If you are planning to open your first business or your business has already been up and running for the past few years, it’s always important to take a look at your marketing strategy and figure out how to properly plan for the launch of your business or re-evaluate your current strategy.  When it comes to your marketing strategy, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind when planning and executing.

Branding

This is one of the most important pieces of your business; it needs to be properly branded to ensure that your customers can recognize your messaging and your product. It helps to create a loyal fan base when you have created a strong name and brand for yourself.  Recognize what is unique about your product or service and make that front and center for your brand.  Your customers will know you as “the best” or “the freshest” or “the only” and it will keep them coming back.

Traditional Marketing

Yes, you can run ads in your local newspapers or put promotional fliers around your town, but there is much more to consider when you’re a small business owner.  If possible, put free samples out at local events to encourage customers to get to know your product, or provide coupons for new customers.  Entice them to come into your store and see all that you have to offer. Once they’re in the door then it’s your chance to show off your skills.  Have an elevator pitch ready, a quick 30 second pitch about the store, your product/service and then let them explore.  You should be able to sell your store in those 30 seconds or less.

Social Media

Social media is more than having a Facebook page and posting random sales or promotions. There is an entire strategy that should go behind your social media marketing.  First and foremost, we recommend that you have social buttons on your website, so that your customers can easily find your profiles.  Encourage your customers to like you on Facebook and follow you on Twitter when they are checking out (post signs).  Add some personality to your pages and introduce your employees on social media.  People will then create a personal connection and feel more comfortable coming in-store to purchase.

It’s easy to post statuses, but don’t forget about engagement.  The more you interact with your customers on social media, the more likely you are to create a strong and loyal following.  Don’t ignore posts and be sure to address them appropriately and professionally.

Networking

Creating and maintaining strong relationships with other business owners and locals is a great way to help your business flourish.  Join local professional organizations to get insider business tips, gather advice from people who have been in your spot and introduce your product/service to them. Creating strong relationships with other professionals will help your brand grow offline.  The same type of engagement you hope to foster online through social media should be applied to the offline relationships that you are building.

Cutting Costs

Starting a new business is expensive and there are ways to cut costs to help save your bottom line within the first year.  Whether that requires you (the owner) to do a lot of the work on your own, or utilizing a lot of tools and apps to help automate your process, there are definite ways to help you save throughout the year.

Running a small business is never easy, and there are ways that you can expand your marketing  and grow your business, and hopefully these quick tips have helped.  For more tips, be sure to check out Aliant Payment’s Small Business Marketing Guide here.