How To Spice Up Your Small Business Marketing
It happens to the best of the best.
You’re creating content like a machine, but your audiences are slowly becoming bored. Most marketers see this happen over and over. That’s why you need to think on your feet.
It would help if you kept your small business marketing fresh. These tips will help you get it right:
1 – Sell Benefits, Not Features
Companies get stuck trying to sell all the time. Unfortunately, this gets boring quickly. Your audience most likely already knows what you offer, so they don’t need your constant hard selling.
Instead, try focusing on the benefits that you provide to your customers. Why not look at your customer’s concerns and questions and create content around those topics? You’ll quickly see that this will drastically change how you talk to your audience.
Take a look at Underwater Audio, a company that sells waterproof iPods and headphones. The company has released a blog for an audience of swimmers to help them solve their problems. The idea is that sales will trickle down the funnel.
In marketing terms, we like to call this solution-based marketing. Rather than focusing on price, product, promotion and place, you’re looking at the direct values and benefits that the customer will receive.
See? There’s already a difference in what you’re talking about.
By recognising what your customers need and when they want it, you will see what’s essential to your audience.
2 – Tell a Story
People are hardwired to listen to stories, and the better you are at telling them, the more attention you’ll get from your audience. Engaging stories requires minimal effort to stay focused. And at the end of the story, hopefully, you’ve given your listeners a few key takeaways.
Storytelling is relatively easy when you think about it. Take one of your customers and share their success stories on your blog. Your audience will be interested in whom you work with, but they will also see the benefits you bring your other customers.
This is an effortless selling point. Here is an example from Clarity, a company that helps entrepreneurs find the advice they need to grow.
Instead of mass-promoting an impersonal marketing message, Clarity tells its company’s story through the entrepreneurial experiences of its customers. Read a story about how these leaders use Clarity to grow their companies.
It would be best not to underestimate the power of social proof in small business marketing. Even if you’re not thinking of using Clarity, you probably still want to read these stories because they’re so human-interest focused. Why read about Clarity when you can read about the customers instead?
3 – Give Customers the Content They Want
Do you segment your customers? If you’re not, you’re missing out.
It’s pretty simple. By giving people the option to opt-in or out of content they might or might not want, you increase your chances of receiving your messages better.
For example, let’s say you use email marketing to talk about company news, product updates, etc. You should see that your content is better received by allowing users to check a box to join a particular group or interest.
Hello, increased CTRs! That’s pretty much gold to any marketer’s ears.
And if you’re not already doing this, well, you’re doing yourself a big disservice. Segmentation allows you to pinpoint certain subscribers rather than sending an email blast to everyone on your list. Sending relevant content will keep your readers engaged, and email blasts are so 2001.
Text Optimizer allows you to identify what your target audience is looking for. It uses semantic analysis to analyse organic Google search engine result pages to extract underlying concepts and help you optimise your content for search intent:
Using quiz marketing is another excellent way to understand your audience’s interest and create content based on those insights.
Sure, it might be a few extra steps in what you do daily, but the payoff is worth it.
4 – Use Interactive Media and CTAs
Since we are on the topic of telling stories, why not tell stories interactively? Come on, people. We’re in the 21st century here! Not only do we have so many valuable tools and ways for people to consume our content, but your competitors are probably already using these tricks to get their audiences excited.
You should no longer be thinking of your small business marketing in black and white terms. Instead, it would help to organise your content calendar around how many videos you’ll produce this month and what types of infographics would interest your readers.
Let’s look at infographics, for example. Infographics are a simple way to tell a story. If you’ve got data or exciting trends you’ve seen, why not engagingly share the content?
Many infographic creation tools can help you create your data visualisations. Pictured above is a study on how music impacts athletic performance. You could look at this information in a boring blog post, but how much more incredible is it displayed as graphics, charts and other meaningful ways to understand the information?
It piques your interest. The good news is that it will pique your readers’ interests too.
While we’re on infographics, let’s move to videos. Now, it’s not like videos are anything new. Videos are a great way to showcase products, tell people about what your company is doing, and, most importantly, give your brand a voice.
Remember: the goal is to make it as easy for your audience as possible. Similarly to storytelling, videos are engaging, require little user effort, and can brighten up your marketing. There are quite a few free and freemium video editing software solutions allowing you to create engaging videos to spice up your marketing.
Another way to make your pages more engaging is to use interactive and innovative calls to action. These include conversational interfaces and shortening your customers’ buying journeys using self-serving CTAs.
