Painting Business Marketing Tips and Ideas

Marketing is an important part of running a successful painting business. No matter how good you are at doing professional paint work, it won’t help you if you don’t have a marketing strategy in place to promote and sell the services that you offer.

In this article we look at how effective painting business marketing strategies can help your company get the painting jobs that you need on a regular basis. We also off ideas and tips on putting such a marketing plan together.

Branding Strategy

Right from the start you should set out to develop a brand. Give some thoughts to how you want to shape public perceptions of your business. A great name and logo design can give your brand visual representation but there is much more to it than that. A winning brand strategy is to have the right attitude and to adopt a business philosophy that will ensure that you slowly start to develop a good reputation. Strive to become known as a reliable company that always meets and exceeds customer expectations.

Painting Niche Markets

Before you can start to develop a marketing strategy you need to know exactly what painting services you intend on selling. Depending on the size of your local market and the number of competitors you may decide to specialize in one particular area or to be a ‘jack of all trades’.

The market can basically divided into two broad areas, exterior and interior painting. Exterior or outdoor painting work is usually easier to get as people are less likely to do it themselves due to the perceived danger of getting up on ladders. The great thing about outdoor painting work is that customers are usually less demanding then they are when you are painting surfaces inside their home. With outdoor painting you do have to consider safety to a much greater extent though, particularly for multi story buildings. You don’t even have to limit yourself to house painting as all kinds of buildings need painting from time to time.

Market Research

Do some thorough market research and identify all of the opportunities that are out there in the market. You also need to try to understand who your customers are likely to be and how you can market your service to them in a way that they will respond favorably. Put together some customer profiles and chat to a few typical customers to find out more from their prospective. Get into the customers shoes and try to understand what they are looking for in a painting company.

Networking Tips

One great way to pick up some regular jobs is to approach people who you think are in a position to be able to refer customers to you. Try to make relationships with property developers, interior decorators, real estate agents, home staging companies, property management firms and others who are out there in the market. Other networking options include joining a local builders association or the Chamber of Commerce.

Look for other well established service businesses that have large lists of clients and regular communication with them. You may find cleaning companies or lawn care businesses that will promote your service to their mailing list for a fee.

It can be great to have relationships with other painting contractors. While they are competitors in some sense of the word, they can also be helpful. If you specialize in different kinds of painting or you work in different parts of town then you may just be able to refer business to each other. If you are lucky there may be times when you have more work then you can handle. Being able to pass work on to other painters that you know are reliable will be good for your customers and good for them. They may also reciprocate and send work your way.

One great place to meet people is at home improvement stores. The painting section in Home Depot can be a gold mine if you are friendly and strike up some casual conversations. You will meet other contractors there and you may even meet a customer as well.

Advertising Campaigns

The obvious way for a new business to get in touch with prospective customers is through advertising. Test a variety of methods that will put you directly in touch with your target market. For more information see our article on Painting Business Advertising.

Marketing Materials

It helps if you have some marketing materials to show to prospective customers when you meet them for a consultation. Have some brochures made up or at least take a folder along with you with pictures of some of the jobs that you have completed in the past. Testimonials from previous customers also offer the prospect the kind of reassurance and ‘social proof’ that they want before they sign the dotted line.

What can you do if you have not completed any paint jobs yet or don’t have any suitable photos? One great tip is to purchase stock photography from an online retailer. Featuring pictures of beautiful paint jobs in your brochure or on your website is not fraudulent if you don’t make false claims about the depicted work being your own.

Fine Tune your Sales Process

To be a huge success in the painting business you do have to have someone on your team who is able to go out there and sell your services. There are many different sales strategies and techniques and they all have varying levels of success depending on the sales person and the prospect. Learn about some of the different approaches, test them out and then find out what works for you.

Don’t be intimidated by the idea that you have to sell. Sometimes if you just be yourself, stay positive and guide the customer through a pleasant conversation about how you can help them, that’s all it takes.

Try to up-sell customers on additional painting work. Once they have agreed to hire you to paint a certain area you can also start suggesting other areas of their house or property that could do with some paint work.

