Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been in business for a while, building a solid online identity for your company is crucial. Statista predicts that by 2025, there will be approximately 274 million people using e-commerce, and this is where the vast majority of consumers will learn about local businesses. You may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of setting up digital marketing strategies to increase your company’s online visibility if you are the owner of a small business with no experience in digital marketing. Relax, because we’ve got this.
Here, we’ll discuss how inbound marketing may be used to help small businesses develop by attracting new customers.
Advertising for small businesses
The goals of marketing are to expand consumers’ familiarity with a company’s offerings and to increase the number of interested parties who may eventually become paying customers. Less exposure and fewer means mean that spreading the word about a small business might be difficult (like budget or time). The marketing efforts of a small firm, however, might benefit from a few essential methods that will allow you to expand your reach.
No matter what you’re up against as you grow your business—a small staff, a tight budget, or just a general lack of focus—a marketing strategy tailored to your company’s needs may be an invaluable source of direction.
Techniques for marketing a small company
- Find out what your target audience is.
- Focus on what you have to offer.
- Maintain a concentrated concentration on your targets.
- Make the most of temporary opportunities.
- Just keep doing more of what’s working.
- Realize the value of your current clientele.
- Don’t waste time with expensive advertising when free options exist.
- To own your own digital identity, you need to build a website.
- It’s recommended that you start a blog if you want to increase traffic to your website.
- In other words, go out there and do some self-promotion.
- Spend money on marketing.
- Get the contact details of those who show interest in your website.
- Create a drip campaign with email marketing to keep leads interested.
- A customer relationship management system is useful for keeping track of contacts.
- The power of word-of-mouth should be heavily relied upon for marketing purposes.
As you work to raise brand recognition and fund-raising efforts, these tactics are essential:
1. Find out what your target audience is.
Mistake number one is assuming that your target market consists of everybody and everyone. While larger enterprises might potentially reach a broader audience, there is truth to the adage that “the riches are in the niches.” If you’re a tiny business, your best bet is to find a niche. You need to know the specific challenges faced by the people who make up your target market in order to build a solution that will resonate with them.
For what reason do they feel the need to make a quick decision to buy? Is there a way to picture the future if they are successful? Having this information at your disposal will allow you to create a more persuasive message for your solution. One good place to start is with your current clientele and your ideal collaborators. Make an imaginary customer to better understand their needs.
2. Highlight your unique selling offer.
Unless you can convince a potential client that you offer them something they can’t get elsewhere, they won’t choose to do business with you. Your value proposition is what will set you apart from competitors and convince potential customers that you’re the best option. Where do you truly shine as a market leader? Getting this across is a strong argument.
3. Keep your attention on only one thing at a time.
If you’ve done any research into marketing, you’ve probably realized that there are a trillion different paths you may go. It’s tempting to try to tackle everything at once, building a sophisticated machine in the hopes that you’ve thought of everything.
Find out where it will have the most effect, instead. What part of your marketing strategy is the biggest blind spot, preventing you from expanding? Dedicate your efforts to improving just that one area by setting a specific performance target and then honing in on the strategies and methods that will get you there. When you reach a certain milestone, you might double down on your efforts or go in a different direction.
4. Make the most of short-term opportunities.
Have a shaky beginning. Getting a return on investment faster is more important than ever when you expand. Because of this, you’ll have the momentum and cash flow to invest in larger initiatives, long-term plays, and sustainable growth models.
Strategies that need a prolonged amount of time to implement (like search engine optimization) are not a good fit for your top priorities. Put some money in the pot to get things rolling, if you must, but don’t bank on it being your exclusive source of income.
You may find that paid advertisements provide that short-term ROI if you have evidence that individuals are searching Google with a view to making a purchase of your specific solution.
5. Increase your investment in successful strategies.
Once you’ve gotten your initiatives off the ground and tried out a few different approaches, it’s time to start paying attention to the numbers. What you learn from this can help you with the most effective strategies. It’s smart to put more emphasis on successful revenue streams as you expand.
6. Recognize the value of your current clientele.
Getting a new customer often costs five times as much as keeping an old one. So, keep marketing to them even after they’ve completed a purchase.
Determine the potential for more purchases, upselling, and cross-selling. Customers who have bought from you before are likely to buy from you again. If the customer has a positive experience. They are more likely to return for further purchases or services.
If the consumer only makes a single purchase and you have no further opportunity to upsell them. You should still go out of your way to make them happy. Promotion by word of mouth is highly effective and inexpensive.
7. Take advantage of no-cost advertising avenues.
You have committed to a specific aim and scope, therefore there is no need to blow your budget on fancy advertising materials. Instead of spending money on marketing tools unless you’re sure they’ll make a major difference, try to make do with what’s available for free.
