Tips For Small Business Marketing

Both production and distribution play an equally important role in ensuring the success of any business. Marketing is one aspect of distribution. Without good marketing strategies, it would be impossible for a seller to target prospective customers. It makes the potential customer aware of the features of a product. In fact, big firms spend a lot on advertising and marketing, because they realize the importance of a customer being able to identify with a product. Small business firms, on the other hand, lack the resources for huge advertisement campaigns. They often face the problem of extinction, not because their products are obsolete or lack quality, but simply because of a dearth of ideas when it comes to marketing their products.

Online Marketing and Sales
The kind of strategy adopted by a firm would depend entirely on the nature of the product. Nowadays, small business firms try to capture the market by using the web for advertising as well as sales. However, the success of Internet marketing depends on the kind of products that people choose to buy online. Generally, products that have a good online market can be grouped into the following categories: books, music, electronic goods, and software. Books, music, and movies have a market share of 34%. Software has a market share of 30%, while the remaining 14% goes to electronic goods. If our business model involves the production and distribution of any of these items, we would be better off selling online.

There are a number of websites that not only allow small entrepreneurs to sell online, but also allow customers to provide seller ratings. This feedback mechanism helps in sales as well as marketing. Advertising is possible since potential customers get to read about the features of a product. Customer reviews and ratings again help in identifying a conscientious seller. Moreover, a seller can write a short feature about himself on some of these online sale sites. This helps the buyer and the seller to get acquainted. The seller can also create an account with these websites for a nominal subscription. Creating blogs and social networking sites are also useful ways of marketing such products.

Building Relations Through Community Service
Web-based marketing may not be the best option for people selling cakes, flowers, and other perishable items. The reason being, these items are generally purchased from the local mom and pop stores. This is when community service centers can come in handy. A small business can give away some products at charity events in order to build goodwill and a sense of kinship. These functions can provide an important platform for advertising. Building personal relations will also go a long way in case of such business models. One might be able to build a significant customer base by sponsoring a small charity drive. This might even result in a noteworthy mention in the local newspaper, and will serve as a sure-shot way in increasing sales.

Tapping on People’s Emotions
A few years ago, my friend went to a mall with the intention of splurging on her new wardrobe. She was running her fingers through her hair time and again, hoping to somehow manage her unruly locks. This was when she was approached by a perceptive salesman who had gauged her weakness. He managed to sell a hair care product she had never even heard of and had no intention of buying. This experience serves to teach us the importance of focusing on emotions while trying to make a pitch. This is true for both sales as well as marketing.

Marketing a product does not have to be an expensive affair. Every small business should focus on the strategy that is best for its business. Providing discounts, giving live product demonstrations, and focusing on prospective customers can go a long way in marketing. These can also help achieve the twin objectives of marketing, viz. building awareness and sales.

How to Select an Internet Marketing Company

Everywhere everyone is trying to sell something. Perhaps the prime reason why we exist is to sell. Preachers sell their conviction, experts in various fields sell their expertise, in business we sell our ideas or services, on matrimonial sites we try to sell how good or how different we are to get a partner…the list is endless. But it is a fact that everyone is selling something or the other. Marketing or publicity is the first step in the selling business. In this article, we will focus on Internet Marketing and how to select the right firm for you.

The Concept of Internet Marketing

With the rise of this fabulous luxury that we refer to as the Internet, new vistas have opened up, and it has very much transformed itself into a necessity. If you want run a home-based business, or plan to have access, or for that matter, be accessible around the globe, you need to be visible on the Internet, and for that you will need a good internet marketing firm. These companies serve as an interface between you and your potential customers. They design, develop, and provide integrated online marketing solutions.

In today’s market, there is a broad range of online marketing opportunities. Successful online marketing depends largely on the ability to identify the right consultants, who provide the best opportunity to reach your target audience in a cost-effective manner. When someone wants to bring more viewers to his or her website, then the website owner can choose from the many online marketing companies available. However, with so many different companies, it is difficult to find a way to sort through them. One should keep in mind that the company selected should have a good record and reputation. It is also advisable to find out the authenticity of the company, and information about the different types of support they offer.

Selecting An Internet Marketing Company

The Internet is flooded with various types of marketing consultants, offering various plans and strategies. One can easily look up information on a particular company and their related statistics. While looking for firms, ensure that they have worked on a product or service similar to yours, so that they have the necessary skill set available with them. Once you narrow down a list of potential firms, contact them and ask them for brochures and references. Follow-up with the references, and ensure that they are genuine before deciding on the firm. You can also ask the firms to come up with a small demonstration of the idea and the plan that they have for you.

However, something that can help you hunt for the right firm is the new concept of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is the process of selecting the best keywords coupled with adequate on-page optimization, along with other off-page optimization factors so that the business achieves better position in the search engine result pages for the selected words. With research confirming that 70―80% of prospective web customers use search engines or search directories to find relevant content, search engine marketing is the most widely used method and it is very effective too. Another smart move would be to add the URL to the Internet Marketing directory and the Internet Marketing center. However, submitting the website into search engines and directories can be a determining factor; the method followed to submit to these search engines is extremely important and calls for a fair amount of research.

Another emerging trend is video marketing, and it is definitely the next big thing. Video marketing entails the use of video for conveying your message to the audience. Experts believe that videos are very effective, and greatly help in establishing an engaging and interactive platform to communicate with the customers. Videos are a much better way to inform your potential customers about the services and products offered by you, when compared to 2-dimensional pictures that you can put up on the website.

