If your small business is struggling to find new ways of acquiring clients, this step-by-step guide can certainly help. Don't panic if you're overwhelmed or unsure about which issue to tackle first! following our tried-and-tested techniques can streamline your marketing planning, make the most of your resources, and save time and money. Prepare to propel your company to new heights!
1-Have a genuinely competitive product or service
Surveys & Reviews
If your product or service is not competitive, you should focus on improving this before investing more in marketing. The cost of selling an uncompetitive product or service is too high, reducing your (ROI).
There any many tools to help you survey your customers. Survey Monkey is our favourite tool for gauging customers' views on their past experiences. Make sure to incentives your survey to attract more responses. The better your incentives, the more responses you can expect.
Another indicator that you most probably already have at your disposal is your Google my business account! For instance, if your overall score is above 4.7/4.8, this usually means you're on the safe side of your customers' opinions.
Dealing with negative reviews
Every business gets a couple of bad reviews, and that is expected. However, your response to those reviews is more important than the review itself. Most businesses post a standard response that reads something like: "We're sorry to hear that you had a bad experience, please email us, and we'll make sure...". Below we summarised the best approach:
- Discrediting the reviewer's claim entirely does more harm than good.
- In your response, try to show you understand their frustrations and reassure them that you have taken steps to avoid the same issue occurring again.
- Reach out to the client and agree on a solution. Anything ranging from partial to full refund. Remember that too many negative reviews cost you many times more than what you would lose from a refund.
We also recommend keeping a record of the monthly number of leads (phone calls, RFQ, etc.) you receive. If you're not using a CRM software program that tracks such events, it's time to start using one!
2-Your Website, Social Media Channels, and Google My Business
A slow, mobile unfriendly website would dramatically reduce your chances of getting the right people through the door. Getting a nicely designed, well-functioning website is less expensive and easier than you think. Not having a good website will is an opportunity cost! Below you can see Republic Marketing's website speed and SEO score provided by the Google page insight report. You can easily check your score by heading to Google's PSI page here and paste the URL of your website.
Social media not only offers a platform to raise brand awareness but also offers opportunities to gain their trust. Your potential customers create a direct link between your social media posts' quality and content and your professionalism or the quality of the service itself. Therefore, having high-quality posts and videos is the key to unlocking the full power of social media marketing. Make sure you're not stretching yourself too thin; you don't need to be on every social channel. Pick one or two and put all of your focus on those channels.
You probably have heard it a million times, but consistency is key! Make sure to post at least 3-4 times a week and share stories daily. Do not overdo this; if you don't have any good quality content or you don't have time for good quality content, try posting less often but with better content. Don't forget the reels!
If it all feels overwhelming, well, you are right. Social media is time-consuming, and having a person or agency helping you along the way would be a lifesaver! Make sure to check our pricing page for social media services here. We'll take care of content creation, editing and strategy.
This is a technique that most small businesses miss out on. Either because they think it's too expensive to work with influencers or don't have a way to track results. This topic deserves it's own separate guide. However, contrary to popular belief, working with influecer doesn't have to break the bank and there are ways to track your results through implementing a better digital infrsature. If you are interested in this topic, make sure to email our social media expert: cristina [at] republicmarketing.com
Here we briefly give you some practical points to get you started:
- Work with smaller accounts in a certain location, perhaps up to 10K followers.
- Make sure you check their stats and verify them through a 3rd party app like Hypeauditor.
- Don't feel you'd need to pay necessarily. Many influencers would be happy to work on a gifted basis.
Google My Business (GMB)
Google My Business is the first window of opportunity to convince people to contact you. For organic or returning visitors who google your business, GMB provides an opportunity to see your location, reviews and pictures.
Make sure you use professional photos and provide as much information as possible (e.g. updated opening hours, services, products, posting updates etc.)
Google my business hours and address should match what is written on your website to rip the SEO benefits it provides. Google doesn't like inconsistencies.
3-Proper tracking & analytic setup
We all hear stories from our customers about where they heard our business first. Those are what we call qualitative and anecdotal data. However, most small businesses need further support pulling data from analytic sources to assess their marketing campaign results. Tools like GA4, Hotjar, Funnel, etc., can help you get a better picture of your marketing funnel performance. In addition, data from those sources contain a host of other markers and signals that would help platforms such as Facebook and Google to understand which user is more likely to convert.