8. Make a website so you may control your own online identity.
One of the most valuable things you can do for your small business is to design a website that reflects your company’s professionalism. Present your business’s essentials, including who you are, what you sell, where you’re located, and how to contact you.
It’s a channel you’ll always have control over (unlike other platforms, whose policies may shift or which may fall out of favor), and it may bring in visitors all on its own in addition to receiving traffic from paid advertisements and other marketing efforts.
Furthermore, your website is more than just a digital brochure. If you know how to convert visitors into leads, you can make it work for you around the clock.
9. Blog frequently to pull in visitors.
A wonderful strategy to attract visitors who aren’t ready to buy just yet is to start a blog. Furthermore, it can help you become a recognized expert in your field and build your reputation as a leader in the field.
Use a cheap or free website builder to create a site and customize one of their blog templates to begin blogging immediately. Publishing even once a week will help your website rank higher in search results and educate potential clients on why they should trust your business.
You may encourage readers to sign up for your blog’s email updates and alerts by adding a subscription form to your postings. If a potential consumer is interested in learning more about your business but isn’t quite ready to buy just yet. This is a fantastic approach to start gathering contact information from them.
10. Advertise your wares on the web.
Social media is an effective marketing strategy due to the number of people who could be potential clients using various networks on a regular basis. You can promote your products, increase brand recognition, and interact with potential customers all with the help of social media marketing. There’s no reason not to be present where your target audience spends time if you want to attract new business.
11. Spend money on marketing.
It takes time to build up organic traffic, and as a startup, you need to focus on quick wins. Pay-to-play strategies that focus on high-intent purchasers are useful for quickly gaining momentum toward long-term goals.
If you already know where your potential customers are looking online, Google Ads is a great way to reach them. If they aren’t, you could always try advertising on social media. Social media users typically have lower purchase intent, but it’s still possible to capture their attention with well-targeted advertising that receives a high volume of impressions.
12. Don’t forget to collect email addresses and other contact details from potential customers who find your site online.
Although we have discussed the importance of exposure and traffic, we haven’t yet discussed how these factors contribute to income generation. Installing a conversion tool on your website is a simple method to immediately begin attracting new business.
13. Promote your business via email to cultivate potential customers.
Not all leads are ready to purchase just because you’ve converted them from website visitors. Keeping in touch and nudging them toward a final purchase decision is crucial.
Your marketing toolkit would be incomplete without email marketing. In fact, a study shows that 73% of millennials say email is their preferred method of receiving company information. This approach is a simple, cost-free, and scalable method of reaching out to new and existing clientele.
You can try out emailing your database newsletters (with your shiny new blog posts) and other promotions once you have an email marketing platform in place (many are cheap or even free). Since running a small business already requires a significant time commitment, marketing automation can be a great help in this area.
14. Use a customer relationship management system to organize your connections.
For maximum success with email marketing, it’s essential to send highly specific messages to your target audience. A customer relationship management (CRM) or customer database is the first step in this process.
In order to better keep track of customer interactions and spot sales opportunities. Your CRM maintains data about your leads, prospects, and customers. Among customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
15. Make use of word-of-mouth as a marketing tool.
As was previously noted, pleasing customers may have a significant effect on your business. Particularly through the channels of repeat purchases and positive word of mouth. If customers are pleased with their purchases, they will be more likely to share their positive experiences online and with friends and family. This is why it’s important to track customer happiness and inspire happy clients to share the word.
Guidelines for Local Businesses’ Promotional Efforts
- Figure out what your brand stands for.
- Find out who your ideal customer is.
- Draw up some branding materials.
- Create your site using a content management system template.
- Create a plan for entering the market.
- To expand the reach of your material, consider contracting an independent contractor for assistance.
- Seek the assistance of web design firms or independent designers.
- Use analytics software to keep tabs on your website’s performance.
- SEO, or search engine optimization, is a technique used to increase a website’s visibility online
- Learn about the potential of your keyword selection.
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly.
- Produce well-optimized weblog posts.
- Use visual media like pictures and movies as a testing ground.
- Create profiles for your company on social media sites like Facebook and Yelp.
- Improve your presence on social media.
- Provide support to your customers via social media.
- Develop engaging landing pages.
- Create a plan for sending emails.
- Distribute discount codes to subscribers via email or landing pages.
- Provide information about where your product may be purchased on your website.
- Conduct a web-based presentation and make it available for free.
- Use co-marketing.
- Inspire satisfied clients to tell others about their purchases.
Attempt some new approaches to advertising.
