“If my product is excellent, people (market) will automatically buy it.” A small business leader who harbors this perception is doomed to destruction! Without showcasing your product or service, your excellence will be in a state of perennial oblivion, without ever getting the opportunity to brighten. People only buy what they see. Your competitors will leverage the trending marketing strategies to their competitive advantage and convert prospective buyers into long-term customers, all this, while you were hymning your tune to yourself.
Marketing, therefore, is indispensable for the success of your business, whether big or small (To remain relevant to our blog, we will limit our discussion only to small businesses). Small businesses, more often than not, have smaller budgets. It is, however, not always about the investment, but how easily you can spread the information about the presence of your brand and the products attractive to your target customers. If you can do it effectively without spending anything, then money is just a speck of dust for your marketing needs.
The year 2020 is on the threshold, and the marketing pundits have already devised their list of strategies. Let us have a look at seven such strategies that will enhance small businesses in 2020.
1. Establish thought leadership
Why? You are passionate about your business, and there is something unique, or something worth sharing with everyone, in your line of business, that your ingenuity has formulated. When you showcase it to your audience, not only will they start to acknowledge your opinions and perspectives, but your brand will also become visible to them. Now, how bright and conspicuous you can make your brand further depends upon the quality of the products and services you offer.
How? Three of the most important ways to develop thought leadership are:
i. Email Marketing
Apart from building trust, loyalty, and awareness in potential or current customers, Email Marketing also helps in building thought leadership. Hailed as the “king of the marketing kingdom,” it is more effective than even social media. If you are aware of the best tips to generate highest email marketing conversion rates, your business will progress by leaps and bound in a comparatively very short time. Sometimes, however, it is not the product that one seeks but knowledge, or the innovative force backing it that ultimately helps in establishing the brand. Say a Newsletter, for instance, is shared with the list of clients elaborating insights and valuable content. It will serve two significant purposes—branding and thought leadership.
ii. Social Media Marketing
Email marketing is focused while social media marketing is diversified. In the vast ocean of social media platforms, you do not have any list of users; instead the whole world is your potential audience. So, if you manage to impress even a minuscule piece of the population, it will have a significant impact on your branding and promotion, in addition to establishing thought leadership.
iii. Content Marketing
Said Benjamin Disraeli, “With words we govern men.” So with quality content, you can govern your audience so that they take your patronage. Good content will raise significant awareness about your business, in addition to, establishing thought leadership.
2. Engage with your market and educate them
Why? Customers, most of the times, are not in a position to understand what they want. Even if they do, there will be some confusion. If you engage with your customers and fuel up their interest, you can educate them about your products and services. And if you have done it well, customers will themselves start making enquiries which is a positive sign for your business.
How? Get their feedbacks in easy and exciting ways. Do not ask them to write essays, however, in the name of getting feedback. Polling is an excellent way to start with. These tricks cost nothing and are, indeed, valuable.
3. Keep them amused with stories
Why? Who doesn’t love a good story? If you can knit an interesting story about your products and services, you will keep your audience engaged. It is one of the most ingenious ways of building trust and making your business relatable to your clients.
How? Focus on creating content based on stories that your target audience can relate to. Take care, however, not to create something far-fetched in an attempt to get far-reaching impact. Otherwise, this strategy will backfire.
4. Interact with your audience at a digital level
Why? Interactivity at a digital level can enhance customer engagement. If your target audience finds your interactive content interesting, they will participate. The next thing is to keep them interested with consistency or variety, which will be according to your business domain.
How? With interactive content such as polls, quizzes, and gaming contests on social media platforms, you can spark interest amongst the customers, which is nothing but the first step towards successful customer acquisition.
5. Videos sometimes work the best
Why? Content through a video is easily digestible compared to other formats. More than 85% of users spend more time on those websites that have videos. And email marketing campaigns that contain videos have an astoundingly higher click-through rate of 96%.
How? Begin with a short video that gives information about your brand and its advantages. Then go on to include your USPs through it. Once you have mastered promoting content through the medium of videos, you can allot it for short and the most important content regarding your business.
6. Personalize and Customize
Why? Because the most expensive things in this world were once personal things. Nothing can be better than feeling valued and unique. If you can give this experience to your customers, there is little possibility why they would not welcome your products or services.
How? Apply personalization and customization in cost-effective ways. Think about traveling to an exotic place in a private mode of transportation. Wouldn’t you find it agreeable if the merchandise were all personalized—bearing your name, of your favorite brand, color, and so on? How about having food and drinks of your choice served to you? Think about offering this type of personalization and customization to your audience.
7. Keep eyes wide open on technology trends
Why? Said Napoléon Bonaparte more than two centuries ago, God helps those who have better artillery. There is nothing that can give you a more significant competitive advantage than advanced technology, that too, in this era of Industry 4.0 marked by rapid innovation and disruption.
How? Cutting-edge technology may be expensive. And more than that, how viable it is for your needs should be answered before how feasible it is. If the returns are significantly higher than the investment, you can procure it. Remember, if you want to be a successful business in 2020, you must be well aware of Technology Trends that will reshape the Business Landscape in 2020.
Every business endeavor requires proper planning and strategizing. Small-business marketing also is not alienated from this fact. Online innovators, marketing researchers, and experienced entrepreneurs keep a keen eye on the shifts and transformations occurring around the marketing landscape. They then come up with the strategies and the ways to adapt to the changes anticipated.
This list of 7 small business marketing strategies are not brand new ideas that will be conceptualized and developed in 2020, but longstanding strategies that have stood the test of time and will continue to boost your small business in 2020 and future.