First of all, starting a business isn’t easy and that is the exact reason why we’ve put together our top 10 marketing strategies for small business – and we certainly recommend that it is really worth the read!
From getting a good idea and researching to springing into action, not a single step is simple. Finding a market segment that isn’t already overpopulated is a hellish task. Defining your target audience can drain the life out of you. And then, when everything is ready, you still need something that will propel your business and help it grow. Most businesses get stuck at this point. However, if you use these marketing strategies, you’ll manage to get the word out and turn a profit.
You see, most business owners believe that simply having a good idea can be enough. They believe that if they build a business and offer good services or great products, the customers will come to them.
Well, it may have worked for God, but sadly, it won’t work for you. If you don’t deploy the right marketing strategies, no one will come, and you will have wasted a great chance, a great idea, and, last but definitely not least, a lot of money.
So, now you know that you can’t keep your doors open without a marketing strategy. But, how can you identify a strategy that will suit your business? How will you find one that will deliver your message effectively to your target demographic? These two questions are just the tip of the iceberg. We don’t even want to think about what’s necessary for boosting visibility, increasing sales, conversion rates, and getting a profit from it all.
Many business owners are disparaged when they consider all of these variables. After all, it’s not hard to see why when they have to worry about SEO, PPC advertising, blogging, and social media. Some even decide to try and stay where they are without implementing any new strategies. They try to hold their ground by doing all the same things that they started out with.
That’s how companies die. In business, you either swim, or you sink – there’s no third option.
So, if you feel that your business is losing momentum, or that it’s failing to gain it, you need to work on it. We know that the daily operations of a business can be hectic and time-consuming, but you need the right marketing strategy if you want your business to grow.
How do you do that?
* Understand your offer and the message you’re sending
* Understand how to reach a bigger audience cost-effectively
* Optimise conversions
* Establish an effective sales funnel
Once you do these four things, you will be ready for the next step.
Top 10 marketing strategies for small business that you want to use
Once you realise that you need to increase your business’ visibility in order to boost sales, you will also realise that you need to invest if you want that to happen. But, what if you can’t invest, or if your budget is severely limited?
There are things you can do immediately that bring results and that require little to no money whatsoever. Things that can deliver results, help you reach more people, and sell more products and services. However, although you don’t need to break the bank in order to use these strategies, you do need to invest a lot of time and hard work into them.
As long as you’re willing to make that investment and your business stands on solid ground, these 10 strategies can help you market your offer online.
1. Be active on social media platforms
You can pretend that social media doesn’t exist for your business, but that won’t get you anywhere. Even if your business isn’t digital-related, it needs to exist on the most popular social media platforms. Why? Because there are literally thousands of businesses that have built their successes completely thanks to social.
If you’re not familiar with social media, posting can be frightening at first – what will people think, how will they react, how will you handle potential negativity… However, as you learn and gather likes and followers, managing social media accounts will become easier and easier.
If you have some excess funds in your budget, you can always hire a social media manager who will take care of everything. On the other hand, if you don’t, you should just be yourself, and post about your company and your products. You can always experiment. Post about yourself, about your industry, post about things that are related to your business and that people can find useful – just be authentic and people will like it.
Once upon a time, marketing gurus were kingmakers. Social media has taken that role now. Don’t miss out.
2. Start a business blog
If your business still doesn’t have a blog, you have to start it right now. Also, you should blog on other blogs.
All of this sounds like a bunch of gibberish? It’s OK, we’ll explain.
Blogging is usually ineffective because it doesn’t increase your visibility. If you’re completely new to creating that type of content, your blog will most probably be just for show.
However, a business blog is much more than simple posts of your ideas. A business blog is a chance for you to establish yourself or your company as an industry authority.
Post on platforms such as Medium and LinkedIn and answer industry-related questions on Reddit and Quora. All of these domains are open to anyone for posting, and they all have vast audiences who will notice your posts.
The result? Instant reach increase.
When it comes to content, it needs to provide value to the reader. Posting something general that everyone already knows won’t get you any traction. Post something specific, write about business secrets – make people see that you are an authority in your field. Once you establish yourself as one, you can market your business easily and almost effortlessly.
3. Create step-by-step video tutorials
One of the best ways to reach more people is to start teaching people how to do something useful. Of course, it has to be niche related. With a step-by-step video tutorial, you can walk people through doing something they need and provide real value. The better your content is, and the more people like your tutorials, the bigger your reach and visibility will be. In the end, the effect of it all will be clearly shown in your company’s bottom line.
If you decide to take our advice and make tutorials, you need to head to YouTube and create your own channel. YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, and when people want to learn something by watching others do it, they go there. You probably do it yourself.
So, what can you offer to your potential customers? What is it that you can teach that will help them solve a problem they might have? Which goals can you help them achieve?
Once you determine this, the hardest thing to do will be listening to your voice and seeing yourself on camera. If you’re camera-shy, that’s OK; people don’t really have to see you (although it does help). You will get used to your recorded voice, especially when you see the results a YouTube channel will inevitably bring. As long as your videos are useful and authentic, you will get more reach and more visibility than you could ever imagine.