For example, tools like Appointfix allow your users to schedule an appointment with you immediately without going through email back-and-forth.
5 – Look for Brand Advocates
Have you digitally embraced your brand advocates lately?
Using search and social media to energise (or destroy) your brand advocates can be rewarding (and harmful) in the form of positive (or negative) publicity.
It might be surprising that a company’s loyal customers are not its most valuable customers. A company’s most valuable customers are the ones who are the best buyers and make the most recommendations and referrals.
So what’s the secret love potion in reaching and keeping the brand advocates, the ones who are the most loyal and refer the most business?
Be nice, embrace social media engagement, talk back to your customers and train your customer support team to use social media to help your customers in real-time. Encourage your happy customers to connect to you on social media and share their feedback.
By being active on social media, you will be able to control the sentiment around your brand and amplify positive reviews. You may be missing your most valuable customers who have influence enough to grow your customer base by being silent.
When brand advocates make recommendations on social media, power is amplified for the good or bad, so your brand needs to be there to be aware and be able to direct that power.
Brand advocates are at least 5x more valuable than average customers because they spend more and recommend more. They are also ready to defend your business should any negative reviews go viral.
6 – Manage Your Content Calendar
Speaking of content, let’s jump into content calendars. A content calendar should already be in your routine if you’re a marketer, but as you know, publishing content regularly is a commitment.
And, if you show your fans any lack of commitment, you’ll lose attention fast. Not only will your fans forget about you, but your lack of obligation to your small business marketing will shoot your credibility right in the foot. So, what does yours look like?
You need to plan, write, rewrite, design, film, photograph, edit, and send your messages regularly for a successful content plan. Each of these steps takes time, patience, and much love.
Yes, we also know that it takes much time to become good at this. However, content marketing changes quickly, and if you are not taking steps to keep yourself at the forefront of your customers’ minds, you better believe that your competitors will.
7 – Think Mobile
If you’re working on a campaign that isn’t optimised for mobile devices, then I can bet that it’s not likely to do well.
Focus on usability and conversion goals. Here are best practices for creating responsive web designs.
Look at your email on a mobile device before sending it to anyone. Test your site on mobile devices. Prioritise cross-device compatibility.
If you’re looking for an easy way to create responsive websites, check out this list of website builders for small businesses. All of those help you set up a mobile-friendly website. Shopify is easy to set up and lets you create responsive and SEO-friendly websites.
If you are still setting up your digital entity, use Namify to find a fun domain name. It is also a great tool to launch a sister site to host your interactive content or feature your customer stories.
8 – Send Real-Time Triggered Messages
If you’re in marketing and haven’t heard of real-time triggered messages, you’re in for a tailspin. Or, maybe you’ve heard of it, but automation is a scary thing.
You’ve probably seen this in action.
Have you ever put something in your shopping cart and then clicked out of the website because you felt like maybe you didn’t need that extra pair of shoes?
Frequently, you’ll receive a follow-up email saying, “Looks like you forgot something in your cart.” When you open the email, boom – there’s your item.
The best thing about triggered messages is creating your program and letting automation take over when certain customer behaviours are tied to specific messages.
Because automation is already built into what you’re doing, there is efficiency, and if you’re anything like me, you LOVE efficiency.
Plus, if you optimise your campaign correctly, you should be able to increase your general effectiveness with click and conversion rates. Some easy examples of triggered campaigns would be welcome messages, cart abandonment programs (for you eCommerce businesses out there), and inventory in-stock reminders.
The bottom line? Improve your efficiency and wait for the results. Small business marketing automation is super hot right now, so go ahead and make your life easier. You’ll thank me – I promise.
9 – Make Them Laugh
Last but certainly not least, make your audience laugh! If you’re bored with the topics you write about, you better believe your audience is bored!
So in case you missed it, don’t forget to make your audience laugh! They are reading your content because it’s exciting and relevant to them. Being a little lighthearted and funny from time to time will go a long way.
Be careful with humour, though: It is too easy to offend someone when trying to be funny. So make sure your humour is kind!
Small business marketing doesn’t need to be boring. It should never be boring! If you include a few of these tips and tricks into your overall plan, you should see your content sprucing up quite quickly. But it takes dedication and some clever thoughts to make your content compelling.
Keep your audiences entertained the same way that you hope to be entertained. And this, my friends, is how to keep your small business marketing spicy.