As with just about anything in the business world, there are all kinds of tips and tricks out there that will instantly take your business to the next level. While some of the ideas seem legitimate and a great idea, you have to wonder if they’re going to be worth the investment.
Laying out a market strategy is much more difficult than simply having someone stand at the corner in a chicken suit, twirling a giant sign above them to draw attention to your store.
Marketing strategies and methods take time to create and implement. You don’t want to travel down one rabbit hole only to find out it was a bad investment and you didn’t gain any customers. Minding your money and your time are very important for any business owner.
So, what are some of the surefire marketing methods you should put your time and money into?
It’s interesting to think about Facebook 10 years ago and how the statuses were always “Joe Smith is…”
Now? Social media is king for communication, keeping up with friends, reading the news and uploading photos. It’s also becoming one of the most important marketing methods out there. Creating a page is free and promoting your page is much more inexpensive than traditional advertising.
You’re going to want to put a lot of time into social media, though. Your page needs to stay fresh, so make sure you’re updating it at least every two days if not daily. Post a blog, upload recent photos or simply talk about what products you have.
A Customer Referral Program
One of the most proven forms of advertising and marketing is word of mouth. How many times have you checked out a movie, gone to a restaurant or even listened to a song because someone you knew suggested it?
A customer referral program is the perfect way to capitalize on those word of mouth chances. Think about what kind of promotion you can offer for the referral program. It could be a discount or fun item they’ll receive.
Staying on track with the word of mouth theme, networking you and your business is incredibly important, especially if you’re in a smaller community. People like being able to put a name to a business. Knowing you means they’re more likely to trust you.
Plus, networking is mainly free. You may have to go ahead and purchase some business cards but overall it’s going to be pretty simple.
Time will be your biggest investment into networking, as you’ll have to spend time going to conventions, lunches, trade shows and networking events.
Marketing to Existing Customers
We’ve already covered the importance of a customer referral program, but what about a customer loyalty program?
People like to know they’re appreciated and one way to show your appreciation is offering rewards to current customers. That could be something as simple as having a stamp card for ice cream or giving a discount after 12 months of continued service. Rewarded customers are more likely to stay.
In addition, start sending out a newsletter or have people subscribe to your blog. That way, they can be up to date on any new developments, services or products your business has to offer.
This option is very dependent on the type of business you’re running, but video campaigns are a great way to bring in new customers while connecting with existing ones.
With many people ditching traditional print and media for other outlets, video is one piece of content that is exploding across all platforms. The production value could be high but the payoff could be even higher.
Endorsements and Partnerships
Having a local influencer, either in the community or through social media, is an easy way to reach a broader audience with your business. More likes and comments mean more eyeballs and looks at your business.
Partnerships are a great way to promote your business with another business. It could be something as simple as bringing in your receipt from one store could give you a discount in your store, and vice versa. Look for partners in the area who are also trying to promote their business and see how you both can scratch each other’s backs.