I’ve been in business for myself for over 20 years now, and while my first venture did not fair so well, I did learn a lot about marketing myself and what would be expected of me if I wanted to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Small business owners are a unique group of individuals, we spend hours on end searching for ways to acquire new customers. Marketing can be a walk in the park for some, or stressful for others. The key of course is to understand what types of marketing are out there, and which are right for your business and goals.
It’s a new year, and if you have yet to hunker down and create a marketing plan of action – I encourage you to do that now, right away, before you send your marketing budget in so many directions you lose grip of it.
Choose marketing strategies that fit with your overall goals and simply consistent with it. You’ll come find soon enough that your small business marketing budget will be better controlled and produce more fruit.
I’ll share with you several small business marketing methods I have used, a couple you may already know, while the other may seem a little foreign to you. Don’t worry, I’ll explain each to you.
It’s important to choose the marketing strategies that’ll work the best for your small business. By doing so, you’ll be in a better position to point your marketing budget in the right direction.
Let’s start with “Blanket Marketing” – This is normally used by bigger corporations, and basically means spending your marketing funds on advertising to all target markets, no demographics involved or filling a void…just market to any and everyone it can. Companies and businesses choose this method for magazine or newspaper advertising. Unless money is no object to your budget, this method has no control of who your message of reaching, however it will also reach a larger pool. The cons to this strategy is COST. Using the blanket method will cost you a pretty and at the same time you won’t be reaching who you really want to. YOUR target market. I mean that’s the whole point right? You want to reach those who would be more likely to buy your new clothing line or your new soft drink, or maybe you have an amazing new product altogether that a certain market would be interested in. THOSE are the consumers you want to reach.
Okay, enough with the blanket talk I’m getting tired. Which reminds me, I have to pick up a new comforter. Moving on to “Targeted Marketing”, I’m sure you’ve heard of this one before. A method in which you choose a specific target market (or demographic) and only focus your marketing there, not over here. THERE.
The beauty about target marketing is that you are more likely to increase interest and revenue be reaching the right people. Sounds simple enough, but many businesses are missing the mark and prefer going the route of blanket marketing, hence losing a lot of potential profits and wasting valuable energy. I don’t know about you, but losing money is not why I got into business for myself.
So it pays to have a market in mind, and work on reaching that audience.
And finally, marketing your business through social networks.
SMM (Social media marketing) is when you promote your brand/business by making your presence known within social media networks (such as Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, MySpace, etc). Building your fan base, getting followers and growing your friends.
You have to keep in mind that the key to social media marketing is that it’s not really there to provide instant business, but rather increase your business or brand visibility to ultimately convert “friends” into buying customers. You can blog and post in forums to try and harness some new business. The con side however is that social media marketing can be a lot like blanket marketing.
So there you go, all you need to do now is figure out which marketing is right for your business and focus your energy there.