By Richard Greenwell, head of affiliate development at AffilinetRunning your own business can be the most rewarding yet challenging thing you can embark on. With the money, time and effort that goes into the daily running of a small company, you may feel that you don’t have the time or resources to fully focus on the marketing effort. However, marketing your business is vital for its growth. The following tips will help you can improve your marketing efforts.
Target your audienceThe secret to getting the most out of your marketing effort lies in your target audience. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to market your product to everyone; although it’s easier to adopt a blanket approach, it’s a very expensive way around it and runs the risk of being largely irrelevant.
Listen to your audience, engage with them, and tailor your marketing strategy accordingly. The benefit you have as a small business is being able to interact with your clients on a more personal level – use this advantage to enhance their experience, and thus increase your custom.
Spend time on social mediaIn today’s market, to ignore social media is a potentially lethal move. Make sure that your company has a sufficient social media presence and, more importantly, use it to interact with your customer base.
Encourage conversation between your business and your clientele and use it to boost your marketing strategy, and if you feel you don’t have the time for this considering hiring a social media team. While it is important to have a strong social media presence, don’t neglect your website, as this is just as vital to the success of your business.
Less content, more engagementWhether it be through social media channels or on your website, don’t feel obliged to bombard your audience with content. In the case of content marketing, cliché though it may be, less is more. If you post content for the sake of it, you will find users will become disinterested very quickly, and will eventually cease reading.
Instead, publish content only when you have something worthwhile to post, as this has proven to increase engagement and shares, and this is when your content will be most effective.
Analyse the dataIt is vital to make sure, when you have a marketing strategy in place, that you collect and use the data accumulated. You need to analyse it to ascertain things like conversion rate, or foot traffic following a campaign, to see what is working well and what isn’t, so you know where to improve.
Similarly, don’t ignore your competitors. See what their marketing successes and failures are, as this will help you keep on top of the competition.
Learn about marketingThis point is equally as vital whether you plan to tackle marketing in-house or to outsource it. Naturally if you plan to keep the function in-house you need to learn the fundamentals of marketing, and, more importantly, make sure you have a marketing strategy in place, as this will help with your efforts.
Even if you plan on hiring a marketer to help with your efforts, having some background information will prevent you from hiring the wrong person or looking at the wrong areas, and save you money in the long run.
Adapt and adjustThe world in the 21st century moves at a rapid pace, so you need to make sure you keep up. Even if you have settled on a marketing strategy that works well, you must be constantly aware of the market around you, because that same strategy might not work as effectively a month down the line.
Keep up with what’s going on around you and be willing, rather than afraid, to change, as you will need to adapt to get the most out of your strategy.