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Marketing

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You know your small business needs a marketing plan. But maybe you don’t know the first thing about marketing or don’t have the time to bother with it. Even taking the time to find the right marketing agency can feel like too much work.

Fortunately, devising an effective marketing strategy for your small business is actually a pretty straightforward process, especially if you have a little help from a marketing consultant or other marketing professional.

Our office in Nashville, TN, has walked countless clients through setting up marketing plans from scratch, so we’ve seen firsthand how beneficial it is for even the busiest small business to learn the fundamentals of marketing.

What is marketing?

Marketing involves any tool, strategy, or process that has the main goal of developing and connecting with specific segments of customers i.e. markets. In other words, marketing efforts try to find like-minded consumers who will value your products or services.

Marketing involves any tool, strategy, or process that has the main goal of developing and connecting with specific segments of customersBrands do this by learning their demographic’s buyer personas and creating ads specifically for them. This tactic wastes less of the marketing budget and provides a higher conversion rate than old-fashioned transactional marketing.

Since you have to put your company out in front of people in order to connect with them, that makes marketing one facet of branding. An easy way to think of it is that marketing tools are always focused on attracting like-minded customers using:

  • Advertising campaigns
  • Social media promotions
  • SEO strategy
  • Email marketing

On the other hand, branding is concerned with establishing a connection with your audience, and marketing’s main goal is to win a sale.

Types of Marketing

Depending on when you started doing business, marketing might mean something very different to you than to someone who opened their doors a few decades before or after you. And with the rate the world and digital landscape are changing these days, marketing will certainly continue to evolve to keep up with changes in society.

Generally speaking, though, you can break marketing down into two distinct categories:

  • Traditional
  • Digital

Depending on your business and target market, you might prefer to use one category over the other. This is definitely an option, but it’s worth considering combining both in your marketing strategy.

Both traditional and digital forms of marketing have their place, and each comes with its share of pros and cons.

Traditional marketing

To put it simply, traditional marketing involves any marketing tactic that communicates with your target customers without using the internet.

Traditional marketing services include:

TV

Print

Billboards

Direct Mail

Radio

Conferences / trade shows

Public Relations

Traditional marketing tactics are usually more expensive than digital marketing, which can make them less accessible for smaller businesses. For those companies with larger budgets, a successful TV ad campaign can, for example, make your brand into a household name.

Digital marketing

As you might imagine, digital marketing involves any marketing activities that use the power of the internet to communicate to target customers.

Digital marketing services include:

Content Marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Social Media Advertising

Social Media Management

Website Development

With 4.2 billion active social media users in the world, it’s clear that digital marketing is reaching more people than ever. Digital tactics are often much more cost-effective than traditional marketing, making them an important part of a modern marketing strategy for any business.

Why Take the Stairs for your marketing activity?

Take the Stairs isn’t the only marketing agency in Nashville, TN. So why should you choose us instead of somebody else?

We focus on finding ideal customers

We don’t waste your marketing budget creating generic content that appeals to no one in particular – we target specific buyer personas most likely to fall in love with your brand.

Once we uncover your ideal customer, we create ads and content that speak directly to them and put it on the digital channels they’re most likely to interact with. This saves time and money while increasing conversion rates and building brand loyalty.

Hours are always associated with tasks

Our marketing agency believes in hour-based pricing models for our services, so you can see exactly where your money’s going when you work with us. We’ll propose services for you to review and approve each month, then commence work.

This system sets expectations, prevents scope creep, and provides transparency into our process. It also prevents unwelcome surprises when it comes to your marketing budget. If you work with us, you’ll always know what you’re spending and where it’s going.

We start by developing your brand identity

We believe that a successful marketing strategy is built on a strong foundation of brand identity. That’s why helping clients develop their brand identity is the first step we take when working with them.

A strong brand tells your target audience who you are and what you represent, and invites them to join you. Unlocking the power of your brand helps you stand out from the competition and build a loyal following.

Marketing FAQs

Our marketing agency in Nashville, TN, gets a lot of questions from small business owners who are considering implementing a new marketing strategy or updating their existing processes. We understand that sometimes you just want your questions answered, so we’ve compiled some of the most common ones. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions not answered here.

There was a time when the world consisted mainly of small villages (Nashville, TN, for example, only had about 300 residents in the year 1800, compared to the more than 678,000 recorded in 2020). Life was simpler, and citizens wouldn’t think much about who they did business with. If they needed meat, they went to the one butcher in town, or the sole cobbler for shoe repair.

That’s not the case nowadays – now thousands, even millions, of people live together in sprawling towns and cities with numerous options for each product or service we could possibly want. When you include the global market that the internet opened up, customers have what feels like an infinite number of businesses to choose from.

No matter how solid your business plan or that you have unique products or services, you won’t be in business very long if you don’t focus on marketing for your small business. As any marketing consultant will tell you, leads aren’t just gonna show up on your doorstep.

Your competitors are out there:

It’s wishful thinking to assume that potential customers will magically find you without any effort on your part to let them know you exist. If you want to attract leads, you need a strong marketing strategy for your small business, plain and simple.

You can think of a marketing strategy as a blueprint that lays out your business goals and the tactics you plan to use to achieve them. If you work with a marketing agency, they might want to brainstorm with you to get a clear idea of your:

The more information your marketing consultant has, the better able they’ll be to develop a comprehensive strategy that takes your business from where it is to where you want it to be.

