9 Ways To Breathe New Life Into Your Small Business

Are you struggling to help your small business stop losing customers?

If you’ve been around for a while, you may feel like you aren’t seeing the results you used to.

It happens to many businesses as they age.

Most of the time it’s because they’ve gotten out of touch with the way marketing has changed.

Small business marketing tactics that worked 20 years ago don’t have the same impact.

If your brand has fallen victim of this fate, have no fear.

I’m going to give you some advice that should help you get back to business.

These Ideas To Help Your Small Business Are The Most Likely Culprits

Unfortunately, there is no cookie cutter solution to helping your small business get back on track.

Without knowing your business model and situation, I can’t possibly give you a guaranteed solution.

However, for most small businesses, these key areas are often to blame.

If they’re not the core of the problem, they’ll certainly help overcome some of the difficulties.

The important thing is that you apply them in earnest.

There’s no point in making any of these changes if you’re going to put limits on them.

If any of this is going to help, you’ve got to put it to use in full.

You Can Help Your Small Business Stop Losing Customers By Marketing Correctly Online

Here’s the kicker: many small businesses don’t even have an online presence.

Like, to the tune of 64%.

More of them are on some form of social media, but that’s not doing them any good.

Primarily because they use it as a sales tool instead of a social tool.

A lot of small businesses simply don’t use the internet correctly, and it’s costing them business.

If you’re in the same trouble, you need to make sure you check these areas.

Fixing the way you market your brand online can help your small business stop losing customers.

Refresh Your Small Business Website

Whenever a small business starts to become stagnant and their new customer base stops growing, it’s likely because their online presence is hurting.

Namely, they’ve failed to incorporate modern marketing tactics into their website.

They’ve likely got a site that was built years ago and doesn’t cut it compared to the modern standard.

And, most of the time, they have outdated information and links on their site.

In other words, their online image is aging. Fast.

Along with that, they simply aren’t using the resources that a great website provides, missing a great chance to reach more people.

When I meet a small business owner who tells me their business isn’t what it used to be, this is the first place I start.

If your website is wrong it can kill everything. Click To Tweet

Your website is the main point of contact that prospective clients are going to judge your small business by.

You need to make sure it’s ready to face them.

Consider modernizing your website.

Update your site’s layout to something a little more in touch with the time.

Make sure all the basic information is correct and current.

And, most importantly, include the most important tools that help you convert site visitors into new leads and customers.

Sometimes this basic step is all you need to start bringing new customers in.

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Ditch Failing And Low ROI Marketing Campaigns

Often, when we’re not growing like we need to, we start reverting to what used to work.

Small business owners will invest in the mailers, door hangers, and print ads that were popular in the pre-internet world.

The problem with these traditional marketing tactics is that they are usually very expensive and don’t have a high return.

Another go-to for a small business owner in a panic is to start spamming their social channels with sales ads.

But this bad content isn’t what your audience wants to see and teaches them to ignore it.

Finally, they tend to hang on to any and all existing marketing campaigns – which clearly aren’t working – wasting money that could be applied to a new campaign.

I can’t blame most people in these shoes.

When your small business isn’t performing as you need it to, you’ll do anything to try to keep it afloat.

That panic is going to hurt long-term, though.

Let go of what's not working. Click To Tweet

Instead, take a step back and look at the marketing strategies and campaigns you have in place.

If something has a 300% or less ROI, meaning it makes $3 or less for every $1 you spend, you want to drop it.

That ratio sits below the expected bell curve for a marketing ROI.

You need to hold every marketing campaign to a 350%-750% ROI standard.

Especially if your business is slowing from its best.

The faster you drop these campaigns, the faster you can turn your marketing investment to something worth your time.

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Take A New Approach To Your Social Media

Modern marketing requires a social media element to it.

Without one, you are losing a primary point of contact with your audience.

But having a social media element doesn’t mean you’ll see success.

If you’ve been applying any of the negative strategies we talked about before, your audience is probably ignoring what you do.

