There are many different ways to market your small business, from the tried and true methods to new innovative techniques that will have you coming up with creative ideas. Marketing strategy and marketing efforts are what will determine your small business's success or failure. It is crucial that small businesses understand the importance of marketing and act on it quickly. There truly isn't any secret sauce but a combination of these tips is definitely a great starting point!
One of the best places to market small businesses is small business-related social media groups. What's worth mentioning is that smaller companies can have a bigger impact on these groups when it comes to marketing, as they have a lot more to contribute by way of discussion topics. In general, small businesses should find out where their target customer is online and cultivate a presence there. This could include small blogs or small Facebook groups for small businesses.
Another important tip for small businesses is to have a marketing strategy in place before thinking about any other marketing efforts. A marketing strategy will help small businesses figure out what the company wants to communicate to its customers and how it wants to do so, which will make it easier for small businesses to come up with marketing plans.
Put yourself in the mind of your target customer when you think about how you can engage with them online. Customer research is instrumental when determining where to invest time and energy so that your messages and offers reach and resonate with your target market.
Showcase your knowledge and expertise by publishing valuable content for free on your blog. One of the best ways to increase website traffic is to repeatedly publish articles that will educate, inform or entertain your target customers. When they see that you're a reliable source of good information, they'll be more likely to subscribe to your blog or sign up for your mailing list. The more subscribers you have, the more email subscribers you'll have too.
Drive traffic through SEO and SEM (search engine marketing) - Put a search box on your website, LinkedIn profile, Twitter ... everywhere! And ask for feedback about your business using suggested keywords. For example 'best restaurant in xyz city" Let people know where you are. Whatever marketing methods work best for you (content marketing, email blasts, contests, etc.), make sure they are consistent across all platforms. As a small business owner, it's important that consistency is key when promoting your small business. This applies to small business owners that are looking for clients online or small business owners that want to network locally. Doing this establishes your brand awareness to new customers and even brand awareness to paying customers that maybe haven't used your small business lately.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be great ways to drive traffic to your website or blog. Utilize hashtags on Instagram to reach new audiences that may not have otherwise found you through search engines. Cross-promote between social media platform accounts so that customers can find you everywhere! Set up a profile on LinkedIn - small business owners who have professional profiles are viewed as more trustworthy by customers than those who don't take this step. LinkedIn is great for B2B marketing strategies too! Set up a Twitter account -- Even if it's just a name with no tweets yet, do it anyway so there's an opportunity to network with other small businesses.
One super-successful marketing strategy used by many small businesses is simply sharing content (articles, videos, infographics) about relevant industry topics to their existing audience instead of directly promoting their product/service. Use small business forums and social media platforms to connect with small business owners in your area of expertise or small businesses that you admire.
Social media marketing has definitely changed a bit as far as tone. To become more human with existing customers and small businesses has caught a lot of attention with bigger brands, bigger social media accounts, and even other social media channels back and forth.
The key is to become more personal and relatable so the entire customer journey from their Google search or Facebook Ads to post-purchase/service. This isn't just for new business or to gain more customers.
There is a plethora of small business marketing resources available for small business owners across the country. These resources can be found at local chambers of commerce, SCORE, women's business centers, small business development centers and many more! Find these small business support networks near you so that they can help you navigate all the free marketing tools available to small businesses today -- from webinars to webcasts, from blogs to international associations.
You can't improve what you can't measure!
Be sure to talk full advantage of other free tools out there. Google Analytics, email marketing strategy, social media, and others are crucial pillars of digital marketing. These let to really dial into not only your search engine optimization, but in the end, lets you gauge if you're actually reaching your target audience and potential clients or potential customers.
Since small business owners have so many options when it comes to marketing, one of the best strategies is identifying what works for your small business and sticking with those methods. Do you have any other marketing tips for small business that have worked for you or other local businesses? If you're looking for help creating a web design or SEO strategy that will work specifically for small businesses in your industry, contact our team today! We can't wait to partner with you on an online marketing plan that drives sales by considering how customers think.
We'd love to learn about your brand and how we can help you grow.