1. Figure out what your brand stands for.
Promoting your company with a consistent brand identity will make you appear more credible to potential clients. Nearly nine out of ten consumers are brand loyal, and almost a quarter of those consumers are expected to increase their brand loyalty in 2020 compared to 2019.
The creator of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, has defined a company’s brand as “what other people say about you while you’re not in the room.” A company’s brand consists of the associations its name evokes in the minds of consumers. Your brand consists of your company’s name, logo, and overall visual style and the way those elements are implemented throughout all of your assets.
2. Discover who your ideal customer is.
What kind of person do you think your potential consumer is when they go online in search of your product or service? In what ways do they feel afflicted? So, what exactly do they do? Developing a fictional representation of your ideal customer (a “buyer persona”) can be useful when designing a site for that individual.
By developing a profile of your ideal consumer, or “buyer persona,” you’ll be better equipped to anticipate their needs and tailor your website’s content accordingly.
3. Create a brand identity system by drawing a logo and other visual elements.
Consider your color scheme and browse palettes with Adobe Color or Colors to kickstart your imagination. You have the option of using one of many pre-existing color schemes or making your own. Even though you can design your own logo using one of the many online tools available for little to no cost. But hiring a professional will likely result in a more polished final logo design. It will provide you with access to a designer who can adapt your logo and other brand assets as your business evolves.
4. Utilize a content management system (CMS) template when creating your website.
If you’re a tech-savvy business owner, you’ll want to construct your own website. Content management systems (CMSs) streamline the procedure. You can acquire free or cheaply priced, fully editable website designs for most CMSs. There are premade designs available for users of different expertise levels.
Once your website is up and running, most content management systems have plugins that will assist you to optimize it for search engines (look for SEO plugins). We’ll get into more detail about how this impacts your Google rankings below.
5. Create an approach for entering the market.
In order to effectively market your product or service, you must first activate the appropriate promotional tools and then develop a strategy that is in step with the customer’s experience. Think about the kinds of material that will interest, engage, and please your leads, and how you can use that to win them over and turn them into customers.
6. Get a freelancer to help you expand your content’s reach.
Instead, then investing in a full-time employee, consider hiring a freelancer if you need assistance generating frequent blogs or promotional content. Check out Upwork if you need a freelance writer, filmmaker, or photographer. If the project is significant enough, you may want to look into hiring a full-time digital marketing agency.
7. Web design assistance can be obtained by contacting agencies or independent designers, as suggested
In order to have a website made for your small business if you are not technically savvy, you can hire a freelancer or a marketing firm that specializes in web design. If your company currently has a website but wants to boost its visibility on search engines like Google, this is an excellent option to consider.
8. Utilize analytics software to keep tabs on your website’s performance.
The internet is rife with no-cost resources that can help you create a website, whether it’s your first time or you’re not particularly tech-savvy. Google Analytics and HubSpot Marketing Free are two free tools that can help you keep tabs on your website’s traffic.
9. Using search engine optimization (SEO).
Have you tried looking for your company or yourself online if you already run one? Do you ever wonder why your website isn’t shown in Google’s results? Perhaps you’ve wondered, “How do I rank on Google?” or “How can I enhance my Google ranking?”
A number of things go into deciding which sites and pages get prioritized by search engines like Google (or any other search engine) (SERP). According to Backlinko, some of Google’s most important criteria include the frequency with which you update your site, the length of your material, the quality of your content, the speed with which your website loads, and the relevance of your keywords and where you place them.
Google’s ultimate goal is to provide the searcher with the most relevant and useful information it can locate. To provide an extreme example, if I were looking for the best salon in Newport, Rhode Island, and I happened upon the website of a salon in Newport, Kentucky that has closed down, that information wouldn’t be very useful to me. However, it would be good for me to locate a salon in my neighborhood that has received positive reviews on Yelp and has a user-friendly website with clear contact information. Google’s goal is to constantly showcase the most relevant, high-quality information.
9.1 Website optimization for search engines
SEO can help your website get a higher position in search results. Google defines SEO as “methods used to improve a website’s visibility in search engine results (SERPs). Search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing may now better direct visitors to your website who are actively looking for the kinds of solutions that your business offers.” That is to say, it’s the fundamental idea behind arranging your website and blog entries in the optimal way for them to rank highly in search results.
In most cases, you may expect to see a few common components in an SEO plan. Among these are studies of keywords, target audiences, and on-page SEO. You may study how your target audience uses the internet to find products and services like yours by focusing on these three factors. Check out this WordPress SEO Checklist.
