In this complex world of too many choices, a small business can stand out from the competition through simple marketing.
Simple marketing also helps to eliminate the marketing overwhelm facing business owners due to the rapidly changing digital landscape. Marketing overwhelm creates paralysis, guaranteeing that nothing gets done, and those activities that do are often random and ineffective.
Customers are looking for simple solutions to their complex problems
No one has time to sort through complex messages, confusing web design or too many options in order to find the solution to their challenges. The Global Brand Simplicity Index 2013 by Siegel+Gale points out that customers are looking for simplified experiences, which can lead to increased revenue, loyalty and referrals.
Business owners are looking for simple activities to create visibility for their businesses
Online marketing requires action on a daily basis. The days are gone for a small business to place an ad in the Yellow Pages and then go about their daily business activities. Content needs to be continually created, optimized and promoted in order to implement a successful inbound marketing strategy. However, small business owners feel overwhelmed by all the options available and continue to redirect their efforts every time something new catches their attention.
Here are 6 tips to simplify your marketing and help your business uniquely standout from the competition:
1. Focus on one specific target market
Picking the right target market enables you to become laser focused on addressing their particular challenges.
If you try to market your products and services to an undefined audience, you most likely will fail. Many small business owners avoid making a decision to target a specific market and try and be “all things to all people” because not making a decision feels less risky. That is far from reality.
Being clear about who you work with increases efficiency, eliminating wasted time and money on activities that are random and unfocused. And despite being a prominent marketing myth, defining a target market will not limit your business. Directing your marketing efforts towards a specific market increases the clarity of your message and heightens your visibility to a much broader market.
2. Create a simple marketing plan
Creating a simple marketing plan helps you choose strategies that are focused on attracting your ideal client within your target market.
Without a simple marketing plan, you may be selecting marketing activities as you would food from a Chinese menu. However, when it comes to marketing, the Chinese menu approach does not work and usually results in a bad case of heartburn. With so much distraction in our day-to-day activities, we need to put structure around our marketing so we remain focused on our goals. We have only so much time to devote to marketing, so let’s use that time wisely.
3. Simplify your message
Crafting messages that are simple, compelling and focused on the problem you solve for your ideal client creates visibility across a wider market.
Too many companies create complex messaging. Figure out what your ideal client wants and focus on the most important point that you want to communicate. Let your audience know what problem you solve for them and why they should work with your business. It is understandable that you may want to share everything there is that is wonderful about what you offer, but remember that your potential customer only cares about what you can do for them. Ensure you present your solutions simply and in their language so it is easy for them to make a decision, helping them move swiftly through the sales process.
4. Create an action plan
Developing an action plan helps you define a realistic set of activities based on your resource limitations.
A marketing action plan eliminates random activities that create haphazard results. It takes your marketing plan one step further and assigns dates, topics and other activities to each activity so that it eliminates the guess work and ensures you always know what you should be doing and when.
5. Clean up your website
Simplifying your website to clearly guide your visitor helps them find what they are looking for and helps you convert them into a lead.
Most small business websites say too much or not enough and have a design that detracts from its usability. Your web site needs to lead your visitors through the site with the purpose of helping them decide what action to take. If you let the visitor wander without a clear path, you run the risk of them getting confused, frustrated and leaving before they tell you who they are. Make sure your website design is clean and easy to navigate and your home page clearly speaks to your ideal client, helping them understand why you can help them solve their biggest challenge.
6. Select your social media wisely
Selecting and then dominating the social media channels that best reach your ideal client is more effective than trying to create a strong presence across them all.
You do not have to be on every social platform in order to make an impact in your business. You hear about how businesses use Pinterest or Twitter to grow their business and you feel you need to do the same. But your strategy is going to look different than others, even in your industry, and you need to decide which platforms make sense for you.
Take some time to figure out where your target market hangs out and make sure you have a strong social presence there. When you successfully build a strong presence on the more appropriate social channels, you can decide when or if it makes sense to add another to your online presence.
What are you waiting for?
Simple marketing has benefits for both your customers and your business. Keep your marketing simple and help your ideal clients understand why they will benefit from working with you.
How do you simplify your marketing to help your target audience and you?