4. Work with influencers
If you don’t want to spend years building a loyal audience that will be interested in your products/services, there’s another way – working with influencers. However, you can’t just pick anyone who is in your industry and pay them. You can’t take anyone with millions of followers. What you should do is find influencers who are in your niche or micro niche and who have small, but loyal follower bases
If you find the right influencer who specialises in your niche, you will be able to target exactly the audience you need. You see, some business owners think that quantity is the solution. We believe it’s the quality. If millions of people hear about you, but they don’t belong to your target demographic, most of them won’t even pay enough attention to remember your business’ name. But, if you spread your message among people who are already interested in your field and products and services similar to yours, you are likely to turn those views into profits.
Before you do start working with the right influencers, make sure your sales funnels are in place and that your products and services are ready. Once you prepare this, reach out to influencers you believe are the right fit and check their pricing. After that, your next step is small-scale testing to see what works and what doesn’t. Once you find the magic spot, you can scale and convert easily.
5. Understand SEO
A lot of business owners fear these three little letters. SEO or search engine optimisation has become a must for every business, but not everyone understands it. However, if you learn what it is, how it works, and how you can use it to your advantage, SEO can completely change your business. We suggest taking a look at one of the most respected sources of SEO advice or beginners MOZ .
Some companies claim that you don’t have to do SEO the right way. They believe that it’s possible to cheat Google into giving you more visibility. Although their approaches might work right now, Google is always on top of these tricks, and they become ineffective quickly. There’s no cheating with SEO; you have to invest time and effort if you want to see positive results.
Key tips? Optimise content for search engines, but create it for your audience. Don’t just post anything for the sake of posting. Make sure it is original, engaging, and valuable to the reader. Don’t try to overstuff your content with keywords; it’s one of the most frequent errors.
6. Use Facebook advertising the right way
One of the most extensive tools for marketing nowadays is Facebook Advertising. It enables you to reach a highly specific audience. Even better, with Facebook’s handy ad creation platform, you can create ads on your own easily. You can target people based on their age, education, hobbies, geographic location, relationship status, the phone they own and much more.
However, don’t let yourself get caught in a trap here. The key to great results isn’t in CPC campaigns. Focus on conversions and use pixels to retarget. If you don’t know enough about the Facebook pixel to install it and use it, you need to learn.
Even if you’re not running ads on Facebook, you can create your entire audience thanks to a pixel. A pixel tracks everyone who visits your website, so whenever you post something, you will know who is interested in that, and you’ll be able to target them the next time when you have something from that niche.
7. Create an amazing lead magnet
Although it might sound like magic, a good lead magnet can really make a difference between a successful campaign and a failed one. With the right lead magnet, your business can skyrocket.
But, how can you create it? Simply find out what your audience’s pain points are and offer solutions in your lead magnet. Just ask yourself one question – which needs of your consumers do your services and products fulfil? Once you find an answer to that, you will be able to create a lead magnet that will have an amazing effect.
You can create a lead magnet ebook, a video, a checklist, a cheat sheet, or anything else that you believe would have an effect on your target demographic. The better the magnet, the higher the reach.
8. Don’t ignore email marketing
Most people don’t like receiving emails from businesses. Most business owners don’t want to use email marketing sequences. Others simply don’t know enough about them.
Email marketing sequences are automated emails that people who subscribe to your mailing lists get. When these sequences are impersonal, cold, and strict, people tend to unsubscribe instantly. However, that doesn’t have to be the case
You can use these emails to build a rapport with your audience by being transparent, honest, and authentic.
Later, you can use people’s responses and clicks in your emails to segment your mailing list. For instance, people who never open your emails are “dead weight” and uninterested in what you have to say. Also, those who open every email you send are apparently willing to give you a chance.
People who click on your links are clearly interested in what you have to offer, so you can tag them to try and convert them into customers later. If someone buys directly after clicking on your email link, tag them as a customer and offer them special discounts and offers in the future.
These simple steps can make a huge difference in your results. You can segment your audience and focus your efforts on those who are more susceptible to your offers.
However, you do need to do one thing whenever you send these emails – A/B testing. Make different versions of your emails and send those to your subscribers. Test different approaches, different colours, and wording to see what your audience really likes, what it responds to, and what’s making them run for the hills.
Once you do all of this, you will understand your audience much better. As a result, you’ll become a better salesperson, which will lead to an improvement in your business’ sales.
9. Start using LinkedIn
Take the time to present yourself and your business on LinkedIn. Add a video to your LinkedIn profile, as well as a link to your business’ profile. Although passive, this is a good way to market your business, and it can deliver some astounding results.
If you have a lot of connections on this platform and you’re not posting there, you have to start. That way, you can reach a sizeable audience and build yourself as an authority. Tell your stories, share challenges and experiences. The better the story, the larger the reach.
10. Use the power of affiliate marketing
Most business owners reject using affiliate marketing to drive growth. That’s mainly because they don’t understand its full potential.
One fact stands strong and clear – finding the right companies for cooperation isn’t always simple. That takes a lot of time, effort, and serious work. You need to be able to show good conversion results if you want bigger partners to take you seriously.
Ensure you build your affiliate program exceptionally carefully, don’t let negative answers discourage you, reach out to potential affiliates who can help, and spread the word. Although we can’t help with building and reaching out, we can tell you how to spread the word. Use websites like ClickBank, JVZoo, and Commission Junction to advertise your affiliate program.