Marketing must remain a mainstay in your business development toolbox. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been operating for more than 10 years or are a startup, marketing will continue to yield big benefits for your business. Whether your objective is to build your brand, generate leads or increase sales conversion, consistent marketing will get it done.
Top 10 Marketing Strategies For Small Business
Prior to the Age of the Internet, small businesses had difficulty maintaining their marketing budgets.
Traditional marketing strategies such as press releases, ad placements in newspapers and glossies, and the distribution of flyers, posters, and streamers were expensive and unsustainable.
Likewise, monitoring the success rate of the ads, materials, and collaterals was a tedious task. Measuring the ROI of a marketing strategy was inaccurate and prone to errors.
Thanks to the evolution of digital technology and the growth of the Internet, small businesses can avail of online-based processes, tools, and tactics that give their marketing campaigns a boost without breaking the bank.
If you’re a budding entrepreneur or a grizzled veteran running a small business, here is our list of top marketing strategies that can help you achieve your business goals.
1. Set Up a Mobile Responsive Website
Going online is not much different from running a brick-and-mortar business. You must organize all processes, workflows, transactions, and all reports tracking business performance.
A website will be the principal address of your business on the Internet. You can organize everything you need to run an enterprise with a website:
- Sign up subscribers through enticing Calls-to-Action (CTA)
- Generate sales with an e-commerce platform
- Capture valuable information on visitors and build an accurate Buyer’s Profile.
- Create a hub for receiving inbound traffic.
- Provide an archive of fresh, valuable, and relevant content to regular followers for brand-building purposes.
- Introduce another channel of communication for customers with the use of chat plugins.
- Collect business data that can be used to assess business performance.
You can only achieve these goals if your website is mobile responsive. In fact, if your website isn’t mobile responsive, it would be better not to have a website at all.
Put simply, a mobile responsive website is one that sets up nicely in the screen of a mobile device regardless of the size of the screen.
2. Create and Publish Optimized Content
You might be able to transpose your knowledge and experience into a well-written blog but unless it has been optimized for search, the people who need your information won’t be able to find it.
Optimization is the process of making your content searchable to the search engine’s crawl bots. The simplest way to do this is to embed high search volume keywords in your content.
Keywords are the words and phrases used by Internet users to launch a query. Having these keywords embedded in your content makes it easier for the search bots to find and index your content.
You’ll need to do keyword research to find the right ones for your content. Save time by reading the articles we’ve written about keyword research, “How To Do Free Keyword Research For SEO That Delivers Results for Your Business” and “Keyword Research – Are Customers Searching For My Business Locally?”
Another option is to hire us to create optimized content for your business. This way, you can dedicate more time to the activities that grow your business while we take care of your content.
3. Stay Active in Social Media
Business isn’t all about business. There’s a social aspect to be considered because you are after all transacting with people.
Contrary to popular belief, consumers aren’t only concerned about quality and price. Sure, everyone could benefit from lower prices. And who doesn’t want consistency in product quality?
But consumers are becoming increasingly more interested in the business they’re dealing with. It comes down to patronizing a brand they can relate to or identify with.
Social media gives you the platform to connect and engage your customers at a personal level. The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when using social media is posting sales-based content.
If you keep posting about the benefits of your products; why it’s better than the competition, and your new promos and discounts, your content will eventually become nothing more than noise to your followers.
Let your customers discover the personality behind the brand. Don’t just post about business-related matters.
Go social. Here are a few ideas you can post about:
- Featured Employee of the Month
- A Day in the Life of a Director or an Employee
- Special Events – General Meeting, Trade Shows, Company Outings, Team-building sessions, and Sports Festivals
- Socio-civic Activities of the Company
Trust us when we say that your followers will enjoy reading these types of content more than business-related topics. If they love what they read and your content resonates with your followers, you’ll have customers for life.
4. Register Your Business in an Online Search Directory
Before the Internet, people let their fingers do the walking on the Yellow Pages to find the contact details of a business they were looking for.
Today, people are letting their fingers tap on a keypad and scroll down a screen to find the contact details of a business they’re looking for.
Having your business registered in an online search directory is a proven way of having it found in local search. For example, a person who’s looking for a particular Italian restaurant will rely on a local search to get the correct directions and contact numbers.
Studies have shown that 29% of consumers visit a store they found on an online search directory within 24 hours.
Of these visits, 18% will result in a sale.
To get the best results, make sure you provide updated information about your business. Include high-ranking keywords in your content and upload high-quality images to entice consumers to visit your location.
5. Incorporate Video Marketing
There’s a reason why social media platforms like Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram, and YouTube continue to get more active users. That’s because video-based content generates higher engagement than text-based content.
