Small business owners put their hearts and souls into their work. It takes dedication and vision to build up your business and produce something valuable for your customers.
However, product development is only half the battle. You might have a unique good or service that people need, but your business isn’t going to survive and grow unless your target audience finds out about what you’re offering. That’s why marketing is crucial for the success of a business.
What Are Marketing Strategies?
The goal of your marketing should be to show the best face of your company to the people most likely to want your product and then to engage them. You’re building a client base and establishing an identity for your brand.
You’re not going to meet those goals if you start throwing money at any and every marketing opportunity you see. It would help if you had an effective marketing strategy that works for your business.
A marketing strategy is a long-term plan for coordinating your marketing effort and investment. It involves picking particular media platforms and formats and targeting your advertising.
What’s the Best Strategy for Small Businesses?
The short answer is that it depends. All sorts of marketing strategies and media can be valuable and useful for small businesses. What you need to do is figure out who your ideal client audience is and find the best way to target them.
All marketing tools are helpful, but some less than others, depending on your goals. For example, if you want to reach teens or young adults, you might have less success with email advertising than you would with social media marketing or other online advertising.
1. Social Media Marketing
Social media is the most effective way for your business to connect with real people. Like the rest of the media industry, social media platforms are changing. Facebook isn’t the only major player in town anymore, and while it’s still relevant, it’s not the only piece of the puzzle.
Your small business needs a social media strategy to help engage and communicate with your customers and establish your brand. It gives your audience direct access to your company. It also provides free advertising when they share your social media posts.
A well-thought-out social media marketing strategy includes a mix of organic vs. paid social media marketing. Paying for Facebook ads or boosting your posts can expose you to a broader audience and take advantage of Facebook’s tools for targeting particular demographics.
Organic social media marketing takes time and creativity to cultivate success, but the results can be tremendous. You want your business to have a regular presence on social media that reflects the best of your brand.
You are shaping the personality of your brand identity with every Instagram post and every social media conversation. You can get people online talking about your company and build trust with your customers.
2. Google My Business
Google+ includes a free and valuable marketing tool called Google My Business. A large proportion of online engagement with your web presence is likely to occur through Google, so it’s crucial to know how your business appears and what information is available.
You can use Google My Business to adjust what potential clients find when searching for your company and finding it on Google Maps. Keep your profile updated and be ready to respond if you see customers post reviews for your business through your Google profile.
3. Search Engine Optimization
An essential and easy marketing tip for small businesses in their beginning stages is never to neglect SEO. Even if you’re a new small business still developing your product and looking for your market share, you need to be aware of how you do or don’t appear online.
It’s easy for SEO to sound overly technical or complicated, but in reality, it’s straightforward. When potential clients look for a service from a local business like yours, you want them to be able to find you. That means you need to be intentional about matching the tags and words you use to what your customers search.
Your site appears in Google’s search results according to how Google has ranked your website. Your goal is to improve your position and increase click-through traffic to your website for relevant search terms.
Overall Website SEO
Google’s ranking factors include relevance, the amount of content on the page, the way users tend to interact with your page, and the general quality and reliability of the content. It’s a complicated algorithm, but you should be able to improve your ranking by improving the overall quality of your site.
You want your text and images to load quickly. Visitors to your site shouldn’t encounter any obstacles. Everything should be well-organized with clearly relevant and expert information.
Keyword research is vital for finding the most relevant and helpful words and phrases for Google and your potential customers. Utilize these keywords in your titles and tags.
Producing creative and high-quality content can help build your brand and show customers who you are, but that’s not all. A well-executed content marketing strategy can work wonders for your SEO ranking as well.
Google ranks websites higher in search results if other sites around the internet regularly link to the page, which suggests that it’s a reliable and popular source of information and services. You can use the content you produce elsewhere on the internet for link building to guide your audience back to your home site and to improve your search ranking.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing campaigns are tremendously useful when used as a part of a broader marketing strategy.
Useful emails are well-written and targeted at a specific audience. The subject lines alone should get readers’ attention and demonstrate that they have something valuable to offer.
Some businesses use email newsletters to connect with their established client base and continue building a relationship with their clients. This way, you know that the email addresses you have are for a worthwhile target audience, which is likely to be more fruitful and produce higher open rates than automated emails sent out at random.
5. Online Advertising
As broadcast media lose power, online advertising is quickly outpacing TV to become one of the most cost-effective ways for companies to build their brand and connect with a broader consumer base.
Whether you use Facebook ads, YouTube ads, or banner ads on other sites, you can tailor your marketing to your target audience.
6. Offer Something Free
One very effective way to start building relationships with new customers is to offer discounts or free giveaways. If someone is already looking for a product or service like yours, they’re not going to turn down a free sample.
Your free offer is a chance to win the individual over and convert them into a loyal customer. And just like any good advertising includes a call to action, this strategy is no different. Remember to follow up after the freebie and invite the customer to continue the relationship.
Marketing is about building relationships between your business and others. Most of the time, your marketing will focus on fostering relationships with individual customers. Networking, however, gives you the chance to create valuable relationships with entire organizations or businesses.
Partner with Businesses
Pooling your resources with another business means even more excellent marketing opportunities for both of you. It’s a chance to partner with another company that fits the vision and target audience of your own.
If you find businesses that end up needing a service like yours as well, then that’s even better! The more relationships you build, the more opportunities will appear.
Join Online Groups
Different types of businesses come together through the internet in a range of various forums and platforms. You’ll find the most helpful information and fruitful marketing partnerships by finding the groups most relevant to you and your company.
Always Watch Out For New Ideas
Be on the lookout for ways to develop your brand and get it in front of the right people. Brainstorm platforms to present your unique offer to new audiences, such as a webinar or trade event.
There’s no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. The world is continuously evolving, so you need to adapt if you want your business to thrive. Consider these options listed above, but stay up-to-date on the newest shifts and trends.