How to Strategically Prepare Your Small Business for Q4
If you own a small business, how can you make strategic improvements to your marketing efforts as we enter the second half of the year? Below, we have included some of the ways you can strategize, prepare and market your small business in Q4.
1. Partner With Influencers
Partnering with influencers is a popular way you can strategically prepare your small business for Q4. An influencer may have a reach that extends beyond your average customer. Influencers have social media platforms and can reach many of that platform's users, which means working with an influencer can be a particularly effective marketing strategy.
After seeing an endorsement of a big-ticket item by an online influencer, 22% of 18-to-24 year-olds purchased the item. Influencers build a strong relationship with followers and viewers, which means they can generate plenty of support for a brand and its services or products.
To take advantage of this potential marketing strategy, you can strike up a partnership with a social media influencer. You may also want to seek out users who are up-and-coming to generate free promotions, product placements and advertising in their online content.
When determining which influencers your business should work with, ask yourself:
- How much reach do you want an influencer to have?
- What age groups are you targeting in your marketing efforts?
- Will free advertising from users with fewer followers be beneficial for your business?
- Can your business afford to send free products to influencers to review and promote in their content?
- How many influencers can your small business afford to partner with?
- Will an influencer expect payment beyond a free product or service?
You should also decide which social media platforms you want influencers to promote your product or service on. In the influencer market, the top platform is Instagram, though you may also want to work with influencers on popular platforms like Facebook and YouTube.
Consider what you are looking to accomplish in your marketing strategy and what is best for your small business when it comes to partnering with an influencer.
2. Create a Sales Territory Map
You can also prepare for Q4 by creating a sales territory map for your business. Marketers need to regularly monitor and evaluate a company's results across all serviced territories. Use sales territory mapping software to easily generate your map and give you valuable insights about your sales that you can use moving forward.
Though a sales territory map, you can determine:
- Where the best opportunities are.
- Whether sales objectives are being met.
- How to reduce driving time for sales reps.
- Whether the workload is well-balanced.
With a sales territory map, you can quickly and easily obtain a clear, complete picture of the performance of your sales territories. Simply import your data to create sales territories or by selecting ZIP codes, counties or states that your business serves.
Use this map to review and analyze your sales data and demographics, along with identifying customers who may be within or outside of each of your sales territories. Your team can also work collaboratively on your sales territory map via shared map editing, which can easily keep your data up-to-date.
3. Analyze Your Small Business Data
Another way to strategically prepare your small business for Q4 is by analyzing your small business data. Closed-loop marketing occurs when you make full use of your data to market your service or product, allowing your small business to become more efficient.
Online analytical services can offer a significant amount of data on popularity trends and marketing, such as:
- The virality of different topics and phrases.
- Data related to certain articles and websites.
For instance, you can find information about your website's bounce rate, which is the number of website visitors who quickly leave after the article or page loads. The information you can collect about your website is invaluable, as you can then address any issues with your content and adjust accordingly.
This is why online analytical services are so vital to a small business's marketing strategy. To make informed decisions about modifications and improvements you can make to your service or product, you need these in-depth analytics. No matter what you are selling or what service you offer, analytics can be incredibly useful.
A common mistake businesses make in their marketing strategies is failing to use online analytical services. By utilizing these free resources, you can enhance your small business's marketing efforts at no cost to you.
4. Offer Trial Services
Finally, consider offering trial services or another free experience to potential customers to prepare your small business for Q4. For many companies, the best way to demonstrate a service or product is by offering a free trial.
However, some small businesses simply don't have the resources to give materials away for free. As an alternative, you could instead provide interested customers with valuable feedback or advice.
The following are a few examples of trial services or free experiences your small business can offer interested customers:
- A service brand can create and maintain a helpful blog with useful insights and guides.
- A business that sells software can offer a free trial that demonstrates how to use the product.
- A hardware store can provide a quick course on the topic of DIY projects or host a helpful workshop.
How can your small business contribute to your customers' happiness and health? How can you make your clients' lives easier? Consider what you can do to help your customers and offer that service for free. This can convert potential customers into paying customers and increase your business's customer loyalty.
Laying the Foundation for a Strong Q4
By creating a sales territory map, analyzing your small business data, partnering with influencers and offering trial services, you can strategically prepare your small business for Q4. It just takes a strong foundation and an unflappable will to succeed.
Lexie is a UX designer and digital nomad. If she’s not traveling to various parts of the country, you can find her at the local flea markets or hiking with her goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.