Now that you have these tips to choose a consultant, learn to make use of the search engines, and make a concrete well-informed plan together with your internet marketing consultant to expand your business worldwide.

Tips for Marketing Beauty Salons

Beauty Salon Marketing Tips

While proper and extensive promotion is the best way to get noticed, especially when entering a domain that is as competitive as the beauty business, budget may sometimes become a restraint. If budget were not a restraint, then everyone would go ahead and use every promotional media and advertising strategy to market one’s business! Imagine what a mess that would be – skyline dotted by endless hoardings, inbox flooded with e-flyers, mailboxes crammed with pamphlets, advertisements eating up the bulk of prime time on television (making you feel like watching that sitcom in between ads and not the other way round!)! Anyway, before we drift any further, here are some points on how to market your beauty salon most optimally to ensure that your target audience doesn’t miss a single promotional effort put up by you!

Let Them Know
Never underestimate the power of effective advertisement! Advertising ideas for beauty salons could include posting attractive advertisements in local newspapers, popular magazines, lifestyle news supplements, etc. You should also use Internet and social networking websites to extensively advertise your beauty salon. If you’re starting a beauty salon in a neighborhood, you can hand over flyers or pamphlets to people informing and inviting them to the inauguration. Offering special discounts on inaugural events is a good way to catch the eyes of prospective customers. If your budget allows, you can also get the local cable network to advertise your salon on TV during prime time.

Strike While the Iron’s Hot
Take advantage of every opportunity to promote your beauty salon and its services. Be it local or community events or festive occasions, make your salon’s presence felt by being seen at such events. Set up stalls at event venues and offer discounts and special offers. You can also hold contests and quizzes and gift a free service package to the winner(s). Likewise, you may also hold small sessions giving tips on grooming and beautification to the crowd in community events.

Join Forces
Collaborate with other non-competing businesses to swap promotional materials for publicity. For instance, you can get into an agreement with the local departmental store and each can agree to display the other’s publicity material in their business space if the other does the same in return. Also, you can get together with some complementary businesses such as a cosmetics retailer or a beauty products franchisee and design cross publicity campaigns with them!

Be the Best in Your Field
Use quality products, offer high quality service and be flexible to customization of services based upon individual customer needs. Word-of-mouth publicity is a powerful tool and a satisfied customer is the best advertisement media. Make one customer happy and he/she will return the next time with four others in tow! The best part about this form of marketing is, it’s absolutely free!

Know Your Competition Well
Keep a close tab on the marketing techniques of your competitors and analyze their efficacy. If they seem to be working on the local target audience, you might as well borrow some elements of the tried-and-tested and include it in your comprehensive marketing strategy. This way, the prospects will view your business as something they are familiar with, albeit with an individual streak!

In order to be able to make the right decision regarding your marketing strategy, it would be a good idea to conduct a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) analysis keeping all elements of your business environment as the background. These marketing ideas for beauty salons are just the rough outlines based upon which you should formulate your own, individual marketing strategy. A well thought out combination of these ideas is sure to work wonders for your business and, provided you provide state-of-the-art beauty services, there’s no way your marketing campaign can fall flat! So, when can I get an appointment for a facial treatment?

How To Real Estate Marketing

People who are interested in acquiring or selling property, can contact either a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent respectively. Real estate agents work for brokers, and earn a commission on purchases and sales. Generally, a seller’s agent earns more than a buyer’s agent, since the latter is paid a percentage of the purchase price or listed price as commission, while the former earns a percentage of the sales price as commission. A good buyer’s agent needs to bring down the purchase price of the property, while a good seller’s agent ensures that the property is sold to the highest bidder. Hence, the difference in remuneration. Regardless of whether one is a broker or a real estate agent, one needs to market the investment property in a manner that is appealing to the buyer. The following tips may be useful to Realtors and brokers desirous of clinching a good deal.

Effective Communication
The importance of good communication skills cannot be underestimated since the agent or the broker needs to convey his/her beliefs, ideas, and thoughts to the customer (buyer or seller) and assess the needs of the prospective buyer or seller and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution. An agent or a broker who has a number of property listings will be unable to clinch a buyer unless he/she is able to present the property in a manner that appeals to the aesthetic sense of the customer. The unique selling proposition (USP) of the house should be clearly communicated. Again, a seller’s agent needs to be able to convince the customer about the prudence of entrusting the task of selling the property to him/her. This brings us to the mode of communication.

E-Business
Nowadays, e-business is the preferred mode of conducting transactions. It comprises setting up a website, helping the potential clients navigate through the website, and showcasing the available products in a manner that would encourage prospective customers to transact with the real estate agent/broker. Virtual tours are an excellent way of providing buyers a glimpse of the home. The buyer can have the satisfaction of touring the entire house or property that he/she is interested in with the aid of slide shows and accompanying audio description. People who are looking to sell their property need to have confidence in the professional who professes to sell the property for a profit. The seller’s agent needs to ensure that the website describes, in detail, the professional services that can be expected from the seller’s agent. The professional needs to distinguish himself/herself from competitors, and communicate with clarity and precision the extent of services that can be expected by the customer. Moreover, the website should not lack visibility. Again, video clips of the homes that have been sold by the agent/broker, may help drive home the point. The agent/broker may also upload a small video clip of himself/herself to make the presentation seem less impersonal.