Small business owners are an unique bunch. We can say this without judgment because we are one: a small business marketing consulting firm. Cracking the small business marketing code is something that routinely perplexes owners and CEOs of small businesses. We see it every day, and we’ve been asked numerous times to provide presentations, seminars, articles and consulting on the small business marketing puzzle.
So, today we’re going to share the essential elements to marketing in an effort to create what might become your cheat sheet for how to think and approach marketing your small business.
Marketing your small business table of contents
Give your small business marketing a goal
Until you can narrowly define the results you want to achieve, or the primary reason marketing your small business supports overall business goals, your business will fall prey to “Fire, Aim, Ready!” syndrome. When you devote time and energy at the beginning of your marketing process to setting your sights and defining the results you expect from your marketing efforts, you give yourself a greater opportunity to see deposits in your business checking account.
- Marketing Without Goals is the Noise Before Failure
- The 5 Goals to Consider When Creating a Marketing Strategy
- How to Set Marketing Goals Based on Business Goals
- How To Set Marketing Goals You Can Actually Achieve
Define your ideal customer within your target market
A great deal about marketing has changed over the last few years, but one vital element has not changed. That’s the need to narrowly define your ideal customer. It’s only in the targeting of an narrowly defined ideal customer that allows you to build your entire marketing: message, website, tradeshow plan, new service offerings, public relations campaign, intake process, marketing materials, referral program and support around attracting, reaching, retaining and serving this ideal customer group.
- How to Create Your Ideal Customer Profile in 4 Questions
- 4 Essential Questions For Understanding Your Ideal Customer
- The Process for Finding Your Business’s Ideal Client
Find, claim and communicate the thing you do that ideal customers value
Small businesses that choose to compete on price, often say, “we all do the same thing” or “there’s no secret to what we do”. And there’s the issue. No company does everything the same, especially when you dig deep into how they deliver their service. Marketing your small business must involve finding, claiming and communicating some aspect of your service or firm that is both unique and valued by your ideal clients.
- How to Discover Your Point of Difference (And Avoid the Crowd)
- 5 Game-Changing Questions You Should Ask Your Customers
- Being Different Trumps Being Better Than the Competition
- How to Create Your Marketing Message Strategy
Map out the customer journey
The customer journey refers to the way your small business must address a prospect’s evolving relationship with your firm. It acknowledges that you need to get someone with a need to first become aware of you then trust you enough to buy and refer. Most owners view the customer journey using the outdated stages such as Awareness, Consideration and Purchase. We consult on a more effective approach: Awareness, Education, Sample, Purchase and Refer.
- Guide to Mapping the Customer Journey for Small Businesses
- Five Stages of The Customer Journey Mapping Process
- The New Rules of Starting, Building and Maintaining Your Brand
- 7 Ways Your Business Comes Into (or Should Come into) Contact with a Customer
Create content that amplifies your strategy
If you’re interested in successfully marketing your small business (and who isn’t?), you can’t escape content. It’s everywhere. But, so what? What does content actually mean for marketing your small business? Let us explain. Your best option today is to become a valuable and trusted informational resource to a narrowly defined customer. It’s all about being found and less about the hunt. Content is the new branding it’s how invisible buyers come to know, like and trust your firm.
- The Central Role of Content In The Customer Journey?
- Educational Content Is the New Referral
- Does Your Content Make a Great First Impression?
- The New Rules of Content, Marketing and Service
Develop lead generation strategies that make your expertise more tangible and visible to your ideal client
Generating leads is essentially a game of finding the right mix. There is no one magic way to generate tons of leads. You can never rely on one technique for marketing your small business. You need to deliver expertise through as many vehicles as you possibly can. This is the one mistake some small businesses make. The most effective lead generation occurs through the careful blending of offline and online channels that make your expertise more tangible and visible to your ideal client.
- Positive Customer Experience Is the New Lead Generation
- How to Generate a Steady Flow of Leads to Grow Your Business
- Generating Leads is Game of Finding the Right Mix
- Lead Generation: How to Blend Offline and Online Channels
Manage implementation by the calendar
Doing marketing is always the hardest part. Successful marketing essentially boils down to everything you DO or SAY that your ideal customer sees and hears. CEOs and business owners typically have remarkable technical expertise, whatever it may be. And you most likely didn’t take on that responsibility or start that business because you love marketing. Marketing is doing, and doing leads to having – whether “having” means revenue, profits, leads or awareness. Marketing strategies don’t fail in creation. They fail in implementation. Ensuring effective marketing strategy implementation is one of the highest payoff activities for success.
- The Small Business Marketing Calendar
- How to Plan a Marketing Calendar That Actually Works (Template)
- How To Create A Marketing Calendar That Will Streamline Your Campaigns