As a small business owner, marketing may seem overwhelming. You may ask yourself “What’s the best strategy? What will help my business grow?” We’re here to tell you that there’s no magic bullet, but rather a blend of what works for your company. There are dozens of creative ways to get your business noticed and attract customers, but a blend of what works for your business is what is going to put money in your pocket. The trick is finding out what works, and staying the course. We’ll introduce you to what we have determined to be the more successful small business marketing ideas and strategies and explain what makes them so crucial to success.
Creative That Tells Your Story
Building your brand is the first step you’ll take as a small business owner. The feel of your brand will be shaped by the colors, styling, and design of your corporate logos, website, and creative assets. These assets, along with the mission, vision, and brand message, will help your brand appear as one cohesive identity. No matter the type of business, polished marketing materials will help you portray a professional, trustworthy image to your future customers. If your audience cannot clearly understand your brand identity or your offer, they are more likely to choose your competitor instead.
Small Business Marketing Ideas in the Press
Someone else’s voice singing your praises is always more powerful than you doing it yourself. Press releases and earned media is a great and cost-effective way of getting the word out about your business from someone who can be perceived as an impartial, but influential party. News articles create a wider reach and attract new leads or followers, while bloggers and influencers provide powerful endorsements that would otherwise be challenging to obtain.
Internal Data Collection
Knowing your target audience is critical for a small business since there is less capital to spend. However, market research can be money well spent in the long run. “Easy and efficient ways for gathering information include conducting surveys, interviewing customers, holding focus groups and analyzing buying patterns. As your business continues to grow, market research will pave the way for new products or services, business expansion, and even funding. The sooner you know your place in the market, the better position you will be in to grow and fill in the gaps.
Your potential customers want to know the people behind the brand and what they care about. Cause marketing is a compelling approach that your audience will connect with and potentially patronize. Tying donations to purchases can drive sales while promoting your brand’s philanthropy. Today’s consumer wants to stand behind brands with similar ideals and a reason to make their purchase more meaningful.
Your business’s web presence is no longer an advantage, but a requirement. Similar to the old yellow pages, if you’re not online, you don’t exist. More than just providing information on your business, your website must be a place where you capture the user’s information to generate leads and keep readers engaged. Building trust and converting users to customers is what it’s all about. Beyond that, your website’s search engine optimization is critical to where your page shows up in a keyword search (aka Google keyword ranking). Keyword density, schema markups, site load speed, and metadata all play into page evaluation and where your site shows up in a search.
Email marketing is still one of simplest small business marketing ideas. Once you’ve collected a lead’s email address, whether organically through your website or a purchased list, you’ve secured a way to nurture these leads with each email campaign. With several free email marketing tools on the web, it’s a no-to-low-cost way to build email marketing campaigns.
Print and direct mail still deliver and when done right, they can help your business thrive. The same can be said for direct mail marketing. Unusual shapes, sizes, and colors typically increase open rates, and compelling headlines and engaging copy will help generate sales. Complementing your direct mail campaign with online marketing strategies will help you capitalize on your marketing investment and drive results for your business.
Facebook ads are an efficient way to get your ads noticed by the right audience. It’s one reason why over two million small-to-medium-sized businesses advertise on Facebook. One thing they are very effective at is advanced targeted ads that allow you to zero in on your audience based on location, interests, age, gender, and online behavior. The built-in ad manager is a fairly simple way to run and test several ads at once, making it easier to find the recipe that delivers the best results. Instagram is also a great tool and lends itself to more visual ad executions. Owned by Facebook, it operates with the same targeting expertise while connecting you with users that are accustomed to visual content.
Google My Business (GMB) is very likely the most important thing you can do for your local business. The majority of consumers use search engines to research products and services as the first step in the purchase process. Having an accurate GMB with great reviews is crucial to encouraging users to go to your website. Once you have put some time into optimizing your company’s profile and gathered reviews, it provides your business with credibility, visibility, and many leads without spending a dime on ads.
Content marketing is highly effective when comes to engaging your target audience. It’s certainly a long-term strategy; however, it can offer sustainable growth in web traffic and leads. More than just social media and blog posts, organic content includes any information you provide to your audience that can be found through keyword searches and that isn’t paid. You can use content such as videos, podcasts, webinars, eBooks, polls, and virtually anything else you share about your business to drive brand awareness. The takeaway is quality. For social media outlets, be sure to post relevant topics that are optimized and have a consistent look, feel, and message.
Building your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another example of the small business marketing ideas that just work. A method to get your website among the top of a keyword search, SEO has become the most-used tool to be seen on the web. Most consumers research a product or service online before making a purchase commitment or call, so if your website doesn’t show up in the Google search, you’ve already missed an opportunity before you had the chance to make your pitch. With a well-planned SEO strategy, your small business will generate increased organic web traffic and deliver a substantial return on investment.
Paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) ads can also do quite a bit for small business growth. PPC uses keywords within online ads to show up higher in search results. Ideally, you’ll partner with experts in the field that will create a complete digital marketing strategy, incorporating PPC with SEO, page optimization and content marketing.
Strategic Marketing is a full-service marketing agency that has been partnering with small businesses across the country to grow their businesses – creating leads, building brand identity, and delivering undeniable results. Our 29 years in the marketing industry and longevity with our clients demonstrate that our expertise lies in the growth of your business. Contact us and let us show you how we can help your small business thrive.