As a small business owner, it can be hard to see what the best marketing channel is for your specific product. Everywhere you look, you see marketing “tactics” that will “explode your Twitter following overnight” or “start a viral movement.” Unfortunately, the majority of companies out there will see zero positive impact, and going viral is extremely difficult and not always a good thing.
So how do you find the best marketing campaigns for your small business that you can run?
Let me walk you through a simple and effective plan that will get you the business you need. Take 20 minutes and follow these simple steps.
Identify your customer’s problem
The first step is to identify the problem that your small business solves. You know your customers better than anyone, so try and get in their heads.
Take a few minutes and write down some common problems your customers have.
Here are three examples:
A family restaurant:
Problem: “I need a place where my family can eat that has reasonable prices, good atmosphere for kids, and good food.”
A mortgage broker:
Problem: “I don’t even know where to get a home loan and I’m worried I won’t understand the process when I do.”
A business accountant:
Problem: “Our company needs software that allows our accountants to work closely together so we can quickly and efficiently help our customers.”
Show the solution
The next step is to consider each one of the problems you wrote down, then write down two sentences that show how your business solves that particular problem. For example:
Problem: “Our company needs software that allows our accountants to work closely together so that we can quickly and efficiently help our customers.”
Solution: “Our innovative accounting software allows your team to work together quickly and effectively.”
Solution: “We’ve built a suite of tools to help your accountants work together on the same project in real time, saving you and your clients time and money.”
Also, consider looking through your customer testimonials or reviews for snippets that show how your business solves people’s problems. These can be the most effective messages you can share.
Now that you’ve got some good solid ad copy, run it by someone you trust to give you honest feedback. Don’t let your ego get in the way; make sure to listen to what they say. Make changes as necessary.
The last step is to find the best way to get your message in front of your audience. It’s important to recognize that one size does not fit all. If your clientele is small business across the nation, odds are you’re going to need to reach out to your customers on the Internet or through trade publications. If you’re local, it might be the newspaper or local Google ads.
The best way to find the right marketing channel is to determine where your customers are when they make the “decision.” For example, people frequently check Yelp for restaurants, so if you’re trying to find new customers, you may want to take out an ad in Yelp. If you’re a plumber, you may want to take out an ad in the local newspaper or put an ad on Craigslist.
Here’s a list of common marketing channels for small businesses:
• Google AdWords
• Facebook ads
• Forum banner ads
• Bus stations
• Local newspapers and radio stations
• Trade shows
• Local television
Now that you’ve got your copy and you have your channel, all you have to do is place the ad. Then, make sure to watch the results closely. If it’s not successful, consider changing the message or going with a different channel. Once you find an advertising campaign that works, it can bring profits for years to come.
What kind of success have you had running your own marketing campaigns for your small business? Reply in Comments below.