10 MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR SMALL OR STARTING COMPANIES.
Marketing is becoming easier for small businesses. With the arrival of social media, the marketing budgets do not have to be exorbitant anymore. The target group can be reached virtually ‘free’ via the right social media channels or through targeted online advertising campaigns at a small price.
With this ‘easy’ entry-to-market for starters and small businesses, however, there is a problem. You often have to do it yourself as a starting company and that is a lot of work! So how do you make the most of your time to ensure that your marketing activities (both online and offline) are actually seen by people? Below we give you our best 10 tips.
- The unique story behind the company
One of the best ways (if it is not the best way) to be noticed is by telling your story openly. Consumers want to buy from real people. They want to understand what your company stands for, who started it, what kind of people work there, etc. So be open and show a human story.
Also know that not only consumers are looking for this, but also the media! If you want them to knock on your door when they need an expert or experiential story, make sure they can find your story.
- Look beyond the store
If you want to reach a larger new audience as a store owner, you have to go to the web. Create a website with a blog that you regularly update with new blog posts and create social media accounts where you can immediately talk to potential customers. This interaction is of added value for both the customer and your company.
- Share your expertise
Let the public know that you are an expert. Publish tips, speak at events about your expertise and try to get into the media. In this way, potential customers associate you with expertise and excellence in your field.
Do not hesitate to share your expertise locally or voluntarily contribute to events. Your company will then be included in the internet marketing activities of the organizations you work for.
- Never stop expanding your network
Ask your most distinguished friends or business partners if they can bring you into contact with five people who are compatible with your company. Invite these people to the coffee and ask what it is that you could mean for them. Let them also hear what your plans are for your company. It must be a win-win situation for both parties. You will be surprised at the recommendations that these people can make to their friends. And how, if you build a good relationship with them, they can help you along the way.
- Local listings
If you have a physical store that you can visit, make sure you are optimized on Google for Local listings . This service from Google is free and it ensures that if a potential customer is in the neighborhood of your company and he searches online for your services or services, he sees your company appear high in the Google search results. Potential customers can also easily access all your information through the Google Knowledge Graph in the search results when they search on your company name. It is an extra service to reduce the contact threshold and improve the user experience of your customers online.
- Low hanging fruit
It may seem like a strange idea, but contact big companies in the same niche as you. Ask if they can refer you to the smaller assignments where they can not spend time themselves. This way you increase your customer base without touching your meager marketing budget. Of course, make sure you thank them heartily / richly for every reference.
- Offers extras to employees
Approach companies and offer them extras for their employees. For example, a special discount code for their employees that gives them a 20% discount on their first purchase. An additional advantage is that these companies will hopefully write about the deal on their website and link back to your website!
- Email campaigns
It can not be said often enough, but collect the emails from all your customers, business contacts and more. Even if you do not use this list in the initial period, it is very important! These are the people who have already shown interest in your company. You do not have to do field work for that step. However, you must keep them interested. And that is possible through well-designed e-mail campaigns. And with free or low-threshold apps (like Mailchimp), you can easily send beautifully designed e-mails to them. This keeps your brand in sight and they know where to find if they need a product or service from you.
- Sign up for Award shows
To strengthen the reputation of your company, it is a good idea to participate in an Award Shows in your field. If you can link a price to your company name, you will strengthen your reputation and the confidence of your (future) customers.
Many of these business competitions are free. It only takes some time to fill in the paperwork.
Hundreds of prizes are awarded to companies annually. Keep your eyes open for relevant Awards in your niche.
- Organize a group around your product or service
You can easily start a group on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Within this group of like-minded people you offer your target group something of value (information, experiences, answers, etc.) It is a good way to speak to your target group regularly, without wanting to sell something directly. It is informal and the discussion / conversation is not only of value to them, but also to you as you get a broader insight into your target group.