Marketing is needed to have visibility, attract customers, increase sales and grow your business. Every business needs it. It is that simple! But, small businesses don’t have the big marketing budgets that large corporations do. The exciting news is that there are ways to increase visibility without big bucks.
Here are six must-have marketing strategies for your small business:
Leverage social media
Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to profile your products and services, and point potential customers to your website, which incidentally is also a must have! Post on your platforms regularly. Promote your products, share your thoughts and start conversations. Regularly engaging online with well planned and relevant messaging will help you to establish a credible voice. Just remember, keep it relevant and make sure everything you post is aligned with your business, your brand and what your company stands for.
Get to grips with search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is one of the most important and powerful marketing strategies available to businesses today. The way in which consumers search for products and services has changed dramatically, making the internet or “Google” search their first point of call. They simply type some keywords or a question into their search bar and see what comes up. Create a list of keywords relevant to your business – these are words that people are likely to use when searching for the products and services that you offer. Then develop content that utilises these keywords. Working these into every piece of content you put out there as well as on your website, will help your business to rank higher in search engine results pages. The higher your SEO ranking, the better your chances of driving traffic to your website. If you are struggling to get to grips with SEO marketing, it is well worth the effort and the investment to commission a SEO audit of your website and get some suggestions from specialists in the field.
Pay for Facebook advertising
Facebook adverts are one of the least expensive but most effective ways to market to specific target audiences. You can boost your posts and adverts to well defined audiences according to location, interests, gender, online behaviour and based on what they have searched for before. To take advantage of Facebook adverts, you will need to have a business page on Facebook. From there, you will be able to access the advertising features via Facebook Ads Manager. With Facebook Ads, you can set a daily budget of what you want to spend per day or over the lifetime of the campaign period. Your advertising campaigns can appear on Facebook, Instagram, in Messenger and on Audience Network. You can decide how you want people to experience your adverts, such as in user’s newsfeeds or in “Stories”.
Get Google My Business
A Google My Business ranking is an easy way to attract local customers to your business. If someone searches “plumber nearby”, your plumbing business will pop up in their search. Google My Business combines all of the different Google platforms into one central place. This includes your Google+ profile, Google Maps profile, your Google reviews, access to data on Google Analytics and Google Insights, and more. Ranking your Google My Business listing is easy. You simply have to optimize your profile, encourage people to leave reviews and then collect their feedback. Read more about ranking your profile in this article by expert, Graham Charlton https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2016/04/18/how-to-optimize-your-google-my-business-listing-expert-tips/
Start a blog
Blogging is an effective way to reach your desired audience with your content. It goes without saying though – your blog needs to be engaging, insightful, relevant and topical! It will take time to build your following but as people begin to recognise you as an authority on your topic or field, you will garner more interest and followers. Use your understanding of search engine optimization to attract people to your blog and include a link on your website that allows users to click through to visit your blog. You need to be consistent in creating and uploading compelling blogs. Once a week or at least every second week is recommended. Be accessible and responsive by replying to comments that people leave on your blog. You can build your community and keep conversations going on Facebook and with email marketing.
Emailers are a highly effective way to stay connected with your customers and keep them updated on your news, products and promotions. The first challenge building an email list. Your email campaigns will only extend as far as your email list is long. To build a great email list, you can:
- Collate a list of your existing customers’ email addresses
- Include a tab on your website inviting people to opt into receiving your news
- Host an event or a stand at an expo or market. Collect details of people or their business cards when they visit your stand
- Ask for business cards when you meet people at meetings, seminars and events
- Leave a box or bowl at your reception and invite people to leave their business card when they visit your premises
- If you have a blog, end every entry with a call to action that encourages your followers to sign up for your emails
- Use your social media platforms to encourage people to sign up to receive email communication from you. Include a link through to your website where they can opt in
- Consider sharing email lists with a neighboring or complementary business. As an example, a chiropractor, sports doctor and a biokineticist could share email lists
- Reward the customers that subscribe to your emails with specials and promotions that are exclusive to subscribers. Ask them to ask them to share the link to your opt in page with their friends
- Have an email signature that includes a link through to your opt in page on all of your emails and your employees’ emails
- Be active on blogs and forums. When leaving comments, include a link to your website where people can opt in to receive your emails
Too many business owners get wrapped up in working in their companies during the early stages rather than working on them. A by product of being in it rather than on it, is that marketing falls by the wayside. Start working on your marketing now!