Question: We know that marketing is important for a small business. What should I consider in marketing our small business on the Cape?
Answer: Heather Jackson, Constant Contact, the emailing partner for small business made this comment about marketing in today’s environment. “The most common mistake small businesses make, and it’s an understandable one is to focus their message solely on their own products and services. After all, it is natural to want to promote what it is you sell or offer so that you can grow your business. But that’s not necessarily what is going to capture your customers’ and potential customers’ interest. Remember, people do business with people that they know, like and trust. The nature of social media is so powerful because you can efficiently help so many more people get to know you better, like, and trust you more. The key is to provide content and messaging that is valuable to the end user thereby showing them that you are authentic, likable and trustworthy. So providing tips, answers to frequent questions, insights into changes in your industry and how they will affect your customers is a good place to start. I like to think about it this way: if the content you are offering will help your customers live a little easier today, then you improve the likelihood that your audience will open your email and engage with your posts. They will also get to know, like and trust you.
Focus on the customer needs and how you can fill their needs. Your business is about the needs of your customers and not yours. To maximize your resources, you need to learn and stay abreast of the needs of your customers, so you are stocking what they want, offering what they need and being top of mind when they want to buy.
Connect with current customers and prospects based on the values that represent your brand. What values does your brand represent? Do they represent the values your customers look for in a brand for which they have an affinity? If they are looking for customer focused, knowledgeable, reliable, and responsive values in their service provider, how does your brand represent those brands? Your brand is represented not just in graphics and images but in the actions of your team.
People buy from sellers or service providers they trust. Trust starts with doing what you say when you say you are going to do it.
Content has to be valuable. Otherwise, it becomes a blur along with thousands of other messages buyers are exposed to each day. The average adult is exposed to 1500-2000 marketing messages a day. Without content that communicates the values, your brand represents, your messages have no chances to stick. What content do your customers want to receive? What interests them and what will they value, read, and share with others? When you know this, then you can exponentially expand your sphere of communications and visibility.
Your content has to drive buyers to your website, your door and your cash register. The mission of all of your marketing communications has to be revenue. You get revenue when your messages drive visitors to your website, and they click through to a special, and they take your call to action and buy. You get revenue when your messages stick and buyers make your store a destination and make a purchase. You get revenue when your content gets shared, and that results in an action by new buyers to make a purchase or at least review what you have to offer.
Your marketing has to be integrated so that it includes traditional marketing as well as social media. Integrated marketing is not new. Every place you see Toyota, Honda, Ford or Chevy you see the same messages, logo, images, color, and theme. Every place a buyer sees your ads, billboards, emails or storefront they need to see a coordinated singular image and message, so the continuity builds top of mind awareness and brand recognition. You want your name, your products or services to be first to come to mind when buyers think of plumbing, landscaping, accounting services or window washing. Check out www.cleangreencapecod.com