5-steps-to-marketing-successWe hear talk about marketing all over the Internet, but deciphering what it actually means is often difficult. What do terms like SEO, SMM, and lead creation even mean? Most small business owners are not marketing experts, and that’s totally OK. Small business owners have enough on their proverbial plates during a day’s work anyways. Besides, marketing and being a successful, hard-working, risk-taking entrepreneur are two entirely different things.

Following are easy-to-follow, helpful tips in reaping marketing success for your small business using Facebook and other free or low-cost, easily-understood options.

1. Define Your Audience

Every small business offers varying products and services: no two businesses are the same. Furthermore, small businesses often cater to specialized, niche needs.

Small businesses oftentimes cast broad nets in attempts to capture customers. Appealing to narrower markets generally reaps more rewards than casting broad, unspecified nets. First, make note of the age, sex, and interests of your customers. If you do not directly deal with customers, include surveys with your products for customers to fill out. Most customers don’t mind filling out short surveys, as they help small business owners be more successful.

Another aspect of defining your small business’ audience is finding out what drives customers; what they stand for and what causes they support. Appealing to customers’ emotional interests often brings better results than not utilizing emotional appeals. On Facebook, people pick and choose who they are friends with or what they follow. This ability allows Facebook-ers to limit what political views, emotional appeals, and interests they receive information from.

Facebook allows you to project ideas, messages, and relevant news about your small business to particular audiences. Don’t miss out on your target audience by neglecting this detail.

2. Create Your Content

Now you know who is interested in your small business. Here comes the hard part: what content will you provide your Facebook friends and followers?

People browse and connect with others on Facebook for three primary reasons: to educate, inform, and entertain. They never, ever, ever visit Facebook to purchase products and services. Creating content not related to directly selling products is crucial to succeeding in Facebook marketing for your small business. You must create content that is educational, informative, or entertaining — or all three!

When creating pictures, sharing stories, or making posts about your small business, aim for these types of content:


Educate: Content that teaches us things

Face it — nobody knows everything; the more you learn, the more you realize that you don’t know everything. Share stories or post original content of your own — be careful not to plagiarize from outside sources — that teach consumers things related to or about your business. Teach others how they can better start small businesses. Educate them on your business’ practices and how products are produced. It’s easy to figure out ways to educate your customers after putting in a little thought.

Inform: Content that fills consumers in on details or unheard-of topics

Facebook users often love to read about things they don’t already know about. Inform your Facebook friends and followers of how your business got started. Tell them about your life story and how you came to operate your small business. Informing people about new topics or details they might not know is far easier than educating or entertaining. However, remember to include a mix of all three elements: educating, informing, and entertaining.

Entertain: Content that urges us to laugh or be happy

Causing Facebook followers to laugh creates and emotional bond between potential or established customers and your small business. This type of content is meant to entertain your followers on Facebook.

3. Drive Awareness

Without making potential customers aware of your content, they are far less likely to stumble across your Facebook page and posts. Driving awareness is key to engaging customers on Facebook.

Use Facebook advertising to your advantage. Advertising on the blue-and-white social media platform is often cheaper and more effective than other forms of advertising. Facebook offers several forms of advertising, including photo, video, and slideshow ads. But how do you figure out which advertising works best?

Facebook offers interaction statistics related to your business so you can learn which advertising medium is most valuable. Such statistics are showcased in easy-to-understand charts and graphs.

You can also drive awareness by sharing posts and engaging with Facebook users. Replying to posts or commenting in reply to interested customers causes them to know you, the small business owner, actually cares about his customers.

4. Create Lead Magnet

Offering free information, offers, or other promotions for Facebook followers’ names and email address is essential to furthering sales efforts. Without knowing how to contact potential customers, how will you push promotional content directly related to sales out to them? Remember, business-related Facebook pages should never ask customers to buy things, as people visit Facebook to be — do you remember? — educated, informed, and entertained.

Provide customers free products, extra add-ons, or other items of value in exchange for name and email address. Without offering something of value for potential customers’ private, personal email address and full name, they are significantly less likely to provide you with contact information.

5. Close the Deal

Here lies the most rewarding phase of the marketing process. However, closing deals is the most sensitive to losing the interest of potential customers.

Send out regular emails to newfound contacts and offer steps to solving problems related to your business, provide them with logical information, or create urgency. You can use a mixture of all three, but be sure to always create urgency.

By creating urgency, you urge your audience to go out and buy your products or services or contact your business about its offerings. Remember to ABC — always be closing — the audience. By constantly trying to directly make sales during this stage, your business is sure to succeed.

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