If you own a business and have had one for some years, you may be noticing a shift in how your audience expects to receive information and interact with your company. For example, before there were POS (Point of Sale) systems, people would generally pay cash or write a check. For the more significant transactions, wire transfers existed, but they were done manually and took some time. After some time, the solution for charge cards came into existence and then it became expected. Now, Apple pay and Android Pay are expected by most customers now and will soon exist almost everywhere as the new method to charge a simple transaction.
The point here is not that you need Apple or Android payment capabilities. It’s that if you haven’t or aren’t keeping up with the times, with the changes in technology, you will only be left behind. Something as simple as not being able to take a payment properly can lead to many losses. Competition who accepts the changes and adapts and evolves will undoubtedly win over customers slowly over time.
How do you keep with the times and stay relevant when it comes to your growth?
There are several ways but one crucial thing to invest in and focus on is how you are marketing your business, and it’s products or services. There are much newer, leading-edge methods to be aware of that they may have existed for a bit of time, as of late have become so much more technically advanced with the advent of targeted ads and data analytics and buyer intelligence collection methods.
We’ve developed the following list of 5 things we want you to be aware of when it comes to Business Growth.
- Build an active customer database using online tools that import and integrate with Facebook. You are likely using a tracking method for customers, but it may not integrate with Facebook or is set up at the moment. You’ll want to make sure you connect your CRM system or import your customer list into Facebook’s Ad Manager account for your business. You may be wondering why this is important. Simply put, you can build profiles of these customers and later on, you can use Facebook (and any affiliated platforms – i.e., Instagram and Audience Network) to set up a “Lookalike” Audience. This audience that Facebook selects and assembles is designed to match the same customer profile as your existing customers. The beauty is that this is all done automatically and Facebook creates this audience that you can target advertisements and messages to them. One thing to note is that you can’t learn the identities of these lookalike audiences because Facebook “anonymizes” them.
- Develop a more significant and more considerable local awareness campaign and also consider using referral codes and possibly setting up affiliate marketing programs. Building local exposure isn’t always an easy thing to do. There are multiple avenues, but each requires some time investment and commitment as well as consistency. One method is to join the local Chamber of Commerce within your town or city and participate in local events as well as join any listing opportunities for local directories. Another method to increase local participation and exposure is to craft local “Mastermind” meet-ups or classes where you offer a toned down version of your material by talking about benefits, methods in your trade and any other value you can give away. The best way to create local awareness and exposure is to give away free value up front and drive people into your doors so they can learn more about you and how you may be able to help them further. Developing referral codes and systems as well as affiliate marketing programs allows other businesses or possible partners to spread the word about your business even more than necessary word of mouth because often there are incentives attached to these programs. With little to no motivation, these programs often fail.
- Provide Free Value Up-Front. This one was mentioned briefly in the last point. Who doesn’t love free samples? Almost everyone. If you are in business and you can provide zero-cost value with no strings attached, you should do so right away! The free sample can be in the form of a consultation call, appointment, or article and perhaps even a video that you provide access to online. There are many methods to develop free content, start building a list of all the creative ideas you have and then have friends and family help you with choosing the right ones. You should, of course, take it and test the messaging on a small amount of your intended audience and see how it resonates (or not). The latest trend is to provide Free value and in some cases in the physical form and charge potential prospects with shipping and handling fees. This method often ensures that only qualified candidates are coming to your business.
- Make it easier to reach you. Many companies we run assessments for on a daily basis are still using old methods to display their contact information and engage with their audience. Simple newer and more modern methods exist. Some of the techniques involve third-party tools which can charge monthly fees in some cases. However, these fees are sometimes well worth the investment. One method to utilize is by offering an opt-in subscription to your website visitors where you can update them with information and special offers on a routine and more consistent basis. You can even print your next batch of business cards to include a QR code where prospects and customers can scan the code with their smartphone and be directed automatically to your opt-in or other features and offerings. You can also allow prospects and customers to book appointments online through your website or social media page. In any case, you want to make sure you have a clear Call To Action (CTA) anywhere. If you are not sure what that is, we have a previous article on it here. If your business is not using email marketing today, you are going to want to consider getting in on the game. If you can get in on Email and SMS or Mobile marketing, you are much better off. Either way, reaching prospects and cultivating existing customers on up-sell opportunities is where these tools come in handy.
- Push eCommerce where possible. We must caution you, do not take this on by yourself unless you do research or hire a team of professionals who can help you. Of course, we can, but that’s not what this article is about! If you do not have an online store, you should highly consider setting one up. You may think it’s not necessary and quite honestly, it may not be in your specific case yet. But one day, it likely will be. You may be wondering what you would sell and how you would set it up. On what to sell, look heavily into your niche and profession. Is there an article or eBook you can create or build? Perhaps a set of videos or DVD’s (yes, DVD’s are still in existence). The point is you want to get creative and come up with something you think you can package and effectively market. You also want to consider any promotions or offers you could run to get people to purchase your product. Again, much of the latter takes expertise and having the right (and exceptionally talented) team in place. Here is a link to our contact info ;).