Categories
Marketing blog

How to write an effective small business promotion.

It’s tempting to quickly create a social media post, newsletter or advert.

It may well be effective!

But if you want to see a bigger boost in sales.

Try a more tailored approach.

A well-planned campaign can bring in fresh revenue and custom.

Here’re my top tips (in 4 easy steps).

Good luck 💪

1. Decide on your target audience.

Take a minute to remind yourself who your target customers are.

Who are your most profitable customers? 

Look at past and current customers. Scroll through your social media followers – these all have potential.

Who are they? Where are they? What do they do every day? What do they need? What problems do they have?

Create a buyer persona. A profile of your target customer.

It’s easier to write with someone in mind.

A message tailored to your target audience, will be more effective than a general message aimed at everyone.

2. Do some research.

A simple task but worth it.

Look at similar and influential businesses.

Sign-up to newsletters and follow others on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to see what’s going on.

Look at how other businesses are adapting and attracting business with the current restrictions.

This will give you ideas.

3. Talk about your benefits.

What’s in it for me?

What does your customer really desire?

Get some feedback from customers or friends who know you well.

Why do people go to you?

What problems do customers have that you solve?

You have a USP – a unique selling point. Something that no one else offers.

Tell people what it is…

Benefit examples

  • Quality products and services
  • Originality
  • Value for money
  • Excellent customer service
  • Local, sustainable business
  • Friendly, helpful staff
  • Experience and qualifications
  • Comfort and enjoyment
  • Self-improvement
  • Environmental credentials
  • We do all the hard work so you don’t have to…

4. Create your promotions.

Now’s the time to put your business out there!

What are your customers planning for?

What problem can you solve?

4 easy steps:

1. Choose your platform. 

How can you reach your target audience?

Social media, email, video, print, local press?

Could you expand your audience with a different platform?

2. Choose a campaign.

  • Existing products or services
  • New products or services
  • Build-up campaigns (to an event or product launch)
  • Book/order now – early bird discounts
  • Visually branded campaigns
  • Seasonal campaigns
  • Competitions
  • Like & share posts
  • Live videos and vlogs
  • Tips and advice to help your customers
  • Behind the scenes photos (helps build trust and reassurance).

3. A strong, simple message aimed at your target audience.

A short and sweet message that clearly promotes what you do with one or two benefits, will be effective.

A good promotion will include:

  • A strong benefit
  • Service or product info – what are you offering?
  • Reassurance – reviews, qualifications
  • Contact details

Always start with a strong benefit or your USP.

What does your ideal customer really desire/want?

Customer reviews or photos of happy customers will give ‘piece of mind’.

4. Don’t forget to entice action.

Tell customers what you want them to do.

Give one option –

  • Call
  • Visit website
  • Order/book now
  • Like or share

Clearly show your contact, shop or website details.

To entice action, give a deadline to receive a special offer or discount. Or advise of limited stock or availability.

Conclusion. 

If you take some time to plan your copy, you’re likely to see better results.

Good luck! 

Useful links

How to create a buyer persona. Hootsuite

How do I advertise my small business? Simply Business

6 Real examples of how you can connect with customers on social media. UK Domain

6 Creative responses to coronavirus challenges from UK small businesses. Startups

Categories
Marketing blog

Fifty Shades of Grey. Take inspiration and boost your business’s marketing.

Earlier this week on a dreary February evening I broke my usual weekday routine to see movie of the moment Fifty Shades of Grey.

Despite the bad reviews I enjoyed it. It made interesting conversation and debate with a friend, her teenage son and girlfriend.

What’s the secret to this film’s success? 

Curiosity and the focus on raw human emotion?

A gap in the market?

This subject is not often broached and used as a main story-line for a major film. You’ve also got the build-up and fan base. It was huge. Millions of books have been sold across the globe.

Love or hate it, you can’t deny that Fifty Shades of Grey is a marketing triumph.

What can you do to give your marketing campaigns a boost?

1. A bold and noticeable campaign.

For a while now the trend in marketing has focused on subtle ways to promote a business through content marketing and social media.

All good, but maybe a bold and out-there campaign is what’s needed to jolt people away from their routine and take notice.

Break the mould and surprise your customers.

I’m thinking real life models (in place of manikins) in clothes shop windows – it would get people looking.

A coffee shop revamp that introduces 20 new teas and a free salsa lesson with every 20th coffee bought.

Or a performance from a local group in a electrical shop, showcasing the latest amps and speakers.

2. Jump on the bandwagon.

As per this blog talk about what’s current. Put your own spin on news and local issues. Blog and use social media to express your thoughts.

Views, likes and shares will draw people to your business and website.

Google favours a popular blog or social media post.

Do this regularly and your website hits and ranking will soar.

3. Go back to basics.

Remind people what you do.

When promoting your own business, it’s easy to get side-tracked and miss out important details in promotions.

Everyone’s in their own world, and new customers follow you on social media.

Show how your service or product will benefit them.

If you need inspiration on what to talk about, get out there and talk to your customers. 

You could hold a workshop, event or inspirational talk, give away free samples etc.

Take feedback on what people like about you and use the answers as a basis for a blog, social media update, newsletter, email or marketing campaign.

4. Timing.

Valentine’s Day was an obvious date to release the film but, it’s also that time of year when everyone needs a boost.

Can you take advantage of up-and-coming local and national events?

Or special occasions and times of the year?

Start planning. Draw up a promotion plan for the year ahead.

You can build up the momentum with teasers on what’s coming up, or for an event, offer incentives like early-bird offers and extra benefits for booking early.

Plan promotions across a variety of platforms.

