Marketing is essential for any business, but for small businesses or start-ups, it is actually crucial for survival.
Listen, we get it – when you start out you have a million and one things to think about, especially in the UAE. Getting your trade licence, getting your visa, buying email domains, getting a logo, setting up your social media, starting a website… we could go on.
For this very reason, small business owners often overlook the very thing which is going to get them out there in front of customers and grow their business quickly – marketing. And more accurately, digital marketing.
This should be factored into your budget just as much any other expense you need to start up or get going.
Of course hiring a marketing agency to do the full works for you is going to cost quite a bit (although we promise you, the returns would be worth it). Regardless, we are all about giving here at Desert Dog.
So here is some free advice from us to you.
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Ok so first: use your competitors.
Analyse what they are doing, what works for them? What kind of audience are they targeting?
If they have been around longer than you have and are successful In your field, it is worth learning from their methods
Assess their landing pages, social media, websites, email chains (sign up on your personal account for this), even their prices!
Of course we are not saying copy your competitors to a T, you need to be unique in your field to stand out. However, if you are new to this, sometimes emulating your competitors is a good way to start.
Secondly, get reviews – and make sure they are positive!
You probably know yourself, before buying a product or service, you shop around. You research the company, assess their website, look at prices and maybe even search for reviews.
If you want to be seen as a reputable and trusting business, you need good reviews online.
Send your most valued clients review links. Use a platform that is 100% transparent so it can be trusted by customers.
Also, make sure you set up Google My Business. Customers can post genuine reviews on this, you can claim your business, locate it on maps, post images etc. It is essential for any new business and really easy to set up.
Once you have glowing reviews, share them on socials, landing pages, your website etc so even if people weren’t actively searching for them, they see them and put further trust into you.
Thirdly, make sure you are on social media.
We hear sometimes from clients that they don’t think their business “suits” social media, well that is categorically not correct.
Social media is an amazing marketing tool for ANY business.
And the numbers don’t lie -with 81% of people using it to research products or services; they want to see if you are a legitimate.
Dependant on your industry, some platforms may be better than others.
However, we do think most businesses should have a presence on Instagram, Facebook and Linked In, without a doubt. For instance, Instagram’s potential advertising reach is 849.3m users, that kind of reach is unparalleled, you need to be grappling at this chance!
Your social media presence should be a direct reflection of your business acumen, how do you want to appear to potential customers?
Working to develop your brand is an important process – ensuring the correct ethos, values and impressions are portrayed to your prospects.
If you want to fully reap the benefits of social media, it is paramount you have omnipresence. The social media platforms are designed to complement each other – so use them!
When posting on social media, offer post regularly, consistency is key. This will grow your following as well as keep your brand relevant.
Content can include photos, blog posts, status updates, videos, polls, competitions etc.
Creating the content can be time consuming but there are apps to help, we will talk about these in another blog soon.
Finally, get out there and go to local events!
Post covid, of course.
But for now, get networking. Join networking groups. Attend webinars. Make connections.
Once we can socialise a bit more, attending expo’s, lectures, seminars etc is a great way to meet like-minded people in your industry. Having positive relationships with people within your industry is a very positive and co-beneficial thing to have.
Basically, you want to be on the radar of people within your industry, as well as learning from them.
So, by just implementing these 4 simple techniques, your small business marketing will improve and more customers will come.
Clearly there is a lot more to marketing success than this, but this is definitely a great start.
Drop us an email or live chat message if you want to discuss any of this further or you are ready to hire the professionals for your marketing work.
Oh- and good luck new starters, we are rooting for you!