May 29, 2015

Small Business Marketing: Beyond Word Of Mouth

written by Anya Amrith

There’s no doubt, word of mouth marketing is one of the best ways to get recommended. People trust their friends and peers – it gives them confidence in your offering. Many businesses survive purely on word of mouth.

So, as a small business, how can you boost the amount of enquiries you’re receiving? Here are a few quick tips to get you pointed in the right direction:

1. Ensure you have a user-friendly website that is listed on Google Search

It’s the first thing that most people do these days: A Google search. If you need to find a local service or product, you do a local search.

To find out how your business scores, the best thing to do is think of the top keywords that people might use to find your service/product, and type these into Google. For example, if you offer acoustic guitar lessons in Ilford, try typing in ‘Acoustic Guitar Lessons Ilford’ or ‘Acoustic Guitar Tutor in Ilford’, etc. Take a look through the first 3 pages to see if your website is listed. If it isn’t, you’ll more than likely need to spend some time working on your website (looking at the keywords you use).

You may want to update your website yourself if you know what you’re doing, or invest some money/time with a local professional.  If you decide to make the changes yourself, make sure you submit the website URL to Google by clicking on the following link:

Visit: http://www.google.co.uk/submityourcontent/website-owner/

2. Check out what the competition is doing

Going back to the Google results that you found when you typed in those important keywords, click on a few of the results that were listed in the first 2 pages. Are these businesses a similar size to yours? What does their website have/offer that yours doesn’t? Are they promoting themselves differently to you?

Write down the key points and then re-look at your website. If it’s difficult for you to be objective, ask someone else to sit with you and give an honest opinion of your website vs competitor websites.

3. List yourself on referral websites

If applicable, submit your business details to websites that can refer customers. For example, if you’re a handyman, you may find it beneficial to get your details listed on handyman.co.uk. Do some research on the internet – find out if there are any referral websites in your industry.

 

4. Ask your customers to submit reviews

If you’re currently doing well via word of mouth, the chances are you’re offering an outstanding service. Use this opportunity as promotion for yourself – many people don’t mind leaving a review if they’re happy with the service. Happy clients can leave reviews on Google, which will show up when you do a search. I can’t express the amount of times I’ve been swayed by a positive Google review.

If your business name and address doesn’t come up in a Google search, you can submit your business details by clicking on this link:

Visit: https://www.google.co.uk/business/

5. Use social media to show how great your product/service is

If you have a product/service that allows you to show off before and after results, you may find that social media can be as good as word of mouth marketing. For example, if you’re a beautician, show off some before and after photo’s of your clients (with their permission of course). Think about where your customer base may predominantly be – Facebook and Instagram are great for social sharing.

If you decide to use Facebook, set up your own business page by clicking on this link:

Visit: https://www.facebook.com/about/pages

These steps should give you plenty to think about, and help you get started in the chaotic world of marketing!

seed sprouting in the rain

Anya Lane
CEO, Aspurian Digital Ltd