketing plan and strategy that will provide you with storytelling content that works. When you are ready to get a marketing and branding plan that will drive customers to your door please consider using a nontraditional marketing firm that understands these basic principles.
Want to read more about our approach to small business marketing check out this post: