Marketing can get expensive. There are so many different forms of marketing, so it’s important to target what works for you so that you aren’t throwing money into something that isn’t. But what works? You could read all of the online articles regarding how to market your products and services to your customers, but they aren’t guaranteed to work for your business with its own unique set of conditions and customers. So what’s a business owner to do?
There is one thing that’s guaranteed: a website is essential. What’s more, it should be optimized for mobile. These days, people are using their phones to pull up information on the go, when they need it most. While it shouldn’t be your only tactic, your website is the perfect way to get information out to your customers and potential customers, keep them informed of events, and list the trade shows you’ll be setting up your trade show exhibits at. In fact, if used properly, your website can help you increase your marketing budget with all of the new business it draws in, allowing you to set up your custom exhibit at even more trade shows!
Eventility, an event promotion company, released some interesting figures regarding the importance of having an online presence. 97 percent of people look for local businesses online. What’s more, 61 percent of the younger crowd count on social media to help them determine where they should go when they go out. And the figure that will stick with you and convince you it’s time to break down and jump into the world of social media – a whopping 78 percent of small business owners credit their social media accounts with attracting a quarter of their new customers.
We’ve mentioned the importance of detailing promotions online and through social media channels, and that’s because 73 percent of consumers turn to the internet to find deals and promotions. In fact, if an online coupon comes up in their search, they are 59 percent more likely to go to the business associated with the coupon. And isn’t that what any small business wants, new customers to discover how great they are?
But don’t think you can get them in there and then give them so-so service. 72 percent of consumers actually read online reviews and trust them as if a colleague had recommended them. 52 percent of them say they are more likely to do business with those that have glowing online reviews. What does that mean for you if you’re not getting good reviews? Well, people will probably stay away. It is said that a negative review actually has a greater impact than a positive one, so be careful!
Use It Wisely
It is extremely important to keep your website up to date, and post regularly on social media. And during trade show time, it can be a great way to get new attendees! Of course you should be using Facebook and Twitter (which 73 percent and 55 percent of businesses are using to get through to their customers, respectively), but there are so many other options available to you. The more you choose to use, the more potential customers you’ll be reaching! But how can you incorporate other social media sites into your marketing strategy?
YouTube – Videos are popular, especially on mobile devices, allowing people to pass the time with brief informative videos (okay, and some of them funny cat videos!) You can take advantage of this by offering videos regarding newly released products you plan to show off at your trade show booth. Choose a feature or two and offer a sneak peek, but don’t give them all of the information! Carefully craft your video so that you leave them wanting more, making it difficult for them to miss your booth at the show. 47 percent of small businesses already know how effective YouTube is!
Blog – Only 22 percent of small businesses are keeping a blog. Are you one of them? If not, you should be! This gives you an opportunity to address not only product information, but also issues pertinent to your customers. They will feel like you are an expert of sorts, which builds trust. Use your blog to promote your appearance at trade shows, and so much more.
Pinterest. A mere 20 percent of small businesses are using Pinterest to market their products and get a bit more business. While it seems like a site for housewives to find interesting decorating ideas and recipes and teenagers to build the perfect outfit, it is so much more than that! Many small businesses, knowing that their target audience is using Pinterest on a daily basis, will offer contests that have customers and potential customers searching through their pins and boards.
This is a wonderful way to get new eyes on your products – for example, you offer the newest product as a prize for one customer randomly selected from those who repin one of your new product pins. Just ask them to choose their favorite, and every time they pin, all of their followers see that pin and might repin, or click over to your boards to take a look for themselves. Then they’ll want to check you out at the trade show to see these products in person!
The best part of online marketing: much of it is free of charge! This is a great way to give your company a powerful presence online in order to build your customer base, growing your small business, and over time, increasing your marketing budget. With more money, you can afford to attend more trade shows!
What social media networks are you part of? Are you active? It’s time to change that!