The complete guide to market your small business

Even if you know a popular brand or a small business, it has become an accepted fact that having an online presence is important. Digital marketing is a critical requirement for every modern business. The medium has helped in building brands in a way that wasn’t possible earlier.

Despite the ease and luring benefits offered by e-commerce and big brands, people still like to shop in retail stores and from emerging brands. This has become possible because of movements like #supportsmallbusiness and #vocalforlocal.

Small business owners aim at creating brand awareness and demand a way to track Return on Investment (ROI). The latter helps in finding what works for their business. In this scenario, digital marketing becomes a must.

It is essential for small businesses, to provide updated information about their plans to their customers and potential customers. From blogging, Facebook marketing to SEO, branding, there are many options for marketing. However, these terms might be alien to small business owners.

This is when the concept of small marketing comes to the rescue!

What is small business marketing?

The idea behind marketing is to build brand awareness to obtain leads and subsequently convert them to sales. However, in the case of a small business, the problem is spreading the word can be challenging due to resource constraints and reduced visibility.

Beyond this having a small team or no sense of direction can be other problems. This is when one should employ small business marketing strategies.

What are some key small business marketing strategies?

Understand your audience

Knowing your audience is central to running a business. One can leverage the most from a niche. This especially applies to small businesses. In order to develop a niche and appeal to buyers from that particular niche, one must understand their problems, priorities; etc.

A knowledge of what pushes them to make a purchasing decision will help in creating effective messaging. Think about your current customers and potential customers. Following this, create a buyer persona to attract the ideal customer.

Highlight your value proposition and stay focused

In simple words, value proposition means what differentiates your business from your competitors. Emphasising this will help in making a favorable argument for you.

Additionally, it’s important to set a goal and concentrate your efforts and resources on it. In the beginning, it’s critical to get ROI. This calls for you to invest in short-term plays or strategies which will provide immediate benefits. In many cases, these can be paid ads. Moreover, getting ROI sooner will help you to invest in more long-term and sustainable models.

After having set up initiatives and experimenting with a few strategies, pay attention to what works. Invest more in what is generating you more revenue.

Value what’s available 

A mistake that many businesses make is forgetting the customers after they make the purchase. On the contrary, you should move beyond the practice of ensuring good shopping. Extend your efforts to delight your existing customers. Consequently, you will realise that word of mouth from them will bring more customers.

In addition to this, one should leverage the benefits of the multiple free resources available. Invest in paid tools provided they offer drastic positive results.

Create a website for your small business

Having a website is equivalent to having a salesperson who works 24/7 for you.

This statement aptly describes how a website is one of the most important assets one can create for their business. It becomes a place where you can show what you provide, where you are based, and how a customer can contact you.

Most importantly, a website has the capability of generating organic traffic while also being able to send traffic from marketing and advertising initiatives.

Consistent blogging for driving traffic

It is a known fact that blogging is an effective way to generate organic traffic. A blog helps you to establish yourself as a thought leader. One can simply use free or inexpensive website tools for this. Posting consistently will subsequently improve the visibility of your website.

Besides this, you can add a call-to-action (CTA) to your posts to subscribe to your blog and receive emails as well. Collecting contact information marks the beginning of collecting leads and informing potential customers about your products or services.

Use social media

Everyone today is on social media. Many platforms have also come up as a great place for small businesses to grow. The Covid outbreak led to growth in a number of small businesses.

With the interactive features available on these free platforms, small businesses should have a good presence here to grow their business.

Offer something for free

Building customer loyalty can prove to be very profitable for every business. Offering coupons or free products or services can help in making a customer happy and satisfied. Such customers not only come back but also bring others with them.

Besides, you don’t have to hire popular celebrities to have brand ambassadors. You can have your friends and family act as people who promote your product or service and there you have your brand ambassador.

Invest in advertisements

Organic traffic needs time to build. However, it is important for small businesses to get an ROI soon.

In this case, short-term plays can be very beneficial. Google Ads are great if you are aware that your target audience is looking for your product on the web. In case they are not, social media ads can perform great for you too. Even though social media users shave less intent to buy, but highly targeted ads can do wonders!

Summing Up

A small business has many marketing options from email marketing to Facebook ads. But it is important to remember that jumping into all strategies is worse than adopting no strategy.

Instead, employ your resources, time, and efforts for strategies that will go along with your business. Maintain a balance between paid tools and unpaid ones. Establish a network and enjoy the benefits.

If you wish to grow your business like this, we can help you. From building a website to creating a blog, contact Shaktiki for the best marketing solutions. 

 

How to create Buyer Personas for growing your business?

“Every business is dependent on its customers” is an understatement. This is because businesses don’t revolve around customers but they exist to serve them. Consequently, customers are considered extremely important to every business.

The huge scale at which business can take place today demands companies to identify and understand these customers. This has been realised as an essential step to expand businesses. An important term related to customers in the business world is buyer personas.

What are buyer personas?

Buyer Personas refer to semi-fictional representations of your perfect customer based on research and data. They help businesses focus their time on qualified prospects and guide product development according to target customers’ needs. Aligning all work across your organisation in different departments becomes easy with buyer personas.

In effect, you will be able to attract more leads, high-value visitors, and customers who you will be able to probably retain over time.

A deeper understanding of your buyer persona will ultimately be critical to enhance product development, content creation, sales follow-up. In simpler words, it will facilitate any process that is related to retaining and acquiring customers.

Now the important question that arises is how does one create a persona. Is it a difficult task?

To answer this, buyer personas are difficult to create. It’s about how one acquires the market research and customer data, and then present this information within your business.  The process of creating them is explained below.

How to create buyer personas?

Complete the persona’s basic demographic information

The first step is to ask demographic-based questions in person, over the phone, or through online surveys. The mode of the interview should depend upon the questions to be asked like a lot of times people will be comfortable sharing personal information through surveys.

During the conversations, you would have come across some descriptive buzzwords. It will be really helpful if you include such words to make it easier for your team to identify certain personas when they’re talking to some prospects.

Inform about what you have learned about your persona’s motivations

Share the information that you have learned after asking “why” from your interviewees. This can be anything: What makes your persona use a particular network? What is something that has been causing trouble to them?

Such questions will help you find a lot of information about them. After gathering all this information, your job is to use it to tell people how can a company provide solutions for it.

Guide your sales team for conversations with persona

It will be really beneficial if you note down quotes from the interviews. This will inform your organisation who they are, what are they concerned about and what do they want. Additionally, create a list of objections they might raise. This will help your sales team to be prepared adequately to address those during the conversations with them.

Discuss and create messaging for your persona

It is important that your entire team discusses how to talk about your products or services with your persona. This includes every type of communication, from the general pitch that positions your solution to resonate with them to the basic vernacular you should use.

Consequently, this will ensure that everyone in your company is using the same language when they’re having a conversation with leads and potential customers. In addition to this, you can give your persona a name. This will make sure that internally everyone refers to each persona in the same way, providing cross-team consistency.

Moreover, these efforts will help in forming a synchronized and impressive image of the company. It’s important o remember that customers value the consistency of a brand.

How to get Interviewees for researching buyer personas?

The most important requirement while creating a persona is to find people to speak with, i.e. people who will be your buyer persona.

Conducting interviews is essential to know what drives your target audience. But how can one find these interviewees?

Employ the following sources for the same:

Use your present customers

Your current customers are the perfect people to begin your interviews. This is because they have already used your products or services and engaged with your organisation. Some of them are likely to represent your target persona. However, this doesn’t mean you spend time talking to happy customers willing to spend time talking about how they love your product or service.

It is important that you interact with unsatisfied customers to find the pattern that will you develop a better understanding of your buyer persona.

Additionally, another benefit of interviewing current customers is that you won’t have to provide them with an incentive as customers enjoy being heard.

Use referrals

If you are choosing to get into new markets or you have no leads or even customers yet, you can rely on referrals to talk to people who may fit into your target persona.

For this, use your networks like social media contacts, coworkers, or existing customers. A good place to start is LinkedIn.

Use your current prospects

Interview people who haven’t purchased your product or used your service. This can be your prospects and leads. Use the data you already have about them to figure who might fit into your target personas.

Employ third-party networks 

For getting interviews with people completely removed from your company, use third-party networks. These networks can be UserTesting.com or Craigslist.

Summing Up

The most basic benefit of creating buyer personas is that it allows you to create content and messaging that appeals to your most valuable audience. It allows you to target or personalise your marketing strategies for different audiences.

If you can take time to create negative personas, then you will be able to remove the unimportant contacts. This way you can achieve a lower cost-per-customer and cost-per-lead, ultimately leading to higher sales productivity.

Beyond using buyer personas for marketing, there are many techniques as well. To build an effective marketing strategy and instil growth in your business, we provide a range of services. Contact us at Shaktiki today.

 

 

 

Why is chatbot marketing a rising trend?

Business is a field that needs to stay updated with the latest trends and technology. Companies that use the newest and innovative ways for every step can leverage the benefits of this approach. Making sure that you market, sell, communicate and indulge in all the processes with such an approach can help you to level up your game.

This has taken the shape of various Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) based techniques. A lot of industry leaders try to employ the most current technology to appeal to the masses. One of these strategies is using chatbots.

What are chatbots?

A chatbot can be explained as a computer software or program that automatically engages with the user. They can be programmed to deliver different responses based on the choices and requests of the user. For example, a chatbot can help in providing more information regarding a topic based on the user’s choice. In other cases, a chatbot could have helped by asking which service the user wants to know about and then give an adequate response.

The more advanced bots are powered by Artificial Intelligence or AI. Whereas most chatbots are programmed with particular responses and built-out conversation trees. Additionally, there are many third-party services that make it easy for marketers to build their own chatbot conversations without any special development skills.

What is chatbot marketing?

chatbot marketing

According to a Facebook study, 53% of consumers are more likely to buy if can message that business. This makes live chat an effective marketing strategy today. The idea of chatbot marketing is based on this fact.

Chatbot marketing refers to the marketing strategy that uses computer programs to automate interaction with customers and other prospects. The interaction can be either on your app or your website with the key purpose of boosting sales.

This kind of marketing allows businesses to engage with leads all the time and in the same capacity. It doesn’t need your marketing and sales team to be online. You can employ chatbot marketing to answer support questions, start conversations, qualify leads; etc.

 

The 2018 State of Chatbots Report points out that the important things customers want from chatbots are:

  • Help in resolving a problem or addressing a complaint
  • A quick response to questions asked
  • Get a detailed and adequate reply to a query
  • Finding a human customer service employee

What benefits do chatbots offer to businesses?

Every business needs to be aware of the benefits of their investments. So, the advantages of chatbots are listed below:

Saves money and time

Usually conversing with customers requires employees which meaning spending significant time and money. However, with automated conversations, an organization saves both time and money which are crucial resources in business.

Additionally, this means companies can allocate the same to other efforts. Their employees can instead find relevant conversations to join with social listening tools. It should also be noted that the amount of time you save increases as your inbound message quantity increases.

Moreover, an organization saves a very significant amount of hours by using a chatbot.

Generate valuable leads and revenue

Chatbots utilize direct messages to collect information important to provide effective support. Like a very common question asked to users is the reason they are visiting the page.

Automating this interaction allows users to share information required to serve them without requiring a human to ask for it. A website chatbot qualifies prospects and collects the email address so that a sales representative can continue with the follow-up. Consequently, the chatbot can deliver leads to the sales department.

Most importantly, it will remove the exhausting task of answering the same questions repeatedly. Your team will also be happier with high-quality leads and spending time doing meaningful work.

Guide users to obtain solutions 

Many times customers aren’t aware of where to find the information they need or are interested in. Sometimes customers don’t even know what they are interested in. There are chances that they came across your brand and then decided to explore. Asking questions to users can help them to find the information they want to know. For this, you will have to think of some questions that will take your user to the best possible solution.

Think of an airline. It has to cater to a large customer base and serve a number of functions. From departing and arrival locations to upgrades, there are many things an airline has to do for the customer. This includes informing the customer about the same.

The airline can personalize the question their chatbot will ask. Consequently, it ensures a smooth user experience, while making the trip easier for both ends.

Provides support 24×7

Chatbots are used to provide an instant reply. This isn’t possible when an organization has employed people to respond. However, another crucial advantage of using chatbots is that it provides 24-hours support, unlike the latter.

A chatbot helps in running your business even when the office is closed. This is extremely important as customers expect and appreciate a quick reply. Hence, chatbots help you meet customer’s expectations.

Engages users to ensure a good experience

chatbot marketing

Earlier customer questions were asked via email and telephone. This restricted user experience to be simple and non-customized. However, chatbots offer fun, fresh, and interactive ways to engage with brands.

For example, the chatbots of Fandango. Earlier, you had to spend time sorting through Moviefone’s options via its 1-800 number. Now you can go to Fandango’s social media profiles and interact with their chatbots to find movie times and theatres near you.

Summing Up

Chatbot marketing simplifies a lot of functions for businesses. Additionally, they make the brands look extremely cool. For example, Volvo Cars have inserted a chatbot with an Integrated Typeform survey on their website. This provides a customized price quote based on visitor’s input. This has significantly increased the leads as people are able to get immediate answers.

However, there are many marketing techniques beyond chatbot marketing. Contact us at Shaktiki to find out how you can employ them to grow your business. 

What makes Personal Branding so important?

A few years ago, only famous celebrities had personal brands. Athletes, actors, musicians, TV personalities, industrialists received all the attention. However, the situation is not the same anymore.

People are now willing to put effort and invest their time can become “thought leaders” in a field. Today ordinary people are using personal branding tools increasingly. This includes social media. The main purpose behind using these tools is to attract people to their social media and websites.

Today personal branding is not just limited to business. It has become crucial for a business coach, influencers, or anyone willing to share their story with the world. The list is endless. In simple words, anyone interested in making an impact in the world should create a brand strategy. To make it easier, first, let’s answer some basic questions.

What is Personal Branding?

 It refers to the practice of marketing people and different aspects of their lives like their careers as brands. This is a continuous process of developing and maintaining an impression of an individual, group, or organization. In the case of personal branding, success is defined as a form of self-packaging.

A personal brand becomes how you promote yourself. It includes the personality, skills, and experience you want to show your followers. Hence, personal branding is how you present your story and the impression people gain from the same.

Why is creating a Personal Brand so important?

 People ideal for you start to find you

Once you start sharing your story and snippets of your personality with people on social media, you will find them actively engaging with your content. It does not stay limited to following but also includes sharing your content. The more personal element and personality you add, the easier it will become for you to find your people. This is because have a personal touch makes things relatable and closer to life.

 Over a period of time, one will be able to build a community of people who value you and identify you as an expert in your industry. However, the reaction can be both positive or negative.

Moreover, the chief reason to create a personal brand is to have a group of people who are willing to do things on your wish. Having this group of ideal followers once can start making a profit and achieving their goals. From selling out event tickets to buying from your clothing line, your loyal group of followers will do everything you wish.

Building trust with people

Doing business online is not exactly easy but the key to easing this challenge is by winning trust. Some studies conducted recently show that 70-80% of people research a brand or an influencer before doing any business with them. This is bases on the simple fact that people want to know you before spending money or engage in business with you.

It is this simple reason that makes personal branding so important. This type of marketing allows building strong connections and relationships with people living in any corner of the world.

However, social media is a highly resourceful place. So, make sure that you show your authentic self. Everything one does can be found online, so put a consistent story everywhere. Additionally, consistency is a key factor in building trust with people.

How to start personal branding?

Personal branding can be made easy by following the tips mentioned below:

Make sure that your content has a purpose

Generally, marketers advise that the most effective way to attract more people and customers to your personal brand is to keep sharing new content. This content can be videos or blogs. They say that after some time you will grow into an influential brand and reach your goals.

However, we have seen this strategy fail a lot. Why?

This is one of the key complaints that businesses have- they spent a lot of time creating content that no one engaged with.  Creating new content is undoubtedly necessary but it should not be to just complete the task. The main aim should be to increase engagement.

Having a content strategy and budget in place to create and promote content is important. In addition to this, one thing that most businesses miss is the purpose. Your content should have a purpose. This means every piece of content you create should be created within a budget and with a specific goal in mind.

Along with this, you should also spend time getting your content in front of the right people at the right time.

Be extremely consistent 

Building a personal brand demands consistency. From your message to your platforms, everything should be consistent. Your social media channels should also be visually appealing. They should reflect the influential person you wish to be presented as.

Once you choose a niche, stick to it and stay consistent. A good piece of advice here is to avoid confusing your followers by posting a lot about a wide range of topics. A prove for the same is every successful influencer as they stay disciplined and strive to be consistent.

Find what makes you unique

To stand out from your competitors, find out what makes your brand special. In simpler words, find your USP or Unique Selling Proposition.

One of the best examples of this is Coca-Cola. It was the first known business to include personal branding in its marketing strategy. They focused on creating a brand personality and employed emotional advertising.

What makes personal branding important?
Image Source: Business2community

The company created its brand around important values like joy, community, happiness, and experience. They realized how telling a product will not be profitable. Instead,  selling an experience worked was something that worked well. In the end, these values helped in differentiating Coca-Cola from its numerous competitors.

Summing up

To sum up, what we have discussed so far, personal branding is not just a profitable way of marketing but at times important too.

Even if you are not interested in personal branding, we strive to provide the perfect marketing solutions to everyone. Contact Shaktiki to avail our excellent marketing services.