Ideas on Customer Service

In the painting business you have to be a good communicator as well as a good painter. It is necessary to take the time to understand every customers unique requirements. Always give them the best standard of service and make sure that they have open lines of communication with you. This should start right from the moment they get in contact with you to enquire about your services. Try to have someone answering your phone calls in person and if this is not possible then make sure that you return calls as soon as possible.

Marketing to Existing Customers

Once you have a customer and have completed some work on their home, that doesn’t have to be the end of your relationship with them. Build up a client list with notes about each property that you have painted. You can then contact them from time to time and offer to do any other painting work that they require.

There are many great guide books available online that will offer you additional ideas and strategies for your painting business marketing. If you study marketing in general you will find that most concepts relate to the painting industry and can be applied in your business.

Using Facebook for Small Business Marketing

Facebook is an excellent tool to add to your small business marketing plan.

A big mistake that many entrepreneurs make when it comes to social media sites like Facebook is the belief that these sites are only useful for large companies that have big brands. In reality Facebook can be a great small business marketing tool for business of all shapes and size.

Right now, Facebook is the most popular social media networking site on the web. According to Facebook’s official fact sheet, there are currently over half a billion active Facebook users, 50% of whom log on to Facebook in any given day. The average Facebook user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events, and he or she creates 90 pieces of content each month. There are more than 30 billion pieces of content, such as web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc. shared on Facebook each month.

So as you can see, if you’re interested in adding social media to your small business marketing plan, Facebook is quite possibly the best place to get started.

Facebook is a great place to increase trust and authority on the internet. By adding a Facebook business page, it is also a great way to promote your business and connect with customers and prospects on a more personal and accessible level. Not to mention, your business page will give you more opportunities to show up in Facebook search results.

Though there is of course some work associated with creating and keeping up a good Facebook page, it is well worth it in marketing terms. Here are some tips for creating your small business Facebook page.

** Start a Facebook Page for Business

The first thing that you need to do is to create a business page. This is relatively simple and all it involves is visiting the Facebook advertising section, creating a page, and putting up some information about your business. If you want something a little more elaborate, such as a customized landing page for new members, you might need to hire a consultant to help you out. But if the plain Jane version is OK with you, you’ll be able to set up your own page in less than one day.

You can add small business marketing content to your Facebook business page, such as images, press releases, videos, blog posts, and any other relevant information. You will also need accurate contact and website information and a clear overview of what your business does and for whom.

** Start Interacting

Once your page is up and all your information is accurate, the next thing to do is start interacting with your friends. Encourage your Facebook friends to “like” your Facebook business page (this used to be referred to as “becoming a fan”) and to share your page with their friends. You’ll need to post updates every day, which can include promotions, blog posts, and any other relevant company news.

The most important aspect of using Facebook for marketing is the ability to engage with your customers. If they leave comments on your Facebook business page, always reply back. Visit your customers’ Facebook walls and leave comments there also. Create open, back and forth, communication with your customers and prospects, and allow their Facebook friends to interact and experience your customer service also.

** Promote Your Facebook Page

The last step to having a successful Facebook page is letting people know that it exists. You need to spend time promoting your Facebook page to personal contacts and business associates. Be sure to add a widget to your website homepage or blog. If you have a brick and mortar business you may want to hang up a sign asking customers to visit you on Facebook. Add a link to your Facebook page in your email newsletters, in your Yellow Pages ad, in your local newspaper advertisements, etc. You may even consider offering some sort of incentive, such as a special discount or coupon to customers who “like” you on Facebook.

Facebook is a tremendously valuable tool to add to your small business marketing arsenal. A Facebook business page allows you to create community interaction with your customers and prospects and create content that can be shared virally. If you’re looking for an inexpensive tactic to increase your name recognition, consider adding Facebook to your small business marketing plan.

Small Business Marketing For Coaches & Consultants

Part of my coach life training was a regular journey to Coventry. And in between trips I would speak with my Coach on the phone, and together with his expert Coaching, encouragement, occasional directness and gentlemanly wit, in that 3 years my take-home pay doubled, I’ve never been so excited and driven about my organization as I now am, and I’m looking forward to working less, doing less, yet seeing increasing revenue, clients, sales and bottom line profit flooding in for the foreseeable future.

So I know that this programme of training and mentoring works ? It’s been tremendously successful, each year has been my best year in business ever in terms of turnover and profit, even in the so-called recession.

There’s an important rule you should write down:

“Turnover for vanity, profit for sanity.” It’s not how much you create, its how much you get to keep.

You’re probably like me: We read books, we listen to CD’s, we take pleasure in seminars …mentally. Maybe we diagram an implementation plan, but it never materialises?

And then after any training course, there’s the honeymoon period where you work powerfully for a few days, put the manual on the shelf, the incentive wears off and very quickly you are back in the rut. Know what I mean?

Not this year. Fully Booked. That’s what we want. The only worthwhile result of this programme is to make it happen in a significant way.

FACT – 19% of businesses survive the first 5 years.

The question is, do you want to be one of them? Will you still be in business in five years time? Do you aspire to be ? Joyfully Jobless?

But here’s the truth. WRITE THIS DOWN – your business is simply a series of tasks that each have a dynamic and massive scope for growth and leverage, or what I call “Gearing”

Not 10% or 15% scope for growth, but hundreds of % scope.

You can implement tactics, strategies, methods and approaches to each stage of your venture, which will result in significant surges in client acquisition and retention.

For example, you can set up a website in a couple of hours (and you can learn how to do that quickly and easily, even if you’ve never touched a keyboard in your life!) then you can set up Google AdWords sending people to that site 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, internationally, even while you sleep.

In half an hour you can see the eyeballs looking at your web page and discovering who you are and what you provide. More importantly, you must also then capture the contact details of those clients. Let me tell you why:

One time I was working with a Hairdressing Salon owned by a colleague of mine, and I watched a woman walk into the hairdressers and walking back out. A hot prospect. But all of the staff were too engrossed in their work to even notice her. What a wasted opportunity.

Here’s another example. Me, Cheryl and 3 year old Luke walked into the Osprey, our local restaurant. Here’s a family of three looking for a meal, but the building was cold and even though there were tables available, we decided it was too chilly for Luke. So we walked back out. Yet not one member of staff noticed us or asked us anything. What a missed opportunity.

When I wrote my first book, I set up Google AdWords. I had to turn them OFF because too many people were going to the site and ordering the book. I couldn’t get the publisher to print sufficient copies to cope with the orders I had coming in, and it totally took me by surprise. Then I was sitting up until 1am charging credit cards manually, stuffing envelopes, writing addresses, queuing at the post office. Then I learned ways to automate and systematise all of that so it all gets done with very little energy required from me.

Would you like to have that problem? Too many enquiries? Having to tell clients that you’ll add them to your waiting list and you’ll phone them if you get a space?

Now, if I want to, I can turn it on and off like a tap, I can control the flow. If I think this month is going to be a little quieter than last month, or maybe I want to buy a new toy (I turned 40 last year and I bought a couple of mountain bikes for Cheryl and I, and of course helmets, lubricant, puncture repair kits, lights, mudguards, all the bolt on accessories) so I can decide to switch the flow back on, and the customers appear, and the funds go up.

“It is the fool who in commerce takes his pay by the hour, because his hours are limited but his needs are not” – written in a red book I found in a jumble sale for 25p, reputedly written by a millionaire

Some mornings I wake up (my business usually starts at the crack of 10). I switch on my factory (my computer) and I’ve sold four books overnight, so I’m already £80 up and I haven’t finished my toast yet. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Imagine if this was you.

This is the kind of small business marketing I’m talking about.

Top 10 Marketing Books for Small Business Owners

Unlike big business owners, small business owners have the burden of taking care of every single aspect of their business – recruitment, marketing, finance, accounts, managing employees to managing vendors, and so forth. But here we focused only on books that can help you gain marketing knowledge and skills. Here are the top 10 books on marketing which we believe are helpful for new as well as established small business owners.

Book # 1: The New Rules of Marketing & PR – David Meerman Scott

In the new marketing scenario, the methods such as ad copy, etc. do not bring results for your business. With the popularity of smartphones and other devices and proliferation of the Internet, new methods, rules, etc. of marketing have evolved. This book discusses the importance and benefits of using such techniques.

David M Scott provides fresh examples of success from various industries and businesses across the world. He highlights the new tools and techniques that marketers should use to communicate with their buyers directly – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. In short, this book is a guide that offers actionable strategies and insider tips that can be implemented immediately.

Book # 2: Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking – Andy Sernovitz

This book by Andy Sernovitz emphasizes the use of word of mouth marketing for businesses. The book elaborates purpose of blogs, social media, viral emails, etc. – when to use them and how to make them work.

Word of mouth is an effective tool to share information quickly and easily to promote businesses. It is an effective tool that can promote your business via your customers, friends and relations.

Book # 3: Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business – Jay Conrad Levinson

This book furnishes strategies for Internet marketing, tips on using technology like pod-casting and automated marketing, programs for targeting prospects, cultivating repeat, referral business, management lessons in the age of telecommuting and freelance employees, etc. – exclusively for small businesses.

Book # 4: Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide – John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a well-known expert in small business marketing. In the book, he discusses all the proven tools and tactics together in a step-by-step marketing system. This road map helps small business owners in knowing what they need to do to market their businesses.

Book # 5: Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business – David Siteman Garland

This book provides strategies for building, marketing and promoting businesses. These techniques are smarter, faster, cheaper and therefore save your time and money. The book is equally helpful for start-ups as well as those who are already in the market for sometime.

Book # 6: Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed: Leverage Resources, Establish Online Credibility and Crush Your Competition – Patrick Schwerdtfeger

This book provides effective practical strategies and tactics – a complete tool kit to use resources sensibly, to establish online credibility. If you apply these strategies, you can get good results for your business within a brief span of time.

Book # 7: Ultimate Small Business Marketing Guide – James Stephenson

This book is an essential guide for every business owner. James Stephenson presents in this book 1500 great marketing ideas that are sure to boost your sales revenue, profits and customer loyalty and also to help you stay ahead of your competitors.

Book # 8: Web Marketing for Small Businesses: 7 Steps to Explosive Business Growth – Stephanie Diamond

Marketing for small businesses was difficult in the past. But today, it is not the case. Web marketing enables small businesses to take advantage of marketing opportunities and win new customers.

The book ‘Web Marketing for Small Businesses: 7 Steps to Explosive Business Growth’ focuses on different ways of marketing with a detailed strategy to put them into action. The main content of the book comprises checklists – niche, brand, story, search, content, social media tactics, traditional tactics and results. This book helps you implement web marketing strategies.

Book # 9: Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook – Dave Kerpen

This book is a key to unlock the door to new opportunities. It tells you about how to build brand awareness by engaging customers in social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and other social media networking sites.

Book # 10: 500 Social Media Marketing Tips: Essential Advice, Hints and Strategy for Business: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and More! – Andrew Macarthy

This book is a guide to small businesses. It provides 500 social media marketing tips covering all the web’s biggest players like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube and others. These tips will help you build brand awareness in social media networks, attract and engage your customers and ultimately help you increase sales.

10 Tips For Using Instagram For Business Marketing

Hundreds of millions of people all over the world use Instagram every day. This social media powerhouse gives you the opportunity to reach a substantial number of people in different areas across the world.

Using Instagram for business marketing can help you build your brand, get more traffic, grow your list of email subscribers and generate sales.

1. Keep It Social

When you use Instagram for business marketing, think social, not ads. Create content your target audience will interact with, not ignore because it looks too spammy. Show that you like pictures in your niche to get people interested in following you.

2. Provide Value

Instagram users are active shoppers who are doing their research, so the more information you can offer them in terms of images, carousels and stories, the better.

3. Use Stories

Instagram Stories provide instant information and instant gratification that. They only last 24 hours so creates a sense of excitement and urgency.

4. Use Hashtags

Many people actively search out specific hashtags, and your images will be there waiting for them. One Instagram study showed that adding at least one hashtag to all of your posts will create more than 12% engagement on average.

5. Call To Action

Every post you produce should have a clear call to action that matches your business goal in creating it. Instagram provides a range of buttons, such as ‘Buy Now’.

6. Link Back To Your Site

Instagram is a great way to drive traffic to your site. More than 50% of the users on the social media site follow at least one business, and say they have learned about a product or service through Instagram.

7. Consistent Brand Image

Stay consistent to your page theme. Only include photos, hashtags, captions and videos relevant to your page topic.

8. Create A Good Profile

Ensure your Instagram profile informs your target audience about who you are and what you do. Instagram’s search engine is text-based, and you have a better chance of someone finding you if your user name has a keyword or two that is relevant to your business.

9. Switch From Personal To Business

Convert to a business account in order to gain access to all of the tools and analytics available.

10. Use Your Analytics

Analyzing your marketing efforts on Instagram is really easy. Instagram Insights gives you all the relevant data about your page. It lets you know how your marketing efforts are paying off.

Improve Your Small Business Marketing to Increase Your Profits

Marketing Tips to Help Drive Profits and Stay Competitive

Although we call them “small” businesses, running a small business is no small task. Compared to larger corporations, small business have a much smaller margin for error when it comes to marketing initiatives – when a marketing campaign fails, larger corporations shake their heads, make adjustments, and move on but for small businesses, a big failure could mean the end of the company. Here are some great marketing tips to help your marketing efforts stay effective and your business stay competitive.

Better Use of Data

Data about your target audience is invaluable to small businesses. This kind of information allows business owners and marketers to identify the types of people who are most likely to do business with them and purchase their products and/or services. Knowing your target audience can also help you to better tailor and focus your marketing messages to those types of consumers. If it is in the budget, hiring a professional data team can really help a small business make the most out of this information.

Use Email More Effectively

Email can be a powerful tool when it comes to communicating with your current customers. Emails are a great opportunity to connect with customers and provide them information on upgrades, cross-selling opportunities, and additional sales or deals your business may be offering. Using email is a great, non-evasive way to stay connected to those consumers who already know your business and your brand. You can even take email marketing a step further by breaking down your contact list into groups by segments such as purchase history, age group, geographical area, and other important data points.

Use Shareable Content to Expand Your Reach

Consumers love to share, and social media has made it easier than ever for consumers to share things they like or dislike online. Known as “content marketing,” creating online content that is informative and meaningful to your target audience is a great way to reach more consumers and raise more recognition around your business and your brand. This information is most effective when posted on your company’s website but can also be shared on sites like YouTube and Facebook for easier access.

Consider Paid Search to Increase Visibility

Driving traffic to your website is always an important part of marketing your business. One way to do this is to use a paid search to ensure your business’ website will appear when consumers search the types of products or services you offer. For example, should a consumer search “pet groomers in Harrisburg, PA” and you own a pet grooming business in or around that area, your business’s website will appear at the very top of the search results. The closer your businesses website link appears to the top of the search results, the more likely it is that consumers will follow that link to your site.

Use Your Resources

Aside from in-house marketing, there are a number of resources available to help small businesses. For example, the United States Small Business Administration can offer business owners loans, counseling sessions, contracts, and other forms of assistance to help cultivate and grow their business. Consider other resources as well including Google Tools for website assistance and online marketing, Kabbage for small business loans, and Free Stock Images for high quality images for your marketing materials.

Small Business Marketing Secrets: Look Like Sizzle, Be The Steak

You’ve heard marketing and advertising gurus quip, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” Advertising initiatives best reach their target audience with benefits and the “wow” effect, not the value or features of their product or service. This may work well to get customers in the door. But once they’re in, you better have some substance. How can you ensure you uphold the integrity of your business and still maintain the “Wow Effect”? It just takes well executed strategic steps for business AND personal development:

1. It’s Already Done

Act like the goals you are working so diligently to achieve have already been reached. Walk with that confidence. Treat your leads like customers, your customers like guests in your home, and your staff like family. When you approach goals like a “done deal”, you open up creativity reserves to think outside the box, access resources you didn’t know you had and create opportunities for success previously unforeseen.

2. Get There From Here

It is not enough to act like you have arrived; you also get to devise a strategy map to get you there. Ask for your customers’ input through surveys, polls, feedback forms. Pay customers’ a visit, just to see how things are going. Send a birthday card, send flowers, and send an article clip that can prove useful to a client. Never miss an opportunity to create relationship. The best way to ensure you don’t miss opportunities is to create a plan.

3. Who Cares?

Ensure that your work is fun and fulfilling for you and those who might work for or with you. Keep your duties aligned with your skills and interests, and invest in your own personal development. Volunteer in the community. Build a house for Habitat for Humanity. Run a marathon or half-marathon. Sponsor a scholarship with your local high school and recommend alliance partners or contractors to be part of the selection committee. It increases your visibility and theirs, and you both get to be a good corporate citizen. All for a good cause. Invest in yourself and in your community. Show you care.

4. Say What You Mean, and Mean What You Say

Address issues as they come up or as soon as appropriately possible. Sometimes we let things slide or leave things unsaid. This devalues what’s important to you and insults the intelligence of the other person. Be open in your communication.

5. Create Win-Win Solutions

The belief of “looking out for number one” is so embedded in our collective consciousness that we have forgotten we are ALL #1 because we are all one. When you create win-win solutions, you not only generate good will among peers and supervisors, but you develop a reputation for fairness and professionalism. Everyone collaborates with a collaborator.

6. Acknowledge the Feedback

When customers take the time to write a scathing letter or make an irate phone call about horrific customer service or product quality, they are providing you with a valuable opportunity: Free feedback that you didn’t ask for, didn’t pay for, didn’t market for or followed up on. It just fell on your lap. So thank your customer for being committed enough to your company to give you feedback on how you can improve your service. Give something away or at a steep discount. You have a choice: Swallow your pride, or dwindle your profits.

7. Go Back to Kindergarten

When you take lunch, take a walk to a park, eat leisurely, and come back to the privacy of your office for a quick 20 minute power nap. You’ll feel refreshed and replenished. Don’t have an office? Take a nap. Make it fun and, most importantly, nourishing.

8. Tie Up Loose Ends

Pay the parking ticket. Write that letter. Clean out your files. Make up with that client. Enroll in school. Back up your computer systems. Run the Clean Sweep Program on yourself, then the company (for more information, email us at [email protected]).

9. Give Yourself a Makeover

Lose the 15 pounds. Get that haircut. Buy fresh makeup. Reinvent your wardrobe. Give your car a paint job. Rearrange the furniture in your office or lobby. Give away old clothes. When you get in the habit of installing new practices and letting go of old ones that no longer serve you, you generate and circulate fresh energy.

10. Keep Your Commitments

When you say you are going to do something, do it, or else renegotiate another arrangement. Very few things are as difficult to earn back as your credibility and the trust of those who deal with you.

11. Play a Big Game

When setting your goals, ask yourself if you are stretching. Set your goals high enough to have to stretch for them. Make your growth systematic and strategic. If your goal is to call 20 leads this week, to close one sale, what would you have to do and believe about yourself to make it possible to call 50 and close three sales? If your goal is to go to dinner with your brother, just to reconnect, how about stepping it up and actually saying “I love you?” You know you are playing a big game when your first reaction is a big whine “I can’t do that!” Yes, you can. Surprise yourself.

12. Be a Contribution

How can you make your customers’ life more livable, your work more enjoyable, and your community more cohesive? Everyone wants to know, what’s in it for me? When you focus out, you immediately speak their language and enroll them in playing yours. No one plays with you if they think you are not on their team. So join them. And they will join you.

Copyright 2004, Monikah J. Ogando, Ogando Associates, Inc.

