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Today’s Guest Blog, ‘‘Marketing Strategies That Work for Any Industry—and 2 Creative Ways to Fund Them.’ is provided by Jessica Larson.
My name is Jessica Larson, I’m a married Midwestern mom and a solopreneur. I create online courses for students, and I’ve started and run several other businesses through the years. My goals are to support my family while still actually spending time with them, to act as an entrepreneurial role model for my two daughters, and to share what I’ve learned through
When you get down to it, marketing is figuring out how to make more sales. It doesn’t matter how it’s done, as long as profits are made.
With that in mind, why spend money that doesn’t need to be spent? For small business owners, strong marketing begins with examining the data that is already present. No matter the industry, the key to successful marketing is adapting to changes. Thus, following customer trends and desires will lead to sales-driving data.
As the world continues to change, small business marketing should turn inward. Here, we’ve come up with two practical and accessible marketing tips to use today, plus a couple of ways to generate some extra capital when it’s time for a boost.
Marketing Strategies That Work for Any Industry
and 2 Creative Ways to Fund Them
All Marketing is Not Equal
Proven marketing strategies that are easy to implement and almost certain to deliver a positive return on your investment are out there for your business, and you have to know where to find them. The following two concepts are essential for any business owner to understand, and you can implement them at little or no extra cost.
Watch the market leaders, and not just within your industry. Industry giants are going to influence trends and drive expectations. These brands will have spent the money on researching what customers want. As well, they’ll have the experts working to turn that data into usable marketing.
Follow their lead! Unless you can match the robustness of a Fortune 500 corporation, let them do the work for you.
Storefronts should look at the methods used by market leaders. Have you ever thought about why supermarkets place staple items at the back of the store? Or, why do electronic stores like Best Buy use diagonal layouts with a significant walkway through the store?
The answer, of course, is marketing. The best store layouts are set up to direct the customers, and premium items on an eye-level display will catch their attention. Showcasing a sound system on the way to the top-name TVs will help drive extra purchases.
Also, don’t forget to study your direct competitors. Assume they’re looking at the same data as you are. You’ll have to be on top of their actions to stay ahead.
Look for gaps in the market. Then, ask yourself the following questions:
- What aren’t your competitors doing that you could be?
- What do their customers ask for?
- How can your business solve the issues of your competitors’ customers?
It is a great way to establish a more significant market presence. Track how and when their customers shop. Is it online or at a storefront? Does the industry offer services that are popular at certain times of the year? Does your main competitor watch hourly sales numbers? If so, why are you just watching the weekly figures?
If you’re online, look at search trends and competitors’ marketing campaigns. Google Analytics and other data-tracking tools are a great start. They allow you to see how people are finding your business and those of your competitors. Use these tools to compare relevancy and traffic. From here, you can revamp the robustness of your site’s SEO to help drive more traffic.
Trend Toward the Future
The pandemic has revealed key trends across all industries. Mobile shopping is vast, and it will keep growing, so tech integration is here to stay. Having a website is a bare minimum these days. And even then, it must be optimized for customer engagement.
Websites should be focusing on CTAs based on visual design. This means:
- Simple page design is critical. Use contrasting colors and interactive links.
- Never overwhelm your audience. Let websites guide with logical pathways.
- Personalize your CTAs (calls to action) to your specific customer group.
- Use optimized links in your blog to push affiliate marketing.
Influential online shopping sites funnel potential shoppers into buying something. So, use the page to do the work for you. No matter how many pages your site has, ensure pathways toward a checkout. As well, set up your eCommerce site to suggest complementary purchases.
It is also true for retail stores. Curbside pickup has exploded during the pandemic, while online shopping drives a vast sector of sales. Integrate a BOPIS system to cater to both in-store and online customers. As soon as you can, release a mobile shopping app, simultaneously incorporating loyalty rewards when customers sign up. Track shopping habits while staying technologically relevant.
For What Should You Be Paying?
Do you need to hire a marketing firm? How can you pay for a website makeover? Here are two answers to help any small business owner.
Start With What’s Free
When was the last time you visited your local small business development center (SBDC)? Do you even know it exists? If not, you’re missing out on a powerful tool for your business. SBDCs are in every state, and they have backing from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Among a list of services, they offer:
- Tutoring from trained industry experts.
- Free services range from website building to market research.
- Group and individual training courses.
- Help to find financing options.
- Market feasibility and research.
These advisors provide training on nearly every aspect of business—from cash flow to honing your marketing plan—for little to no cost.
SBDCs also make for great networking resources. These experts are often successful business owners themselves, and they’ll have the skills and knowledge to watch trends and reading the market. Plus, having a skilled accountant or system administrator in your circle is good business sense.
You’ll also meet other small business owners. Get comfortable with speaking to them. Find out what they’re doing, what’s working, and what isn’t.
Loans Can Be Powerful
Sometimes, you’ll need to spend some cash to get results. Marketing automation tools cost money. Other times, rebranding is the key to saving a business. How can a business owner find the funds, though, especially if they’re trying to catch up with sales?
Enter small business loans. No one likes debt. And loans come with fees and interest that can diminish their worthiness. Still, loans can be capital infusions. If your business plan is sound, then it should cover the loan within a safe timeframe.
Small businesses should look at local banks first. These lenders offer competitive rates, and they often focus on small businesses that will do well in the community.
SBA loans are another attractive option. These loans also feature prime rates, but they have stringent requirements, including solid credit scores and proven cash flow.
In other words, both your personal and business finances must be strong. Be smart and carefully build your credit. Most lenders will be looking for:
- Financial stability and lending worthiness.
- Low debts and high profits.
- A sound business plan with proven success.
- Minimum yearly revenues.
- A spotless history of on-time payments.
- Strong credit scores (personal and business).
Many lenders require a personal credit score of at least 600 for consideration—however, the higher the credit score, the lower the interest rates. And lower interest rates are crucial to saving money. Over the life of a loan, securing an interest rate just 1% lower can save tens of thousands of dollars.
Small business marketing doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel or break the bank—research what leaders and competitors do. Listen to your customers, and stay relevant with tech and buyer expectations. Staying on top of market actions will help you understand the best ways to connect with your existing and new customers.
Suppose you’re struggling to gain a foothold, head on down to the local small businesses development center. Have your marketing strategies edited by a professional, and never neglect your finances. Extra capital can take your business to the next level. Finally, focus on your credit to secure the best rates.
We hope you find these insights helpful, as we fully believe these are marketing strategies that work!
For More Insights: Visit Elinor’s Amazon Author Page
“Communicate to Attract Interest”
1. Create the Smooth Sale (returning and referring)
2. Inspired Quotes for Business and Life
3. The Smooth Sale Get HIRED! Course and Workbook
4. The Smooth Sale Course for Entrepreneurs and Salespeople
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Sales Tips: Marketing Strategies That Work
- Consider your audience and their interests.
- Review client feedback and apply appropriate marketing strategies that work.
- Research strategies to reach the clientele you desire.
- Confer with peers about the marketing strategies they use and why they work well.
- Refine your list for marketing strategies that work.
- The more effective your marketing strategies, the more significant sales will be.
- Review the marketing strategies your competitors use to see which, if any, appeal to you.
- Continually monitor the effectiveness of the strategy you implement.
- Remain abreast of the news and developments in the marketing and sales arena to apply the latest marketing techniques.
- Celebrate Success!
Today’s insights are provided to help you achieve the Smooth Sale!
RESOURCES FOR PERSONAL AND BUSINESS GROWTH:
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