Running a business is hard. Whether you have five or five hundred employees, you have to deal with payroll and HR, manage customer support, chase suppliers, and still fulfill the primary function of the business; which is to make money. And that’s before you’ve even thought about marketing.
Shivers may run down your spine at the mere thought of spending money on a marketing team, or worse, a marketing agency. Marketing can often seem like throwing a lot of your hard-earned profit at the wall and seeing what sticks, by pure chance. You’d be better off without it, right?
Wrong. The truth is, that you’ve been doing it wrong. You shouldn’t be spending hundreds every month on Google Ads just to gain brand awareness, and an influencer isn’t going to sell your accounting software no matter how hard you try. Some methods work better for different business models, and some shouldn’t be touching your business with a barge pole.
Witch this in mind, here are the best marketing strategies matched to YOUR business type.
Use Local SEO for Local Services
Decorator? Mechanic? Seamstress? Keep it local. Local SEO that is. The majority of your potential market is already in your local area, and they’re googling “[your business type] near me” on a regular basis. Set up a Google My Business listing and add all the relevant information. Keep it simple. You don’t need to be on the cutting edge, and you aren’t required to have fintech at the heart of your business model.
You don’t even need a website to make big gains in the local search listings. If you do have a website, make sure it’s optimized for mobile to attract the attention of nearby customers searching on their smartphones. Work to get your name, address, and phone number (NAPs) in as many high-quality listings sites too (think Yell, etc.).
Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes should have a Strong Social Media Presence
In much the same manner as local services, restaurateurs should aim to brush up on their local SEO, but this time, there’s no excuse not to have a website. It’s common practice to check out the menu before visiting an establishment, so make sure this is visible and easy to read on a mobile display. In addition to SEO, social media is the domain of food, particularly when it comes to Instagram. High-quality pictures of your food, drinks, and the premises itself are essential. Use social to build up interest around specials, events, and offers.
Offer Rewards with Asset Trading and Forex Broker Sites
If you run a business in one of these categories, then you’ll know that you make your money through regular, repeat business. As a broker, you need your customers to come back and make trades or pay for tips again and again. In a saturated industry, one of the best ways to retain customers is to offer rewards and incentives such as cash rebates and deposit bonuses. Not only does a loyalty program keep your customers happy but trading and forex rewards for existing customers demonstrate that you are committed to building a relationship with your client base.
Physical Goods can be Sold through Affiliate Marketing
If you manufacture or sell goods online, then affiliate marketing has proven to be an effective strategy. The most successful example of effective affiliate marketing is Amazon; they have millions of affiliate links across millions of websites. It works in much the same way as building backlinks but is much more clear cut in terms of effectiveness. Work with review sites and blogs to get your product talked about and linked to, then every time a customer buys your product after clicking on a link on an external website, you share a small portion of the profits with whoever hosted your link. Think of affiliate marketing as an online version of sales commissions.
Show Your Expertise in Digital Services with Content Marketing
Are you a freelance artist, a small marketing agency, or a blogger? Then the best way to show that you’re an expert in your field is to prove it. Demonstrate your knowledge through content marketing. Create valuable, relevant content such as how-to guides and expert reactions to news in your field, or create artwork and infographics that people will actually want to use and credit you for! Even if you aren’t the best at getting your ideas into a coherent form, there are tonnes of useful content marketing tools out there.
There are more marketing strategies than business models out there. Everybody has their own idea and niche. Some like to work with influencers, others swear by paid advertising, and many prefer to keep it old-school, offering free trials and getting face to face with their clients. In truth, the best marketing strategy is the one that you have the time and funds to not only start but consistently maintain and grow.