Running a business comes with many challenges, and one of the most frustrating obstacles a business owner faces is reaching a plateau. It's only natural to feel discouraged if you think your company is stagnating despite your best efforts. Creating a growth strategy is crucial for climbing out of a sales dip and reaching new levels of success. Adding these three practices to your business's toolkit will help drive sales and accelerate your growth.
Define your target audience
One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is casting the net too wide. They try to attract as many customers as possible and value quantity over quality. Running your company like this won't create sustainable, long-term growth. Instead of driving significant growth, it usually backfires and wastes your time and money. Focus your efforts on attracting the right customers by defining your target audience. You'll see much better results and you'll generate a higher ROI.
There are several ways to find your target audience, such as:
Compiling analytics from your social media channels, website, email lists, etc.
Researching your industry and looking at your competitors' audiences
Talking to your customers to get to know them better
Thinking about the people who aren't in your customer base to eliminate them from your target audience
As you start to shape your target audience, you'll want to look at general demographic information like age, gender, location, and income. Depending on your industry, other factors such as occupation, education level, and interests/hobbies could be useful too.
Once you've defined your target audience, it's time to drill down into the specifics by creating buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictionalized customer profiles you create to represent your target audience members' behaviors, values, and pain points. It helps you understand the different segments of your broader audience so you can better position your business and market to them most effectively. Shoot for creating two to five personas. However, you can create as many as you see fit. When you have your target audience and buyer personas clearly defined, you'll be able to implement more productive marketing and sales tactics that will grow your client base and sales.
Highlight your USP
If you're operating in a highly saturated market, it's essential for you to identify your unique selling proposition (USP). Today's consumers are overwhelmed by the number of choices they have when buying a product or service. Your USP helps simplify their purchasing decision, ultimately bringing in more clients and sales. Identifying your USP also helps you with your marketing and sales efforts because it gives you a clear focus on what to highlight when selling/marketing your brand.
A great USP is:
Concise: Cap it at a sentence or two; it should be clear and to the point
Specific: Make the value clear, don't use sweeping generalizations or meaningless adjectives like "high-quality" or "amazing" which don't give prospects any context or information
Customer-centric: The USP should be meaningful to your target audience – don't base it on what your competitors or industry experts are saying, or what you think is best about your business
After you've synthesized your USP, you need to make it known. Showcase it on your website and marketing channels. Sales reps and any customer-facing team members should be familiar with the USP to use it when talking to leads and clients. It'll become your business's mantra. As your USP gains more awareness, you'll also gain a bigger market share and continue to grow your company.
Implement value-added marketing
Today there are tons of businesses trying to make their marketing go viral. They care about views and likes above all. While viral content can help garner more brand exposure, it doesn't mean that it will automatically result in more revenue. So instead of marketing with the hopes of overnight internet fame, you should be focused on value-added marketing.
The name pretty much describes it all. Value-added marketing is giving your audience content that exceeds their expectations and adds value to their lives. Your content becomes an extension of your business, and in a way, it becomes one of your products. Value-added marketing content prioritizes the audience member over performance metrics and trends to create an experience for them.
Best of all, you don't need to break the bank to make it possible. You might not be able to film an elaborate ad campaign or pay a celebrity to be your spokesperson, but creating value-added marketing content is relatively inexpensive. Some of our favorite methods are:
Writing informative blog content
Filming how-to videos and webinars
Hosting in-store events
Building a fan community for your customers
Offering a loyalty program
It can be tough to produce high-quality, engaging content that boosts customer retention and funnels in new sales. Operating with a value-added framework guides you to create better content that your audience wants to see. It helps maintain a good reputation and fosters client loyalty. You'll see much better results using this type of marketing to grow your business instead of following whatever is trending on social media this week.
Final thoughts on growth strategies
Growing your business doesn't have to be a daunting, overwhelming process. The strategies we've covered today – defining your target audience, highlighting your USP, and value-added marketing – are straightforward. Incorporating these strategies into your daily business operations doesn't take a huge investment. They're highly effective and proven to work. Give them a try and watch your company grow to the next level.