If you own a small business, you may think that your only competition is fellow small businesses. That couldn’t be further from the truth. These days, there are so many options for consumers. This means customers can afford to be picky and shop around. Chances are, there are other businesses doing what you do within a short drive. Customers will most likely read reviews and check out your website or social media before stepping foot in your store.
If people are going to give you their business, they want to know that they’re making the best choice. And with large corporations out there who obviously have a great marketing plan and national and international followings, this can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be.
So, how do you stand out and prove you’re their best choice?
Design and Branding
You don’t have to have a multi-million dollar budget to make a big impact. It isn’t about how much money you spend but how you spend it. It’s about making your budget work for you and working with the right team to help guide you to success. Investing in a quality logo and clean website can put you on the same level as the sizeable companies you’re competing with. When it comes to who to give their business to, first impressions could not matter more. A professional looking brand builds trust with a consumer. They make the correlation between quality of brand and quality of product or service. If your brand isn’t quite up to the level of your competition, they might associate that feeling with what you have to offer.
So, maybe you don’t have a nationwide following – that’s ok. Once again, it’s not about how much money you spend but about where and how you spend it. Effective advertising is all about knowing who your target audience is and investing in ways that will get their attention. Are you a hotspot for tourists? Then it might be a great idea to place advertisements in city maps and hotel rack cards. Facebook advertising is also a handy tool that allows you to set your own budget, how long you’d like your ad to run, and the exact audience you’d like to target. There is no concrete way to advertise. It all depends on your business and your mission.
Social media is one of the easiest ways to get on top of your game with your customers. While you can do paid advertising on social media, there are many ways to utilize the free services available to your advantage. Social media really allows you to be involved in your community, connect and build relationships. Anyone can advertise a business, but it takes effort to do it effectively. Today’s consumers are focused on connections and authenticity.
- Show some behind-the-scenes shots of what it takes to make your business run.
- Introduce customers to your team members.
- Do a customer appreciation spotlight.
- Ask for your customer’s input on products and services.
As a small business, you have the advantage of knowing your customers and being involved on a daily basis. Use that to your full advantage.
Involvement with community/target audience
One of the best ways to market your business in your community is to partner up with other businesses. If you have a chocolate shop, maybe pair up with a wine bar for a chocolate and wine tasting event. If you have a bakery, talk to local coffee shops to see if you can sell some of your baked goods at their shop and, in return, sell their coffee at your shop. Partnering with area businesses is a great way to get your name out there, network with other entrepreneurs, and have customers associate your name with other reputable companies. It’s a win-win.
At Old City Web Services, our mission is to help our clients succeed and stand out. We offer comprehensive design and development services that allow our customers’ businesses to live up to their full potential. Once we’ve helped build your brand, we offer marketing services as well. We can put together a unique marketing plan just for your business. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us show you how we can help your business succeed!