Top 10 Marketing Concepts For Small Business Marketing

Over the past decade more and more people are getting fired, getting downsized, or getting fed up with their corporate jobs and embark on the journey as a small business owner. Unfortunately, most of the new small business owners fail to consider their marketing plans or strategy. There are many marketing concepts for small business marketing to consider and plan for, but here is our list of Top 10 Marketing Concepts For Small Business Marketing.

Marketing Concept # 1: Consistency

Consistency is the number one marketing concept for small business marketing only because it is left out of marketing concepts for so many businesses. I have worked with a long list of clients, big and small, that are extremely inconsistent in all areas of their marketing. Consistency helps lower the cost of marketing and increase the effectiveness of branding.

Marketing Concept # 2: Planning

Once small business owners decide to be consistent with their marketing, planning is the next major concept to engage. Planning is the most vital part of small business marketing or any level of marketing, for that matter, and so many owners, marketing managers, and even CMOs plan poorly. Put the time into planning your marketing strategy, budget, and other concepts presented here to ensure success.

Marketing Concept # 3: Strategy

Strategy immediately follows planning because your strategy is the foundation for the rest of your marketing activities. In the process of planning, you must develop your strategy: who you will target, how you will target them, and how will you keep them as a customer.

Marketing Concept # 4: Target Market

Target market is also another key concept for small business marketing. Defining exactly who you are targeting allows small business owners to focus on specific customers and reduce marketing waste. A well-defined target market will make every other marketing concept so much easier to implement successfully.

Marketing Concept # 5: Budget

Although it is listed at number 5, budgeting is important throughout the entire process. Creating a marketing budget is usually the hardest and most inaccurate part of small business marketing. Most small businesses owners lack a great deal of experience in marketing, so their budgets usually end up skewed. The most important part of this marketing concept is to actually establish a marketing budget. From there, you can worry about how to distribute your available funds.

Marketing Concept # 6: Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is usually defined as product, pricing, place, and promotion. As a small business owner, you must specifically decide on your products (or services), the appropriate pricing, where and how you will distribute your products, and how will you let everyone know about you and your products.

Marketing Concept # 7: Website

In today’s market, a business of any size must have a website. I hate when I see businesses that have a one page website with out-dated information. Customers, be it businesses or consumers, will search the web over 60% of the time before making any purchasing decisions. This marketing concept contains a slew of additional components, but you must at least develop a small web presence of some kind and keep it updated.

Marketing Concept # 8: Branding

Many small businesses owners also neglect this concept. Small business marketing must focus on this marketing concept just as much as large corporations do. Branding consists of the pictures, logo, design scheme, layout, make up, and image of your products and even your company. Branding is how your customers perceive (please place a lot of emphasis on that word!) your products and company. Make sure to pay special attention to what kind of brand you are building through each step of your planning and implementation.

Marketing Concept # 9: Promotion and Advertising

Promotion and advertising is a very complex marketing concept, but must be considered for any type of business and its products and services. Once you engage the previous 8 marketing concepts, you must finally let your target market know about you and your products. Proper promotion and advertising will result in effective brand recognition, and, ultimately, increased sales.

Marketing Concept # 10: Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The concept of customer relationship management has become a huge industry in the marketing world. There are many types of software and services offered to help businesses of any size handle their customer relationship management. Since there is so much available, usually for a large sum of money, small business owners usually look at this concept as something they are not big enough for or have enough money to implement. Don’t be fooled by the massive industry that has evolved from this concept. Maintaining proper customer relationship management is essential to creating loyal and consistent customers.

This list of marketing concepts should be examined, researched, planned, and implemented, especially by small businesses, in order to be successful. Also, your marketing doesn’t stop here. Each business is unique and will have additional components that must be considered, but this list will jump-start any marketing plan.

Newsletter Calendar – Creating a Schedule For Your Business Marketing Newsletter

A newsletter calendar keeps your publication on track. Whether you send it by mail or email, creating a regular newsletter for your clients and prospects is an important marketing strategy. However, many organizations struggle to find topics for their newsletters or have trouble getting it out the door on a set schedule.

