Don’t have many bucks to spend on your small business or start-up? Establishing an efficient marketing strategy is sometimes a challenge for small business owners in Australia because they are unable to allocate considerable funds for marketing; most of them operate on a shoestring budget. You don’t have to break the bank to market your small business in Australia.
Moreover, very day, we hear from small business owners who think they need special skills to reach their customers. Many of these Australian small business owners eventually get overwhelmed by the number and the complex marketing options available, and end up sitting on the sidelines because they are confused where to start. In this article, we will look at 77 local marketing ideas for small business owners in Australia.
Positioning and branding
1. Build brand identity
Building your business brand identity can have a big impact
2. Add emotion to your brand
Emotional branding is defined as the successful attachment of a specific emotion to a brand.
At one of the Business Marketing Association (BMA) conferences in Chicago, Jay Baer asked a room full of roughly 1,000 B2B marketers, “Are you more interesting than my wife?”
Can you think of the people you have had an emotional connection with in your life? How did they impact on your life? Now think about the brands and see the common threats among them.
It is true for brands as it is for people: to break through in modern marketing, small business owners in Australia need to be more interesting and relevant in the moment.
Brands need to connect with people in the way a close friend would—through emotion—in order to build, long-lasting, and quality relationships. There are huge opportunities for retail stores to take advantage of emotional branding.
According to one research, smell is powerful when it comes to persuading someone to buy a product. Stores using certain scents in their stores have been found to have a 30% increase in sales.
A study by University of Wollongong and Murdoch University in 2012, emotional branding is becoming widely used globally. According to Dr Steve Bellman of Murdoch University’s Audience Labs, marketers are tapping into customer’s feelings to market their brands. Another study shows men who show love for their brand beer purchase 38% more beer than the average.
Therefore, emotional branding can lead to substantially more sales without companies having to rely on discounts and promotions. On the flip side, however, creating that emotional connection can be a difficult task.
How brands can connect emotionally
ü By telling a story that inspires an emotional connection: according to Beth Comstock, General Electric Chief Marketing Officer, you can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything. Every brand has stories to tell.
Example: look at this video by Google. In it, you well sense deep emotional connection with the product.
ü By allow their audience to be the real heroes: imagine who emotionally connected your brand would be by showcasing how your product has changed lives. Simply give your audience a voice, a platform and face to be heard.
ü By being authentic: don’t be afraid to embrace your inner geek. Remain who you are and don’t try to be like who you are not. At Bizify, we try to remain true to ourselves. We try to help startups find their feet and we intend to remain true to that mission.
ü By embracing the opportunity to surprise and delight: surprising and delighting customers can be an effecting marketing strategy. Use social media and mobile to spark moments of happiness in customers and you will be surprised at its effectiveness. Coca-Cola has really perfected this art.
3. Create an irresistible value proposition
A value proposition is a statement that explains what value you provide to your customers and how you do it uniquely. Establishing a substantive value proposition is critical if you want to stand above the crowd. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs loose out because they fail to articulate a unique value proposition.
Be clear on what your business stands for. What is your promise? How will you put out a consistent and passionate messages that attract the right candidate? This will also help you to hire the right people and develop products and services that are aligned with your unique value proposition.
4. Be careful with launching too many brands
The big problem for many businesses is they think more brands will make them more successful but they have neither the architecture nor the capacity to manage a multiplicity of brands well. Businesses can increase profits by deleting none-performing brands. Even though revenue may fall in the process, reducing the number of brands will be beneficial in the long run.
Multiband strategies are likely to suffer from diseconomies of scale because of the hidden costs. By letting go off weak, declining and marginally profitable brands, you will be freeing resources to make your few remaining brands better and more attractive to customers. Thus, killing some brands in your portfolio may sometimes be the best way for your business to serve the customers.
5. Package your products
Packaging is an important element when it comes to marketing. How you package your products can attract or repel customers. Is your packaging visually attractive through shape, color, design and does it communicate the right brand ideals. If not, it might be time to revamp the way you package your products.
6. Create a slogan
Let us consider Apple for example. As they became big, they adopted the tagline “Think Different.” This was a perfect fit for their marketing strategy because a large portion of their customers didn’t want to use PC’s like everybody else. Choose a slogan that is consistent with your brand and fits your market slogan.
7. Take care of your staff
You need to build your reputation to attract the right staff and customers. So treat your staff well because they are one of the most important people in your business. Ex-employees are important for leads and new business. Also, reward them for not only making sales, but for being great ambassadors for your business.
WEBSITE, social media AND BLOG
8. Post Daily Content for Continued Growth
One of the easiest ways to grow your social media community the whole day is to post consistently. Studies show that different audiences react to different posting frequencies, so you need to make sure that you have tested the optimal frequency with your own audience and look at the engagement levels in comparison with your other audience. The minimum post frequency on Facebook should be once a day and 4-6 times a day on Twitter. Also be mindful of the time of the day you post to increase engagement. You can automate the process by using tools like Buffer and Sway.
9. Use Images When Posting to Facebook
Including photos in your Facebook and Twitter posts will generate more engagement. According to various studies, posts with relevant images generate 50% more likes than the average text post. When you want to post about an offer or an announcement, include an image. This will significantly increase click-through rates.
10. Increase Exposure of your Communities With Social Buttons
Embed social media share buttons within your site and within your marketing communication to increase engagement. Does your blog have social sharing button displayed prominently within the posts to encourage leaders to share the article. Some of the places you need to consider include:
· Footer of the website or blog
· Header of the website or blog
· In your newsletter
· In your email signature
· Within your blog posts
11. Run a Launchrock Campaign
What is a Launchrock?