10. Look into potential keyword research.
The process of researching keywords follows that of developing buyer personas. After developing buyer profiles, you can utilize a keyword research tool like KW Finder to zero in on the most relevant search terms for your brand’s intended audience.
The next step is to conduct research and optimize the page’s on-site SEO. It’s important to strategically place keywords across your website, including the meta-description, page names, and H1 tags.
11. Make your site mobile-friendly.
Since most Google queries now come from mobile devices, it’s crucial that your site renders well on mobile and is simple to navigate. Search engines like Google give you a higher rating if you have a mobile site, so it’s in your best interest to have one.
Making a mobile-friendly website isn’t rocket science. The majority of content management systems (CMSs) these days include pre-built templates that are optimized for mobile use.
12. Create search engine-friendly blog entries.
When it comes to SERPs, nothing is more crucial than fresh, original content and regular blogging. Search engine rankings can be improved by including relevant keywords throughout high-quality, helpful content. If you want to establish yourself as an expert in your field, blogging can help you do that. Use a WordPress plugin like Yoast to ensure that you are writing for search engines.
13. Take some pictures and make some videos and see what happens.
Most social media programs, including Facebook and Instagram, are also shifting toward more visually engaging designs. A few promotional videos are a wonderful idea if you want to stay on top of the competition.
14. Create a Facebook and Yelp page for your company.
Facebook, Yelp, and Google’s business feature are crucial if you run a locally focused business. Possessing many positive reviews on Yelp raises your internet credibility and aids in your search engine rankings. The process of claiming your business on Yelp, filling out your profile with photos, and soliciting reviews is completely free.
Creating a Google My Business page is similar. In order to get your business up and running, you can sign up with Google (for free) and upload photos. (If you’ve ever been dismayed to find that your company doesn’t appear when you look for it on Google Maps, the problem is that you haven’t declared it yet.)
Establishing a Facebook business page helps customers easily locate your store and learn about your hours of operation. Maintaining active social media profiles can raise a company’s visibility and facilitate communication with potential customers. You can find new customers by making use of social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
15. Develop a comprehensive social media plan.
Social media sites like Facebook and Yelp will be useful for finding businesses in your area, but you may reach a wider audience by using other channels, such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Your potential clients will have another option to locate you and your business if you provide online purchasing of your goods and services. Don’t dilute your efforts by trying to be active on too many fronts at once.
16. Take advantage of social media for responding to customers.
It’s important to respond to queries asked by customers or followers in the comments or via direct messages once you’ve established a presence on the platforms you’ve selected. You’ll gain credibility and show that your business is quick to act with this move.
Consider employing a social media manager who also has experience managing online communities if at all possible. Community managers are responsible for both posting content on a regular basis and addressing the needs and concerns of their followers. Interested?
17. Create compelling landing pages.
In exchange for the visitor’s contact information, a landing page provides a valuable free resource. Customer satisfaction and desire to purchase the whole product may increase when they acquire the resource.
An attractive landing page improves your chances of making a sale. First, you should study this landing page tutorial to acquire a feel for the fundamentals of this method.
18. Strategy for sending out emails needs to be planned out.
After you’ve established a regular publishing schedule and developed your landing pages, you can start promoting them to the leads who have shown the most interest in your product. We recommend establishing an email marketing plan because of this.
You shouldn’t spam the people who sign up for your email list, but you should send regular updates to keep your leads interested. It is possible to produce and send an email using a professionally designed template using any inexpensive platform, even if you have never delivered regular newsletters before. You can monitor your email’s open and click rates with the help of many different tools.
19. Include discount codes in email newsletters and website landing pages.
Including a discount code in promotional emails is a great way to get people excited about your brand. Customers who have recently purchased an item at a reduced price may be more inclined to spend full price in the future. Providing potential customers with a free trial voucher for your subscription service is another great way to get them interested in your business.
20. Include a list of your distributors on your website.
Once you’ve established a presence on a few different platforms and have a newsletter signup form ready to go, be sure to prominently display this information on your website so that people can start following you. Business websites can do this in a number of ways, one of which is to include a newsletter sign-up form and social media sharing buttons on every page. These should be placed either at the top right of each page or at the bottom of each document. That way, they won’t be hidden from view, but they also won’t take away from anything you’re reading.
21. Create a free webinar and promote it.
Potential clients can register for a live, online seminar that you teach using a webinar. Short courses, lasting 30 minutes to an hour, are a great way to spread your brand’s knowledge on a certain subject and answer inquiries from customers. This method will not only help you become more well-known in your sector, but it will also provide you with prospective new clients and revenue streams.
