If you have a new business, you’ve rebranded an old one, or you’re just trying to expand online, you’ll need to get the word out. With so many ways to market your business, it can be intimidating to figure out where to start. From the more modern social media and SEO, to the more traditional advertising, commercials, and word of mouth, there are tons of options. It’s important to figure out what will work best for your specific business. With all of these options out there, you can easily spend time and money on marketing that won’t help you out much. Below, Virtual Market Advantage will look at some of the marketing basics you can use to get your campaign started for your business while not feeling quite so overwhelmed.
The 4 P’s
When you’re just starting out, it’s best to begin with marketing basics to gain a greater understanding of just how you need to present your business online. There are 4 simple factors to keep in mind:
- Product - What are you selling and what makes it unique?
- Price - How much is your service? Is it affordable? Is there enough profit?
- Promotion - How will you get the word out? Think big.
- Place - Where will you sell your product? Are you seeing your customers in person or only online?
Once you have these questions answered, you can start to look at the best ways to market your business and get your product or service in front of the right audience. You can learn more about targeting the right audience here.
Create an Elevator Pitch
Once you've nailed down the 4 P's, it's time to get the important information out there. If you’re marketing your business online, you need to be able to engage your audience and get their attention immediately. The average attention span of a person browsing the Internet is 6 to 8 seconds. That's all the time you have to convince a potential customer to stick around and hear about your business! Make sure your landing page is clean and engaging.
Once you’ve grabbed their initial attention, you typically have a little over a minute to sell someone your product or service. You need to take the time to create a really good “elevator pitch” that pulls people in. This is a succinct marketing pitch that’s both informative and compelling. It will have a great return on investment.
If there are other small businesses that work hand in hand with your own, meet up with them and create a campaign that will benefit all of you. Bundle offers and services and cross reference websites for each other. Come to an agreement to have a non-compete promotion. Doing this will help to expand your customer base and set you up for good networking with other local businesses.
There is no better way to build your business than to get out there and shake hands with potential customers and other business owners. Building a good network takes time and commitment. You will not see the benefits from it as quickly as some other marketing techniques, but a strong network will prove to be very positive for your business over time.
Ask for Referrals
When you have a customer who genuinely likes your business and lets you know, don’t hesitate to ask them for a referral. In fact, don’t be afraid to ask any of your customers for a referral. Word of mouth is a strong and genuine way to gain new customers and build the trustworthiness of your brand. You can ask for these referrals both in person and online. If a customer does an online checkout, have a button asking them to share your business page on their social media platforms.
Coupons are a tried and true way to both gain new customers and bring back old ones. If viewers like what they see of your product and know they have a coupon to save them some money on their purchase, they will be more likely to buy and also tell their friends about it. Use coupons to promote your business and share it on local social pages and on pages with like products or services. The coupon will be a great return on investment if you use it as a marketing tool to gain new customers.
Give It Away
People are often much more inclined to purchase something if they see that a freebie is included as a 2 for 1 deal. Another great method is to allow potential customers the chance to try your product or service before they buy. Often, this will result in a follow-up purchase after the trial. Sure, you will lose that initial profit in the free trial, but your return will be worth it when they purchase and share your product or service with others. If you show your customers that you have so much trust in your product that you’re willing to let them try it for free, they will immediately have more trust in the product too and want to support your business later.
If online marketing still seems too complex (or you don’t have the time to devote to it), there are always small marketing firms that can help you get on the right track. If you want your business to benefit from online marketing beyond just coupons and giveaways, you can always contact Virtual Market Advantage to learn about what we can do to help you going forward. Remember to start small and work your way up. Hard work and persistence will benefit your business in the long run.