Once you’ve decided to take your small business to the next level, marketing will become a vital and regular part of your efforts. However, you can end up wasting money and time on the wrong tactics if you’re not careful. Here is some marketing do’s and don’ts you can use to craft an effective marketing plan that will spread the word about your growing business and encourage the right people to make a purchase.
Do: Train Your Employees
Often overlooked by a lot of business owners, ensuring that your employees are properly trained can help you engage prospective customers and sell more products. The more your employees know about your products and how they compare to others in the industry, the more convincing they can be when they interact with people who might buy from you. Having knowledgeable ambassadors out there working on your behalf can be a smart marketing tactic and a great way to show the world that your business is a reputable one.
There are different types of compliance training that you can look into for this purpose. You should focus on those training programs that best address areas in which your employees need to improve. For example, if your employees know a lot about your products but need help delivering that knowledge, you might want to focus on public speaking workshops. Of course, before you select an employee training or compliance training program, it’s smart to do some research into their results so you can be sure it will benefit your workers.
Don’t: Try to Sell to Everyone
You might think your products are great for everyone. However, this kind of thinking can lead to muddled marketing campaigns that are vague, ineffective, and unsuccessful. If you want to create marketing materials that affect buyers and lead to purchases, you need to hone in on one group of ideal customers. This is often referred to as target marketing.
For instance, if you are selling cat toys, you might want to sell toys to anyone who owns a cat. However, for maximum effect, it’s smarter to focus on a certain kind of cat owner. Are your cat toys high-priced? In that case, you might want to focus on wealthy millennial women who own cats. By being as specific as you can about your ideal customers, you can more accurately address their particular needs and wants. That will make your marketing campaign much more successful than if you attempted to be all things to all people.
Do: Give Free Samples
As a small business owner with a business that is still growing, your mind might be on your balance sheet. The idea of giving away something for free can seem pointless and counterproductive. The truth is that a free sample can whet the appetite for more; by showing what you’ve got to offer, you can encourage people into making larger purchases at a later time.
Don’t: Forget to Evaluate Your Methods
Once you’ve started to work on different aspects of your marketing campaign, you may be so excited about it that you don’t stop to evaluate how well your efforts are working. For example, if you have been giving away free samples, you need to know how many of those samples resulted in subsequent purchases.
If you have been training your employees to give better presentations at trade shows, you may need to track whether more people are signing up for your product newsletter as a result. By evaluating and analyzing what you’re doing, you can more easily abandon things that aren’t working and build on the methods that are bringing in business.
Do: Ask for Feedback
You might think that sales are the only way to know whether customers are responding to your marketing campaigns, but remember that you can also just ask them what they think. You may not email or call every customer, but you can create surveys that ask specific questions that will provide insight into their minds.
For example, you might ask why they may or may not buy something after trying a free sample. You could ask whether they would like to see different packaging. Their answers will provide you with some things to think about.
To get people to agree to take surveys, you might offer a discount or another incentive so that they walk away feeling that they’ve earned something for their feedback.
Now that you’ve got some idea of what you should and should not be doing if you want to effectively market your small business, start using the information laid out here to guide your actions. Working with an SEO or marketing expert may provide even more assistance.