Without marketing, it is difficult to draw in new investors, customers, or clients. Small businesses often face budget challenges and allow marketing to fall by the wayside in order to spend revenues on other areas of the business.
Effective marketing – and the use of your marketing budget – is crucial, especially for small businesses looking to grow.
Here are 6 7 marketing ideas small businesses can use today.
Publish Valuable Content & Personalize It
As they say, content is king, and that statement has never been truer than today. In a world where content is always put in front of us, whether online or print, the competition to gain consumer attention is fierce. Creating valuable content is more than just creating content that ranks well in Google – it means creating content that adds value to consumers’ lives.
One of the easiest ways to create content for your website is to write articles. Write for your audience. Readers are looking for short snippets of information that quickly get the point across while also giving them the option to read further into the topic. Try content like lists, infographics, and even videos.
This works in the ‘real’ world too – valuable content doesn’t just mean articles. Think about how local companies use their signage to tell a story or bring humor. Text can become boring so don’t overlook the importance of images and visual elements. If it makes you laugh, take and share a photo, or tell someone else about it, it’s valuable content. Use the means available to tell your story and get others to believe it.
Videos are a great marketing strategy when promoting goods or services. Making a visual connection with your customer base is a powerful tool to promote or educate. Personalize the content to reflect your specific business.
The market is flooded with messages to the point that the customer tends to tune them out. Personalized marketing messages connect with that customer and stand out above generalized marketing content. This means you should go above and beyond the typical “Hello [Customer Name]” basic emails and provide the customer with content that will connect on a more personal level. People love to hear their name or see it in print, but today’s digital marketing teams can dig deeper to identify messages that solve customer’s problems. Providing a personalized experience can yield amazing results.
Get Discounts on Online Advertising
While online advertising is way less expensive than traditional advertising, it still might be beyond your budget. While providers have gotten a little more stingy, there are still options to get online advertising credits.
Google Ads will match your ad spend up to $150. Oftentimes, your website hosting company or other services will provide you with ad credits, or a Google Partner Agency. If you’re on the B2B side, LinkedIn used to be pretty generous with free ad credits, sometimes up to $200. And don’t forget Microsoft – sign up for Bing Webmaster Tools and they’ll send you a $100 credit for Microsoft Advertising. Even TikTok was giving away advertising credits, but that appears to have dried up now…
Pay-per-click ads are a great way to quickly boost your website traffic, and getting a voucher for these ads means free web traffic. Better yet, if you can convert that traffic into customers, you can continue the cycle.
Target Your Local Market
You don’t have to think global in order to start quickly expanding your reach. Focusing on your local market can help with campaign focus and execution. It’s a lot easier to market your business where you live than elsewhere. And it gives you the advantage of the ‘local presence’ – you can show up at events, meet customers and grow your business. Once you’ve figured out how to make your business work locally, then you can focus on expansion.
In our current online age, step back in time with your marketing strategies. If you have a local business, create flyers or posters, and hang them in local cafes. Have a mural drawn on the side of a local building. Sponsor local sports teams and have your logo advertised on their jerseys or banners hung in the stadiums. Look around and gather ideas of where you can visually advertise your company.
Take Advantage of Social Media
This one might seem obvious, but if you are really looking to increase interest, all small businesses should be taking advantage of social media marketing. Paid or not, social media marketing is one of the large marketing platforms, and for good reason.
With over 210 million Facebook users in the United States alone, social media allows your business to have incredible reach and a local presence. Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest allow you unique ways to reach your audience wherever they may reside online.
Post often, make it engaging and personal and join in on weekly themes that already have an audience base such as #ThrowbackThursday.
We’ve said it before, but getting press coverage for your business is entirely possible. Read the link, follow the steps, and get yourself in the news!
Everything is easier with a partner. Small businesses should consider building partnerships with other businesses in their area. While you don’t want to partner with your direct competition, you can partner with a vendor or other relevant business to host events, seminars, buy advertising, or create giveaways to help get your brand name out there.
Wow Your Customers
Every day is Customer Day! Priority should lie with providing outstanding customer experiences that will generate return business. When you focus on providing great service, marketing tends to take care of itself. Start by personalizing your message to the customer and helping them make a buying decision. Listen and respond to their questions and reviews. Link your digital marketing with your sales and customer service teams – make the process as seamless as possible from pitch to sale.
Being efficient, convenient, and offering easy payment options are what people look for. This includes an easy, customer-friendly mobile app or online sales experience. Go the extra mile to provide the customer service that produces loyal customers. This will grow your customer base and your bottom line.
There are plenty of things that a small business can do to effectively market themselves in today’s competitive environment. From content strategies to strategic partnerships, small businesses now have the tools and resources they need to compete.
Background in traditional and digital media. Loves startups, local business and online marketing. Read more about me here.