We are here to remind you that marketing your small business is the key to success, growth and a long-lasting brand. After you’ve sorted out your finance systems, your operational processes and the general foundations of your small business or agency, then your marketing should be your number one priority. Marketing for small businesses is fundamental for success.
Of course, we are always going to say marketing for small businesses is essential. We live and breathe marketing and our core target audience is small businesses. We love helping small businesses embrace their marketing and reap the benefits. However, beyond the obvious money-making outcomes – there are so many more benefits to marketing for small businesses.
Still not convinced? Here are our 7 reasons why we believe marketing for small businesses is so important…
1. It’s essential for brand awareness
How can your customers know you exist if you don’t tell them? Sure, your product or service is excellent and your customers are always happy. But, your net can only go so far by word of mouth and referrals. In order to grow and expand your business you must adopt some core marketing tactics so that you can reach a wider and larger audience.
When more people know about your services you have more networks to reach and you’re more likely to build up a loyal following. When you have good brand awareness people find your brand memorable and are familiar with what you offer and how you do business. This is good news!
A great way to start is to develop a local marketing plan. Find out more in our recent article: Why local marketing is so important & how to do it right
2. It’s important for you to reach new customers
If you’re struggling to reach new and diverse audiences, then it might be time to think about a marketing plan. There may be a whole group of people that don’t know about how great you are and they just need to read a blog article, see a Facebook advert or see you in their Google searches. You’ll never know how big your potential market really is until you try.
Marketing for small businesses can be tricky. Where do you start? Can you proceed with a small budget? How do you know how to prioritise? We’re here to support you through this process.
Take a look at our recent article ‘How to build a simple yet effective marketing plan’ to get yourself started. It isn’t as daunting as you might think!
3. It builds loyalty with your current customers
Marketing isn’t just about attracting new customers, it’s about retaining your existing customers too. Your current customers are way more likely to purchase again from you after a fantastic first experience.
Repeat industry data shows that converting existing customers to new products or services is quicker and at a lower cost per conversion than that of brand-new customers.
Business.com recently stated: ‘Acquiring new customers costs 5 to 10 times more than selling to a current customer — and current customers spend 67% more on average than those who are new to your business.’ (see full article here).
These people are your cheerleaders, your advocates and your flag wavers! However, if they don’t have anything new or exciting to shout or brag about your brand, then you won’t be part of their conversations (and recommendations).
If your service is renewable then it’s important to build a retention strategy to encourage long-term custom. If your product is a product that can be repeatably purchased then it’s essential that you’re in your customers’ minds as the first choice.
There are many ways to encourage customer loyalty, including:
- Refer a friend schemes (where both the referrer and referee benefit from a gift or discount)
- A discount if there’s a repeat purchase e.g. 10% off second orders
- A discount for renewing a subscription or signing up for a longer subscription
- New product reveals to loyal customers (a great way to obtain feedback too!)
- Incentives/prizes for customers who share offers/social content
4. It helps you learn about your market
Often there’s a stereotype that marketing is just about awareness or sales or creating ‘hype’. However, many campaigns are set up to learn about the market and the audience too. A marketing campaign is a really smart way to obtain real data to learn more about your audience and therefore make valuable and meaningful decisions as a result.
Marketing campaigns can teach us many many things, including:
- If the market is interested and engaged in a new product or service
- If a certain type of advertising works effectively with a set audience e.g. Facebook adverts might not be successful but LinkedIn adverts work really well
- If there’s an appetite for a new way of thinking e.g. using your product or service in a different way; like affordable summer stays for the public from a student accommodation provider
- If there is brand recognition and enough brand awareness (and if you need to do more)
- If your price is right – you could do some A/B testing to experiment with this.
5. It helps you plan for growth (and the future)
Put simply, if you don’t know what the market wants, then you don’t know how to plan for the future. Sure, you can see how many customers are purchasing or engaging with your service – but this can only tell you so much. Can you predict how many customers will purchase this time next year? Or next season? Or even next week?
By marketing your small business you can obtain more data about your customers’ behaviours. And therefore make better decisions about how to increase your stock levels, recruit more sales staff or create a new service stream.
As a small business owner, you’re best equipped when you have more data. Customer-centric data is the best kind of data to make decisions that will be truly meaningful for your business and therefore your customers.
Have you seen our video ‘14 tips for small business marketing’ where Vittoria shares some easy-to-implement tips on how to boost both your personal and business profiles?
6. It keeps you memorable and helps with your brand reputation
It’s tough right now to be a small business owner. In many ways, the pandemic has been amazing for our community as there has been a huge growth in small businesses emerging, which is both exciting and an opportunity. However, this may also mean that we need to consider our brand identity more so and ensure our marketing is original, impactful and memorable so that we stay on top of our customer’s minds.
Right now you might not consider your brand reputation as an area you need to nurture, however as you grow this is an area you increasingly can’t neglect. Your brand reputation includes everything from your brand identity, and your online reviews through to how people talk about you in the street.
A great article from Wix recently said: ‘Brand reputation is the perception that customers, employees, partners and others have of a brand. The stronger the reputation is, the more that people will trust and advocate for the brand.’ (Read more here: Brand Reputation: 11 Strategies for Managing and Improving Your Own).
By improving your marketing approach you will naturally improve your brand reputation which will be beneficial for your customers, your employees and your bottom line.
7. It helps you stand out against your competitors
We like to think all small businesses are unique in their own way. And, they probably are if you know absolutely everything about them. However, from a customer perspective, your product or service may appear to be the same as your competitors. But, how do you show them that you’re different and that you’re more deserving of their hard-earned money? Well, marketing of course!
Take Saltoria Marketing for example. We like to think of ourselves as a really unique virtual marketing team rather than a traditional marketing agency. You can benefit from both our tactical and strategic support, which many agencies and marketing companies don’t offer. We work as an extension of our clients’ teams AND we like to make marketing fun and accessible. But, at face value, you’d be forgiven for browsing our services page and assuming we are quite similar to all the other 100s of small marketing agencies.
Our audience can only really know that we’re different (through our approach, our style, our culture and our collaboration techniques) by reading our blogs, watching our videos, listening to us on an expert panel or attending a webinar. We need to actively push our message, our story and our USPs to enable our customers to decide whether we are the right fit for them and the best choice out of all the other marketing companies.
Maybe you don’t have a huge budget, we get it, it’s hard building up a small business from scratch. We’re here to support you with affordable and efficient marketing solutions. Why not read our recent article ‘4 great ways to promote your business online for free’ to get you started?!
Want to learn more about marketing for your small business?
We hope this has convinced you! Sure, you’ve just read an article about why marketing for small businesses is important written by a marketing company that works with small businesses. However, we are here to genuinely help you and support you with meaningful and measurable marketing tactics that can make a real difference to your small business.
Intrigued? If you’d like to learn more or brainstorm next steps, then simply book a free 20-minute consultation with us here.
Further reading from the Saltoria team: