Marketing your business

How to market your new business

You don’t always need a lot of money to market your business effectively – if you nail the basics. Read on for some effective and low-cost tactics to win new customers and keep them coming back.

Reading time: 5 minutes

In this article

Know your customers

Build customer profiles

The more you know about your potential customers, the easier it’ll be to convince them to buy from you. It’s important that your marketing strategy includes research that allows you to come up with profiles of your target customers.

Track online behaviour

If your business has a website or social media presence, understanding the online behaviour of your potential customers will give you a better chance of selling to them. You could use Google Analytics to keep track of traffic to your website including:

  • Which pages people are clicking on
  • Their geographic location
  • What devices they’re using
  • How many people are coming from referred sites.

Conduct polls and surveys through social media using platforms like SurveyMonkey, to give you a better idea of what your customers are looking for.

Adjust what you sell, how you approach them, and what you say based on your new understanding of your customers.

Collect contact information

Encourage people to provide their details, such as their email address, through your website. You could offer free downloads, competitions, loyalty rewards, or even advance notice of specials and clearance deals, in exchange for registering.

Collecting this information means you can keep in close touch with your customers in a cost-effective way. For example, you could send a regular e-newsletter with relevant, useful content, such as special offers or new products. It’s a great way to stay top of mind to your customers and encourage them to buy from you again.

Always provide an opt-out link when contacting customers; and once their details are collected, they should be kept securely.

Be seen online

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Optimising your website for search engines helps you ensure you’re one of the top few results when someone does a relevant search on Google. That’s vital, because few people click on a result that’s fourth or fifth in the list, and hardly ever on the second page of results. 

Getting your website near the top of the Google search results means people are much more likely to visit it.

AdWords or Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Another way to improve your ranking with Google is ’Pay-Per-Click’ (PPC) advertising through AdWords. You can design an ‘advert’ that appears at the top or the right-hand column of search engine results when it’s relevant to a search someone enters into Google. 

You then pay Google an agreed amount each time someone clicks on your ad and visits your website. The amount you choose to spend can vary, but the more you're prepared to pay, the more prominent your entry will be.

Keep up to date

The internet is a valuable tool, so keep your website updated, make sure you’re leveraging the relevant social media channels, and use tools that can analyse your website traffic so you can tailor your marketing accordingly.

Digitising your business

There are many digital tools out there that can help run your business more efficiently, from accounting software to an online presence, this video looks at a few of the options.

Build relationships

Word-of-mouth and referral business

Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective and cheapest forms of advertising you can use. Try to get your customers talking positively about you (face-to-face and on social media), and get permission to use their testimonials on your website.

Testimonials and guarantees

These increase your credibility and are great ways of converting prospects when they’re considering buying from you. This ‘social proof’ – knowing that other people have brought from you and recommend you – builds trust and makes people more likely to buy from you. Add customer quotes, warranties, and ‘lifetime’ guarantees to your website to help reduce the concerns of potential new customers.

Customer retention and satisfaction

Once you’ve won your customers, you want to keep them coming back. Always be thinking of ways to improve their experience with you and convincing them that they’re more important to you than they are to your competitors.

Free advertising

One way is to advertise your business through other businesses and do the same for them. This is especially popular via social media. If you’ve got other businesses following you on your most popular social media profiles, and you’re following them and are happy to refer your customers to them, you could discuss promoting each other.

Alliances with suppliers

Consider developing alliances with reliable suppliers and hold joint promotions or get them to share the costs of signage or events. Often suppliers have co-op marketing budgets to spend. 

Or hold an event at your business where the supplier sends an expert to demonstrate a new product, or train your customers and prospects on how to use it.

Complementary marketing

It’s your basic “would you like fries with that?” approach. When your customers buy something from you, offer them complementary products or services. You’ll sell more and give your customers a better experience.

Another option is forming an alliance with a similar business. For example, if you’re a local car repair or WoF shop but don’t sell tyres, you could form an alliance or partnership with the tyre business down the road. The idea is that you promote each other's business to your customer databases. This approach benefits both and is very cost-effective.

Special events and holidays

Events can work well for many types of businesses, especially retail. Think Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter, or school holidays. If you’ve got a well-established social media platform, you could use it to promote special offers around these events.

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