Small retail business marketing is critical to a business' success and future. With the right options and time management, you can effectively market your own company. In a retail market the most important job is getting people to come to the door. It used to be that all a small business needed was a yellow page ad, good signage, word of mouth, business cards, and brochures. While the mediums have changed, the new tools really do perform the same tasks – electronically.
Yellow Pages Ad
Skip it. The days when a target market would pick up the yellow pages to find a business are nearly gone. Investing in a professional, well designed, functional and properly SEO’d (search engine optimized) website will show returns. And a blog is no longer an option. It is the best way to show the spiders crawling the web that your site is relevant and current. Either write posts yourself or hire a writer via content writing sites like Zerys (www.zerys.com), Freelancer (www.Freelancer.com), or WriteJobs (www.writejobs.com). Get great content at an affordable price in very little time.
Good signage is not just about the logo on the door and building. Are you pointing people to the store front - virtually? Make sure to have it properly listed in Google, Yahoo and Bing Maps. It makes it easy for customers to locate your business when they pull up a map in the browsers at home or on the go and they can “check in” when there. Just like the sign on the building or a tent sign on the street, internet signs help guide customers to your business.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is still the best marketing, and the advent of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other sites have expanded that genre. What used to be a recommendation from a golf buddy is now the ability to hear from scores of other current and potential customers. In today’s technology based world you cannot afford to NOT be in social marketing. Don’t spend a lot of time on them, but do make an effort to consistently post – at least daily - for all three if not more.
Traditional business cards are still a must but don’t forget to create the virtual ones. In Outlook create a V-Card that is easily emailed to contacts. Prefer texting? Share your contact information via text/SMS with Contxts (www.contxts.com) and DUB (www.dublabs.com). If you have an iPhone and shring with another iPhone user try apps like BUMP, BeamMe Pro or My Name is e. Or can create a virtual business card on IdentyMe (www.identyme.com), Hashable (www.hashable.com) or About Me (www.about.me). There are lots of virtual business card options out there, try a few until you find one that works good for you, your business and your networking style.
While printed brochures are no longer the mandated marketing material, it’s still a good idea to have a one page overview created. Print a few for the traditionalists, but make sure to get an electronic copy in .pdf form to email to your prospects that want more information about your business.
Don’t be intimidated by technology. Embrace it and enjoy the benefits it can bring. Just like riding a bike or learning to drive – it feels different at first but soon you’ll be racing along. Small retail business marketing can be creative, productive and fun!