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Ultimate business marketing essentials: 7 high performing tools for marketing your business

small business marketing toolsIt can be tempting as a business owner to pop marketing on your ‘to do’ list and just never get around to it. If it isn’t your ‘zone of genius’, then marketing can feel too hard, or too time consuming. Indeed, non-core business activities can often seem like they’re robbing you of time you could be spending on doing the work (you know – the thing you do that actually makes you money).

BUT

If you aren’t marketing your business then you are leaving money on the table.

Without a steady stream of new customers, you’ll inevitably see a drop in your revenue… then come the cash flow problems. Without a solid marketing plan to help you find those new customers, your business’ growth will grind to a halt.

But with a seemingly endless buffet of marketing options out there, where do you start? Which tools and strategies are the most effective for small business?

 

The Tenfold Business Coaching guide to essential marketing tools

Over the next couple of posts, we cover the most effective marketing tools for owner-operated business. These are the exact strategies that our business coaches use to get the best results for our clients. Whether your business is in manufacturing, trades, retail, professional services, building – if you’re looking to grow and get more sales, these are the tools you need.

Ready to take your business marketing to the next level? Let’s go!

 

Google My Business

What is it?
Google My Business is another free tool that helps business owners “manage their online presence across Google”.

Why it’s great
This is where good local SEO begins. It’s how you make your business show up on Google Maps and local pack listings when customers search for businesses like yours in their area. It’s also where customers can leave Google Reviews. It’s, quite simply, the most important tool in your small business marketing belt.

How to measure effectiveness
Google has made this so easy – you’ll get a monthly email outlining the performance of your My Business listing – but you can also log in to get this info at any time.

How much time to invest
Once set up, Google My Business won’t take up more than a few minutes of your time each week – but there’s more you can do (more on this in future posts!).

Learn more about Google My Business

 

Google Ads

What is it?
Google Ads (previously known as Google Adwords) is a paid online advertising service. It’s how you get those listings at the top and bottom of a Google search results page – the ones that look like normal listings, except for the tiny green “Ad” icon next to it.

Why it’s great
Google Ads puts you at the top of the list for people searching (with intent) for businesses like yours in their area. You get in front of potential customers when they’re looking for you. Plus, you only pay if someone actually clicks on your ad (ie pay per click).

How to measure effectiveness
Google Ads comes with a slew of analytics and tracking abilities. We’ll go over these in detail later in this series, but basically you’ll have the ability to use the insights you gain to optimise the effectiveness of your ads and your website.

How much time to invest
Google Ads comes with a monetary investment along with the time involved. It will also mean getting up to speed on how to create, test and manage your ads.  That said, there’s a real payoff here – very few other marketing options are this targeted.

Learn more about Google Ads

 

Google Reviews

What is it?
Did you know that 92% of customers consult reviews before making a purchase decision? That’s why gathering and managing reviews has become such an essential part of any marketing strategy. Google Reviews is a free tool that offers potential customers the testimonials that can take them from interested to “take my money!”.

Why it’s great
Sure there are other review sites, but Google Reviews will rank above all the others when customers search for your business. In fact, the number of Google Reviews your business has directly impacts your local search ranking. More reviews = improved SEO. (Look out for the Google Reviews installment of this series for details on how you can get more reviews)

How to measure effectiveness
This one requires a hands-on approach – you simply need to closely monitor your reviews. This isn’t just about quantity, though – the quality of the reviews also matters. Fewer glowing (and detailed) reviews are more compelling for potential customers than a whole bunch of wordless star ratings.

How much time to invest
You’ll need to spend a couple of hours a week on your Google Reviews page – collecting and responding to the positive comments and dealing with any negative ones. The good news is that you’ll get so much customer insight gold from reading through the comments, you’ll enjoy a significant return on any time you invest.

Learn more about boosting online reviews

 

LinkedIn

What is it?
This is social media – business style. It’s now the place to be if you’re marketing a B2B business.

Why it’s great
You can get your brand (and content) in front of the decision-makers who head up the companies you’d like to work with. These are the people who have the authority (and the budget) to actually do business with you. PLUS, your content won’t get lost in a sea of selfies and inspirational memes.

How to measure effectiveness
It’s a long-game strategy. However, if you are increasing your number of genuine connections, getting comments on your posts (and likes on your comments), then you know you are getting some traction.

How much time to invest
It’s very much a ‘you get what you put into it’ scenario, but by re-purposing content you could spend as little as a few hours a week on posting and engagement and see some results.

Learn more about LinkedIn business marketing

Email marketing

What is it?
Newsletters, email sequences, eDM offers… whoever said email is dead hasn’t been paying attention. We’re all still getting hundreds of emails a day.

Why it’s great
Showing up regularly in someone’s inbox is still a great way to deliver content straight to your ideal customer on a silver platter. The trick is getting your emails read by the right people (check the link below).

How to measure effectiveness
The great thing about email is that when you use email marketing tools (such as Mailchimp or Campayn) you get access to the metrics. You’ll know how many people opened your email, how many clicked through to your content – it’s a great way to test offers and see what your readers respond to.

How much time to invest
You’ll need to create (or curate) the content and follow up with a bit of analysis. Depending on the frequency and format you use, you will be looking at around 4 hours per email. That might seem like a lot, but you might only email your customers once per month. A few hours per month to keep your business top-of-mind is worth it – being in the right place at the right time is what gets results.

Learn more about email marketing strategies

 

Instagram

What is it?
Instagram is the most visual of the social platforms. It’s a simple but effective way to show your customers what your business offers through images and video.

Why it’s great
You can post results (before and after pics) or even live demos of your products (using video or the new IGTV feature) that make for compelling content.

While the platform helps you to nurture relationships with your customers, there’s the added opportunity to connect with businesses who offer complimentary services.

Another bonus: it hasn’t (yet) fallen victim to the same algorithm changes that caused so many issues for businesses on Facebook. This means that your content is far more likely to show up in peoples’ feeds.

How to measure effectiveness
Likes are great, but comments are the real indicator of successful engagement. Be warned though – engagement doesn’t equate to sales. The best use of the platform is to promote offers and use it as a ‘top of funnel’ way to promote your other content. The aim of the game is to drive traffic to your website.

How much time to invest
Instagram can be a lot of fun, so it might not feel like ‘work’. You will have to put some thought into creating content that is ‘on brand’ and valuable and shareable. It can take some time to experiment and figure out what your readers really respond to.

It’s best to post at least three times a week. You’ll need to factor in creating the posts and interacting with followers. A few hours per week should knock it over… if you can discipline yourself to keep it to that!

Learn more about Instagram marketing strategies

 

Case Studies

What are they?
Case studies offer real-life examples of how your business has facilitated a transformation for your customers – ie made their lives better. They are most often published on your website (on a dedicated page), but you can also re-purpose them as content for your social media marketing, sales proposals and to ‘beef up’ your blog posts.

Why they’re great
Case studies offer a great opportunity to showcase what your business can do for your customers. When people visit your website and can see themselves reflected in your website content, it’s easier for them to see your business as the solution to their problems. Including a selection of case studies that represent a broad range of potential customers will significantly increase their effectiveness.

How to measure effectiveness
This is a tough one to measure, since this strategy is more about providing social proof and doesn’t include an interactive element. You may, however, find that prospects mention them when they call to enquire – eg “I see on your website that you’ve helped people in my industry – we’re looking to achieve similar results”.

How much time to invest
A great case study takes time to develop (we’re talking 10 plus hours). You will need to gain the featured business’ permission to publish their story and conduct interviews for quotes etc. You will also need to take some good photos to enhance it visually. But this is seriously valuable content that keeps on giving. It’s well worth the investment.

Learn more about writing case studies that convert

 

Coming up…

So, we’ve given you a high-level look at each of the tools our business coaching clients have successfully used to level-up their marketing game. During the series we’re going to dive deep into the how for each of these strategies so that you, too, can increase sales and boost revenue.

But remember, you don’t have to do all the things. Pick one strategy to try, do it really well and be consistent. That’s the key to growth.

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