Here at Social Cindy we get to work with businesses here in Indian River County, across the US and back in Orange County. After the crash of 2008, it has been our great pleasure to help some of those businesses and to watch them grow from struggling operations into thriving enterprises.
How did they do it? From what I have observed, and perhaps even been an integral part of, they all have something in common. A consistent level of customer service and an understanding that marketing their business is essential for success. Not only do they work hard at delivering a high level of service and responsiveness, they understand the importance of letting people know about their business.
They develop a consistent brand across all platforms, print, media and web, and they market their businesses.
From Forbes Magazine, some information on just how to target your marketing efforts in order to grow your business:
“…Deciding Where to Focus
There are more ways than ever to promote your business. There’s SEO, social media, PPC and other online advertising methods, content marketing, and my own specialty, mobile marketing. While it’s great to have choices, you also have to refine your approach and decide what’s right for you. I see many businesses jumping from one method to another. They invest their time and money, but they often don’t get the results they want. In some cases, this is because they didn’t focus long enough on one method to learn it thoroughly or stick with it long enough to really reap the benefits. In other cases, it was the wrong approach for them to begin with.
Identify where to invest your resources. I always tell clients to first ask themselves where their customers are spending their time. For example, there are now many social media sites. Most people are on Facebook. However, if you’re selling to a crowd where images are crucial to making purchasing decisions (e.g., furniture, real estate, anything in the hospitality industry, fashion), it makes sense to use visually-oriented sites such as Pinterest and Instagram. If your customers are other businesses, you should be active on LinkedIn. The same goes for traditional offline marketing. Find the publications your audience reads, the radio stations they listen to and so forth. Don’t simply use an advertising or promotional strategy because its trendy. Make sure it’s an effective way to target your customers.
Unique Selling Proposition/Point (USP) is an old business principle that is more relevant now than ever. Many businesses seem to look to their competitors for guidance on branding and marketing, which is always a mistake. Give customers a unique reason to seek your product or service. Branding and differentiation apply to your website, social media pages, paid ads and everything else that has your logo or business name attached to it. What’s the particular appeal of your business? Whether you are the best tasting, cheapest, most natural, most luxurious, fastest or hippest product out there, make sure you tell the world this in all of your marketing outreach. Brand consistency is important. Your visual style, fonts, language and overall tone should be consistent on all of your platforms and channels, whether online or offline. You wouldn’t want to have a whimsical approach on social media that includes humorous memes and jokes while having a formal and corporate looking website. Make sure you project the same image wherever people find you.”
The bottom line is this, set a reasonable Marketing budget, make sure you are consistent with your message and the look of your advertising. Give your campaigns time to work, don’t give up after a couple of months. Sometimes it can take up to six months for results, but when you start to see those results your business will grow as long as you keep up a consistent message. Referrals will drive come from satisfied customer and your business will grow.