5 essential marketing tips for small businesses

Finding new clients is one of the biggest challenges of running a business. Especially when your business is new and unknown to the world, getting your marketing communication right will help to build your brand and grow your client list.

Before you do anything, be clear on who are your ideal potential customer is. Define the key demographic criteria and the interests of your audience. Consider defining factors such as their key pain points, look at what motivates them and how do they communicate. These factors will impact the messaging you use and the way you communicate.

Equally important is the stage of their buying journey as it impacts the level of education required about your products and services. You will be able to establish that through their interaction with your business and their role. Defining your key buyer personas and their standard behaviours and interests will enable you to create targeted communication strategies.

1. Analyse your potential clients

Work with what you know. Look at what your potential customers are looking for and how they communicate. Web traffic analytics is a good starting point to understand your audience’s interests and behaviours. Depending on the data available, look at return on investment on your previous marketing efforts. Marketing can be expensive; so it’s important to know what are you getting for your money.

2. Define your differentiators

It’s important that your potential clients  understand what it is that you do and how does it link to their needs and wants. In the competitive market you need to differentiate yourself and make your business stand out. It’s all about client focus – what benefits does it bring to them and what would make them stop looking for similar services elsewhere. Keep it simple. You only have their attention for a limited period of time so make the most out of it.

3. Communicate the right message

Common language starts a conversation. By understanding the terminology your potential customers use, you will be able to connect and form relationships. Make it easy for your audience to understand your message and use clear calls to action. It will eliminate any confusion and make it much more likely that they will respond. There is no universal call to action – think about specific communications and adjust it accordingly. Sometimes you will find that businesses use all the right words, but missing the “so what” element. It’s important you not only communicate the message but also include how it impacts the recipient.

4. Segment your potential clients

One message doesn’t fit all. Segmentation will take you further. With prospects you should be focusing on getting their attention and keeping it for as long as possible, whilst with clients you want to mature the relationship. There is a great advantage in knowing your client and therefore being able to tailor your activities around their needs. In both cases it’s important to take note that there is a human at the other side of the communication so keep it real and be reasonable.

5. Show results

Trust sells. If you can demonstrate that you have a proven track record of delivering results, this will add credibility and build trust with potential clients. Your audience will form their views based on the success of your business and its reputation. Collect data, feedback, testimonials, ask for recommendations and connect your potential clients with existing ones. Nothing sells better than a recommendation. Put together a portfolio of successful projects that you delivered and speak up about all the success you had.

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