According to 2016 data from Statista Research, poor sales were one of the top four concerns for small business owners last year. While paying attention to your sales funnel is crucial to long term success, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming concern if you have properly implemented a consistent lead generation strategy. If you’re a small business owner wanting to ensure a thriving future for your company, here are five proven tactics you can utilize to grow your business in the new year.
1. Clarify your buyer personas when developing your branding. Everything from your visual marketing to your market positioning should be built upon a streamlined buyer persona strategy. You can’t market to everyone; you’ll end up marketing to no one. Research exactly who your target buyer is to understand their needs. Don’t be afraid to draw out your customers individually and learn about their experience with your company. Be aware of how your competitors are marketing to similar customers.
2. Improve your website. Each component of your site needs to be optimized for conversions. It’s not enough to simply have a presence on the Internet; you need to treat your website like it is your #1 salesperson. Everything from the colors you use to the layout and imagery can affect conversion rates. If you have a website that isn’t optimized for conversions, you are missing a huge opportunity to convert more visitors who are “on the fence” into paying customers.
3. Improve your content. If you’re not using content outreach to connect with consumers, you are going to lose out to competitors who are savvy enough to realize the importance of content marketing. From direct mail flyers to regular posts on your company’s blog, a well-honed content strategy can significantly boost your annual sales totals. While some initiatives like blogging and SEO can take longer to show results, other initiatives like direct mail can produce immediate results. Be sure your content strategy includes both short and long-term plans.
4. Update your social media marketing strategy. It’s not enough to simply have a Facebook page where you post company news. Customers buy from brands they have a relationship with. You need to be building relationships on the social networking platforms where your customers already are. If they prefer social networks like Snapchat or Instagram, and you’re trying to connect on Facebook, you might as well be shouting into the wind. Get to know your customers and find out which social media networks they use most frequently. Take a customer poll and offer a reward in return for answers to your questionnaire. Once you know which social networks the majority of your customers prefer, you can then focus on building a significant brand presence and customer engagement the most used platform.
5. Double-down on email marketing. If you offer valuable content, your customers will be thrilled to receive email newsletters from your business. If you only promote your business, your content will end up in the spam folder. While the point of email marketing is to drive sales, it is also an opportunity to build long-term relationships with your customers. Change the design of your newsletters to keep customers intrigued. Adjust your timing to see how your open rates are affected. The more you test your email marketing efforts, the better results you’ll enjoy. Focus on providing content that your audience already wants and you can’t go wrong.
Develop a sound strategy, measure results and then increase the initiatives that are working most effectively. Will you be incorporating any of these five tips for small businesses into your growth strategy this year?