If you run a business, especially if it's a small one, you know that marketing is about so much more than just putting up flyers and buying ads. A lot of the power in today's world comes from word of mouth—and that's just as true for businesses as it is for people. If your customers love what you're doing (or at least think they do), they'll tell their friends, who will then become your new customers themselves. So how can you market your business in ways that get them talking about your brand? Keep reading for some ideas you can start implementing today!
1. Use messenger apps and chatbots
If you're not already using messenger apps to communicate with your customers and prospects, now's a great time to start. Messenger apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat have more than 1 billion monthly active users each—that's a lot of potential reach!
If you're looking for a way to immediately improve your customer service and marketing efforts at no cost (or very little), consider creating some chatbots for your business. Chatbots can help answer questions from prospective customers, serve as live support on social media channels or offer valuable information about products or services via SMS text messaging.
2. Build your own personal brand, and let it do the selling for you
A personal brand is a professional image that you create to represent yourself, your business, and everything it stands for. It also helps people remember who you are and what you do. The easiest way to build your personal brand is by creating a website or blog (or both) with information about the type of work you do, how long you’ve been in business, testimonials from happy customers, etc.
There are three main reasons why it’s important to build your own personal brand:
When potential clients look up information about you online — like on Google or social media — they want to know who they can trust before hiring someone new. Having an online presence will show them that there are other people out there who have used your services and were satisfied with them!
Also, when you have your own website or blog, you can make sure that it’s up-to-date and reflects the type of work you do well. This will help people find what they need quickly and easily.
And finally, having a personal brand can help establish credibility in your field.
3. Make your Instagram account more shoppable
If you're not using Instagram to its full potential, there's no time like the present to start. If you've never tried it before, or if you're just not sure how to get started, here are a few tips:
Make sure your bio is clear and concise. Don't leave anything up in the air; let people know what they can expect from your account by including a link to your website (if applicable) and mentioning any hashtags that will help connect posts with similar content for easy searchability.
Include links when possible. For example, if someone clicks on one of your photos and then heads over to the product page for further information about that item, adding an affiliate link could bring them back through social media when they're ready to buy! It's also important not just because it helps boost sales but because this kind of loyalty can lead directly into repeat purchases without having ever left Instagram itself--which means even more money spent at home instead of away from home."
It's important to remember that using Instagram to market your business isn't just a way to make more money; it's also an opportunity to build up your brand and connect with customers in new ways. As long as you're being honest about what you're doing, there shouldn't be any reason why you can't have fun with it!
4. Keep customers coming back with a loyalty program
A loyalty program is a great way to reward customers, keep them coming back, and increase customer retention. Customers will be more likely to return if they know they'll get something out of it—whether that's discounts or free products. If you offer incentives such as points or gift cards, your customers will want to earn them.
As an example of how this works: Let's say you own an ice cream shop and offer one point for every dollar spent in-store (one point = $1). Every time someone spends $10 in your store they can exchange their points for 10% off on their next visit (and so on). This creates a "reward loop" that makes it easy for customers to spend more money with you because they know there are benefits associated with doing so!
5. Be sure to use the resources at hand
If you're like most small business owners, your business's website is your most valuable resource. This can be an excellent tool for marketing your company, but it can also become a hindrance if it isn't properly maintained and frequently updated. You'll need to make sure that the information on your site is current (and ideally updated in real-time) so that visitors will always see accurate information about what you offer and how they should contact you.
Your local Chamber of Commerce probably also has all sorts of useful resources that could help with marketing efforts; they may not be aware of those resources themselves, so don't hesitate to ask questions!
6. Communicate in short videos on TikTok and Snapchat
To reach younger customers, you’ll need to look beyond the traditional platforms and find new ways to communicate with them. In 2018, Snapchat emerged as one of the most popular social media apps among young people in America, while TikTok continues to rise in popularity. These platforms are great options for reaching your target audience since they allow you to post short videos that are easy to digest and share across other networks like Facebook and Instagram.
7. Start micro-blogging on Medium
Medium is a blogging platform that was created in 2012 as a way to share ideas and stories with other members of the community. It’s a subscription-based service, but it’s free to publish your posts on Medium if they don’t exceed the limit of 5,000 characters (about 1,500 words).
Medium has become an invaluable asset for small businesses looking to market themselves online—and it isn't hard to see why. Because it's easy for people from all around the world to read what you write on Medium, you'll reach a wider audience than with any other social media site or blogging platform out there. You also have access to analytics that help you track your success and fine-tune future posts accordingly; this will allow you to make better use of time spent writing blog posts so that when someone does decide to read one, they'll get something worthwhile out of their experience!
8. Look for ways to use augmented reality (AR) as a marketing tool
Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that allows the user to interact with a digital space. It does this by overlaying content onto an image of the real world, creating a composite image. This can be done through an app or through your phone camera.
The most common use for AR is in mobile gaming and educational apps like Google Maps, but it has also been used as an advertising platform for major brands (like Nike). The advantage of using AR for marketing is that it provides visual context and meaning to your message. People are more likely to remember what they see and interact with in physical spaces than they are with just text alone—something you could never say about other forms of advertising like print or video ads!
Here are two ways you can use augmented reality:
Use it for product placement: For example, companies like Samsung have been using their phones’ cameras as AR lenses to allow customers to try on virtual sunglasses before purchasing them at retail stores such as Amazon Go.
Incorporate your own products into games: If you sell branded merchandise, there's no reason why those items couldn't be included in games like Pokemon GO!
9. Like streamers? Help them help you!
If you’re a gamer, a Twitch viewer or an influencer yourself, there are lots of ways you can utilize the platform to drum up some business for your brand. One of the most effective is through product placement—the act of incorporating your products into the content that streamers create.
Streamers often use branded merchandise as giveaways, or even have sponsorships from various companies—and they need all the help they can get! If you want to advertise on Twitch (or other streaming platforms), sponsoring a streamer is one way to go about it. It helps both parties: The streamer gets free products and keeps their audience engaged with exciting new content; and in return, they'll feature your brand in their own videos and social media posts.
You'll also be able to get feedback about what works best for promoting within this niche community--a big plus when planning future marketing campaigns!
Bonus Tip: Consumer tastes and preferences are constantly changing, so small businesses have to keep up to stay competitive
In today’s world, consumer tastes and preferences are constantly changing. Businesses need to be able to adapt quickly if they want to stay competitive in the marketplace. Here are just a few examples of how consumers are shifting their buying patterns:
Consumers want more transparency in the products they buy and how they're made. Whether it's fair trade coffee or organic food, many people care deeply about what they put into their bodies—and why. This has led many companies to offer healthier alternatives as well as transparently disclose where their ingredients come from.
Consumers have higher expectations for quality than ever before, which means that businesses need better processes for ensuring quality control throughout the entire manufacturing process (e.g., ensuring that every batch of cookies contains exactly six minutes worth of baking time). The same goes for customer service; if you offer a poor customer experience when people order from your website, then there's no way you'll stay competitive over time!
So, there you have it—ten ways to market your small business in 2022. There’s no doubt that the world of marketing is changing, but by following a few simple steps, you can keep up with those changes and stay competitive.
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