If you’ve just started your small business, you will have spent hundreds of hours developing and testing your products and services to make sure they are ready for the market. But all of those hours will have gone to waste if you don’t have an effective strategy to promote the business, as you won’t reach the customers you need.
1: Personalize Your Stationery
Some people think it’s a bit old-fashioned, but don’t underestimate the reach your brand can achieve through something as simple as personalized stationery.
Buy some pens, pencils, and USB pens with your company logo embellished on the front — you can even get private label water. The branding will keep your business in the minds of your clients for longer as they use your personalized products time and time again.
2: Handling Difficult Customers
You know what they say about new businesses — if a customer has a good first experience, they’ll tell one person about it; if they have a bad one, they’ll tell one hundred. It’s for this reason that you’ve got to make sure all your new customers enjoy the service — even the difficult ones.
Catering for more challenging customer requests can also teach you a lot about how to adapt your business to suit the needs of particular clientele and whether your business has enough flexibility to maneuver for the needs of specific clients.
3: Affirm Your Environmental Credentials
According to recent opinion polling, 68% of consumers plan to increase their efforts on identifying brands that seek to reduce their environmental impact. In comparison, 61% look for energy-efficient labels when they make a purchase. As such, if your business doesn’t have the right messaging around the environment, you’ll be sure to lose customers to businesses that do.
Pay attention to the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria that many businesses use to demonstrate their environmental credentials to investors. These criteria represent a standard of environmental concern that your business should be able to replicate.
4: Targeted Social Media
New businesses often assume that an increase in likes means they’ve got an effective social media strategy. But a more careful look at the data could show this not to be the case.
If you find the increase in likes is coming from 15-year-olds when your product is aimed at 50-year-olds, then your social media strategy isn’t working, and if you don’t change it, it could be damaging your business.
To have a more targeted social media strategy, make sure your business has a social media presence that reflects the interests, trends, and behaviors of the people who represent its target market.
5: Seek Customer Reviews
It’s easy to think that companies with the most successful companies automatically receive glowing reviews from their customers. However, ask any FBA seller, and they’ll tell you that this isn’t the case. You have to go out of your way to encourage previous customers to leave reviews.
Actively seeking out reviews means you won’t feel at the mercy of your customers and their opinions. Instead, you will feel more in control of your brand image. Reach out to a customer that seems satisfied with their product and ask for a review. Do this a few times, and you’ll have several positive reviews you wouldn’t have otherwise.
You will also want to spend time addressing negative reviews so that customers who didn’t enjoy their experience will feel like their complaints are resolved and, therefore, more likely to return.
6: Seek Authoritative Reviews
Not all consumers will be persuaded of the value of your product by looking at other customer reviews. Some are also looking for the approval of established voices in the media.
Consider ways to get authoritative reviews for your new product. Is there a magazine or well-respected industry blog that would be willing to feature a review of your new product? Or maybe a celebrity or influencer who would be well-placed to try out your product?
Of course, these reviews will only generate the right attention for your business if they are positive. So make sure you approach authoritative reviewers that you believe will connect with your product.
A marketing strategy can make or break a business. These five tips can’t guarantee you success, but if you follow each one carefully, you’ll stand a much greater chance of helping your business thrive.