Successfully marketing your business doesn’t happen overnight. Promoting any business, from a new grocery store to a long-running dog daycare, takes planning, adaptability, and the right tools. In this short guide, we’ve compiled four game-changing tips for marketing your business to new and old customers alike:
- Offer useful rewards and incentives.
- Host hybrid events
- Send regular updates.
- Advertise multiple payment options.
You can (and should) pair multiple of these tips together for the best effect, and you may find yourself layering them without any added effort. For example, sending regular updates and offering useful rewards naturally go hand-in-hand.
1. Offer useful rewards and incentives.
People love free and discounted items. Offering incentives and rewards is a great way to attract first-time customers and keep them coming back.
However, don’t just give away whatever you can’t sell. Most people don’t want another generic branded pen or can koozie. Our junk drawers are already bursting at the seams!
Instead, tailor your incentives and rewards to your specific client demographic. For example, if you’re a photographer, you might offer free prints or a discounted holiday photoshoot for long-term, loyal customers. On the other hand, a cattery might offer a free cat toy or additional grooming services to the cats of regular clients.
That said, even the best rewards are for naught if your customers don’t know about them. With a comprehensive customer management and point of sale solution, you can automatically target and advertise rewards and sales:
- On customers’ birthdays or anniversaries with your business.
- To customers who reach a specified number/amount of purchases.
- On holidays or other seasonal events.
Over time, leverage the data stored in your customer relationship management system to track how customers respond to your incentives. Based on their responses, you can gradually perfect and improve your outreach and offerings to bring in the most business and revenue.
2. Host hybrid events.
You may already be familiar with the marketing power a well-planned in-person event can have on your business. Regular events can broaden your customer base, bring back previous customers, and build a sustainable community.
Hybrid events—held in-person and online—can take this impact further. By offering multiple ways for current and potential customers to interact with your events, you can attract higher attendance from a more diverse audience. Why is this the case? Even in your local neighborhood, not everyone who wants to participate in an exclusively in-person event will be able to. These community members may have time or transportation constraints that keep them from being there in person.
Hybrid events are increasingly popular, and for good reason. They deliver a mix of live and virtual content, offer the benefits of both virtual and in-person experiences, and create connections that you can’t get with other event formats.
Reduced carbon footprint: Hosting hybrid events saves hosts from the costs of location rental, attendee transportation, food, energy demands, and more. These benefits also help host organizations who want to be eco-conscious and attract green attendees.
Reliable WiFi: For a successful hybrid event, it’s essential that your venue has reliable and fast Wi-Fi. This will allow onsite and remote participants to connect and work seamlessly with each other during the event.
Video conferencing lighting kit: To ensure your remote speakers are comfortable, they need a bright and clear background. You can purchase a conferencing lighting kit that includes a phone holder, stand, and an LED ring light.
Excellent customer service: A reputable provider will be on hand to guide you through any questions you may have and provide you with support before, during, and after your event. They should also be able to provide you with analytics to help you understand your audience better and improve future events.
Keeping attendees engaged: To keep both live and online audiences engaged, plan interactions and breakouts that reinforce the core messages of your event. This can include question-and-answer sessions, speaker panels that interact with the online and in-person audiences, live polls, and more.
You can also use live streaming services like Twitch and Facebook Live to broadcast your speakers’ sessions for those who could not attend in person. This will help you keep your content and event in the minds of your attendees long after the end of the event.
For many events, such as concerts, guest speakers, and discussion groups, this can be as simple as setting up a high-quality video stream and managing its chat features. However, to make your hybrid events extra special, you might consider offering additional ways for online attendees to engage in the event, such as a social media challenge or watch parties in different cities.
By taking these extra steps, you show virtual attendees that you care about them, helping earn their trust and loyalty toward your business.
Remember, when hosting a hybrid event, brand it to your business so that in-person and virtual attendees alike associate the fun time they’re having with your business. This means you should keep visual and linguistic elements consistent with the rest of your marketing material. This includes your:
While you don’t need to hit attendees over the head with your role in the event—you’re not hosting an infomercial!—it should be clear that your business is the event’s sponsor. If event attendees don’t know who’s behind the event, this marketing opportunity will go to waste.
3. Send regular updates.
Regular, meaningful communication is at the heart of effective marketing. If you don’t consistently engage your audience, they can forget you exist, and if they forget you exist, good luck earning or retaining them as customers!
While some of your updates will be directly related to your business—e.g., discounts, receipts, bills, and appointment reminders—others should be topical, educational resources that establish you as a trusted resource in the market.
Additionally, depending on the context, you’ll want to use a variety of mediums to keep customers updated, including:
- Social media
- Google ads
- Physical mail
For quick, temporary updates, you might make a post on your active social media platforms, such as Twitter or Instagram. For advertising a sale or discount, you might use Google ads or direct mail. And for communicating with individual customers, you might use email, text, or phone, according to their stated preferences.
Moreover, in order to save time while retaining a sense of personalization, Gingr’s guide to dog grooming software recommends automating your updates and reminders with POS and customer management software. With this technology, you can easily target discounts and incentives and send automatic confirmations and reminders without the toil of drafting each individual message.
4. Advertise multiple payment options.
You may already offer the option for customers to pay via different methods. However, if you don’t accept multiple types of payments—or even if you’re just unclear about all the payment types you do accept—they may choose instead to frequent a business they know will take their money.
Ensure your customers are aware of multiple payment options
Your customers expect a range of ways to pay for the products and services they purchase from you online. Whether they’re a first-time shopper or a repeat customer, they want to know that they have a range of options.
Providing different payment methods can help you increase your conversion rate and decrease cart abandonment risk. In addition, it can also encourage customer loyalty and help build a more sustainable revenue stream for your business.
Make sure the payment forms on your website are easy to understand and straightforward. This will help your customers avoid making mistakes in their payments, which can cause them to leave your site and look for another place to shop.
Include a clear error message in the payment form when something goes wrong, and offer the option to save the data they submit so they can complete their purchases quickly next time.
In an age of convenience, shoppers demand an eCommerce experience that is fast and smooth. Providing a variety of payment methods will speed up their checkout process and improve their satisfaction with your store.
Adding a range of different payment options increases your customer’s trust in your brand, which helps to attract more people to your store and keep them loyal to your company.
Choosing the best method of payment is a decision that should be made based on your target audience and the types of products or services you sell. This includes researching your audience’s preferences and buying habits, as well as their preferred payment methods.
For example, if you only accept cash, you risk losing the 3/4 of American consumers who carry at least one credit or charge card.
Depending on your business, you should advertise the capability to accept a wealth of payment options with ease, including:
- Credit card
- Gift card
- Baked goods (just joking with this last one)
Additionally, you may choose to use software that offers customers different timelines for their payments, such as:
- Buy now, pay later
- Rent to own
- Regular installments
For example, Revelation Pets kennel software recommendations suggest leveraging software to offer customers the option to complete payments online or in-person as well as store payment information for recurring billing. By making your payment options clear, customers will feel confident using your business no matter their financial situation.
Not only can it help you better manage your customer base and market your business offerings to them, but it will also give customers the ability to complete their purchases on their schedule and in their preferred way. As a result, you eliminate silos in the buying process and can rest assured that your marketing strategy is making an impact.