Our SENPA members have indicated they need help with marketing more than anything right now, so we’re going to spend some time on our blog discussing some important things to consider with your marketing as you think about growing your business.
You may be thinking that there are too many things to consider and you don’t know where to start. We’re going to suggest a few places to consider starting. You may have already done some of all of these already, but we want to ensure that everyone has a solid foundation to build on.
Google My Business
If you haven’t already, set up your Google My Business page. This is a FREE resource from Google to help people find your business more easily. It also provides a way to gather reviews which you can use for marketing purposes. Testimonials really help establish you as an authority in your community and spread the word about you!
You can also use Google My Business to post about events in your store, provide photos of your business so people can get a feel for your store, and use their analytics to understand how people are interacting with your page. This is a no-brainer!
Create A Website Or Optimize Your Current Site
When the word “website” gets thrown around, oftentimes business owners get overwhelmed. It costs too much. They don’t know where to begin. How do you know who to hire? What words should I include and not include? Will I see an ROI? These are all valid questions and ones you should be asking.
Whether you’re just starting off or considering a remodel, it’s important to build your site with your customer in mind. They are coming to your website to identify if you have the solutions to their problems. It needs to be clear in 5-7 seconds what your business has to offer and how it will help your customers get where they want to go.
If you don’t capture their attention in those quick seconds, you may never see that customer again. Your website is often a customer’s first interaction with your store and it should reflect you while also making it abundantly clear to your customer that you can help them.
Do an evaluation of your site and look at it through the eyes of your customers. In 5-7 seconds, can they identify what your store does and how you can help them solve their problems? Are your photos current? If you have staff photos, are those current? Do you still have language on your site from the early parts of the pandemic that may not be relevant to your business operations anymore? Do a serious evaluation of where your website could improve and always be thinking through the lens of a customer that knows nothing about your business.
Your website is the most important piece of marketing material you have, so we cannot stress enough the importance of having a good website. However, if you’re thinking of hiring a professional to do the work for you, keep in mind that there are a lot of bad apples in the world that try to take advantage of business owners in areas where they don’t have expertise. Here is a great resource to get you started before you consider hiring someone to build a website for you.
Develop A Marketing Strategy
When money gets tight, or things get busy, oftentimes marketing is one of the first things to be cut. But if anything, this is when you should really evaluate your marketing strategy and figure out how to get new customers in the door and how to get your existing customers to spend more.
What is one thing you can do this week to improve your marketing? This month? This quarter?
Maybe it’s setting up your Google My Business page. Maybe it’s signing up for an email marketing platform and importing your customer’s emails that are collecting dust in your file cabinet. Maybe it’s posting a job listing to hire a part time social media specialist.
Start with baby steps before you start trying to plan out an entire year’s worth of strategy. If you try to plan a year out before you can plan the next month, you’re likely not going to meet your expectations.
Become A Sponge
Soak up as much knowledge as you can as it relates to marketing. Whether it’s you as the store owner doing the work or having one of your staff members invest the time, it’s important to study up and soak in as much knowledge as you can.
Yes, it can be completely overwhelming, but there are so many resources you can access even for free that can help you make these baby steps.
Not sure how to do a certain thing on Facebook? There’s probably 200 YouTube videos explaining how to do that thing.
Want to learn how to grow your email list? There are tons of webinars available for free that you can access and groups you can join with other people that are just like you trying to grow their small business that need support.
Attend SENPA events! We’re committed to bringing you more business education. We will have marketing tracks available at the SENPA Summit at SOHO Expo again this year to help you even more.
The importance of learning to market and learning to do it well is going to be a key indicator of future success for your business. We can only rely on our current customers for so long, especially in the natural products industry where the bulk of the customers are over the age of 45. We have to learn how to market to gain new customers in our primary demographic as well as the younger generation. We hope that through our blogs and the events we produce that we can help you take steps in the right direction.