One of the main mistakes our marketing agency sees new business owners make is failing to develop a clear marketing strategy, which can lead to a lack of direction, ineffective marketing campaigns, and waste of marketing budget.

Marketing for small business works by connecting the business with target markets that are most likely to appreciate the business’s offerings. In short, marketing:

  • Lets your targeted audience know that your business exists: using a combination of SEO tactics, content marketing, paid ads, and social media campaigns
  • Gets this audience interested in your products or services: by demonstrating why you’re the right business for them (based on things like your unique value proposition or brand authority)
  • Helps you convert interested leads into paid customers: targeted persona-based marketing focuses on attracting your ideal customers – not appealing to the masses who may or may not be the right fit for your offerings
  • Builds brand loyalty: Reminds returning customers why they love your company, so they have a reason to return over and over – and encourage their network to do the same

An experienced marketing consultant can help you build a marketing strategy that focuses on every aspect of the marketing process, from getting your name out there to increasing sales conversions and building a loyal customer base.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy that will work for every business. For example, a small hand-made stationery shop in Nashville, TN, will probably not be targeting the same market as Hallmark and will therefore need to tweak their tactics accordingly.

However, there are a few things that effective marketing strategies for a small business have in common, whether they’re a locally-owned shop in the US, or an online company with customers spread around the globe:

  • Brand clarity: It’s hard to tell potential customers why they should choose your business if you’re unclear about what makes you different. The first step to a successful marketing strategy is uncovering your “why“.
  • Target market clarity: Once you understand your business’s unique selling point, you’re ready to narrow down your target market, so you’re not wasting your marketing budget on people who aren’t the right fit for what you offer.
  • Use of diverse marketing tactics: Successful marketing for small business combines brand and target audience clarity with a variety of marketing tactics that will best deliver the brand’s message to prospective customers. Tactics might include:

Don’t feel like you need to develop the perfect marketing strategy overnight. The more time you take in the beginning to build a strong marketing foundation, the better results you get. An experienced marketing consultant can help you set up your strategy as well as provide guidance for tweaking it for optimal performance as time goes on.

Marketing for small businesses is about more than winning short-term sales. It’s about establishing a lasting relationship with your target audience and developing a loyal customer base.

The more established you are in your niche or sector, the more people will come to regard your brand as an industry authority. Once people see you as the expert, they won’t even think about going to the competition.

Find a marketing agency that knows how to make use of persona-based marketing, and focus on the people most likely to appreciate what you do instead of spending thousands on generic campaigns that appeal to no one.

The more your audience feels connected to your brand, the more likely they are to give you repeat business. Customers who love your brand are also likely to tell others about you, effectively giving you free advertising.

Working with a digital marketing consultant may cost a bit up front, but it will have a lasting, positive impact on your business. Digital marketing can increase sales, boost your company reputation, and make your brand a household name.

And remember – there are three main stages of digital marketing:

  • Initial set up and execution
  • Analysis and review
  • Refinement and updates

While we advise working with an experienced digital marketing agency for the setup, there are plenty of aspects of the maintenance that you can handle on your own, like updating existing content to keep your SEO rankings fresh.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with getting help from a marketing consultant with your upkeep as well; it’s just a matter of your specific needs and preferences.

Most businesses nowadays use digital marketing because it’s far more effective and economical than traditional advertising methods like newspaper ads and billboards.

A digital marketing strategy might include:

  • SEO
  • Pay Per Click (PPC)
  • Email campaigns
  • Social media ads
  • Content creation

Digital marketing can take your business from where it is to where you want it to be, but it takes planning and consistency. Most small businesses and startups can benefit from hiring an experienced brand marketing consulting firm to show them the ropes, and guide them along as they develop and tweak their strategy.

No matter how strong your brand is or how impressive your offerings, it won’t do you any good unless you have a strong digital marketing strategy in place to put your products or services in front of consumers.

If you have questions about marketing for your small business, our marketing agency, based in Nashville, TN, would be happy to help.

Our marketing consultant services will not only help you develop and initiate an effective marketing strategy to grow your small business, but we’ll also teach you everything you need to know along the way so you can take control of your marketing plan whenever you like.Contact Take the Stairs now to set up a free discovery meeting.

Marketing packages for small businesses

Small businesses need marketing now more than ever, especially with the rise of the internet and social media.

While the internet has increased competition exponentially, it also opens the door for small businesses to compete with larger corporations in a way they couldn’t with traditional marketing. In a way, digital marketing has leveled the playing field – it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.

However, digital marketing can be overwhelming if you don’t have any experience with it, and many business owners just don’t know where to start.

Finding a marketing consultant that offers marketing packages can be an excellent way to ease into the world of digital marketing. Since each package should detail the services you’re buying, all you need to do is choose the package that most closely matches your needs and budget, and you’re off.

It’s not hard to find marketing agencies that offer marketing packages for small businesses. But make sure to find one that will take the time to understand your business and ideal customer base, or your marketing budget will be wasted advertising to people who aren’t interested in the products or services you provide.

Take the Stairs, a marketing agency based in Nashville, TN, offers a number of marketing packages that will help you get clear about your brand identity and narrow down your target market. Feel free to set up a discovery meeting to see if we’re the right fit for your business.

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