At Save Local Now I work one-on-one with businesses to help them learn how to best market themselves using our platform. When I get on a call, one of the most important questions I ask the business is “What is your goal?” This is important for a business to know. This single question determines not only your marketing strategy, but it also defines your business. Sometimes businesses have a goal in mind but they don’t know how to turn that goal into a marketing campaign. This list will help you create better campaigns that are consistent with your goal, relate to the customer, and work for both short term and long term planning.
1. Consider your customer
Are you looking for more general customers, or maybe a different type of customer? My coworker Grace was on a call with a salon who wanted to get more business. The business owner mentioned she carried a line of men’s products but when Grace asked if she had a lot of male clients she said she didn’t. From there they launched a good 6 months worth of ideas on how the Salon could get more male customers and therefore more general customers. This brings me to my next point.
2. Consider your unused product or service
Maybe you run a business and you provide three things. For example, let’s say you offer portrait photography, event videography, and you also have a gallery of finer artwork. Many of the businesses I speak to will have the bulk of their business in one thing (let’s say event videography). When I ask why, many businesses tend to write it off as “no one is really looking for a portrait photographer around here,” or in some other way blame it on the demand of the area. This, my friends, is a cop out. Sometimes people have only heard of one part of your business because of the lack of marketing effort on the businesses part. This could open you up to a whole new wave of customers and a growing prospering business.
3. What’s trending?
These days there is a constant flood of videos, pictures, humorous stories, “content marketing” being pushed our way. Social Media, technology, and even news agencies are great ways to distract any hard working person for literally hours on end. Why not embrace that culture? Did you see that hilarious cat meme from last week? Maybe if the local pet food store had put it in their promotion you would have, AND, had they done so, you would have noticed the 30% OFF sale on cat food. There’s also things like the World Cup/Olympic games/royal weddings to offer cool promotions for. It’s not something we should have to think too hard about. Be creative, and have fun!
4. Educate the masses
Many of the businesses I work with offer up a service and aren’t sure about how they might discount something. What about just offering up some free advice? There are a lot of topics people are concerned about right now; the new healthcare insurance, for instance. Just because you offer a very specialized service does not mean you should ignore your marketing efforts. Seminars, workshops, and classes are a great way to start a relationship and build on it with your future customers!
5. Consider the season
One of the easiest ways to make changes to your marketing efforts is to offer up seasonal specials. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should think up any old discount and slap the word “summer special” on it. Think about what is actually going on during that particular time of year and what people might be attracted to. Summers are a good time to consider weddings and event specials, also anything outdoors related. Spring is a great time for cleaning services or gardening specials. During the Fall season, people are usually thinking about food and family; and, of course, the holidays – always a great time for anyone to market anything as people are doing a lot of shopping. Whatever you offer, try to tie it into what people might already be looking for.
When you are ready to start planning your marketing, I challenge you to first ask “what is my goal?” When you have an answer, write it down. Then, use this list to help you determine how to achieve that goal. Come up with a plan for 3 months, 6 months and a year. Set up attainable but challenging goals at each of these marks and plan a reward for your business when you achieve them. Marketing should be fun and rewarding, but it shouldn’t always be flying by the seat of your pants. AND if you ever need more help, sign up for a training with us!