A recent survey of Australian small business owners has revealed that nearly half want to know how to use marketing to generate new leads, while almost a third are most concerned with attracting clients and marketing their business.
The survey, conducted by marketing education company Basic Bananas, found that small business owners simply don’t understand the power of marketing, with 43 per cent admitting that they would like to know how to use marketing to generate new leads for their business, over and above mastering social media (12 per cent), online and digital marketing (9 per cent) and SEO (2 per cent).
Furthermore, 38 per cent of small business owners are most concerned with attracting clients and marketing their business right.
Basic Bananas co-founder Christo Hall said small business owners feel a sense of overwhelming nervousness when trying to understand marketing and the benefits of doing so to attract new clients.
“A lot of small business owners are banging their heads against the wall because their marketing efforts are not working,” he said.
“There are very few small businesses out there taking advantage of new technologies to benefit their business. These new methods are not only far more cost-effective than strategies used 10 years ago, but are easier to use than ever before to promote a business on a tight budget.
For all those small business owners struggling to market their offering, Hall provides four cost-effective tips to help you nail your next campaign:
i. Choose your perception
Hall believes small businesses must first choose how they want to be perceived.
“If you don’t determine how your product, service or business is going to be perceived, someone else will and steal your thunder,” he said.
When describing your business, Hall suggests using adjectives such as ‘young’, ‘old’, ‘fresh’, ‘modern’, ‘adventurous’, ‘safe’, ‘cheeky’, ‘energetic’, ‘vibrant’, and ‘fast’.
“The less conventional, the better, so stay away from the common words everyone chooses such as ‘professional’, ‘quality’, and ‘experienced’,” he said.
“Make sure you share the above with your team so they are all on board and pulling in the same direction. Your team are your biggest brand ambassadors.”
ii. Differentiate and blow your customers’ minds
“We live in a very busy world where we get bombarded by thousands of marketing pieces every day (unless we live on a beautiful remote island somewhere),” Hall said.
So how are you ever going to stand out from the rest of the pack?
“You need to differentiate!” he said. “Unfortunately a lot of businesses copy each other plainly because they think ‘the other’ guy has got it all figured out, but most likely he or she hasn’t! Copying is never the answer and it’s kind of uncool too.”
Rather than blending in, Hall recommends carving out your own uniqueness by asking yourself ‘what’s the frustration in my industry?’
“The second question to ask yourself and others is ‘what would make working with a <insert your industry> irresistible?’” he added.
“You’ll be surprised by how many great ideas you will get from your clients and friends!
iii. Amplify your awesomeness
Hall suggests making a list of every touch point your business has with your prospects and customers. This could include phone calls, emails, social media, your shop or offices, your website, and invoices.
“Then think about how you can amplify your business’ personality and differentiation at each of these touch points,” he said.
“Let me give you another example. If you’ve chosen ‘quirky’ as one of your characteristics, how can you add more quirk to your different touch points.? You could include a funny quote in your email signature, change your phone greeting to something more quirky, adjust your website copy, send a quirky direct mail to your prospects, give your clients something to smirk about.”
iv. Be consistent
Consistency is key in taking controlling how others perceive you, according to Hall.
“If there is no consistency, your clients will be confused, and confusion doesn’t sell,” he said.
“The purpose of consistency is to create familiarity, which leads to trust, which leads to more sales.”
Hall also stresses the importance of fluidity.
“We can’t always influence the circumstances, but we can always influence our perception,” he said. “Staying flexible and adaptive is key for a business to thrive in today’s ever-changing, fast-moving market.”