7 Marketing Steps to Grow Your Business in 2024
This is the time of year when many small business owners take a moment to pause, reflect, and think about what they need to do to grow their business in the coming year.
And since marketing should be a pretty significant part of that, we thought we’d share some of the most important steps you can take to kick your business into growth mode in 2024.
First, and foremost, we’re strictly talking marketing, here. But that doesn’t mean that marketing can magically grow your business in a vacuum. We’re assuming that you’ve already put thought into making sure you have a product or service that people do want, AND that you’ve priced it correctly. ‘Cause the best marketing strategy in the world will only solve those problems temporarily, if at all.
The top ways to grow your business this year
- Make sure you have an excellent, converting website. Do not put your website up and forget it. Look at it regularly with a critical eye. Is it doing what you need it to do (i.e. converting to sales)? Is it optimized for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? What can you do to improve conversion rates? (A conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your site that buy your product or contact you)
- Put in place well-run search marketing (SEM, aka Google Ads). 99.9% of businesses will benefit from good search marketing. SEM is one of the rare times when you’re serving someone an ad specifically when they are looking for your product or service, so it works really well. But notice we said, “well-run”; search marketing takes skill and experience to do well. Make sure you hire a good agency.
- Leverage a great email marketing strategy. Email marketing is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to turn past customers into future customers. It also works well to keep potential customers warm while they think about whether to purchase. You’ll want to communicate regularly—say once or twice a month—and use a list you’ve built organically over time (although building a list organically can take a really long time, purchased lists are usually a total waste of money). Do not, however, send a newsletter that shares updates on your business because nobody cares. Instead, send information they can use, offers, and new product information—things your customers might want to know about.
- Focus on social proof. People are more likely to buy if they know other people are doing so and are happy about it. And no, we’re not just talking reviews, here (though reviews are great, especially when collected by an unbiased platform like Trustpilot). Try other routes, too, such as pulling Instagram posts from people who have used your product onto your website, or collecting short video testimonials from customers in your store. And make darn sure you’re encouraging people to leave Google reviews!
- Make sure you have a good marketing funnel in place. Make sure your website is a sticky as it can be. Put in a pop-up to collect email addresses, run retargeting campaigns, etc, etc. We talk about it more in this blog about building a great marketing funnel.
- Put in place a strategy for getting NEW people in the funnel. If you keep marketing to the same group of people, you’ll eventually tap them dry. To grow, you have to keep attracting new people to the top of your sales funnel. How exactly to do that will look different depending on each business, but it could include the following channels (see The Top Marketing Strategies for Small Business for more details on these):
- Social media platforms
- Social media advertising (paid)
- PR (media outreach)
- Web display ads (including IP and Geo-Targeting)
- Radio/TV/Other media
- Direct mail/postcards
- Test and adjust your strategy. We had a client once who was convinced that a particular value proposition was the only thing that could sell their product. I finally convinced them to let me A/B test it and we found that in both digital and email marketing, a different one worked much better. Bad marketing happens when you make assumptions and don’t test them. Test things. Look at the data. Adjust. Learn. It’s the only way you’ll continue to optimize your marketing. We talk more about that in this blog on testing your marketing.
There you have it. Due to space constraints—nobody wants to read a novel—we’re kept this really brief… but we’d love to hear from you if you have any questions!
Katie & Theron