According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 20% of small businesses fail by the end of their first year.
That’s not exactly encouraging.
But there is good news. Many small businesses struggle with the same core problem: Entrepreneurs are skilled at their trade, but not at selling themselves. While creating a great product is key, it is rare that a product can sell itself. Spending some time on your marketing and sales will pay off tenfold.
Here are 4 marketing struggles that small businesses face and how to succeed in those areas.
1. Identifying Customers
Identifying and finding customers is a problem for every business, not just small businesses. However, this task can be even more daunting for small businesses compared to larger organizations.
The first step to finding customers is determining who your ideal customers are. These are your buyer personas. Your buyer personas should paint a picture of what your target customers look like, what they do and what they are doing online. The key here is to develop very specific personas for better results! Once you’ve determined who your ideal customer is, it is much easier to market to them.
2. Increasing Brand Awareness
Having your brand become a household name obviously doesn’t happen overnight. However, it can be done by having the right strategies to build a strong brand reputation. There are multiple ways to increase your brand awareness, but two of the more prominent methods include blogging and social media.
For blogging to be successful, it takes more than just posting a blog every once in a while, and hoping that potential customers come across it. Your blog needs to be consistent and high-quality to build brand awareness. Obviously, blogs help drive traffic to your website and convert that traffic into leads, but the key is becoming a thought leader in your industry. Being recognized as a thought leader gains trust in your business from potential customers and makes it easier for them to purchase from you.
Similar to blogging, posting aimlessly on social media isn’t enough to get your brand out there. Take the time to consider your target audience, research trending and relative hashtags and experiment with optimal posting times. That time spent will be worth it when it comes to increasing your brand awareness. Occasionally putting some paid social advertising behind posts that your audience responds well to isn’t a bad idea either.
3. Developing an Email List
When it comes to struggles of small businesses, developing an email list may be the hardest to overcome.
The best way to develop an email list is to build opt-ins for your visitors. Your visitors will voluntarily provide you with their information so they are less likely to mark you as spam and are more likely to read your emails. Start by creating a subscriber form for your newly revamped blog!
4. Generating Leads
The most important objective when it comes to marketing your small business is generating leads. Most leads come from your business website. So what’s the first thing you should do to improve your lead generation process? Optimize your website for leads, obviously. Make sure of the following:
- Each webpage, including blogs, guides visitors to a Call-to-Action (CTA), an offer that requires an email address. This changes them from a nameless visitor into a lead!
- You have a tool that takes those CTA submissions and puts them into your contact database. This is called a CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software.
- Each marketing initiative (campaign) has custom pages built for it.
To learn more about how to market your small business, reach out to us. CHARGE has 100+ years of experience helping businesses realize their potential.