Or, if you never had a strong strategy to begin with, your content isn’t being shown to your target audience.

Either way, it’s time to switch things up.

It’s time to take a new approach to your social media.

Social media has to be about getting attention. Click To Tweet

Switch up your content’s style and approach, making sure that what you’re creating is authentic to your brand.

Try out a new image style, incorporate video, and take an overall new approach.

The goal is to catch your audience’s attention.

If you plan on being successful at that, you’re going to have to work harder than ever before.

You’ll need to study the best times to post for your audience.

Learning what each social network’s best practices are wouldn’t hurt either.

But most importantly, you have to find out what your audience expects from your brand.

Then deliver it.

With patience, effort, and research, you can win back your audience and see more leads through social media.

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Rethink Your Online Content Strategy

What does your content look like right now?

Start with the basic rundown of your content channels.

Hopefully, you have a blog.

If you’re serious about having an online strategy, you’re on the major social networks.

With luck, you’ve also found a few of the social sites suit your niche away from the mainstream.

Maybe you’ve even got a few alternative content mediums in play.

And what about your SEO? Do you rank reasonably well?

A content strategy has a lot of things going on.

However, the most important part of content by far is that you engage with your audience.

That means they need to be engaging with you.

Creat content your audience wants to comment on. Click To Tweet

If they’re not, your content strategy isn’t doing what it should.

And, chances are if you’re not seeing customers, it’s not doing what it should.

It’s time to head back to the drawing board and tackle your content from a new angle.

Are you answering the important questions your audience has?

Is your content getting in front of your audience by showing up where they’re looking for it?

Redevelop your strategy from square one, starting with buyer personas that accurately reflect the people who purchase from you most often.

They are, after all, the right people to market to.

In some cases, however, you may not be selling to the ideal customer.

If that’s the case, build buyer personas that reflect the client base you’d like to reach.

Either way, once you know who you’re talking to, you can make the content they’ll care about.

Find the questions they have and answer them.

Give them the advice they need.

Let them see the things they care about when it comes to your brand.

Make the content that captures their attention.

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Refresh Your Best Blog Articles

Was there a time when your blog got traffic?

I’d bet that some of your older articles held real value to your target audience when they first went up.

They may even still get decent traffic, but lack conversion.

That probably means the information they contain is out of date.

But what do you do about that?

If your content is no longer useful because it’s no longer relevant, it’s going to hurt your SEO.

It’s also going to hurt your credibility.

Your first instinct might be to remove it.

But before you do that, consider the traffic it’s getting you.

If people are coming to your site for answers to that topic, it’s valuable to you.

Don't get rid of old blog posts. Click To Tweet

You have another option.

Update the content so it’s relevant again.

When you provide information that changes over time, Google likes it when you keep it up to date.

Not only do you get an SEO boost for making your information more relevant, but you retain the traffic source.

You even start to convert more of it

Clearly, that’s a benefit to your brand.

Especially when you need to boost the results.

Here are some important things to remember:

  • Minor changes (a few words or sentences) don’t make an SEO impact.
  • Code changes are ignored by Google.
  • The new information should be relevant and helpful.
  • Don’t change the main topic of the blog article.

These changes may not seem like much, but having the newest information will help keep visitors around.

It may even earn them as clients.

If You Liked This, Read  11 Creative Ways To Market Your Blog
Start A Podcast

Ever listen to a podcast?

If you have (and it was a quality one) you may have found yourself intrigued.

As has over half the US.

I mean, check out these facts to go with it.

Podcasts are quickly becoming an updated take on the radio shows that existed before television.

People are listening for entertainment and enjoying commentary about their favorite topics.

Most importantly for your small business, they’re listening in their cars to educate themselves.

And I promise, there are people out there who want to know more about what your brand has to offer.

It’s time for you to start recording yours.

Plan the audio content you’re going to produce for your fanbase.

You’re going to need to build this content up before you go live with it, too, so make sure you record a few episodes in advance.

Thankfully it doesn’t take anything more than your phone and the external mic that came with it.

