If you’re running your own business, you know that there is one thing that is far more important to your continued success (and existence) than anything else. That something is profitability, and the finding of, and maintaining of, said profitability. In order for a business to continue to exist, they need to find a customer base that is large enough to provide them the kind of profit that will help them grow and keep the doors open. Now, large businesses, they have a lot of things that they can do if they can’t find that profit. They’ve obviously made money in the past, as evidenced by the fact that they’ve already managed to grow to the point where they have multiple locations, even spanning multiple states or countries. Another reason they can weather an unprofitable storm is because they’ve got money held in reserve to cover operating cost; in general, these companies have six months’ worth in operating money held in reserve in case time gets hard, meaning that, if tomorrow, they didn’t make another penny or dollar for six months, they’d be capable of continuing to operate as they currently exist without any extreme financial worries.
So, now that we’ve established that turning a profit is the key to maintaining a business and keeping the doors open, how, then, do we attain and maintain profitability? You do this with one word; marketing. Marketing is getting your product (and your business) out there, making sure that the common people, the consumer, knows that you exist and that your product exists, and comparing your product, in the most favorable light, to what the competitors have to offer. For a classic example of this, look no further than the technology of the 80s and 90s, the VHS cassette. It didn’t spring upon the market unopposed. Its throne, nestled in the entertainment centers of houses everywhere in the country, was won in a hard-fought marketing campaign that involved a fight with a media format called ‘Betamax’, a cassette tape, smaller than the VHS cassette, and with more features than the VHS could hope to offer. The VHS could play pre-recorded video. On the other hand, Betamax could play video, it could skip forward in a chapter format, it could offer subtitles that could be switched on or off, and it could even offer multiple language tracks. Betamax was priced the same as their competition, offered more in the way of features than their competition, and they assumed that his was enough for them to defeat their competition. They couldn’t have been more wrong, which is why everyone’s house had VHS players, while no one had Betamax. This would be the video viewing format of choice until DVD (because no one bought LaserDisc either, except weirdos like myself).
So, how is a small business to compete with their advertising? Simply. You have to get your message to the people in a way that targets, as best as possible, the people likely to actual buy what you’re selling, instead of targeting people unlikely to purchase it. The best way to do this isn’t using television or radio ad buys, which can be expensive to purchase and produce, and it certainly isn’t through the use of dwindling media like newspapers. No, the best way is by using social media and marketing there, with the help of a local social media marketing agency or a pr firm that offers social media management services.
You see, social media is really the best platform available for getting your message to the exact people most likely to actually care to hear it. From the moment that people log on to a social media account, they’re telling you exactly what they’re likely to care about. First, they give up a lot of information just in setting up the profile and in who they friend. Then they give up ever more info in the things that they ‘like’ and ‘follow’ and ‘share’, to the point that they’re creating a profile that tells a computer algorithm what to market to them. A pr firm with expertise in social media marketing will be able to help you use this algorithm to ensure your advertising campaign gets to the people who care, meaning you’re stretching your advertising dollar further than you could with a more ‘scattershot’ approach, just putting up the ads at random.
So, if you’re still struggling to find profitability, contact your local PR firm and see what they can offer you by way of a marketing strategy. You’ll be glad you did.