How to expand your marketing efforts
Marketing for a business is one of the major priorities for a successful business and for a small business it’s no different. Small businesses too often forget the importance and impact a marketing effort has on their business. The focus is mostly on production and the selling part is forgotten or left to word-of- mouth (WOM) marketing as it seems to be cost effective compared to other forms of marketing. As much as WOM is important, it is not the only option for a small business.
Small businesses can grow and increase their revenue easily by using newer forms of marketing such as social media marketing. It requires almost zero investment cost to set up and operate. The only investment it requires is a good amount of time and some basic know-how.
The easiest forms of Social Media marketing that a small business can leverage on is WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook marketing, a Google listing etc. to name a few. Even amongst these, it would be up to the particular business to choose and decide on which social media channel works best for them.
WhatsApp and Instagram have many tools which small businesses can leverage on such as WhatsApp status or Instagram story, WhatsApp Broadcast groups, WhatsApp Group messaging, WhatsApp payments etc.which businesses can easily use.
An advanced tool for WhatsApp is the WhatsApp for Business app, which has all the features of the normal WhatsApp along with additional options such as automatic Greeting and Away messages,Catalog display and links, Facebook integration, Message statistics, Contact labels and so on.
Instagram and Facebook have similar features to each other and business accounts on both can be linked one to the other. This provides the user the advantage of having to manage content only on one account. For e.g. if a post or story is updated on Instagram, there is the option of having it appear on the linked Facebook account as well.
Similarly, Google provides small businesses various tools to become visible online. Once a small business geo-tags themselves and gets approved by Google, they receive a Google listing which provides them with the op&on to appear on Google maps; have Google reviews; Google messaging; become visible on online searches; and have a basic website generated by google.
All these Apps require consistent engagement and that is possible by regularly communicating your content. Content can be in the form of posts such as pictures of your products or how it’s used or placed depending on what is being sold. Most of the selling can be achieved in just a single shot of a perfect picture. If pictures speak a thousand words, videos speak ten thousand words. Videos are effective for viewers to build trust and credibility for the brand. It can be videos of how the product is being made, final touches, packaging and so on. Even tutorials or “how to use” videos are gaining momentum. Instagram has recently launched Instagram Reels which is a way of posting short videos on Instagram. This is also becoming increasingly popular to gain Instagram followers. In all these,it is important that the content is original as that builds trust in the minds of the customers.
What is necessary is to keep the engagement going to achieve consistency and recall in the minds of your target customers. It is very rarely that a customer seeks out a new business, rather it is the business who seeks out their customers and that is done by consistent marketing and by maintaining a good relationship with the existing customers. If we know who our target audience is and are willing to experiment on various social media platforms, we can identify the platform which is most effective for our business and product.
There is much more to learn and implement on social media marketing, but this has been purely based on experiential learning and its impact on the business.
Ritu Muthoot, #RestartIndia Team