Marketing your business is becoming increasingly difficult. More and more people are setting up businesses and the local competition is fierce. For freelancers, solopreneurs, and small business owners, every little advantage you can achieve over your local competitors is one to grab and develop.
Marketing tactics are often changing to meet evolving customer and technological realities. This can make it tricky to stay up-to-date with the latest strategies and best practices. However, it’s imperative for you to make time to study these new developments and to decipher what will work both this month as well as in the long-run.
By doing so, you’ll be able to outsmart your local competition, even if they are bigger than you. This is the ninja spirit of taking advantage of being smaller to then outmaneuver companies that might not have the same freedom or mindset to market their businesses as effectively.
To help you, we’ve brought together 10 top marketing tactics that will stand the test of time, regardless of fads and trends. These need to be developed if you’re to enjoy success over your regional competition, both in the short term and most importantly, the long term.
Create a strong visual brand identity
The visual aspect of your business is the first thing people will notice. This is why logos and company color schemes are so important. Make sure your business has a strong logo design and a coherent brand continuity across multiple platforms, including in your invoices. You want your logo and brand identity to help convey professionalism, your values, and what your business is all about, within just a couple of seconds of being viewed by a new prospect.
Identify and develop your USP
A Unique Selling Point (USP) is what differentiates your business from your local or regional competitors. It’s a defining difference that will make prospects sit up and want to learn more. A well-written USP encapsulates a strong benefit for the potential customer. It clearly yet succinctly conveys the value you offer and a problem you solve, which is different from your competitors. A strong USP can make a huge difference for your brand.
Define your marketing goals
It’s difficult to successfully market your business if you don’t have specific end goals in mind. You need to set some objectives which are more defined than simply getting more customers or clients. For example, do you want to drive more people to your website or to a brick and mortar store? Do you seek to increase brand awareness in a particular city or localized region? How many social media followers do you want or need?
Knowing the answers will help you to use more pinpoint tactics, with ninja-like precision, rather than a broad (and potentially expensive) sweep.
Optimize your website for both SEO and people
Your company website is the central hub of all your marketing and sales activity, both online and offline. People inevitably visit a website when making a buying decision and it’s therefore important your website works smoothly, looks good, and reads well. The content should be search engine optimized but not at the cost of readability. Great web content connects with the human reader, both logically and emotionally, and persuades them to take a particular action.
Cultivate a blog for your website
Part of a successful website is a regularly updated blog section. Blogging keeps your website fresh with new content and opens up many more gateways to your site from the search engines. Good blogging is also about developing a long-term relationship with your prospects, guiding them to particular buying decisions and cultivating trust in your abilities and professionalism. A well-written blog is the equivalent of a well-armed ninja warrior, and can do wonders when fighting for rankings with your competitors.
Collect email addresses
Blogging is the core component of a long-term marketing strategy and this is often complemented with a parallel email marketing campaign. What’s written in each blog post can then be shared in newsletter-style emails to subscribers. Collecting the email addresses of prospects who willingly share their details allows you to keep in touch with these potential customers. Eventually, they’re likely to make a purchase.
Use your market’s language
For most types of businesses, overly formal marketing content or jargon-filled website pages do little to inspire and persuade prospects. These days, people are more attracted to a conversational style of writing which mimics the everyday language we use. Your content should fit with how people best digest information and this is usually in a similar style to how you converse with a customer when face-to-face. Don’t be afraid to use a colloquialism or two from your local region.
Write about local events
Part of your blog and email content strategy should be connecting with events in your target market area. Writing about things related to your business and things of interest to your local prospects provides your website with content containing regional keywords. This is beneficial for SEO and also interests your readers who will naturally be inclined to read about local events which are in some way related to the products or services you provide.
Build local partnerships
Growing a business, of any type, usually benefits from strategic partnerships. In the marketing sense, you can partner with another local business that’s in a similar but non-competing sector and do cross-promotions with one another. They advertise you and you advertise them.
Another type of partnership which can benefit your marketing is a delegation partner. This is where you hire local professional freelancers with particular skills that can benefit your productivity and marketing prowess. For example, copywriters, marketing specialists, web designers, bookkeepers, social media strategists, photographers, and virtual assistants, to name but just a few.
Every great ninja has tactical partners they can rely on.
Use the power of personality
Great marketing is about successfully portraying your business in the right light and reaching those people who need your products or services the most. It’s about building trust and likeability, and these two factors are best nurtured when you show the real people behind your business.
The power of personality can make the difference between someone choosing your business or that of your regional competitor. Showcase who you are and create content that portrays you in a positive and likeable light.
Outsmarting your local competitors
These marketing tactics will be around for a good while yet, regardless of technological advances and changes in consumer habits. It’s important to hone these tactics and develop them to suit your particular business, its location, and your marketing goals.
By doing so, you can quickly build an advantage over your local and regional competitors, even if they are more established and bigger than you. This is what business owners with a true ninja spirit do and it’s vital for the success of your business that you do the same.