Don't forger that an important aspect of your marketing is Journey mapping. If you're looking to master B2B Customer Journey Mapping, then give our blog a read, we teach you step by step how to master this important skill for your business.
We recommend installing and configuring your GA4 as soon as possible; Summer 2023 is the Universal Analytics will sunset forever. GA4 is an entirely different product from the current google analytics.
Hotjar is a valuable tool not just for marketers but also for business owners. It provides unique insights into user behaviour on your site through tracking mouse path, tap locations and average fold (how far down your website users scrolled). You can also view recordings of actual interactions, which allows you to identify and address any potential issues with your user experience that may be hindering your business growth (payment issues on mobile devices, for example). Without Hotjar's, those issues will go unnoticed, silently costing you money! In short, Hotjar is a game-changer for improving your website's functionality and ensuring a positive user experience that drives conversions and grows your business.
Custom Tracking Solutions
If you're using a 3rd part booking system, using forms to capture leads on your website or have an e-commerce website that sells physical or digital products, you'd want to be able to fully track the customer journey from the moment they search for a keyword or your brand name. You may ask why not use GA4 or just rely on what customers provide. Firstly, Google data is aggregated and anonymised, meaning you could theoretically know how many bookings you had from specific channels, but your CRM can't reliably match those keywords and channels to your contact.
This may sound like an advanced issue that doesn't apply to you, but trust us when we say this is fundamental to saving ad money, finding the source of your highest-paying clients and optimising everything towards that!
We recommend using attributor as it provides UTM data, using its first-party cookies (future-proofed!) and first touch-point attribution model, meaning if a client comes through google ads initially without any action and later on comes back to your site directly, Attributor credits google ads and the initial keyword that leads to the discovery of your brand and not the last channel (which UA usually relies on). It's very affordable, and we'd defiantly recommend having it!
Have you heard about Quality Score within your Google ads account? Learn how to optimise it in our blog.
Using complementary tech stacks such as Calendly would need custom modifications to track your booked calls properly. Otherwise, your Google Analytics would show the most conversions under the infamous 'Direct' than you can count!
👉Check out these relevant resources
For many businesses, Google Ads is the best place to find and attract ready-to-buy clients. Although organic channels are also very important, SEO improvement tends to take longer than many business owners are willing to wait. Therefore, it's best to use google ads to capture demand.
Most businesses skip all the above and jump right to running ads which is not a good use of marketing resources. Fundamentally, ads only drive traffic and click to your site, but without social proof, a functioning, user-friendly website, and advanced conversion tracking, the majority of those users will bounce without taking any action on your site or worse, when they do take action you're not sure which part of your marketing did the trick! Without adequately preparing the foundation, you'd pay too much to Google due to data collection and user experience inefficiencies.
A couple of important notes about Google Ads:
- Ensure your Google Ads account is linked to GTM (Google Tag Manager)
- You have enabled remarketing and audience data in Google Analytics & Google Ads
- Your Tag Manager is working properly (Test using the Google Chrome extension for GTM)
- You have set up goals using both GA and Google Ads native conversions.
- Implement enhanced conversions or offline conversion tracking. Both are great ways to feed Google additional data, allowing their machine learning to optimise your ads for the most valuable clients.
- Define the right goals for your Google Ads account. It's best to give each goal a monetary value, so Google better understands which one to focus on the most.
The above list is the tip of the iceberg, really. We'll be providing a comprehensive checklist soon!
We also wrote a blog on PPC for small businesses; make sure to check it out!
In conclusion, here are the steps we recommend you take:
Each of the points mentioned in this blog may need technical knowledge to be implemented. However, knowing what actions you need to take is half the way. Figuring out how to best do it is the other half. Once you know the steps required, what remains will be implemented. This is where we could step in and help you speed up the process of implementation.
To summarise all above:
- Analyse and improve your offering. Your products or services should be the logical choice for your target audience; that is the goal.
- Optimise your Google My Business account. Use professional photos and regularly post updates on Google. Gather as many reviews as possible. You could create a short review link and text it to your customers. It's best if they write the review outside your premises. Google often filters out reviews left within the local IP of the business.
- Redesign, optimise and speed up your website. Making sure that it is mobile-friendly is a must!
- Implement a proper tracking solution to fully understand your user journey and link customers to the channel and UTMs.
- Start your data-driven Google Ads campaigns.
If you got any questions regarding this blog, make sure you reach out to me via email: sajad [at] republicmarketing.co.uk