Implementing effective marketing strategies is essential if your business is going to thrive in a marketplace that is already crowded. So, today, we provide eight top tips for how you can do it successfully.
If you’re lacking some fresh ideas on how you can draw more customers to your business, this article should point you in the right direction. We’ve complied our eight top marketing strategies that you can use to transform your business and increase your customer base.
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Top 8 marketing tips for promoting your business
1. Push the boat out for your customers
If you want your business to stand out from the local competition, you need to think about how you can set yourself apart; for instance, by offering something unique or making your customers feel exclusive. This could be achieved through promotions that help promote a relationship with customers rather than just giving them money off.
Give customers a VIP experience by handing out loyalty cards to the individuals who visit your business the most. A coffee shop franchise could offer people cards to get an extra shot of espresso for free, or bars could offer a 10 percent discount on all orders over £5.
2. Launch a great website
As well as working hard to drive traffic to your website, you should invest time and money into making it look professional and eye-catching. Attention spans are ever decreasing, so make your website visual and easy to navigate with a strong call to action.
If you’re operating a franchise unit, it’s a good idea to create your own website separate to the business’ corporate website. Even if you are listed on it and potential customers know you exist and where to find you, having your own creates more room for further marketing opportunities. Doublecheck that your franchise agreement allows this before spending time and money on it, though. If you own the website, you can install software to track data and see if your marketing efforts are working. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to this if you don’t own the website.
3. Make your content count
In the competitive business world, the most successful brands demonstrate their authority by producing quality thought leadership content. Your blogs, articles and infographics need to be educational, informative and engaging, so that you resonate with the audience and compel them to act.
You can use your content in two ways. Firstly, it should form part of your website. This content should be full of keywords so that they are picked up and ranked on search engines to enable new customers to find your website.
Secondly, your content can be shared on relevant third-party websites. Not only will this allow you to get your content read by a different audience, but links can be added back to your website, which increases your authority in your chosen field.
Content is King, but engagement is Queen and she rules the house. – Mari Smith, digital marketing expert
4. Use social media to reach new audiences
Social media has changed the way people communicate and allows networks to be created with friends, family and business connections. As a business owner, you need to take advantage of several social media platforms to attract a new type of customers.
Remember the following when you’re developing social media campaigns:
- Unless you’re confident and well-versed in social media marketing, hire a professional to run your campaigns for you. Initially, the focus will need to be on building up the number of followers, and then priority will be given to providing interesting content to share on a regular basis to retain those followers.
- Don’t fall into the trap of posting content for the sake of it. Unless you’re offering your followers informative content, you’ll lose fans and credibility.
- Social media is a great vehicle for opening dialogue up with customers or potential franchisees if you own a franchise. Ensure you have the functionality for followers to ask questions and have them answered.
- Particularly if you outsource your social media activity, make sure that you frequently review the content and feedback received. It can be easy to lose professionalism or come across negatively on social media. Take care to ensure that this doesn’t happen to your posts, as it can impact the reputation of your brand.
5. Create strong, long-lasting relationships with the media
The media can help you market your business. Contact local radio stations, newspapers and even TV channels about a potential news story. Many of them will jump at the chance to talk about a new, exciting business in their local area and, before you know it, word will spread in the community.
Contact magazine editors about press releases, but make sure they’re interesting and relevant, otherwise people might get tired of hearing about pointless news stories. When trying to get in touch with publishers and other media contacts, remember to be persistent. If they’re bombarded with emails from other businesses, you don’t want them to forget about you.
You need to strike a balance between being memorable to the local people and not imposing too much.
Digital is future, but TV and radio are still here, and you can still make use of them effectively. – Eric Fulwiler, branding expert who’s worked with Google and American Honda Motors
6. Examine your competition in great detail
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many businesses don’t spend long enough or dig deep enough. If you want to stand a chance of being the go-to Italian restaurant or number one convenience store, you need to make sure you are providing what the others already offer – and more! Be sure to have considered the following:
- If they take part in any community work
- If they sponsor any events
- What their strong and weak points are
- How they advertise themselves
- The range of services they offer
- Their prices and the structure they follow
- The number of competitors
- How you can offer something unique
7. Control the whole sales funnel
You may produce the best content, with links to a killer website, but if you don’t have a contact strategy in place to follow up the leads, all this time and effort will have been wasted. First impressions count for a lot, so make sure online enquiries are followed up quickly and efficiently, so that customers or potential franchisees are not lost to your competition.
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8. Do good in the community
Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about whether the businesses they buy products or services from are ethical and give back to the community. If your business can demonstrate that it is putting time and resources into doing something helpful for the community, the public is likely to reward this with their custom.
There are countless ways that businesses can ‘do good’, and often these gestures generate a healthy amount of media attention. In the past, this has seen many businesses boost their popularity and revenues.
For example, if you are a restaurant franchise, you could donate unsold food to a homeless charity. Or, if you are a construction business, you could help renovate someone’s house that has been damaged in a fire. Or, if you are a music franchise, you could go into nursing homes and play songs to the residents.
Also falling into this category is sponsoring local events. This will help you connect with the local community and demonstrate to them that you care about them, not just their money.
Talk to your customers and find out what events they are attending or even putting on. This could be anything from a church fundraiser to a football event. After the event, share pictures, make blog posts and chat with your social media following.
Use these marketing strategies to promote your business
We hope you’ve learned something from this go-to marketing guide that you can implement into your own business. Even taking just one onboard could lead to fantastic results for your business. If you’ve enjoyed this article, why not check out some of our more sector-specific articles?
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©