Download your favorite voice or podcast recording app, find a quiet place, and start recording your new audio content.

Publish it on a regular schedule.

This allows your audience to get familiar with when they’ll be able to hear your content.

Then make sure you promote it through your other content channels.

If you focus on the content your target audience asks for most, you’ll start seeing the attention you need.

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Tackle Instagram Stories

In the current climate, Instagram is a business essential.

While things may change in the future, it’s important that your brand is on “the ‘gram” right now.

And above all, you need to make sure you’re getting your content into the Instagram Stories feed.

Introduced in August of 2016 as a response to the growing popularity of Snapchat, Instagram stories weren’t an immediate hit.

But over time, IG Stories became a more convenient way for people to achieve the same result.

Now it’s grown to have a fanbase of over 400 million daily users, about twice that of Snapchat.

Instagram Stories is way busier than Snapchat. Click To Tweet

And, if you want to expand your business, it’s a battleground you need to win.

Thankfully, stories are simple to manage.

They need less polish than the rest of your Instagram feed.

And, more importantly, they excel when they’re less than perfect.

While you can easily use them to promote your other content, stories work well as their own platform.

Some content types that work better for stories include behind-the-scenes content, slideshow storytelling, and short video.

If you create stories that fit your brand, you’ll be able to take advantage of the benefits.

This Instagram feature puts your content at the top of your followers’ feeds.

They’ll see it before they start scrolling.

It also plays to your followers’ fear of missing out, as individual story posts only remain available for 24 hours.

If they don’t want to miss what you post, they’ve got to keep your story in front of them.

That keeps your brand fresh in their mind and allows you to reach them more often.

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Develop A Video Strategy

YouTube is more than a medium nowadays.

It’s the second largest search engine on the internet, second only to its parent company Google.

If you’ve got content there, it’s almost impossible not to get found.

But, surprisingly, lots of business owners and entrepreneurs don’t take advantage of the platform.

Reasons vary, but the results are all the same: they miss out on the benefits of a video strategy.

Thankfully, like podcasting, putting together a solid video strategy doesn’t take special equipment, and the software you need is available cheap.

Most phones can record video in true HD, which is the goal when filming for YouTube.

Couple that with the inexpensive and highly available video editing apps found on any phone platform and you have a recipe for great content.

Video is going to get you seen. Click To Tweet

Not sure what to upload to the platform?

Try vlogging about the day-to-day life of your company and employees.

In many cases, the behind-the-scenes content you could be creating is more than interesting enough for your target audience.

Want to make something that will help you turn more qualified leads?

Focus on educating your audience about your brand, product, and industry.

In the same way, your blog should answer your audience’s important questions, your videos should show them.

Some things, like product demonstrations, are better on video anyway.

What really matters is that you’re producing something, then paying attention to the feedback so you can make the right adjustments.

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Update Your Brand Image

Have you ever considered the way you come across to your audience?

Think about the combination of your online representation.

If you’re not earning the customers you should, you might just be coming across the wrong way.

I mean, think about it.

When your brand should be targeting fashionable millennials, it’s probably a bad idea to come across as an “old guard”, law firm style company.

You have to relate to the audience you want to capture.

Create a persona that suits your audience. Click To Tweet

That means the image your brand puts out on the web has to feel like it fits in.

Go back to those buyer personas we talked about earlier.

What kind of people make up your ideal client base?

Refresh your brand’s appearance to match the style that best reflects them.

You need to treat your brand like a person, and it needs a style and personality all its own.

At the same time, it needs to feel like a natural friend to your target audience.

That relatability is going to help develop trust with your target audience.

Couple that with the correct online behavior and great, high-quality, high-value content, and you’ll start earning leads quickly.

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You Can Help Your Small Business See Growth And Stop Losing Business

If you’ve found that any of the things you’re doing online aren’t up to par, you can fix it.

By changing the way you approach online marketing, you can change the results your business sees.

You can return to a process of growth relatively quickly.

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.