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Guest post written by Virginia Cooper of Learn a Living.
Marketing is a multifunctional activity that involves creating brand awareness, developing a customer base, acquiring and retaining customers, and much more. While having a good product creates a strong foundation, in order to achieve your sales goals, effective marketing strategies are required.
This article provides an in-depth guide on how to market your business and achieve organizational goals.
Before you start investing money and resources towards marketing activities, it’s important to have a clear direction to follow. The first thing you need to determine is, of course, what type of business you want to run — there are many great ideas seniors can explore, from a dog-walking business to a tutor or business coach. Then, identify your niche (i.e., target market). These are a select group of customers who have the need, motivation, and money to buy your products.
Follow these steps to find your niche:
- Define Your Problem Statement: Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and imagine a problem they have which your business can solve. For example, you run a meal prep service providing nutritious cooked meals to customers who have chosen to lead a healthy lifestyle, however, do not want to invest time towards cooking.
- Learn About Your Customers: Educate yourself about prominent characteristics of your customers such as income, lifestyle, location, etc. Continuing the example of the meal prep service, running your business in an area populated by college students and working professionals would be a preferable choice.Campus food is often overpriced and low in nutrition, and health-conscious adults will opt not to eat at fast-food chains or restaurants.
- Determine Who Will Buy It: While the college kid will be the one consuming the meals, their parents would be the ones making the purchases. Hence, the focus of your activities should be to convince parents rather than the student.
- Research Your Competition: Look for the type of marketing campaigns your competitors are running, who they are targeting, and why. This can help you determine your market and gain insights regarding any demographics neglected by competitors which you can take advantage of.
Once you have determined your target market, switch your focus towards implementing marketing strategies. As a small business, you will need to experiment with various ideas before you find the one that works best for your niche. Here are a few viable channels to explore:
- Create a Google Listing: As reported by LocaliQ, 97% of individuals use Google to find services they need, with over 46% of these having local intent. Having a verified Google listing provides credibility to your business in addition to making it super easy for customers to find you. Creating a listing is completely free with the capacity to bring you an immense amount of sales.
- Get Customer Reviews: Nothing matches the credibility of a customer encouraging others to use your products. Focus on making customers the face of your brand and use their voice for promoting your business. Post-sales ask customers to leave reviews on your Google listing, social pages, or on marketplaces where you sell products. With high reviews, you increase the chances of others choosing to buy from you.
- Partner with an Influencer: Influencers have a loyal following of individuals who consider their opinion for buying products. Collaborating with a well-respected influencer in your niche is an effective way to connect directly with thousands of customers. Additionally, you can also utilise them to conduct giveaways, host contests, and create a buzz regarding your brand. If you need to whip up some new content for your own social media pages to help with this campaign, consider working with a freelancer like Maria Chambi, who specialises in content such as blog posts and website copy.
- Get Featured in Local News: Being published in the news is a great platform to educate customers about your brand, story, and products. Moreover, it will improve brand retention as the next time individuals see your advertisement, they will connect it back to the news piece. Research about prominent local news reporters and publications accepting stories. You can apply to write an opinion piece or a column in addition to convincing reporters to publish a featured article.
Successful marketing doesn’t always involve large budgets. Rather than money, focus on determining your target market and find marketing channels that work best for your business. Through consistent posting and following a consumer-centric approach you will meet your sales goals and drive your business towards the path to success.
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