A well thought-out, creative campaign can perform better than lots of one-off promotions.

Also by planning in advance you get everything done in good time and allow for distractions and delays.

I hope this blog has given you some ideas for your business.

Good luck with your marketing projects.

Vanessa

My service.

Categories
Marketing blog

The small Welsh businesses doing it for themselves

A Costa coffee? Or a smoother, higher quality coffee at a slightly lower price in calm, cosy and more imaginative surroundings.

Or for tea lovers how about an orange and lemon rooibos tea with a luxurious handmade rose and vanilla truffle to set it off.

A tongue-in-cheek Welsh humoured gift, or maybe some hand made ethical and affordable Welsh jewellery.

Or go vintage and pick up a one off gem of a present that will outshine the rest.

I always notice a small business and there seems to be more popping up in Pembrokeshire and throughout Wales.

And with this re-emergence comes plusher, brighter stores with imaginative surroundings, strong brands, Welsh produced goods, quirky websites and followings on social media that the branded giants just can’t compete with.

Here’s just a taster of the many inspiring small businesses in Wales today.

Small businesses leading the way in Wales

The Chocolate Froglet, TenbyThe Chocolate Froglet Tenby An old fishmongers in a side street of Tenby, is now transformed into a tantalising and charming chocolate shop.

Watch as Karen makes the chocolates in front of you, and choose from the huge selection of truffles, chocolates, fudges, treats and hot drinks. The quality of the chocolate is superb.

Flavour combinations are inspired by cuisine and ingredients from across the globe. In a nut shell, going in this shop will make you and your kids smile.

Cwtch Cafe Pembroke Dock A calm and warm haven Cwtch Cafe is artistically decorated with doors for tables and local art on display.

With friendly owners enjoy quality coffee, home made breads and flavoursome food. The odd cocktail and film night is on offer, and I hear a gallery down stairs may be in the pipeline…

Ffwrn Fishguard A new offering in Fishguard, the owners (very nice French and Welsh), have converted the old town hall into a beautiful French influenced open-plan café/bar.

A long banquet style table sets the scene for social gatherings, and the large French paintings, piano, vintage TV, barrels of beer and delicious fresh pastries all help to create a lovely homely atmosphere.

A perfect setting for musicians to do their thing, they recently showcased some of the best acts at jazz n blues festival Aberjazz.

More like this in Pembrokeshire please!

Vintage GoodsGigi, Fishguard Vintage is big in the cities, but the branded clothes seem to take over in the Shire. So when I come across this little shop I was thrilled.

It was so homely and well decorated I thought it had been there for months but it had just opened. Find old radios, one-off designer clothes and vintage accessories.

The pulling power is simple, be different, stand out from the crowd and discover a new you with a classic vintage find.

No website as yet, but the shop has opened as an extension to Edelweiss Antiques, Gigi is situated at 8a Main Street, Fishguard.

Nom Nom Chocolate Founder Liam Burgess is a Carmarthenshire lad with a love for chocolate. Liam and the team use local produce to create luscious chocolate with interesting flavours such as Welsh lavender and peanut butter.

I sense a strong brand that appeals to the locals, the foodies and those in the know. I look forward to the website and growing popularity of Nom Nom Chocolate.

Black Dragon Crafts In the Carmarthenshire countryside, Annie Wealleans and her team create Celtic inspired, hand crafted jewellery from scratch using pure, naked pewter.

This is an inspiring, ethical and environmentally friendly business.

To give you a taste of how this is achieved take a look at the website, they take you through the process of the jewellery making. I hear they’ve recently enjoyed success in the US..

Cadwaladers

Cadwaladers Starting out in 1927 in Criccieth making ice cream, they’ve expanded their offerings to hot food and drink with cafes throughout Wales.

Their friendly and positive nature (and delicious ice-cream) has helped to build up a huge following and compete with the branded coffee shops.

They post tweets of their ice creams, welcome dogs and give a 10% discount to NHS staff. There’re onto a winner.

Llaeth y Llan Yogurts I had to include this great little co. The draw is simple, high quality yogurt produced in the lush countryside of North Wales.

It’s become a familiar staple in the supermarket (along with a whole load of other Welsh produce). The website is friendly and open, with their story, recipes, competitions and easy contact routes.

The yogurt is delicious and its always good to hear the non Welsh pronounce the ll!

I Loves The DiffI Loves The ‘Diff An innovative company selling quirky Welsh humoured inspired gifts.

They make everything fun and keep their business at the heart of Cardiff and Welsh goings on. Always tweeting and posting funny pics, they’ve built up a huge following.

The website is the right combination of not too cluttered but with enough links and images to keep you interested, it’s also very user friendly and easy to buy from.

Confused.com They’ve made it big using their Welsh roots and humour as a basis for their marketing campaigns…

LandofsavingmoneyandgettingtherightdealgogoGoCompare.com.

Just a few examples of the many out there, it’s clear the small business is making a comeback.

And it’s great to see the Welsh brand growing outside of Wales. It seems we (the Welsh) are finally starting to realise our potential!

If they can do it so can you

In future posts I will explore what it is that makes a small business successful.

I’ll give some practical ideas based on my own and others’ experiences, on how you can find your unique pulling power and give yourself an edge to draw in the customers and keep them coming in.

There are so many more great small businesses out there in all shapes and sizes, which I will no doubt include in later posts.

Let me know if you are one and have something to offer to small business enthusiasts, I’ll write about you in my blog.

About Me

I’m a freelance writer with a background in marketing.

If you would like me to write for your website, marketing or for your publication, then please do get in touch.