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.
The past 18 months have forced organizations to meet the rapidly evolving needs of consumers and businesses in a digital environment; our prediction is the trend won’t be changing back. Technology will continue to play a central role in how businesses interact. It’s not a question of whether your technology budget should increase, but rather, by how much, and what it should be spent on. Let’s take a look at what our biggest takeaways were from the lessons of 2020.
For one, B2B companies across the board became more ROI-focused. Budgets became tighter, resulting in a more-critical look at what marketing components were delivering and which ones were not. Virtual events took center stage out of sheer necessity and hybrid events have now become an additional option in today’s business climate. Above all, what became apparent was a concentration on retention marketing efforts. Because maintaining business relationships always cost less than obtaining new customers, it’s no surprise that a 5% increase in customer retention translates to a 25-95 percent increase in profits, as Harvard Business Review indicates. From surveys and discounts to social media mentions and reposts, your B2B customers saw more engagement and attention over the past year. Once businesses held their footing, these are the B2B digital marketing practices that proved profitable:
Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Targeting top prospects requires a solid partnership between your sales and marketing team. Together, they can identify the best target audience and drill down into the best prospects. With a solid account plan, your ABM team members can take on outlined responsibilities for client attraction and build support throughout each part of the strategy and sales process. Get in their faces! Engage in social media with your target clients, communicate via LinkedIn, build landing pages with personalized content, and share relevant blog articles. Invite colleagues to events, ask current contacts for referrals, and create personalized ad campaigns for the prospect, while carefully measuring and analyzing your results along the way. This type of lead-based marketing winds up being more cost effective, both by determining which accounts are the best fit for your business and by spending your money reaching them where they are most active.
If you’re not already using automation to maximize your marketing efforts, you’re losing leads. Get more efficiency with automation software that streamlines repetitive tasks like email marketing, social media postings, and ad campaigns. Identify what kind of user visits your site and deliver content that is relevant and timely via social media marketing, website navigation and email marketing. With valuable collected data, you can convert prospects into leads and turn leads into clients.
In-person events are making their way back slowly and many are eager to make in-person connections once again. However, virtual events are here to stay. The convenience and efficiency factors make virtual events more accessible and cheaper to execute. Ideally, a mix of in-person, virtual and hybrid events will prove effective by meeting the needs of every type of prospect.
Database & Direct Marketing
The key to success in database and direct marketing is personalization. With the help of some marketing software, personalized communications to your potential clients become streamlined and serve as an effective way to market your business. Gather data from industry reports, demos, webinar registrations and free trial offers to build your list and use the data you have to personalize direct mail and email campaigns. The more information you have on a user, the more you can use it to connect with them, converting leads to clients.
Client & Buyer Experience
Whether online or not, client experience has always been at the top of the B2B marketing strategy list. Personalized service and tailored account maintenance require ongoing client engagement and communication. Nothing quite replaces a person-to-person connection when it comes to a B2B relationship. Nonetheless, in a digital experience, users expect a seamless and easy process. The key is to identify what your potential clients value most along the way. Speed? Convenience? Product positioning? Up-to-date technology? Because most B2B buyers are the decision makers, knowledgeable service and an easy, friendly digital experience are not only valued but expected.
SEO & Local SEO
Algorithms are getting smarter. With the analysis of user data, consumer location, search intent, and context, it pays to notice the tricky codes and updates to stay at the top of the search rankings. Because 93% of users begin internet research with a search inquiry, investment in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is critical. SEO strategies include on-page (content) and off-page (brand mentions, commenting, forums, influencer outreach, guest authoring, social networking, social bookmarking, link building, and press releases). When it comes to AI, voice search means that SEO is even more important to get right. Conversational selling is undoubtedly sentence-based, so long-tail keywords must be part of your SEO strategy as well.
Google My Business should be a required component of any local business – it’s the way consumers learn about a local business, their location, and reviews. Local SEO uses Google Maps to attract local audiences. It doesn’t end there. Online directories like Yelp, BBB, BizJournals, Glassdoor, and of course LinkedIn need to include your Google My Business listing to produce results that make the effort worthwhile.
Interactive Content Marketing
Content marketing is still king. However, the more interactive, the better. Once a visitor arrives at your website, their length of stay can be increased with a multitude of tools including blogs, eBooks, webinars, surveys, polls, quizzes, infographics, interactive calculators, mobile apps/games, diagnostic tests/troubleshooting tools, and assessments. Interactive videos provide for a whopping 70% of buyers who watch videos as part of their research. That being said, it’s a no-brainer. Blog content in long and short form provides variety and requires deep keyword research to get the most out of your investment. Podcasts build deeper connections with their listeners, are more informal, and provide a peek at the personalities behind the brands. Google Trends is forecasting peak saturation soon, so the time is now to jump on that bandwagon.
Regardless of the content type, socially conscious, humane messaging keeps interest alive and in tune with the social climate.
