You have started a new service business, opened a small shop or cafe. You want to attract customers as soon as possible, take profit. How can you stand out among the thousands of competitors who have established themselves in the market? What is needed for a small business that is both competitive and profitable?
In this article, we will review the best possible marketing strategies (online and offline) for small businesses.
Determine your goal and budget
First of all, it is necessary to determine the goals and budget of the business. Ask yourself: “What do I want?” You need to choose what is more important for you: to enter the international market, to gain your share in the domestic market, or to occupy an influential position in the urban space?
Spend money on advertising
You can’t make money without spending money. This is an unwritten law of trade that has been formed since ancient times. To build a successful business, first of all, you need to spend money. In order to effectively promote your business, you need to focus on advertising in search engines, media and social networks. Don’t be afraid to spend money on advertising. As a result, every 1 manat you spend on advertising will benefit your business by at least 10 manats.
“How to organize advertising in social networks?”, “How do Google ads work?” If you have any questions, don’t worry. The interfaces of these platforms are designed in such a way that any person can quickly learn to work here.
Take advantage of Google’s capabilities
Before thinking about Google ads, put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Think your cell phone is broken. It is necessary to either repair it or buy a new one. Or your new car has a problem that you didn’t know about. What will be your first job? Go out to the city and look for a master? Searching the stores one by one for new phone models? Or to search the Internet with a smartphone or computer at hand?
Most of our people consider the last option suitable. In modern times, very few people try to find the product or service they need by going directly to the address without searching on the Internet. Most prefer to search the internet first.
It is for this reason that when you start a business, first of all, it is useful to register with Google, the most popular search engine in the world.
But how do we make our product or service visible in Google searches? For this, your information must be posted on the “Google My Business” platform, and your address must be shown on the Google map. Having a website for your business also allows you to be at the forefront of internet searches.
If your site is newly launched, it will take time for your product to appear in the first lines of search according to the Google algorithm. But thanks to the AdWords platform, you can ensure that your product or service appears first during searches by paying a certain amount.
Thanks to Google AdWords settings, your target audience can also be selected effectively. For example, your business address is the city of Ganja. Your target audience is the residents of this city. In this case, it doesn’t really matter if your product or service is visible to Google searchers in Baku or Nakhchivan. At this time, thanks to the AdWords settings, you can ensure that your product is visible to the residents of Ganja. In this way, you will save your marketing budget and you will be able to define the target audience correctly.
Work in social networks
Working with social networks is not a simple task. But such platforms are also an indispensable tool for the effective development of your business. It is important to choose the right target groups when working on social networks. Depending on your product, service or target audience, you can choose the most active social network. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Odnoklassniki, Vkontakte, etc. determine which of the social networks you have the most target audience and direct your main power and budget to that network.
Use email and SMS marketing
For small businesses, e-mail and SMS marketing is a unique opportunity to increase brand awareness. You can send information about your products, services, campaigns to your potential customers.
If you are trying to sell your product in the Azerbaijani market, you must actively use Facebook and Instagram. If your target audience is in the Russian Federation or Central Asian countries, then you should use the service of Odnoklassniki and Vkontakte networks.
If you intend to enter the European markets, you should focus on Twitter as well as Facebook and Instagram.
Let’s go a little further to explain the working principle of search engines. Think of information as soil, and search engines as an excavator digging into that soil. Describe the soil that the excavator picks up in its bucket on each move. The more material there is in the soil, the more likely that material will appear in the scoop. That is, if you regularly update your blog or site, if you use a lot of keywords about your product during the update, your information will fall more into the “scoop” of the search engine. This way you will be more likely to appear in search engines.
Regularly updating the site is also beneficial for ranking in SEO. Frequently updated sites are regularly checked by Google and included in its database.
For example, the ranking of sites with 300-400 news posted per day is greater for Google. Google’s robots check these sites 300-400 times a day and enter new information into the database. Search robots check the site where information is entered once a month.
For this reason, news sites are more likely to appear in search engines than corporate sites.
Share your knowledge
What do you do better than others? Make video instructions about it. Share those videos on Youtube and other video servers.
Consider customer feedback
Never ignore what customers say and write about you. Because customers see flaws in your business that you don’t. If you take into account the customer’s complaint and correct the defect, your business will grow more effectively. Don’t be rude to any customer. Whether it’s a big or small purchase, treat it with care. Because a customer who is satisfied with your service or product is a walking advertisement. With it, you can reach greater heights.
Participate in competitions.
Be sure to talk about all your successes and awards. They will increase people’s loyalty towards you and help in attracting new customers.
Find out what competitions are held in your field and be sure to participate in those competitions.
Be able to stand out from the crowd. Be original. Present your brand in unique ways. Tell everyone why you stand out from the crowd.