18 Nov Small business marketing plans that sell
By Isabella Markert
In 2018, Coca-Cola spent $5.8 billion on advertising. Compare that with PepsiCo, which spent closer to $4 billion. As a large company that achieved household name-status a long time ago, Coca-Cola isn’t using its advertising budget to generate name recognition; they’re using it to get people to subconsciously crave a Coke and then buy one next time they have an opportunity.
But small businesses can’t afford to do that—often literally. With limited budgets and C-level executives doubling as the marketing department, small businesses need to generate sales and name recognition at the same time. Each effort has to generate a large enough return to offset the cost of the campaign. Sound like a lot of work? There are a few tasks you can focus on to get your name out there and drive sales at the same time: Create content that aligns with the right KPIs, give freebies, and deliver outstanding customer service.
Align Content with Good KPIs
Content helps people learn about your business, is useful to future customers, drives traffic to your website, and is easily shareable on social media. But well-crafted content is best when it is specifically tailored to help you reach your chosen KPIs. Whether your goal is to grow revenue, increase customer retention, or something else, content can help you get there when it’s created to work toward a goal.
Let’s say your overarching goal for 2020 is to grow a customer base, and your KPI is to onboard one new client each month. To help achieve that goal, create blog and social posts that are useful, shareable, and appeal to your ideal customers. Your KPI will keep you on track with your sales goal, encouraging you to create focused content that is targeted to potential customers. That high-quality content will also generate some of that brand awareness you need. Overall, your customer base will grow through the brand awareness and sales that your targeted content has generated.
Give Out Freebies
People love free stuff, but when you’re just starting out, giving away branded T-shirts may be too expensive, and it likely won’t lead to an uptick in sales. The good news is there are cost-effective freebies with which to entice prospective customers down the funnel.
For example, you can write a helpful ebook or whitepaper and offer it as a free download in exchange for their signing up for your mailing list. You only have to pay to produce the ebook once, and then you can give it away over and over again for free. Your prospective customers get helpful information and a favorable first impression of your company; you get leads.
Deliver Outstanding Customer Service
When you’re a small business, competition is fierce, so you need to offer a strong market differentiator. Something that every small business can (and should) excel at is delivering consistent, remarkable customer service. It’s vital: In a study by Microsoft, 61% of consumers said they have switched brands because of poor customer service, with nearly half switching within the past year.
Exceptional customer service makes you look good and encourages brand loyalty for that 61 percent of consumers who won’t hesitate to switch brands. Let your employees know that customer service is a priority and something you want them to spend time and effort on. As you do so, you’ll be known for being a great company to do business with, and you’ll have more opportunities to prove that it’s true.
Running a small business is a balancing act for a lot of reasons, one of which is that they need to generate sales and name recognition at the same time. It takes work, but by creating content that aligns with the right KPIs, giving out freebies, and delivering outstanding customer service, you can gain name recognition and generate sales to help your business succeed.