Using Your Small Business Marketing Tools to Differentiate Your Business

Perhaps the most important quality for your small business marketing materials is that they are different. If you do nothing else right in your small business marketing, at least be different.

Why is differentiation so important? Because, in most industries, there are hundreds – if not thousands or millions – of other businesses that claim to provide the same service or sell the same product as you do. If you don’t differentiate your business from all those others, the chances that you’ll get many customers are pretty slim.

Some common ways to differentiate your business are:

Superior service

Greater product availability

Higher quality

Better performance

Greater durability

Prestige

Technology leadership

Satisfaction guarantee

Lower cost

Faster delivery

More customer support

But even if you are very different than your competitors – you offer superior service, greater durability, or a satisfaction guarantee that beats all others – it won’t matter unless your prospective customers know about it.

That’s where your small business marketing strategy comes in. Businesses have been using their small business marketing strategies to announce how they’re different from their competitors as long as they have been using small business marketing strategies. Think Maxwell House’s “Good to the last drop,” Campbell’s Soup’s “Mmm, mmm good,” or WalMart’s “Always low prices.” Those highly successful taglines not only get prospective customers to remember the company name, but also convey a message about the difference between that company and others.

To make differentiation a part of your small business marketing strategy, you first need to understand your competitors – you can only explain how you’re different from them once you know what they’re like. Learn what your competitors offer, how they differentiate themselves, and – most importantly – what your prospective customers think about them (if you know what qualities your prospective customers see as shortcomings in the other companies in the market, you’ll have a good idea of the market gap you can fill).

Once you’ve decided how you are different from your competitors, you need to tell your prospective customers about it. Building that differentiation into your tagline can be a very effective start. Then include that tagline, along with your logo, on every piece of small business marketing collateral you have. Another small business marketing way to publicize your differences is to write a press release. Explain how you’re filling a need in the market that no other company has filled.

Once you’ve differentiated your company and used your small business marketing tools to publicize your differences, you have to follow through on your promises. If you say that you’re the cheapest – or the highest quality, or the friendliest, or whatever – then you better be just that (nothing turns away a customer like a failed promise).

Reasons To Use An SMS Online Service For Your Business

As the owner of a business saving money is crucial in these current economic times if you want to see yours thrive. One way that this can be achieved is of course through using a SMS online service.

Many businesses (large and small) today are using such services as it enables them to send and receive messages to anyone anywhere in the world. When someone chooses to use these services they are supplied with not only their own personal account but also one for their business. When it comes to sending out messages they are able either to send out just one to a particular individual or they can send out the same one to several different people or businesses if they wish.

The number of businesses that now use an SMS online service has substantially grown in recent years. Not only do they use them for being able to network with other businesses and their customers but also with their own employees and all for a lot less money.

So what reasons can we provide you with to use such a service for your business? Below we take a look at just some of the reasons for using an SMS online service.

Reason 1 – Easy To Use & Affordable

The great thing about using a service such as this is that you won’t have to worry about installing any type of software on to your computer. You simply sign up to the service you want. Once your account is set up you can now start adding contacts to your address book and then begin send messages to any of them.

Along with you not being charged for setting up your account, you won’t be charged any fees to maintain it or implement it. However they will charge you a fee for sending the messages but this is considerably less than what you would be charged by your mobile phone service provider to send one in the conventional manner.

Most of these SMS online services will require payment on a monthly basis, but they will provide you with a complete breakdown of who messages where sent to and when. However if you want you may want to consider using a service where they offer pre-purchase packs so you know exactly how much you have to spend that month on such communications.

Reason 2 – Keep Track Of What You Are Sending Out

When you use an SMS online service they will provide you with a status report regarding the delivery of any messages you send through them. So you will not only be able to ensure that exactly the right people have received the message but also you will know exactly when it was received. In most cases as you work your way through these reports you will notice that the message was sent and received by the recipients in a matter of seconds.

Furthermore when you use an SMS online service they actually keep hold of any messages sent for a period of 45 days after sent. So you can actually look back at what was sent in any given month.

7 Small Business Marketing Tips

Small businesses do not often have large budgets. Thanks to the Internet, small business marketing can be a huge success, even without big dollars behind it.

Small business marketing can benefit from new trends in general marketing. These trends point to methods that are inexpensive, innovative, and online.

One of the key online options for small business marketing is search engines. The cost of submitting your Web site to a search engine is minor, but there are some considerations to be made:

1. Your site must be optimized with keyword phrases. Search engine optimization is achieved by including keyword phrases that apply to your company. These phrases must be present enough times to draw the attention of the search engines to your site.

2. Since most small businesses focus on their local market, you should aim your advertising efforts at your local audience. Users have recently begun pushing for better local search capabilities and most search engine companies are responding. Statistics have shown that 74% of Internet users perform local searches. Your keywords should reflect your locale and you should look into local search engines and directories, like your local Yellow Pages, Google Local, Citysearch and others.
If you are a local merchant and your intention is to sell products on the web, one of many tactics is to build your online ads around local content to increase your click through rate.

3. Speaking of local searches, newspaper Web sites have become the top portal in their local areas, especially among the coveted 18-34 demographic. Traditional newspaper advertising is generally beyond most small business marketing budgets, but the online versions offer more affordable ads on the “back” pages – those that are not visited as often but are rich in content.

4. Another exciting small business marketing method is the weblog, or blog. A blog offers your business a good way to have an inexpensive, two-way conversation with your customers. Write a blog for your Web site to give your customers and prospects an additional reason to visit your site.

5. Podcasts are among the newest small business marketing techniques. A podcast is a multimedia file (think radio broadcast) distributed by paid or unpaid subscription over the Internet. Podcasts offer you a direct way to tell your prospects how your product or service can benefit them.

6. Many small businesses can use online seminars or demos, also known as webinars, to demonstrate and promote their latest products. Online demos are an ideal tool for small business marketing because they are relatively easy to produce and allow you to reach a wide audience without ever leaving the office.

7. A strong online presence is a critical component of any small business marketing campaign. Why? Because the Internet offers advertising options that are relatively inexpensive. Because 87% of consumers research purchases online before they buy. Because 63% research online and then visit a bricks and mortar store to complete a purchase. And because demographic trends show that the most desired customers are most accessible through online means.

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