To prevent these problems, businesses can borrow a technique magazines have been using for ages: the editorial calendar. This sample newsletter schedule will help keep your organization’s newsletter on track. Remember, these dates aren’t hard-and-fast rules. The most important thing is to find a set of deadlines that feels comfortable — not rushed — and stick to those deadlines for each newsletter cycle.

What: Annual Planning

When: Each December

Create a list of seasonal topics for the upcoming year and pencil them in for each month. For example, a Realtor might want to include a spring cleaning checklist in April, tips for a greener lawn in August and strategies for choosing a good school district in September.

What: Editorial Meeting

When: 1-2 Months Before Publication

An editorial meeting typically includes everyone contributing to your newsletter: editors, writers, managers and designers. Print newsletters need more time, so schedule your editorial meeting at least two months before deadline. Email newsletters may use a shorter timeframe. In the editorial meeting discuss possible story topics, assign writers to each story and establish writing deadlines for each article. Refer to your annual planning calendar for story ideas, and also incorporate current news and events at your organization.

What: Editing

When: 3-5 Weeks Before Publication

On this day, all articles should be submitted to the newsletter editor for review and approval. Set this deadline based on whether you have a print or email newsletter, and be sure to allow leeway for missed writing deadlines.

What: Layout

When: 2-4 Weeks Before Publication

By this date, all the articles and other newsletter content should be submitted to the designer for layout.

What: Layout Approval

When: 1-3 Weeks Before Publication

While this is not the best time to make any edits or changes to the copy, the newsletter editor should take one last look at the newsletter layout to ensure everything is formatted correctly.

What: Printing & Distribution

When: 1-2 Weeks Before Publication

Email newsletters should be scheduled for release at a specified day and time, and print newsletters should be sent out for printing and mailing. Then, start the cycle all over again!

The Significance of Social Media for Business Marketing

Let us talk about a simple fact, which is, social media presence is really significant for your business these days. This significance is growing at a great speed with each passing day. No matter you are the owner of a local shop in your area or running a company or business at a national level, you need to understand its significance for a while. It is crucial because it is an essential piece of the marketing strategy of your business.

What are the potential benefits of using social media platforms for your business? It helps the business owners to connect with potential customers all over the globe. It let them boost up their brand awareness without much efforts & time investment. All of this will consequently increase sales & ROI for your business.

For all those people, who still don’t have social media business profiles, this guide is worth-reading. Here are the top reasons for which you must invest in this wise business move.

# Build brand awareness

The people will only come to you if they know your business otherwise not. This is the reason it is vital to make the people know about you. Social media increases your visibility within short time amongst your targeted customers & you can reach a wider audience this way. The most amazing thing about all social media platforms is that it let you create profiles free of any cost. You have to invest time in making an effective strategy for social media.

#Communicate authority

In this digital era, the people before making a final decision about the brand they support, browse your company’s website profile. The choice is yours whether you proffer them the rich information source via these two things or they end up finding an empty storefront. If you are looking for the best ways to build up authority as a company, you must be careful in this scenario. All you need is a robust social media profile with updated content about you. In this way, you will be able to make your very first impression in a positive manner. As a company, people recognize you reliable, knowledgeable & most importantly approachable. Your potential customers will also have confidence in you this way.

#Offer support

Gone are the days when there were communication barriers amongst customers & the companies. In fact, social media platforms have broken down all of them. Now the customers don’t need to call the company to ask any sort of query or seek help. Instead, they turn to social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook etc to get their problems resolved or find any sort of information.

For offering great customer support as a company, make sure to develop your repute as a caring & responsive brand for your customers.

#Grow affordably

Small companies or start-ups can’t usually bear the huge costs of business marketing campaigns. Social media marketing tactics are a suitable alternative to this. No matter what your business is about & what is its size, you always have the opportunity to grow your business & achieve its goals reasonably. Instagram & Facebook ads are of key importance in this regard. When it comes to ad campaigns, the major thing you need to know is your targeted audience & aims to achieve.

There are so many other things that make social media platforms an important part of business marketing. Don’t ever get stressful managing it as it is not something complicated. Let us start with the first step i.e. creating your business profile without wasting any time.