LinkedIn is the clear winner with the best platform for B2B social media marketing. As the number one channel for B2B information distribution, you’ll get the most traffic from your activity here, so lots of time should be spent on how to engage readers via LinkedIn. Get to know your core business audience: other B2B buyers, business influencers, clients, and researchers. If you’re unfamiliar with how to begin, a paid marketing strategy would be a good place to start. Content should be prospect driven and target potential clients, and you can gather leads through their optional feature called Lead Collection. It pays to be active – join the groups where your prospects hang out and add your commentary to generate engagement.
Organic search has its place for defining reputation, trust, and brand commitment. Paid ads are a valuable and measurable tool that outperforms organic listings on Google Search Engine Results, and puts you ahead of your competitors, with the right budget. Search ads, on average, receive twice as many clicks as organic listings, so we KNOW they work. Paid ads get you exactly where you need to be seen, adding to lead generation. The right mix of SEO for organic searches and paid ads is crucial to build brand awareness, boost Google SERP visibility, and increase traffic.
An Agile Business is a Profitable Business
If it is not apparent already, a comprehensive B2B digital marketing strategy is a successful one. Make the most of all the channels available, digital and traditional. Your lead conversion process also needs to be efficient and consistent to remain successful.
The past year has shown how quickly businesses can adapt when they need to survive. To remain profitable, businesses must embrace change and take advantage of emerging trend opportunities for business growth. Marketers need to continually ask: What’s working? What can be changed to improve results? What are leaders in the industry doing right now?
Bottom line, staying agile is the secret to maintaining a connection with fellow businesses, and staying on top of emerging trends will always give you an edge over competitors. It’s everyone’s game. What can your strategy deliver? Contact us today and allow our expertise to bring your B2B digital marketing efforts to its maximum efficiency and increase your profitability.
Realtor Marketing and Branding
Branding is key in realtor marketing. To effectively brand yourself, consider how you are different than other realtors. Perhaps you specialize in a certain niche of real estate, such as only with certain types of individuals or investors. Creating unique messaging for marketing materials allows you to differentiate yourself from others. Using these materials at open houses or networking events with branded promotional items can help promote your brand and get potential clients and colleagues to notice you.
The Power of Website and Testimonials
Most people associate a website with a business, but not all realtors do. Having a website allows you to really show off your real estate listings, take more control over your content, images, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which helps clients to find you on organic search. You can also capture emails to send out new listings to clients or just to keep in touch in case they know someone who is interested in purchasing a home. One crucial aspect of any realtor website is testimonials from happy clients. So many people research reviews and testimonials before they choose an agent, so having testimonials on your website lets clients know you are good at what you do and that the people you have worked with left feeling happy with your services.
Some additional ideas to add to your website are Google Maps for your listings, a mortgage calculator, and a blog that keeps your clients coming back to you when they want to learn something new in the real estate market or want to refer a friend.
Dazzle With Videos and Professional Photography
No one wants to see pictures of a dark home at an awkward angle. Hire a professional photographer to produce high-quality images of a home that you want to list. There are several photographers that also work with drones that can provide you with a high-profile view of a property. Also take into consideration your clientele’s time and how they may have to rearrange their schedule to see your properties. A virtual tour allows people outside the area or short on time to see the house in a 3D environment at their convenience.
Lastly, consider a video on your website that talks about your brand as a realtor. Maybe discuss the niche of real estate in which you specialize, how easy it is to do business with you, and possibly some testimonials from previous clients satisfied with your work.
Get Social – Paid Instagram or Facebook Ads
If you do a great job then likely “word of mouth” will get around about your business. But sometimes businesses just need a little more brand awareness. One way to help improve your realtor marketing is by creating a social media ad. It can build your brand awareness or target a specific audience of people looking to purchase a home. For example, if your niche is specialized in 55+ communities, a Facebook ad can target an audience in that age group that has real estate in mind. You can also do retargeting ads that remind them of your ad again if they viewed but moved on the first time.
Instagram ads are also great for realtors because you can display beautiful pictures or stories about a property or a completed sale. Similar to Facebook, Instagram can target an audience. You can make images with eye-catching creative messaging and add hashtags for increased visibility.
Stay in Touch and Create Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing campaigns are a great way to get new and repeat business. Getting someone’s email requires you to give them something they want. Creating a newsletter from some of your blog content or including new accomplishments in your field are great options for newsletters. Additionally, you could do an e-book that talks about real estate in the current economy and how to overcome obstacles to find your perfect home. Just request email addresses to which you can send the publications, then use those addresses for future emails about new happenings and property listings.
Realtor marketing may at times seem overwhelming, but implementing one or two marketing strategies at a time and mastering them is the best approach to get your business to grow. Networking with other colleagues is also valuable so you can see what is working for them. Also, keeping up with the trends in the market is vital to adjusting your marketing techniques and updating content to your clients. Strategic Marketing is a full-service marketing agency that can help build a realtor marketing strategy that works for you. Please contact us for more information at 561-688-8155.