2020 is all about innovation, growth, and advancement.
There is no longer any space to be stagnant or use the same marketing strategies of years gone by. When there are hundreds of companies all fighting to be the best in your sector, not only do you have to step up and compete, you have to be better than the best.
The only way for small business owners to excel despite the numerous competitors they have is by being innovative and creative. If a business is unable to be unique with the way they market their products and services, they inevitably will begin to fall off and become irrelevant. In order to engage customers in your Maine based business, you need to be observant, willing to learn, and stay up to date with all of the changes and technological advancements that have taken place.
The moment your business can no longer stay on top of its game, your competitors gain the upper hand and you will struggle to be a part of the race again. Here are some suggestions to stay competitive with your marketing strategy in 2020.
1. Take Advantage of Apps
There are numerous apps that are now available that can help you in the day to day management of your business. From productivity, to content creation, to app versions of websites you use everyday- the options are endless. A few of our most recommended apps below-
Google My Business is not only a helpful tool, but a necessary one to ensure your business shows up in search results. Many experts are saying that google my business listings are as important as a website today. Not only can Google My Business help you achieve higher search engine rankings, it can also generate a significant amount of traffic to your website. Having the GMB app downloaded to your phone can make the management of your listing much easier. Download the App Here
There are also many productivity apps that can help you stay on top of marketing tasks. These can be a huge help in making sure important marketing tasks are not slipping through the cracks. Make sure you choose a platform that allows for recurring tasks- our absolute favorite platform is ClickUp and they have a free version that will work for most local businesses.
Canva is one of the most powerful content creation tools for local businesses- and is underutilized by many! You can create engaging content for social media, stories, printable flyers, and more all from the convenience of your phone. We recommend using the website to familiarize yourself with the software first- but having the app on your phone is handy!
2. Use the Power of Social Media & Content Marketing
It is no longer possible to have a blossoming company without a social media presence. Content is literally the driving force of your business and the perception potential and current clients have of you. Make sure your content is relevant, refreshing, to-the-point, and more than anything- consistent! If Social Media is a hard task for you to stay on top of- it might be time to consider professional social media management.
One of the best ways to market your business through social media is by collaborating with bloggers and influencers who have an audience that would be interested in your products. Influencers are able to convey the hands-on experience of using your products or trying your services, and their audience is more likely to be affected by what they have to say because they have already built trust with them.
One important step that many people over look is building out your social media platforms correctly! It is important to make sure all social media platforms you are actively using are linked to your website, have up to date contact information, and brand consistency. If you are going to make the time and effort to drive people to your social media pages- you need to make sure you can capture the lead as well!
Aside from content marketing through social media- having a local blog is NON-NEGOTIABLE today. If someone is charging you for “SEO Services”- and blogging is not a part of it… this can officially be considered a scam. Search engines want to see consistent, useful, and organic content that will please the reader. It is of the utmost importance to not only blog, but make sure you are utilizing key words and geographies associated with your business. This service is typically more affordable than some might realize. If you would like us to evaluate your current SEO spend, or chat about starting a blogging service, send us an email at email@example.com
3. Be Wary of Your Reviews
Potential customers no longer rely on their own research alone when deciding whether or not to purchase a product. Even if they have browsed your website and gone through the details of your services and products, many will immediately back off if they find a low rating or negative review that outweigh the good reviews.
The power of customer reviews is unlike any other. You could have a seemingly flawless marketing strategy, but the moment your customers post about an unfortunate experience that they have with you, it has the potential to spread like wildfire.
If you ever have to face negative reviews, which most businesses do at some point in time, the most important thing you can do is RESPOND. You need to have an effective way to combat the negativity and inform your potential customers that this was a one-off instance and not the way your brand regularly performs. It is important to take this action on both positive and negative reviews but especially negative, as it can offset how a negative review might impact a potential customer. Sometimes just seeing a quick, effective response from a business owner is enough to offset the negative review itself.
However, it is important to note that you never want to make your customers feel like they were wrong to have that experience or that they are not being truthful about what happened. Be engaging with your customers and show them that you are willing to help them resolve their issues.
After all, a company that seems truly apologetic about what their customer went through is appreciated much more than one that tries to explain how the customer may have ruined the product themselves. A last note on reviews, make sure you are always actively generating new POSITIVE reviews. Send followup emails, create a review link, and encourage customers who rave about their experience to translate this into a 5 star review! Review generation is a crucial part of an effective marketing strategy today.
4. Know Your Audience
One mistake that many small business owners make is to market to the wrong audience. You could have invested a chunk of your resources into coming up with a marketing strategy, but it will not get you any ROI if you are targeting the wrong clientele.
This is especially important in a diverse city like Portland, Maine. You want to cater to the interests of your audience and be as personal as possible. Be sure to get specific about which Maine geographies you want to target.
Play the “perfect client” game. Write out EXACTLY who your ideal client is. What is their age? Their income? Do they have children… no children? Where do they work? Where do they spend their free time? Doing this will allow you to identify exactly which avenues your marketing efforts will be best spent.
Hopefully, the marketing tips mentioned above will help you work towards a refined marketing strategy in 2020 that will allow you to build a strong customer base. We know this blog only begins to cover what an effective marketing strategy consists of today, feel free tor each out to us with any questions or to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your business! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org