Are your marketing efforts reaching potential customers and providing the sales leads you need to close the deal? If not, it’s time to modify your company’s marketing and sales plans. If you’re not seeing results, it’s not too late to try something new.
There are simple marketing and sales tactics every small business can implement, to ensure the next marketing campaign is a success. So, we’ve asked entrepreneurs and experts to share what works best for their companies. From refining a target audience to utilizing search engine optimation (SEO), here are nineteen basic marketing and sales ideas that you can easily do yourself.
1. Don’t let fear get to you.
Leverage everything: social media, friendsourcing, traditional marketing, messaging, public relations and other people’s money. Take risks, try new things and don’t let fear, apathy or failure get in your way. Running the gauntlet of business is scary sometimes, so marketers must stay focused, stay true to principals and values and drive change to grow and be profitable.
2. Focus on your target audience.
Too often businesses focus on every breathing person, their competition, or worse — themselves. If you focus on getting to know your target customer, identifying their needs, and addressing those needs then all marketing plans will fall into place.
3. Build trust with customers.
Once you prove yourself, your customers become your brand ambassadors, referring others to your business. The best marketing result is inbound, meaning customers come to you. Always go above and beyond to serve customers and keep your brand reputation in tact.
4. Speak up.
Get in front of your target market and speak. Speaking in front of a group of people positions you as an expert automatically and allows you to connect with your audience. When you speak, be sure to come from a place of giving and sharing – not selling. Most importantly be yourself.
5. Start a company blog.
Blogging platforms including Blogger, Tumblr, and WordPress are free and allow you to communicate directly to your customers. Why beg the local newspaper to write about your business, when you can do it yourself? Write posts about your customers, services, new products, post photos or videos and encourage comments. It’s free, effective and only requires a commitment of time and a little creativity.
6. Run an SEO campaign.
Every small business should develop a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. This is the most cost effective way to connect buyers with sellers. There’s no better way to market your business than to ensure your company is highly visible when a potential customer searches for your products or services online. By far, SEO gives us the highest return on our investment.
7. Spread your message.
Think like a journalist and you’ll get leads and earned media. Spend time crafting your message, define what differentiates your company, think about what makes your business ‘headline worthy,’ and why anyone would care enough to read about you. If you diligently do this you’ll capture people’s attention — including the attention of journalists.
8. Follow up using CRM.
When you attend events, create a follow up with potential customers you meet. Develop a system using customer relationship management (CRM) software, a contact management system or even an excel spreadsheet to keep track of potential leads.
9. Be consistent.
Make sure your brand message and company communications are consistent to create a strong connection with your target audience. Creating high quality and consistent efforts can make your company look as though it has a huge marketing team and million dollar budget.
10. Measure your marketing.
Measure your marketing efforts. You need to know what works and what doesn’t. Once you set metrics and review results, start testing new marketing ideas to see what works best.