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James Cummings
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Top Online and Offline Strategies to Market Your Small Business Effectively

James Cummings

November 07, 2017


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Putting a small business in the face of potential customers and convincing them to buy from you is one of the first and most difficult aspects of starting a new business. There are so many ways to gain visibility for a business however, for new starters; the potential landmines involved can be quite overwhelming.

Marketing a small business nowadays is a highly involved process and to achieve any significant results, you need to be working two angles – online and offline – to ensure you are not missing out on any opportunities. Consider the following strategies to market your small business effectively

Online strategies to market your small business


First and foremost, if you are tech-savvy, then you are already on to a good start. Also, since most small businesses do not have a hefty marketing budget, low-budget online marketing methods are a great way to get your business on the map. The most effective (and cheapest) online strategies to market your business include the following:

Build a website

To market online, your business needs to be online. Start by getting a domain namefor your company, then host your website on a reliable hosting provider. While working with your hosting company and website building company, ensure they make the website mobile friendly and as fast as possible. Provide information about your company, products and services in a professional manner. There are some DIY website builders that you can use if you prefer to save money on building a website.

Advertise

There is a wide range of advertising tools just waiting for you on the internet to help you elevate your position online. Google AdWords can help you bring your ad in front of the millions of Google users and websites showing google ads. Yahoo and Bing have the same system as Google for placing and running ads. You can also use the direct advertising method and search for websites on the internet that are relevant to your business and negotiate with them to show your ads.

Email Marketing

A strong email marketing strategy is one of the more personalised and highly effective ways you can reach and connect with your target audience. Having the email address of a potential customer means one thing: they are at least interested in your business enough to want to hear what you have to offer. With email marketing, you can build on that interest level and increase it, and with the right email marketing tools, you can reach and engage customers easily. Email marketing can certainly help you sell, but the brand awareness factor should not be completely ignored either. Therefore, send useful and informative content to your customers without bombarding them with sales adverts, and they would be sure to remember you – for good.

Polish Your Online Reputation

Business owners know that a business reputation takes time and patience to build, but one singular bad decision or action can get it toppling overnight. They also know that a good reputation grows trust which leads to sales and a long line of loyal customers. These business facts also work the same way online. You have to take the time and effort to build and polish your online reputation in order to be seen as a reliable business. The best way to do that is to consistently provide high quality services to customers, backed up with good customer service. Other methods include running targeted social media campaigns and publishing useful content on a regular basis.

Offline Strategies to Market Your Small Business

Sometimes, effective marketing means pressing the sleep button on your computer and stepping out to do some of the work on a hands-on, person-to-person basis. Here are some offline strategies to really balance out your efforts to increase awareness about your business.

Prioritise Relationships

Now is the right time to note that people do not buy from companies, they buy from other people. As a small business owner, the importance of being personable and paying attention to maintain client relationships cannot be over emphasised. It really doesn’t matter if they are one-time shoppers or long-time customers. Build long lasting relationships with your customers by communicating regularly, offering incentives and asking for feedbacks.

Attend Networking Events

By attending networking events, you can raise your visibility and that of your business. Such events will also help you meet other small business owners, and start to build new relationships with them. There’s more to networking than just turning up at events, you are creating connections with other people that can help you boost your business skills and sales further. At networking events, make sure to introduce yourself to someone or join in on a discussion with a larger group of people and just take it from there.

Utilise Consistent Brand Signage

Signage for your business is important, and one of the different ways of creating a strong brand identity. It is important for your signage to be consistent, i.e. the offline signage matching the one online. For example, your business logo and the colours you associate with your brand should be the same on your website as they are on any print materials and offline signage including brochures, business cards, posters, billboards, street signs and so on. People should be able to recognise your brand no matter where it is represented.

Be Smart With Your Business Cards

You can reach a wide number of diverse offline audiences by making use of your business cards. You can either have them commercially made or use low cost websites such as Moo or Vistaprint to create and print out high quality cards with your logo. Ensure you have a stack of business cards with you at all times, you never know when the opportunity to meet a potential customer could come. Also, take them with you to networking events to exchange with like-minded business owners.

A combination of these highly effective online and offline strategies can make up a powerful secret weapon when it comes to marketing your business. You could end up recording resounding sales and building a formidable customer base within the first few years alone.


                   



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