A Lauchrock is a free service for gathering email addresses of people who want to get an early access to the launch of a new product, service, app or really anything. A lauchrock can be an effective marketing tool because it encourages word of mouth. One can integrate social buttons within the subscription process which is a very powerful component when it comes to turning a campaign into a viral marketing channel.
Here is an example of a launchrock
The idea is to offer a free give-away or some other offer which works on friend-bring-a-friend model. Make sure the message has a powerful incentive.
12. invest on infographic
Over the last few years, infographics have become very popular. A professionally designed infographic is a very potent traffic generator. A professionally designed infographic can cost you anywhere between $100 and $2,000 but will be worth the investment.
13. Write amazing headlines
The headline of a blog post carries a lot more weight than what many people think. No matter the quality of your content, a bad headline can drive away visitors. Here are some tips for optimizing your blog titles:
· Use every day, simple language
· Keep it short and catchy. Leverage common psychological traits like fear, urgency, desire, etc.
· Use negatives such as Never Do This, Don’t, Avoid, etc.
14. Create Micro Content
Many people are now suffering from information overload, which means that they have less time and patience to consume content. A growing trend which Australian marketers and business owners should consider is the creation of micro content for easy consumption. A great service that has mostly been used is the Vine and SoundCloud.
15. Host a Twitter Q&A sessions
One way to keep your social media fans engaged is hosting a periodic Twitter Q&A sessions. The idea is to encourage your community to ask questions and seek clarifications concerning your product, industry or business. You can provide answers, take their feedback and even create a blog post from that. Over time, more people will begin to take part and slowly your brand and audience will grow.
16. Identify and anticipate customer needs
Contrary to what many people think, customers don’t buy goods and services from firms, they buy solutions to their problems as well as good feelings. If you thought that customer needs are logical then you are dead wrong. On the contrary, most customer needs are emotional. When they feel that you care and you know their problems, they will love you for it.
17. Treat your customers like buddies
Customers are not mere money dispensers. They your most important people and sometimes they can act as your brand ambassadors. You better like them and form deeper relationships with them. Be honest with them, give them a smile instead of a grin and sincere replies. Avoid arguing with customers even when you know they are wrong. You can easily solve disputes amicably and to their favor.
18. Commit to quality customer service
Exceed your customer expectation by delivering exceptional customer service. Focus on their needs and guide them to appropriate solutions to their problems. Once you know what they want you will be able to deliver the right products. In return, they will appreciate your knowledge and expertise. Listening to feedback from your customers and measuring the long term impact they are likely to cause.
19. No excuses: dogs don’t eat homework
One of the major blunders small business owners make is when they become defensive whenever there are blunders. When you deliver on a promise, you raise the customer’s confidence in you. Let your word be your bond no matter what happens. You customers will appreciate you and would want to do business with you.
20. Get involved in corporate social responsibilities
Now more than ever, customers want to do business with brands and businesses that show a genuine concern for the communities and environments around them. Think about supporting local charities and environment. You are in the business of changing the world, not just making money.
21. Provide tailored services.
Treat each client as an individual. Each has different values and needs that require personalized services. So tailor your marketing messages to target specific people with specific needs.
22. Offer free premium products
Give your customers free samples of premium products. For example, you can allow them to sign up for premium products for say 30 days before they can upgrading. Allowing your customers to test premium, quality products might entice them to upgrade or do more business with you.
23. Establish processes that are customer friendly
Take a great look at your processes and structures and try to find if there are structures that are too rigid and which can be potential customer service roadblocks and eliminate them. Establish your company as one that is easy to deal with.
24. Provide plenty of opportunities for customers to signup
Are you working hard to grow your audience? There are many opportunities for customers to sign up. Don’t just rely on one method. Use all the possible tools in your arsenal to grow your database. Promote your email list in your website or newsletter, include a signup form in your social media and virtually every documentation you give the customer. Also include a link to sign-up page in your email signature.
Products and Services
25. Give your product or service something unique
Some of the most successful products and services in the market are unique. If you look carefully, there is always something unique about them and makes it hard for others to copy them. Make your product stand out in terms of functionality and design. Even introducing a unique packaging can do wonders.
26. Make sure products deliver what they promise
It is easy to lose clients and damage your reputation if you are in the habit of overpromising and under delivering. Make sure your products deliver on the promises your marketing materials promise.
27. Develop apps
Develop an app if your business can benefit from them. For instance, Uber has an app that makes it easy for customers to find a taxi and make reservations. Apps are very useful for the business and the customer.
28. Strategic alliance
A strategic alliance can be defined as a formal arrangement between two companies. This is used to develop the strengths and meet the business needs of the companies involved. For instance, a graphic design company can partner with a digital marketing company to enhance customer the needs of the customers. This also leads to more sales as a result of cross referrals.
29. Reach out to influencers
Make a list of key influencers in your local community and target market and send them a discount or free sample for your services. E.g if you own a store that deals with spare parts, you could target garages and send them free samples or offer discounts for your products. Your generosity will get them talking.
30. Video is a powerful new marketing tool
Be proactive in your marketing. Film yourself offering tips, strategies and showing someone how to do something. Make explainer videos about your products and services and share on social media.
31. Use local leader newspaper
While you wouldn’t be betting that you will get a return on investment on those little local ads in local newspaper, they could be good for some businesses such as motor vehicles and apartments.
32. In-store signage
Use in-store banners and posters to promote your products and services or announce your value proposition. You could close a lot of sales using this method if you are getting a lot of people who are making inquiries or right in the edge of buying something.
33. Street banners
A small business on a popular highway can use a street banner to market a product. You can attract a lot of attention from people walking on the street and develop a connection with you potential customers.
34. Online Directory Listings
There are many online directories for Australian business to consider. They can also help you to be found in search engines.
Examples of online directories in Australia include: