In Canada alone, 1.2 million businesses of all sizes operate, and new ones surface every day. No matter the sector of activity, the competition is fierce. Therefore, it’s a good idea for business owners to apply effective marketing strategies to create and promote brand awareness. When done right, marketing yields a variety of leads that can drive sales and revenue. It also allows companies to stand out of the masses and get their message across. Even though it’s undeniably necessary, it can be expensive or require dedicated resources. As such, some small businesses rely on word of mouth alone. But that’s not sufficient on its own. Here are some ideas and tips to give you a competitive edge, regardless of company type and budget.
Understand the Power of Existing Customers
Existing customers are a tremendous asset, so it’s crucial to secure their loyalty. And yet, many businesses focus all their marketing efforts on customer acquisition instead of retention. Acquiring new customers can cost five times more than retaining existing ones and the success rate of selling to new customers is only 5–20%. On the flip side, increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits from 25–95% and the success rate of selling to them is 60–70%. One agency found that existing customers are 5x as likely to purchase again, 5x as likely to forgive, 4x as likely to refer, and 7x as likely to try new offerings.
Reward Your Most Loyal Customers with Gift Cards
A great way to reward your pool of loyal customers is with gift cards. Not only can they be used to underline your appreciation, they’re also a great tool for positive conflict resolution. Simply have some on hand and teach your staff to use them according to pre-defined criteria.
Start a Blog
One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness is through consistent blogging. It’s an inexpensive way for businesses to drive traffic to their website and attract prospective customers. Search engines like Google favor new, relevant content and blogging is a straightforward method to achieve this. It’s an opportunity to insert the relevant keywords that consumers use to search for services or products. Blogging is also a good way to develop and strengthen relationships with existing and new customers through high-quality content. Additionally, it allows businesses to stand out as an industry leader and establish clout in their field.
Promote Yourself on Social Media
Having an online presence on various social media platforms is a must! Nowadays, most companies have a Facebook business page but often, it’s not used consistently. Since different demographics of clients use different platforms, it’s a good idea to diversity your online presence. Explore various platforms (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Google My Business, Twitter, TikTok, etc.) and determine which ones are best to reach your audience. Then, learn how to use the main features (posts, stories, reels, videos), post consistently, and use high-quality content to stand out. It may seem confusing at first, but you’ll learn with time.
Run Contests Using Gift Cards
Customers LOVE contests. They’re a great way to reach prospective clients and as we’ve seen, that’s challenging. It also makes existing customers feel valued, which solidifies retention efforts. Since people love gift cards, they’re an excellent option. Plus, they’re easy and inexpensive to ship and make contactless exchanges a breeze. When crafting contests, ask your customers to share your posts (on their page and in stories) and to tag other people. This way, you’ll get maximum exposure on social media. The return on investment is worth it!
Host Classes or Events
Stand out and connect with your community through organized events. This can be accomplished in person or virtually through webinars, platforms like Zoom and Teams, or Facebook and Instagram Lives. Brainstorm relevant topics and give it a try! To encourage attendance, offer participation prizes like gift cards. The more people connect with your brand, the more they’ll use your products or services.
Don’t wait any longer! Look at the various options, choose what’s right for your business size and type, then tackle one item at a time. For everything gift card related, sign up with Gift Card Warehouse for free and make your marketing efforts a breeze!