Here Peter Hanley looks at ways to promote my business to bring the sales and Income back. Times are tough and the tough need to get smarter.
What is the best way to promote your business?
I have no idea actually. The reason is every business is different so it is not a one size fits all package.
One thing that I do know is that the internet has made a difference to every business.
If you are not involved and your competitors are
you will miss out
You must backup your claims to a better business
It ends with the customer in your door or even buying online. That customer experience needs to be one that brings them back as a regular buyer.
I will show you how to get them in the door but you must show them you care.
A real life example of modern marketing
Within my local area are six Fish and Chip shop take away outlets. The latest entry would certainly find it hard to compete with the well frequented traditional outlets.
When they opened they concentrated on collecting client details. They offered a discount club, prizes and even giveaways to get people in
They then used that database to email and SMS special offers on a regular basis. Family pack, a free new dish to vote on, a packet of chips etc.
Now 12 months late I am witnessing the demise of perhaps three of the other outlets that have done nothing new.
Thw new one is also a higher priced supplyer but is creaming the market.
Where is your data base and what can you do with it?
So often I visit small businesses and ask to see the Data base. They generally respond they have one but it is not in a useable condition. Well I respond set alight to it because it is wasting space.
Knowing your customers is essential to the modern marketer
You must have normal information like name, address, email and Mobile phone number for contact purposes. You must also have customer likes and dislikes . It is no good sending a Fish offer to a Pizza buyer it just won’t move them.
This is modern marketing get with it or get out.
I want your business and I am prepared to market for it
Now I want you to repeat after me,
“I want your business and I am prepared to market for it.”
and again, Ok let’s do this
First of all, we should toss around a few ideas.
Your business hinges around a Webpage
If you don’t have one build or buy one now.
How to build a Website at WA
When we Google a business we Google your site. It may be for a phone number, an address, what you sell or even something about you.
You will learn that all Social Media is there to deliver buyers to your website.
Your website is there to SELL when you can’t and never to send them back to Social media.
A website, Funnel, Blog site are have much the same purpose.
One big change of recent times is the site must be suitable for a Mobile phone or Tablet. A larger percentage of people are searching on mobile devices than ever before.
Why use WordPress to build a web site
Social media is a must do.
You can not be every where at one time but you should be several places all the time.
Let me explain this further before we go too deep.
Social media takes time, your time away from your business and that is why I suggest you specialise in one media to start. Although there are some necessary steps.
LinkedIn a must have for business
Every person in business should be a part of LinkedIn. This is regardless of all other elements. It is a businessman’s who is who and what they do. Accountants, lawyers Bankers, recruitment will use this as a tool to understand you and your business better. Have a nice Picture plus a good write up and a few basic articles.
If you are a private person and don’t want to share this info that is perfectly ok, just get out of business and go do a day job.
I am serious, you are a brand and that brand needs exposure.
Yes you can market with linked in and they have a lot of articles on this but for the small business owner, there are better choices.
Facebook is an easy media to manage.
Setting up a business Facebook page does require a personal one to start but then you are away.
This is just the first step but a really important one.
You must regularly post to Facebook or it looks like a lost graveyard. However what the heck do you post?
Your aim is to deliver readers to your business or website without being a salesman.
The old adage of know like and trust starts here. Facebook starts the journey. Post interesting items, personal insights, topical insights, product uses, customer reports and preferably items that people may like or share.
We always aim to grow a following by entertaining.
Then you start to use Facebook
You can advertise on it, you can use retargeting and really build a following that will come to your business.
One way I do Facebook is to set up a week in advance by scheduling the posts. Takes about half an hour and every day is covered. This is not then a chore that you avoid.
Now for Instagram the new Darling of young and not so youn
Instagram has taken over all other media in feedback and retention. I have said before I don’t really get it but it works.
Businesses are getting better feed back on Instagram than facebook with the same posting.
Then there are some only using Instagram to huge success. Pictures and stories and building a Know and like base.
Try it and see.
Email is still King
Believe it or not, this continues to work, costs very little and delivers results.
A newsletter format is necessary for every business. Do it or be dammed.
I was just talking to a customer who said he had a base of 10,000 customers on his list which he considered pretty good. My question to him was “Ok, but what do you do with them?”
“Nothing” was his reply as I shook my head in disbelief.
A newsletter is an effective and very cheap means of contacting customers.
When you build your list use it.
Don’t ignore your customers. Keep at them so they remember you and want to buy from you when the time is right.
It is no good selling Ice to Eskimos as the saying goes but when the Eskimo want’s a new sledge dog they will come to you because you have built up trust.
Finally SMS marketing
This can work really well in many businesses. Sending out a special, new product launch or specific information will get you an instant response. Test and try so you improve your results.
Customers of mine have a monthly product launch backed by a supplier. Breakfast, giveaways and show bags.
Traditionally they called each invitee and advised them and tried to solicit a response.
Now they SMS a week before and the morning of the event and get a greater turnout at less cost.