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8 ways to market your small business

16/06/2015 by Sarah Powers, Marketing

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Marketing effectively is a challenge for many small businesses. From creating a plan to navigating through many techniques, it's tough, and many small businesses need to make their budget stretch as far as possible.

Developing a marketing plan is essential and this guide aims to help you to improve your brand awareness and promote the services you offer in a structured way.

  1. Create a website
Create a website which represents your business, if you can't afford to get a bespoke site there are many companies like who offer affordable self-design websites. Offering free guides in exchange for email addresses can help to build up your database too.
  1. Create a marketing calendar
It really pays to think about all of the significant annual times in your industry and the messages you believe your customers will be interested in, don't forget to offer solutions and benefits. The calendar can include website, blog, PR, email and social media to create impact. A calendar keeps you on track and groups messages together via channel, like the big businesses do.
  1. Blog to keep it fresh
We can't emphasise how much your blog or news updates will help your website. Keep the content relevant and you'll start to show up on search engines, your website will also remain up to date and fresh.
  1. Build an email list
There are many email campaign pieces of software where you can start to build a database, you can link the email forms on your website. You can use the email software to send out professional looking emails which comply with data rules and regulations. You can add an email address to your database if they've used your service in the past two years, just send them an opt in email and don't forget to add an unsubscribe link. You can divide up your database by existing client, leads and old leads that didn't come to fruition. Send them all a targeted email once per month and don't forget to tell them how to contact you or find out more.
  1. Distribute a press releases
This is creating something news worthy, perhaps you helped a customer to succeed, won an award, helped charity, hit a record turnover or delivered a unique service? You can submit your press releases to local media and see if they get picked up.
  1. Always use a 'call to action'
When you email a client or use social media, don't forget to tell them what they need to do if they're interested, for instance call, email or visit.
  1. Be active on social media
I recently wrote a blog on this, click here to view. In short, get yourself on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and start connecting and talking to people. Offer solutions to their problems and post regular messages around how you can help as opposed to 'this is my product' type messages. For instance, 'Looking for a Father's Day gift? He'll love these...'. Try to group messages by campaign in your marketing calendar;  promote your Father's Day gifts via your website home page, write a blog, send an email and talk about them on social media, it will create a bigger impact.
  1. Paid advertising
Try using paid advertising via Google or Social media, it's really cost effective and you can be very targeted. Offer something interesting like a unique service or discount and start by targeting your local area. You can set a budget, so you can control your spending.

No matter what size your business is, creating a marketing strategy is a good for your business. It engages your existing and potential customers, creates brand awareness and aligns all of your important messages.

Poole Waterfield offers a tailored service which goes above and beyond number crunching, we care about your growth and challenges and putting you in touch with a marketing expert is just one of the services we offer. We'd be happy to talk to you on 01384 455505.
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Category: Sarah Power's Blog Author: Sarah Powers, Marketing

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