It is counterintuitive.
As a business owner, you have already much to do to keep your business alive and kicking.
Nonetheless, you might think that you need some bespoke fancy marketing strategy to grow your business.
It’s what you are told, right?
The reality is different though. Marketing doesn’t need to be complex to drive results.
Moreover, you will be surprised to find out that doing the right things (and ceasing the wrong ones) can be a game-changer.
Whether you believe it or not, some of the most effective marketing strategies are also the simplest.
To quote Leonardo da Vinci: “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”
We’re going to cut to the chase, giving you the simplest yet most effective marketing strategies and tips to improve your marketing and grow your business.
Let’s jump in!
Stay where your customers congregate
Let’s start with a bomb.
As a business owner, there is no reason for you to open a profile on every social media. Even worse, if you don’t keep updating them, those pages will look desolated.
Not the desired scenario for a small business.
Do you want to hear the golden rule to picking the right platform?
Place your effort into sharing content on that platform where most of your ideal customers spend their time.
This also implies not considering only Social Media Networks. Other traditional mediums (flyers, billboards, radio ads) might work better for your business.
It’s all about YOUR audience.
In other words, doing the right work is more important than doing the work right.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
Most business owners think of social media in 2 ways.
- The place to make sales proposition
- The place to tell their story
None of these are true. None of these are false.
Instead, you want to combine them and use them accordingly.
The best way to visualize this strategy has been described by the American entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk in his book Jab Jab Jab right hook
Just as boxers, you don’t want to shoot your best punch all the time. Rather, you want to place them at the right moment.
Not unlike, you can apply the same concept to drive sales and brand awareness creating content for your online presence (regardless of the platform picked).
It works like this:
You first provide value; the jabs.
In other words, you show what is great about your business, how things are valued, what you stand for, etc.
This is how you build a connection and create content that resonate with your audience.
Then you ask for something; the right hook.
These are your shots for driving relevant action from your following (ask for a subscription, a sale, a reservation, etc.)
This is a simple yet super effective marketing strategy. You can apply it easily and you will be amazed by its effectiveness.
Make sure your website is easy to read and navigate
Your website is the digital showroom of your business and, as such, says a lot about your enterprise.
Be sure that your website is easy to navigate and does not lack any useful information for your customers.
Nothing is more frustrating than navigating a website without finding the information someone expects to find.
How can you do that?
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think with their minds.
Ask yourself what your customers might look for and what would they like to accomplish on your website. A reservation? Information about your menu? how to get there?
Moreover, ensure that the website transmits the same vibes of the physical location.
Play with the fonts, the images, the logo, and the words.
If you have a physical business, your website will give a first impression. Be sure that it is a good one.
Optimize your social profile for growth
As we saw, you don’t need to be present on every single social media out there. Unless you dream to become a Social Media Manager, of course.
Instead, after you pick the best social media for your business, you want to optimize it for growth.
You got to carefully craft the first elements an online user will see.
Here is a breakdown:
A picture says one thousand words. Make sure to use a picture that is coherent with your business and transmits its uniqueness. It can be your logo as well as something else.
Every social media platform allows you to write a short caption to describe who you are. Use that to capture the uniqueness of your business and how it can help your customer.
New users will land here and make their minds up on whether it is worth following you. Curate your profile feed to give it an identity and a recognizable general theme. Of course, you are not an influencer and your goal is not to grow a huge following, but rather to drive results.
Some social (e.g. Instagram) allow for highlights and serve to further expand the story about your business. Use them strategically to add to the profile description. Do you manage a restaurant? Highlights the location, the products, or what your customer says. Are you a barber? Show your best haircuts, the products you use, or how to book. Do you manage a hotel? Make a tour inside the venue with pictures.
Contacts: Add all your reference and the methods to contact your business. If you have a website, link it as well.
Curate the whole experience offline
The ultimate marketing tool is to have your customers amazed. They might not notice all the things that work, but they will surely notice that little thing that doesn’t.
Therefore, you’ve got to take care of the details.
This is annoying. But is also the truth.
Pay attention to the little details that can turn off their enthusiasm and ruin a perfect experience.
Add little details that make the experience unique.
It doesn’t need to be complex. Some little touch of personality can positively affect the whole experience for your customers.
What should I post?
The one million dollar question.
When it comes to content creation, the main dilemma faced by small business owners is what should be posted on social media.
As this blog post promised you the simplest marketing strategy, this is the one that answers this excruciating question.
Document your business.
There’s no need to go viral all the time. Rather, show what is going on in your business in an authentic way.
A restaurant can show the delivery of fresh fruits as well as the lovely atmosphere of an evening.
A hospitality business can post the special vibes of an event as well as a particularly felt review.
Simply document what is going on in every aspect. Even the seemingly simplest ones.
One caveat though:
We suggest you avoid politics, religion, and any other underwater topic that might be misunderstood because they can lead to flame.
To be good with online marketing, you’ve got to create content and endure enough to be discovered.
Especially if you are running social media, do not focus too much on a single content. It will rarely be perfect.
To improve, instead, keep the ball rolling. Multiple studies show how quantity lead to quality work, more than just aiming for the best content possible.
Put in your reps.
In a world hyperconnected and crammed with content, it is becoming harder to get noticed.
However, many marketers and business owners around the world are finding an ally in text messaging.
Especially if you run a local business, SMS can work like a charm.
We recently published a special guide on Short Message Services (SMS) marketing.
Do you want to dive deeper? Have a look: The Ultimate Guide to SMS marketing for small business owners
Google is your friend
With more than 154 million user monthly, Google Map is one of the most popular apps in the US and in many other countries.
This means that someone is certainly on the lookout for a business similar to yours on Google map.
Furthermore, Google Maps suggests and emphasizes the best business in an area according to multiple factors such as reviews, time spent and more.
This is a whole new branch of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and is called Local SEO.
The first thing to do is to open your Google MyBusiness and provide all the information necessary.
However, optimizing your presence on Google Maps begins with receiving good reviews. This brings us to our next simple marketing strategy.
Let me see your reviews
Have you ever read a review before making a purchase?
You are not alone. Checking reviews is nowadays a habit of every consumer in most circumstances.
Multiple studies show the relevance of reviews for making decisions about purchases.
Therefore, a simple way to get an edge over your competitors is to get reviews. As much as possible.
The best method to grant your business a constant flow of review is to establish a process for it.
It can be a digitized process (an after-sale email, an SMS, a kind request on the receipt) or, even better, a human process.
Ask your customers (or delegate it to your employees) to leave a review on any available platform. Ideally, on more than one platform (Tripadvisor, Google, Booking, etc.)
If you want to go the extra mile, you can encourage reviews by offering discounts and vouchers to the loyal customers that help spread the word.
How to follow these simple marketing strategy
The marketing strategies you read so far can save you time, money and effort while helping you achieve better results.
Analyze your online and offline presence in the eye of what you read and ask yourself: What can you start to do? What can you improve? What should you stop doing?
Ultimately, it’s all about working smarter. Not harder.
The last piece of advice is to keep things easy and use the strategies that you think you can keep up with in the long run.
Persistence beats intensity. As always.