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Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

By Angela Rutzick, A –Type Marketing

September 29, 2014 0 Comments

No single marketing effort works all the time. You need to shake it up and rotate tactics. With all of the numerous marketing opportunities available today, businesses need to get creative with their strategy and deploy a wide array of tactics to achieve results to keep their customers engaged.

Here are 7 tips:

Track all of your advertising. How do you know if the money you’re spending on advertising is generating leads? How will you know what adjustments need to be made to future ads?  Creating a call to action in all of your advertising — whether online or in print — is one way you can track ROI (return of investment). Be specific in the call to action. Direct prospects to a “landing” page on your website (a page created specifically for your offer) or add a promo code in the ad for prospects to receive a free sample, complimentary analysis or other valuable offer.  Maximize your marketing and add helpful tips or important information about your business on the landing page.  Using a tool such as Google Analytics can also provide you with an array of valuable tracking information.

Interact and engage your customers with social media.  A very large percentage of your customers are already using social media. So why not use social media to interact with them? Social media has changed the way businesses communicate to their customers – from one to one to one to many. Others can share everything your company posts, which gives your content infinite sharing possibilities. There are many social media sites and tools. It is important to take the time and strategically choose the social media tool that works best for your company. Once you have made a selection, make sure your posts are consistent. Always remember the number one rule in social media is to attract customers not pursue them.  So make sure that whatever content you do post provides value.

Don’t be invisible. Volunteer on a committee. Sit on a board. Join an organization. Sponsor an event or sports team. Participate in a trade show. Sponsor a highway. Donate products or services as auction items or prizes for charities, raffles, and fundraisers. You can even achieve publicity for your donations by announcing them through radio stations, the chamber of commerce, nonprofit associations, and clubs. A word of caution: be strategic and choose those that align with your company’s philosophy. Remember you only get out of an organization what you put into it.

Increase your website’s search results. After meeting a prospect, you can assume that they are going to check you out on your website. Is your site responsive — viewable on mobile devices such as smart phones and notebooks? If not, you could be losing business. Since 2012, 85 million people visited a retail destination via a mobile browser or app on their smart phone.* Include words in your web content that customers use when they are searching for you. You should also update your content regularly. A great way to ensure that your site’s content is updated frequently is to develop a blog and then integrate it into social media sites.
*5/4/14 Forbes

Obtain customer testimonials.  The best time to get a testimonial is immediately after a “job well done” while it is still fresh in your customer’s mind. Be specific as to what you want your customer to say. You could ask them to finish a sentence: I really like (product/service) because …  You can also send them 5 questions to answer regarding their experience, and formulate a testimonial based on their answers – with their approval of course. If your budget allows, video testimonials are a great way to capture a customer’s experience, and it also gives them an opportunity to shine.

Create an advisory committee of your best customers for your business. Host your customers at a semi-annual meeting and dinner to discuss business practices, pricing, customer service, future products or services, etc.  It will prove invaluable.

Say thank you. Take the time to say thank you. Handwritten notes go a long way. When a prospect becomes a customer, thank them for choosing your company.  When someone makes a referral, thank them. Remember, you can’t say thank you enough. Should you choose, you can also tuck a lottery ticket into your note or another small token of your appreciation.

Above all, know your customer. Show them your appreciation. Communicate value. Be true to your mission and philosophy and in return, you will gain their loyalty.

Angela Rutzick is a guest columnist and Partner of Analytix Solutions. She is Principal of A-Type Marketing, a full service marketing and design agency.

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