Marketing a small business is one of the most exciting parts of business ownership many business owners have said. They say what makes it so exciting is that there is not one way to promote a business. There are different ways. From social media, to word of mouth to outright advertising in the traditional media there are different methods.
In fact, when you consider all of the possible combinations of marketing activities, there are thousands of ways to get the word out about your business.
Do not underestimate the power of word of mouth marketing
The beauty of word of mouth marketing is that it is free and it happens naturally.The CEO of Malabis Lingerie, Halima Abba, puts it this way: “My most viable advertising technique is using word of mouth. That is why I attend a lot of exhibitions. This enables me to meet lots of people to tell them what I do. And then people that have used my products also tell their family members and friends about my wares,” she said.
Narrow it down to your target market
Business coach Sam Obafemi says, one very common mistake of new small business owners is considering everyone to be a potential customer. “While it may be true that you sell a product or service that appeals to a broad audience, when it comes to marketing you need to narrow down your target to a recognizable group so you can use messaging and marketing approaches that reach them directly,” he said.
Be clear about what makes your business different
Your business is not exactly like any other business out there. If it were, you probably wouldn’t have started the business in the first place. In order to market your business effectively, you need to identify what sets you apart from the competition.
Be social media friendly
Ifeanyi Julian Etuokwu-Oludumila, a small business marketing and social media coach who has coached over 500 female entrepreneurs said social media is a great tool for small businesses to attract, engage, convert and promote their businesses but it must be done right.
“From my experience and interaction with women in business, there are loads of issues they encounter. Creating fresh and engaging content is what powers social media. It is not an easy task knowing what female entrepreneurs juggle on daily basis. This sometimes can make us go offline unintentionally but thankfully, there are social media management tools that provide an easier and hassle-free way of keeping our social media pages buzzing with activity.”
“Yet another issue is the Platforms: There are loads of social media platforms and they don’t speak the same language. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are the big four and they require slightly different skills, content format and strategies in order to use them effectively.”
A serial entrepreneur, Joy Alfa, shared her experience marketing her product on social media. “On my social media handles like Facebook and Instagram handle, people see pictures of children’s clothes that I sell and they ask, how much is it? What sizes do you have and for what age? And then they place their orders. This is working for me and I’m making profit. But you must always be online to respond to peoples’ requests,” she said.