Is there a nearby company that isn’t in direct competition with you but serves the same market? You may team up with them to run a cobranded campaign in which you both promote each other’s websites, social media profiles, email lists, and blogs. You’ll be able to connect with the audience of the brand you’re partnering with while also benefiting from the publicity boost, you’ll be providing for them.
23. Inviting satisfied clients to provide testimonials
The value of your product or service increases when satisfied clients share their enthusiasm about it online. Word of mouth is still quite influential, even in the age of social media. People may be persuaded to patronize your establishment if they read positive reviews from their friends on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Given that 71% of consumers say they are more likely to buy after seeing a recommendation on social media, it’s clear that word-of-mouth marketing works.
Encourage customers to leave positive reviews on sites like Yelp, Google, and social media if they have a positive experience with your product. Your clients will know who to tag in a post featuring your goods if you post signs with your account handles in prominent locations around your storefront.
24. Take risks with your marketing
Don’t be hesitant to try out a new social media platform or marketing strategy. If your experiment is successful, you may find yourself in an advantageous position, and it’s never a bad thing to be seen as a leader in your field. When trying out a new approach to marketing, it’s important to start with a well-formed hypothesis or question. Maintaining this kind of concentration can help you resist the temptation to abandon your long-term objectives in favor of more immediate rewards. Have a plan ready for whether the outcomes are positive or negative.
Digital Marketing strategies for small companies
Now that you know the fundamentals of marketing, it’s time to put your advertising budget to good use. Some approaches to advertising your small business are outlined below.
1. Create a google my business account.
Making your business more discoverable online begins with claiming your free Google My Business page. Including your company’s name, address, phone number(s), hours of operation, photographs, and services just takes a few minutes.
One further advantage of having a Google business profile is that you can do so even if you don’t have a physical location for your firm. To further assist you in comprehending the ways in which your customers are interacting with your company, analytics are included in your profile. You may also see the terms that led people to your company’s profile, read and respond to customer reviews, and improve your SEO.
2. AdWords and Bing’s equivalent, PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, should be considered.
Marketing your company online through pay-per-click platforms like Google AdWords or Bing Ads can also be effective. When organic search engine optimization (SEO) efforts aren’t producing the desired results, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can help.
Using ad platforms like Google AdWords or Bing Ads, you may buy a sponsored placement in users’ search engine results. Make sure your landing page is fully optimized before launching into pay-per-click advertising. If you’re paying per click for advertising and those who click through don’t buy anything, your campaign will be a waste of money.
3. Promote your business on social networking sites.
Almost all of the most popular social media sites have advertising packages that won’t break the bank and will help you reach your desired demographic with your posts. Instagram now permits brands to advertise via its Shoppable service, joining the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn which have long been used by small businesses for advertising purposes.
Ads on the visual social media platform Pinterest can be very effective for local companies. Pinners claim that Pinterest is more influential than any other social media network in its decision-making process. Ads for products on Pinterest generate three times as much revenue as those on rival platforms.
4. Promote goods on Etsy and amazon as a sponsor.
If you already have an Amazon storefront, you can take advantage of their sponsored products program to increase sales. If you’ve never made an ad campaign before, consider using this pay-per-click software, which can generate advertising based on your product listings and automatically target your ads.
If you’re an artisan who uses Etsy to sell your stuff, you should check out their advertising options. This is a pay-per-click strategy, much like that used by Amazon, with a daily minimum of $1. Etsy Ads will help your products stand out in Etsy’s search results, category pages, and marketing pages.
5. Make use of content created by your audience.
Customer referrals are a powerful form of marketing. The satisfaction of your clients might serve as social evidence in your advertising efforts. To increase brand awareness, request that customers provide reviews or, if they have previously posted about your company on social media, that you use their content with their consent.
6. Create a referral scheme.
Referral programs are a great way to encourage your current clientele to help you bring in new business. You can incentivize them to bring in new clients by giving them a discount, a freebie, or some other benefit. Customers who are referred by others are more loyal and make more purchases than non-referred customers. These potential new clients are more likely to have a good experience overall because they were introduced by someone they know.
7. Promote your business through the chamber of commerce.
If you own a brick-and-mortar establishment, it could be beneficial to place ads with the local chamber of commerce. It varies by location, but for a yearly price, you can usually get promoted on their website, their social media, and their email newsletter.
It’s a fantastic chance to connect with other entrepreneurs and spread the word about your brand. Get your company’s name out there immediately.
Digital marketing is essential for small businesses trying to increase both sales and brand recognition. Marketing your products or services online is essential, but maximizing your online resources is just as important to the health of your organization.
There may be a long way to go before you establish a solid internet presence for your organization, but even small steps in the right direction will pay off in spades.