Small online businesses understand the huge challenge of getting their brand visible and accessible. Whether you run a home-based online bakery, a jeweler service or a local magazine—getting found, being visible and attracting new customers is no small task.
Coupled with the financial pressures of a small business, business owners often end up with a very unique set of brand marketing challenges. Many small businesses don’t have the time or resources to develop a marketing strategy or commit valuable resources to advertising that can reel in their target market. Instead, social media, content marketing, and other “free” marketing channels are leveraged. Sound familiar?
There is a more effective path to take—here are 4 smart steps to get your brand visible, use your resource effectively and attract a target market.
1. Find new ways to offer “free”.
Who doesn’t love free stuff? Your customers certainly do! Highrisehq.com conducted an A/B test on their site a few years ago, testing how word order and the inclusion of “free” in headlines and sub-headlines on the sign-up page changed conversion. The winning combo put the focus clearly on the free trial, with a whopping 30% increase in conversation when compared to the original version. Check out their study here. While there isn’t a need to giveaway the farm here, carving out a short term, simple, free offering as an offer to extend to your audience can be very effective in gaining new customers.
2. Listening & Reputation maintenance.
Your small business is a brand of its own even if you are not pouring in big ad budgets. A brand’s reputation and credibility is very important. Be sure to keep up with feedback and follow-up’s. Here are a few tools that make it easy to hear everything that’s being posted about your brand online:
3. Craft your elevator pitch.
As the founder, owner or team member of a small business, your company depends on your ability to be talking about and marketing the product all the time. The average attention span of an adult is said to be around 10 seconds, you generally have less than a minute to get your point across. Invest the time and effort to craft a really strong elevator pitch, a message that can be delivered in less than 1 minute.
There are a few tools online to help you craft your pitch:
– Bplans mapped out the 7 key components of an elevator pitch.
– Microsoft gives us the guidelines for 6 steps to a great elevator pitch.
4. Social Media Usage.
Use your social media to interact with potential customers, get to know what they are looking for and cater to their needs specifically to gain your market share in the dense market. With dozens of social media networks to choose from, sometimes choosing the ones that fit your business or goals is tricky. Plan to participate in 2 or 3 to start, stay active and measure the performance… cutting off the networks that aren’t supporting your goals.
Our friends over at NextWeb.com summarized the best uses for each network – take a look here.