By Abel Udoekene
As a social media and marketing strategist, I love meeting with small business owners. Their ideas, experiences and challenges can inspire you to think out of the box.
From one small business to another, the passion, the dreams and their challenges are unique. To most of them, one mistake can open your eyes to new and exciting ideas, yet, making mistakes is not funny, it can throw you off balance, but mistakes are not failure, they are building block that will help you grow as you progress in your entrepreneurial journey.
One challenges small businesses face which is common to all start-ups is Marketing, “how can we market our ideas?” they keep asking. Another side of the challenges maybe funding but I will discuss extensively on marketing today.
Here are few marketing ideas, that can help your Small business grow
#1. Publish great and engaging Contents
The idea of having a blog is not new, but whether it is your blog or your social media channels, great and engaging content is vital to your marketing strategy. Before I continue, one misconception most small business have is that once they publish a great post, they think that customers will start pouring in to patronize them, once they don’t to see that coming, they stop.
It’s doesn’t work that way,publishing good contents create awareness, provide value and establish brand evangelists (we will discuss more on brand evangelists later). It is the consistency of this value chain that will give your marketing profile a boost.
The best way to publish great and engaging content is to publish something. We learn by doing, like I advised most small business owners, don’t wait until you have an explosive story before you share your content, a little story that teach your audience how to do something or answer a question is a great way to start.
Remember, over promotion is not a good marketing strategy for your Small business, write to provide value or solve a problem not just to promote your brand.
If you can’t write, find someone in your team who can, or yet still pay someone.
This article on How to improve your content marketing strategy will guide you more.
Good content create brand awareness, build trust, establish brand evangelists and ultimately grow your brand
#2. Develop a good social media appeal.
Using your social media identify as a good marketing tool to promote your small business is very vital to your growth.
As one of my friend Bisila Bokoko would say, the market is no longer in Parish or Dubai, the market is now on the social media.
The good thing is that you can do it yourself and it’s absolutely free.
Please click Here to read more on 4 mistakes small business makes on social media and how you can avoid them.
Inspire don’t patronize, engage don’t just post, be flexible, be relevant, be valuable and most importantly be you
#3 Build your brand evangelists
The most valuable tool that can help your marketing strategy and improve your small business is brand evangelists. These are your number one fans, those who can do anything and everything to sing your praise and promote your brand at no cost.
Your number one brand evangelist is you, followed by your team. So you must believe in what you are doing and also make sure your team share the same view as you.
Customers get in contact with your brand first through you or your team, first impression matters, make sure you give them something worthwhile, something that will make them sing your praise for a long time, which is nothing else than providing an answer to their questions or offering them services to satisfy their needs. If they enjoyed your services, they will be able to tell others positive things about you.
Here is a little step to guide you
– Give your customers a good and consistent customer service experience.
Positive customer service experience provide long standing relationship, and build trust. This will make your customers to be willing to share your stories with others.
– Create a good working atmosphere for your team.
Marketing or telling your brand story to the World start with your team, make sure you encourage your team to be a part of your project.
– Encourage your customers to tell your brand story
Little incentives, and competitions is a good way to encourage people to support your small business. You may not necessarily give them the whole World but a genuine gift with love can go along way to boost your marketing profile.
#4. Build a network
Collective ideas, experience and knowledge can boost your marketing profile. I recently discussed with a Friend about service swap, how startups can come together and swap service with service instead of service with money. Because, we have come to understand that over the years, relationship building has a positive impact in raising the marketing profile of small businesses.
One things that will boost your marketing profile and grow your small business is a network, this network can include friends, customers, other small business, etc, but it should be people who cherish and believe in your ideas.
#5. Learn the 5 Lessons
From our interactions with small business owners and start-ups, we have come up with the 5 Lessons, it’s an idea we are still developing. But as a little token, one of the marketing strategy that seem to work perfectly well according to the 5 lessons is Guerilla marketing.
Guerilla marketing ideas centre most on creativity over budget. So no matter your budget, creativity is everything. The bottom line is, how will you tell your story to the World? How far can you go in doing So?
Marketing is about story telling, once you see it this way, it’s become very easy to grow your Small business.