August 28th, 2020 | Updated on September 29th, 2021
It’s an often-cited statistic that 90% of new businesses will fail, and one often used to warn new business ventures of the hardships they may face ahead. In reality, it’s not a very accurate trope.
According to the US Bureau of Labor, about 1 in 4 businesses will fail in their first year. While that statistic is certainly less frightening, there’s still a real possibility of failure.
If you’re looking to survive your first year of business and many thereafter, it’s important that you take your business’s marketing seriously.
Here are our 3 must-have marketing strategies for small businesses, so that you can not only survive, but thrive.
Marketing Strategy For Small Business
1. Be Where Your Customers Are
This may sound like a cryptic message from Yoda himself, but it’s actually very simple. If you want potential customers to find you, you need to be where they already are.
For each business, that’s going to be different. For a business to business software, that may be a strong presence on LinkedIn and at B2B conferences.
For a direct to consumer business such as fashion or home goods, advertisements on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are a great option.
If your market is primarily teenagers, consider advertising on burgeoning social media platforms like TikTok or purchasing ad placements on streaming services like Hulu. No matter your audience, there are a handful of places they spend time every day.
Your task is to figure out where, and then get your business a feature! You can also consider working an influencer marketing agency like Obvious.ly to help make authentic advertising content that your customers will love.
2. Build A Solid Reputation Management Process
These days, we live in a world that operates on tons and tons of reviews. And while reviews once meant word-of-mouth feedback from family or friends, there are now a plethora of websites that allow anyone to read a review of your business from tons of other people.
And people are always reading reviews. According to a survey, a whopping 82% of customers report that they read online reviews before working with a business.
That’s why it’s so important to perform regular reputation management. Regularly check review sites for your industry. For a restaurant or store, that may be Yelp or Google.
For home services, Angie’s List is a review giant. If you sell through Amazon, be sure to regularly comb the review section.
Many new businesses are unsure what to do when they find poor reviews. While you may want to get the review taken down, that’s not an option.
Instead, see if the site allows the business owner to respond. If so, consider addressing the customer directly and apologizing for their experience.
You can welcome them back for some sort of comped service, or let them know what you’re doing to make sure this never happens again.
While that specific person may never patronize your business again, it shows prospective customers that you, the business owner, cares, and is taking steps to improve.
Speaking of steps to improve, combing reviews is also an opportunity to see the shortcomings of your business.
Consider what led to poor reviews and if that should enact any change on your part. In the event that you’re sure a review is fake or violates the review platforms’ policies, each platform has specific steps that can be taken in order to remove the review.
3. Offer Discounts To Incentivize Larger Purchases
Acquiring a new customer can be one of the most expensive costs that a business has to endure. Depending on your industry, it can cost anywhere from $10 to many hundreds of dollars to acquire a single customer.
An easy way to offset the cost of acquiring new customers and maintain a solid return on investment is by incentivizing large purchases from your customers.
To be clear, we’re not asking you to milk your customers for all they’re worth, but instead to offer your customers an irresistible, so that they want to spend more with you.
A great discount that incentivizes larger purchases is a tiered sale. A tiered discount offers deeper discounts to your customers when they spend more money.
For instance, CBD company CBDfx offers a tiered discount on their CBDfx tincture. With the purchase of a single product, customers receive 15% off.
With 2 products, that discount increases to 20%. With the purchase of 3 products, customers save 25% on their entire purchase.
This discount structure will not only lead to larger purchases, but it will likely incentivize more purchases and a higher conversion rate.
Starting a new business is a challenge. However, the right marketing strategies – paired with your amazing products – can help you overcome many of the hurdles new businesses face.