Marketing your business takes a lot more than randomly posting to social media, building a website, and hanging flyers around town. Developing and sticking to a marketing strategy can be hard work, but it’s the best way to grow and market your business. All of the parts of a marketing strategy can certainly be overwhelming, but the likely growth your business will receive far outweighs any negatives. Take the time now to go through the various parts of a marketing strategy to plan for the future!
Create Business Goals
When thinking about your marketing strategy, you have to think of the end goal and any milestones in between. If you want to be the best dental practice in our town, how do you get there? Is that where you want to be five years from now, or next week? Sit down with your financial records, sales records, and any current marketing analytics you have. Is your business on the right trajectory to reach your goals and accomplish what you’d like to in the time you want to? If not, reevaluate you efforts or your goals; unrealistic goals can inhibit a lot more than just your marketing strategy.
Evaluate Your Options
In the 21st century, there are a plethora of marketing materials available to your small business. Some of the most common are: social media, SEO, pay-per-click advertising, direct mailings, and content marketing. While some are digital strategies, other print and traditional strategies are still successful as well. All of these are great options, but some are better for your business model than others. Are your customers mainly 65+? A Facebook page will likely make more sense than a Twitter account. Are your customers all located in one or a few zip codes? Direct mailings are a great option! Talking to a local agency can be productive, as it’s their job to keep up with the latest trends and be able to pair you with the best solutions. Most of this evaluation is common sense, but talk with your other employees or owners for input you may not have thought of.
Start Your Strategy
The best things come from the simplest beginnings. Creating your social media profiles or updating them with the latest information and gathering pictures to post is an easy first step. Start asking your best customers for reviews of your business to post and promote on social media. Gather your materials an decide on a posting frequency: posting once a day on social media sounds difficult, but when you have evergreen content, it doesn’t have to be. Use a wide range of content, from testimonials/reviews to website links and blogs to sharing events happening in your community. Any content that your customers would be interested in is a good place to start with your marketing materials.
One of the best ways to start your social media presence off on the right foot is with a Facebook Awareness campaign. This is basically a pay-per-click advertisement targeting your customer base in your business’ area to encourage current and potential customers to like your page. Give this ad and any others (hopefully also Google ads) a hefty budget so your business page can start out really thriving.
Another great idea is thinking of questions you are frequently asked. Not only can this help you develop a FAQ page for your business’ website, it helps creates great topics for blog posts. If a potential customer Google searches their question and your website pops up as their solution, they’re very likely to at least look at your website, if not contact you/purchase your product.
Keep Up with the Strategy
Set reminders for yourself everyday to post on social media, or better yet, use a marketing automation tool like Hootsuite to schedule your posts out ahead of time. Be sure to look at your website and social media analytics to give you an idea of what is performing well and what is not. Ask new customers how they heard about your business when they come in or checkout online; if many say they saw a postcard or clicked on your Google ad, it may be wise to invest more of your budget into that technique.
Your business is always growing, so your strategy should always be growing as well. Adapt your marketing practices to your business and take the time to reevaluate occasionally. Investing in your marketing is a very smart move.