You’re an Independent Business Owner, so you have to think and act differently than the corporate chains when it comes to marketing your business. To be successful, you need to understand why a different marketing plan is important and how to spend your limited marketing budget in the most effective way possible.
Fortunately, because you are you own boss, you have a superpower that the corporate chains and franchises don’t have. You can act fast. You can adapt and take advantage of opportunities are lot quicker than say a large chain restaurant that has to go through a lengthy approval process.
However, as a small Business Owner, you have limited resources and so you need to be innovative and creative to compete in the marketplace. Leveraging your distinct advantages such as a personal connection with customers, flexibility in pricing and operations, and local knowledge of the community you serve will make you stand out from the competition.
Traditional approaches such as radio and TV advertising are too cost-prohibitive for small businesses, and market to too broad an audience to be effective. Instead, focus on more cost-effective methods that target your existing customers and increase retention and higher spending. By building relationships with customers through personalized interactions, independent businesses can gain loyal repeat customers and increase their visibility in the community.
Finally, independent Business Owners need to be aware of their target market and tailor their marketing efforts accordingly. They should take advantage of niche markets and find a way to differentiate themselves or offer something that larger corporate chains cannot. By researching their competition and understanding the needs of their customers, independent Business Owners can create an effective marketing strategy that puts them ahead of the corporate chains.
You Need To Get Creative
Independent Business Owners need to be creative and personal in their marketing strategies to create a connection with existing and prospective customers. Through the use of personalized content, stories, and images in your marketing, you can create a sense of “know-like-trust” which will help you stand out from the competition.
A great way to do this is to get creative – marketing campaigns such as contests or surveys are a fun way to engage with customers.
Don’t just stick to one platform, take advantage of all the media available to you – using email, social media, direct mail, text and app notifications will help you build an “iron cage” around your existing customers, creating loyalty and a strong connection with the people most likely to spend money with you again and again.
Keep In Touch
Your business needs to be communicating regularly to your best customers, those that come most often and spend the most money, using offers and building a relationship encouraging and enticing them to return again and again.
Unfortunately, customers have so many choices, they have busy lives and quite often, they forget about you. Not because of indifference or dislike, but they just do not spend their day thinking about you. You need to enter into their mind intentionally. You need to make it happen.
A general rule of thumb is that you want to connect AT LEAST weekly with your customers in some form or another. That means they need to have read an email, get something in the mail, make a purchase and earn points, get a text message from you, or read a social media post.
There are endless reasons to communicate with your customers. Special events in their lives like birthdays and anniversaries, seasonal holidays, celebrations in the community you’re connected to, or any number of national days.
What matters is you take action and enter into the conversations they are having in their mind. Remember, you are building a relationship that builds loyalty, and in turn causes more repeat visits.
Your Target Market Isn't "Everyone"
Your best, loyal customers will provide you with valuable feedback that can help shape future marketing. Get to know your them – their likes, dislikes, where they live, what they drive. Building a relationship with these customers will help you find more people just like them that you can invite to visit you in your business.
You Need A Steady Stream Of Positive, Online Reviews
A strong online presence and a constant flow of new positive reviews on the top review sites in order industry are a must to stay competitive and attract new customers. Through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and the online review sites, independent Business Owners can increase their visibility in the marketplace and connect with prospective customers.
One of the most important things you can do to acquire new customers is to claim your online business listings. By doing so, you make sure that your contact information is accurate and up-to-date, and you can control the information that appears about you online. Claiming your online business listings also helps improve your search engine ranking. When potential customers search for businesses online, the businesses that appear first in the search results are more likely to be contacted, the higher up you are, the more credibility you are given. By claiming your online business listings and monitoring your online reviews, you can ensure that your business is putting its best foot forward when it comes to new customer acquisition.
It’s vital to actively engage with customers online review websites in order to maintain a positive reputation. Responding to customer feedback, both positive and negative, helps build your credibility. It also moves you up the rankings. Your goal should be to appear in the first page of results when you search for your business type in your town. The more current positive reviews you have, the more you engage with your reviewers – the higher you will rank.
Your Marketing Strategy Can Be Automated
As Business Owners, you can’t do it all. That’s where we can help.
Our marketing program was designed for exclusively for small businesses, using all the techniques we mention above. Since 2005 we’ve used our extensive experience to our help clients grow their sales and profits. We build your customer database, reward loyalty and provide consistent, creative communication to your customers. You have control over what is sent and what you offer, but we will implement all your marketing for you. Your personal Account Coach will monitor your program, ensure you stay on budget and report your results.
If you would like to know more about the program, click the button below to book a call with our Program Director and see how Royalty Rewards® might work for you.