1. How To Create Your Small Business Marketing Strategy
Before doing anything else, the most important thing to do is to first be clear on what you are trying to achieve through your marketing campaign. To do this, you first have to identify your unique selling proposition (USP). In simple words what makes you different from your competitors?
Every marketing strategy is different but there are a few things that you should focus on improving during your campaign. The numbers you should be looking at are your:
- Website traffic
- Social media engagement
- Lead generation
- Browser to sales conversion
An effective marketing strategy is crucial for creating a memorable brand and a positive reputation. The next step after identifying your marketing goals is to understand and define your target audience. One of the best ways to do this is by talking to your existing customers. Ask them about ways to improve your business, their experience with it and why they choose you over your competitors. But the most important part of finding out is their demographics so that you can cater directly to their interests.
“Having an online presence is non-negotiable regardless of whether you are an e-commerce business”
2. How To Do Online Marketing
Online marketing is a highly effective and inexpensive method of drawing attention to your business. However, if you look at your spending habits you'll most probably see that you also google a brand before buying something from there.
Having an online presence is non-negotiable regardless of whether you are an e-commerce business. Creating a website is a great way to generate leads. After doing a quick google search they may find your brand and become a loyal customer. Having a blog on your website isn't very important but it can boost traffic and SEO by simply announcing important events like sales, new inventory, price updates etc.
What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a variety of methods to improve your website's chance of reaching Google's first page and gaining the most traffic.
There are many ways you can do this for free:
- Use keywords in your posts so that customers are more likely to find your page
- Request your existing customers to post reviews on popular reviews sites like Yelp
- Use a website builder that specializes in SEO optimization
- Get other websites to link articles or quotes back to your website
3. Use Web Analytics Tools To Measure Your Results
Just launching a website is not enough even if it’s optimized for SEO. To get the full usage of your website and your online marketing strategy you should use a web analytics tool. These tools can measure your website visitor's behaviors. These analyses can provide valuable insight into how you can improve your website and any other online marketing strategy you may have.
The most popular web analytics tools are Google’s suite of analytic tools. They have various types of tools that can measure your ROI, search performance, website traffic, how to optimize your content and more.
4. Create Social Media Profiles
A social media presence is just as important as having a website if not more. It's not enough to only have an account on various platforms. Your accounts should also be active. Otherwise, they'll get overshadowed by your competitors. Choose the social media sites you know you can update and manage regularly. As well as make sure your target audience and customer base is familiar with this platform. And through your social media you can also interact with your customers through comments and direct messaging.
Managing social media accounts can get hectic so here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Share behind the scenes moments and host live stories or Q&A sessions
- Post about your staff and let customers get to know you
- Share exclusive promo codes and discounts so that you can boost your number of followers
- Use a content management platform to help you organize and schedule your content
“Marketing is all about creating a meaningful connection with your customers, making them feel valued and important”
5. Launch An Email Marketing Campaign
Another cost-effective way of marketing is through email campaigns. 64% of business owners claim that their most effective marketing strategy is email marketing. Of course, there has to be a regular schedule that has to be followed while sending out emails. To begin, consider these factors:
- What will you include in your email? Will it be a newsletter? Product Updates? Campaigns?
- How frequent would your emails be? You want your audience to be interested, sending too many emails can be a nuisance and you could end up losing your customers instead
- Find an email service provider – the most popular is MailChimp
- Built your email list
When composing your email, the subject line should be exciting so that the recipient opens the email. Keep your email relevant and concise. Add your social media accounts and website link so that your customers are aware and can access them easily. Alternatively, you may want to consider opting for an SMS campaign if you have customers who have already opted into receiving SMS offers/updates from your business. Check out the SMS best practices before launching a campaign of your own.
6. Other Marketing Strategies To Consider
Your small business marketing strategy will mostly be online marketing but that doesn't mean analog marketing isn't important. On the contrary, these techniques are vital for bringing in more local customers.
- Experiential Marketing
- Sales incentives
While the above marketing strategies can be very successful sometimes having a more aggressive approach towards marketing is needed. Paid marketing can come in different forms such as ads on social media sites, partnering with influencers etc. Spending money on marketing doesn't mean you have to dedicate a large sum of your capital towards it. However, if you feel you are struggling to cover the costs you can check out the best small business lenders to see if you can apply for a small business loan. Most small business lenders offer financing to offset the rising costs of marketing. Also, bear in mind that many of the marketing platforms mentioned in this article offer monthly and annual packages to fit virtually any budget.
The Bottom Line
Marketing is all about creating a meaningful connection with your customers, making them feel valued and important. Developing strong customer loyalty to your brand is the key to improving your sales and growing your customer base. Appeal to your customer's emotions by talking about how you can help them with their problems through your products and services. As well as explain why they should trust you rather than other brands.