Marketing is essential to business success, but since marketing trends are constantly evolving, staying abreast of them can sometimes pose a challenge, especially for older entrepreneurs trying to be more successful at marketing.
This may especially be the case for senior entrepreneurs accustomed to relying on more traditional techniques that have grown less effective in recent years. And for older business owners who are trying their hand at entrepreneurship for the first time, the world of digital marketing may be a bit overwhelming.
To help limit the overwhelm, we’re sharing these marketing basics for senior entrepreneurs competing in today’s business scene.
Study the market.
To market well, you need to know who you are marketing to. So do some reading and find out what demographics are most likely to be in your target audience. Try to get information about average age, gender, social class, ethnicity, education, and values. You will also want to know where they reside geographically, where and how they shop, and what else they are buying. A critical tool in your pursuit of understanding your audience is analytics, so spend some time looking at your social media and website analytics.
Craft your brand.
Good marketing depends on good branding – the way you develop your business’s identity and communicate its story through different media. For your branding to be effective, it must be truthful and authentic. And it also must be unified across other channels and platforms. It will lose cohesion and recognizability if you diversify your brand too much.
You want your audience to become familiar with your brand’s design, logos, images and associate them all with your fundamental marketing promise as well as with, ultimately, a positive experience of your company and product.
Have a professional business website.
Often the first “face” of your business that customers will meet is your business site. So it needs to be professional, appealing, and easy to navigate.
There are many tools to help you build your site, but hire a designer to do it for you if you aren’t very tech-savvy. Arbor Green Design helps small business owners with their sites and SEO, graphic design, and social media management.
Get comfortable with social media marketing.
While most seniors are at ease using social media, there may be some platforms you aren’t familiar with yet. And some of those tools, such as scheduling and analytics, directly relate to your social media marketing. For older entrepreneurs to be more successful at social media marketing, you have to leverage these tools.
Start small with a social media platform you are used to and easy to figure out, such as Facebook. Create an account, a page, and a handle for your company. Then start figuring out different ways to reach a broader audience using that account. Also, figure out how often to post, what kind of content gets a reaction, and how to engage your audience.
Make email marketing work for you.
Email marketing is somewhere between more traditional marketing techniques and contemporary digital marketing. You should collect a list of subscribers interested in hearing more about your company or getting updates and offers.
Try to craft and schedule emails that keep your potential customers in the loop. However, don’t cross the line into spamming your leads. Keep emails personal but not presumptuous. And make your content easy to consume, so customers don’t ignore it or get bored.
Network online and in person.
Networking is essential for building your business and broadening your marketing net. Good networking is an ongoing process of slowly, organically making connections and strengthening and expanding them over time.
Customers and associates do not enjoy the feeling that they are being networked or schmoozed. So don’t come on too strong, and keep your focus on the messages you can share without compromising your authenticity.
If you genuinely believe in your brand, this will come through.
Get educated about marketing.
If you feel there’s more to the marketing world you want to understand – and reading about it online or in books is only making you hungry for more – maybe you can benefit from going back to school for a business degree with an emphasis on marketing, or brush up your business skills in general by studying management?
You can pursue an online degree from a reputable program without sacrificing time running your company.
A lot of what makes marketing work involves understanding people, how people interact, and what they want. As a senior entrepreneur, your experience of the world and society ought to help you in this regard.
Therefore, you likely have an excellent basis for building on when you set out to market your business. Following these tips will help you and other older entrepreneurs be more successful at marketing your small business.