The advantage of video over text is that content is processed by multiple senses – sight and sound. If the message is delivered by a compelling storyline, a video can trigger emotional cues that effectively resonate with the viewers and establish a strong connection.
A 2,400-word blog can take 5 to 7 minutes to read. A video can deliver the same message in a minute and 30 seconds. Videos allow creators more creative flexibility because, in addition to the film, they can use text, graphics, music, and special effects among others to enhance the different aspects of content.
Sure, you can produce high-quality videos by using professional video and recording equipment. But many iconic videos have been shot and produced with a handheld phone camera.
Again, it comes down to content. Spend more time developing ideas and fine-tuning the message than spending on the bells and whistles. You’ll get a higher return on your investment.
6. Build an Email List
Have you ever visited an exclusive restaurant where the doorman automatically lets you in without asking for identification? Meanwhile, others are waiting in line to be let in.
Email marketing is your special pass inside your follower’s inbox. Your content won’t go to the Spam folder. Once someone signs up for your newsletter, he transitions from follower to subscriber. Every month he expects your newsletter to be delivered to his inbox.
But getting people to sign up for your email list takes time, effort, patience, and a creative mindset. People aren’t quick to surrender their emails to just anyone. You must give them a good reason to let down the guard to their privacy.
Free stuff works most of the time. Offer your website visitors a free e-book or free limited access to some services. At Mountaintop, we offer a free 30-minute consultation to site visitors who are interested in having a website for their business.
In comparison to social media marketing, email marketing has been studied to generate higher ROI.
7. Set Aside a Budget for PPC Advertising
Pay-per-Click (PPC) ads are the fastest way to drive traffic to your website because your content – the ad itself – is placed in front of eyes that belong to consumers whose online behavior indicates a potential strong interest in the types of products you sell.
Once the person clicks on your ad, he will be sent to the landing page of your website, usually the home page. However, landing on your home page doesn’t guarantee a sale. The success of your PPC campaign would also depend on the strength of your Call-to-Action (CTA).
Another good thing about PPC advertising is that you only pay the agency whenever someone clicks on your ad.
8. Don’t Forget Your Old Customers
Many small businesses spend most of their energies looking for new customers. In doing so, they end up neglecting their old customers – the people who chose your products over the competition.
You don’t need to convince your old customers that your products are good – especially those who continue to make repeat purchases. With your old customers, otherwise known as “existing customers”, you only have to be consistent.
To get new customers, you must convince them that your products are better than the competition. This isn’t an easy thing to do, and you’ll have to invest in marketing and promotional programs that will entice them to give you a try.
That’s why the cost of generating sales from new customers is more expensive than generating sales from new customers.
From time to time, reach out to your old customers. Find out how they’re doing and how they’ve enjoyed your products. Prioritize them for your new offerings. Give them attractive discounts for a specific time period. Offer a referral reward system where they earn points or discounts for every referral.
If they’re happy with your products or services, they’ll be more than willing to help you out.
9. Propose Cross-Promotional Arrangements
It’s not all digital. You can still get good mileage with your marketing efforts by incorporating old-school legwork.
Find businesses in your area that offer non-competing products and services that complement yours and propose cross-promotional arrangements. If you run a coffee shop business, look for a nearby bakeshop and suggest ways of working together.
For example, the bakeshop can give customers a 10% discount on a tall Coffee of the Day for an order of a dozen glazed donuts. In exchange, your coffee shop can offer your patrons a 10% discount on a Red Velvet cupcake for every order of a tall Cappuccino.
Cross-promotional arrangements have the added benefit of introducing your products and services to new markets.
10. Attend Networking Events
In the age of Zoom meetings and Facebook Live, networking events remain as relevant and popular as ever and that’s because shared-space engagement is hard to beat. There are fewer filters to overcome which means you can close deals faster.
If there’s a networking event in your area, reach out to the organizers and ask if you can present your products and services either as a presenter or as a vendor.
Bring a lot of calling cards and hard copies of your company profile. Organize all your business documents in a slide folder. Having marketing brochures ready for distribution would be better.
Pressing some flesh and exchanging calling cards won’t go the way of the fax machine. These networking events create multiple opportunities for you to generate more business.
To make money, you have to spend money. There’s no other way around it. Marketing is a business function that will require you to spend but if you do it properly, it will be an investment that pays out dividends for your business.
Most of the strategies we featured in this article won’t cost you a cent and just require you to spend time on them.
As mentioned, you can outsource digital marketing to Mountaintop Web Design. We can create optimized content, and run social media, and email marketing campaigns for your business.
If you’re interested, give us a call or an email and we’ll get you started. And if you liked this article, feel free to share it with your community.