In meeting with many business owners and entrepreneurs, I often share my advice or insights during consultations, and after working with these ambitious business people, nine of my quotes seem to resonate most with my clients.
Just like a comedian remembers his best jokes and tosses away the ones that generate only few laughs, I try to remember and jot down the marketing quips that have lit up the eyes of entrepreneurs who were eager to grow their business.
1. Tell the story.
“What’s the point of writing a great book if nobody will read it? The beauty of marketing is that if you properly execute your strategy, people can learn about your story and take action.”
There is nothing more frustrating than seeing an entrepreneur spend countless hours creating social media content and blog posts but getting zero eyeballs on any posts. Develop a two-way strategy to create great content while simultaneously driving traffic so your target audience can read your great story.
2. Develop your strategy.
“Spend time on the weekend developing and implementing your marketing strategy. This will pave the way to future growth for your company.“
The workweek can be chaotic for entrepreneurs. Meetings, phone calls and emails take up a big chunk of time. The weekend offers a peaceful period where your inbox isn’t overflowing and you can clearly think about growing your business by implementing clever marketing plans.
3. Look to Google.
“Page one search results on Google generate over 90 percent of clicks. If you are looking to implement a marketing strategy for your business, focus on that first page.”
If you are a local business owner, you can outrank the larger competition on Google by honing in on your hometown. Submit your business to local directories and pay attention to your Google+ page. There are 3.5 billion searches per day on Google. If your business gets on the first page, this will provide one of the best return on investments for your business.
4. Look for help.
“Break out of your cocoon and ask outsiders for insight into your marketing strategy. By taking this small yet uncomfortable step, you will be pleasantly surprised with the insightful information you learn.”
If you own your own business and ask an employee for their advice, they will likely agree with you because it’s the easy thing to do. Get out of your office or home where you typically work and go to a coffee shop. Ask three random people what they think of your new logo or promotional flyer. They will provide a fresh perspective that is well worth the $4.65 Cinnamon Dolce latte.
5. Learn Google analytics.
“Spend 20 minutes every day for an entire year educating yourself on Google Analytics. This will be one of the best ways to grow your business, understand your customers and stay abreast on changes and trends.”
According to Netcraft, there are 644 million active websites on the Internet. Marketing Land concludes that 90 percent of customers say buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. If you are not studying your current or prospective customers’ trends on your own website, your competition is almost certainly doing so. There are many free articles, videos and tutorials that will allow you to become a Google Analytics guru. Below are some of the benefits.
- Completely free of charge
- Able to find out how your visitors locate your website
- Able to identify which pages and links your visitors click the most
- Visitor segmentation
- Able to fine tune your website
6. Don't forget the customers.
“Your marketing strategy will succeed if you tell the story of your customers in a compelling manner. Don’t forget about your customers.”
Countless times, a business forgets to share the story of what is taking place outside of its own office. They focus on their own staff but forget to tell the most important story, the one of its customers. If you own a painting company, find your brand advocate who was thrilled with the exterior paint job of her home and the new color selection. Get quotes from this customer, take pictures and share her success story. Don’t forget about your customers.
7. Protect your online reputation.
“Be proactive with your online reputation, otherwise your business will be playing a painful game of catch-up while your competition steals away your potential customers.”
Bad experiences are more likely to inspire reviews compared to positive experiences. If you are not proactive in reaching out to your brand advocates to leave an online review for your business, your business can get burned. A dissatisfied customer or even your competitor can leave a negative review on Google or Yelp that will change the perception of your brand when people are searching across the web. If you consistently reach out to your satisfied customers and ask them to leave a review for your business, you will have glowing recommendations across the web. If a negative review happens to trickle in, you won’t feel the burn as much if there are 30 positive reviews versus the one negative.
8. Your smartphone is a great tool.
“Don’t just use your smartphone for emailing, texting and surfing the web. Utilize your smartphone for photos and video content that will tell the story of your brand and serve as the backbone of your social strategy.”
Researchers found that colored visuals increase people's willingness to read a piece of content by 80 percent. Show off the personality of your associates and your customers by snapping photos on your cell phone. This content is so personalized yet businesses often overlook it. Your interaction will skyrocket and your brand will develop a personality that resonates with your target audience.
9. Marketing tests.
“A digital marketing test that delivers lackluster results is better than not testing at all.”
During consultations, I love when two marketing executives start to argue over a specific idea and which version they think will deliver better results. There is a simple solution to end all arguments. Run an A vs. B test on the Web. If you are looking to create a commercial but can’t think of which 15 second spot to run on television, run a test on the web to see which creative delivers a higher click through rate, longer retention for video engagement and more conversions on your website. There are great tools like Google Analytics Experiments and Unbounce to set up these kinds of tests. Finding a winner can save you a lot of money and deliver more sales for your business.