Need to boost slow sales? Growth marketing might be the answer.

August 30, 2023

Apparently so many people call out sick on August 24 that it’s known as “the sickest day of the year,” and we’ve got a couple of questions:
1. What’s so special about August 24? It’s no
April 25
2. Do we have all our documentation in order so business runs as usual?

Hot off the SMB press this week: 

  • A template that sets up your business’ SEO process.
  • How growth marketing can boost your slow sales.
  • Your guide to customer appreciation (and fostering authentic connections).


Template of the week: SEO Process Template

SEO Process template
While designed for marketing agencies, this template just needs your industry-specific know-how and it's ready to share with your team!

You wouldn’t open a shop in a hidden alley and expect people to flood in. In the same way, you can’t just put out business content and send it out to the internet without a second thought.

Your SMB marketing efforts — like your snazzy webpage, blogs, social media posts, online ads, and so on — will sink to the depths of the internet unless they’re thoughtfully crafted and optimized. Meaning search engine optimization (SEO) needs to be at the forefront of your overall content strategy.

When you use the right keywords in your online content, you’re making sure that your prospects can easily find you. (Otherwise, you’re only hoping that they’ll stumble upon your needle in the internet haystack.)

Whether you already have an SEO wiz on the squad or you’re just starting to prioritize it, you’ll want to make sure you establish an SEO process that covers how (and how often) you want your team to optimize, monitor, and update your content.

👉 Get started with our new SEO Process template that answers all your FAQs — like what it is, why it’s important, where it’s needed, and more basic need-to-knows. Plus, it goes in-depth on best practices like conducting comprehensive keyword research, looking out for technical issues, and making continual updates and improvements. 

Want more templates to help you build your business playbook? Check out our entire template archive of free, multimedia-enhanced, and customizable policy, process, and role starters. New to Trainual? Try for free.


Boosting slow sales with growth marketing

Pfft, slow sales? Not me… (Please share your secrets.)
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many small businesses — retail and service alike — are dealing with more cautious spenders. So, now’s a good time to look at your current marketing and sales strategies: Are they working as well as they used to? If not, it might be time to try a new approach.

I’m assuming that’s where growth marketing comes in. What is it?
Growth marketing uses customer data to anticipate change, create new strategies, and drive constant improvements. It fosters loyalty and connection in the customer relationship. Because when you focus on what the customer wants and can use those insights to turn them into a fan of your business, they’ll become repeat customers and refer you to others. A win-win!

Intrigued? Here are a few ways to get started with growth marketing:

1. Focus on every stage of the customer journey — not just awareness.
Traditional marketing is good at getting your name out there. But awareness doesn’t always convince people that they need your products or services. 

That’s why you need to create marketing content for every stage of the customer’s journey — from awareness to acquisition, activation, revenue, retention and referral. It shows you care about each individual customer’s wants and needs, and helps you generate more demand and improve customer retention.

2. Start implementing SEO.
Your growth marketing content needs to reach more eyes, and the only way to do that in this digital age is with SEO. It means optimizing your content to rank higher on search engines like Google and Bing.

We won’t lie — SEO is a difficult skill. So, it might be in your best interest to hire a specialist who is familiar with everything SEO — and you’ll definitely want to set up training to teach your employees the best way to execute it (we’ve got a template for that 👆).

👉 Learn more about growth marketing strategies.


How to say ‘thank you’ to customers on any budget

Man saying, "Thank you."

Thank you, next.
Let’s face it: Customers are the true backbone of small business success. We don’t just want them — we need them. So it only makes sense that a little appreciation is in store.

Customers should feel just as confident in you and your team as they do in your products or services. That’s what keeps them coming back and spreading the word. (And believe us, it’s not going to happen if they think they’re just another tick on a chart.)

So what’s the best way to show customers appreciation?
Let’s take a look at Nascar’s Thank You, Fans campaign. While many customer appreciation programs fall flat, Nascar experienced record-breaking engagement with their latest campaign — which included partnership with big brands (think geckos and polar bears), prize-worthy digital content, and sweepstakes for a weekend trip.

Of course, we small businesses can dream of offering our devoted fans a chance to win an extravagant vacay on us. But believe it or not, you don’t have to stretch your small business budget to send customers an organic and authentic “thank you.” 

Here are two tips from Nascar’s SVP of partnership marketing:

1. Ensure customer appreciation is ongoing.
A deep level of respect and understanding from your customers is fostered over time. It’s not gained over a cheap, one-time marketing play. Be sure you’re cultivating genuine relationships with your customers throughout the year. That way, when your opportunity comes to say thanks, it won’t seem like it’s coming out of left field.

2. Engage customers on their terms (not yours).
You meet your prospects where they’re at, and it’s important to do the same with your valued customers. Maybe they’re more face-to-face folks, or maybe they thrive on social platforms. Reach out to them where they want to connect. (And don’t even think about making them work for it! It should be easy-peasy for them to participate.)


This week's highlight reel

  • All about the Benjamins. In partnership with Hello Alice, the NAACP and the Nextdoor Kind Foundation are awarding $5K grants from the Keep It Local Business Fund to 20 U.S. small business owners of color. Winners will also get ad credits and access to training from Nextdoor. But hurry — applications are due September 1.
  • Anything you can do… TikTok can do better? The social app is shutting down their Storefront feature (which linked out to third-party vendors like Shopify) to push partners to use TikTok Shop. Will they succeed, or go the way of Instagram’s shopping tab? (Need a refresher? It didn’t go so well.)
  • Down, down, down. Zillow is making waves in the housing market by offering a 1% down payment option to prospective buyers. Only time will tell if this is a legitimate solution to the affordability crisis or if we’re repeating history. (The 2008 housing market crash was 15 years ago?! Anyone else feeling their bones creaking?)
  • The rise of the petfluencer. Your pet might be your ticket to social media stardom. The “petfluencer” trend has been gaining steam over the past few years, especially once a large number of millennials and Gen Zers picked up pets during the pandemic. And there’s some big money there — the global pet industry is set to reach $500B by 2030.

Organize the chaos
of your small business