7 Tips for Small Business Marketing
When it comes to marketing, there is so much to think about, regardless of the size of your business. From advertising on social media channels to writing blogs, these are methods of marketing that can help your business make a name for itself and grow.
As a smaller business, it can be hard to know where to start with your marketing efforts, as you probably can’t afford to just throw money at the situation. We’ve therefore looked at a few simple ways you can tackle marketing for your company:
1. Make a Marketing Plan
The first thing you need to do, when it comes to marketing for a small business, is make a plan! Create an overarching strategy which can be adjusted when needed, containing your main goals and objectives.
Try coming up with lots of ideas between your team first, writing down the things people come up with. Then, group the ideas together, depending on theme, and from this you can create a to-do list. This should include both small and large projects, some of which may take a few days to complete, while others could take years.
One thing you should keep in mind is your return on investment (ROI). If you’re not getting anything out of a marketing strategy, from more customers to better brand awareness, then there’s no point doing it.
2. Create a Website
Does your small business have a website? If not, in today’s technology focused world, it’s essential that you create a website. Often, the first thing people will do when they come across your company name is Google your business. This will assure them that it’s a legitimate company, and hopefully provide them with more information about the products and services you offer.
Even if you already have a website, there’s always room for improvement! Things like ensuring it’s mobile friendly, and has been optimised for search engines are vital to the number of visitors you get to your site.
Just be careful if you come across a third party who promises to get you on the first page of Google results. While there are lots of techniques you can use to optimise your site for search engines like Google, it can take months or even years to rank highly for key search terms.
3. Use Social Media
Most people use social media these days – there’s no avoiding it. And although it may not be suitable for your business to have an account on every social platform out there, you should at least have accounts with platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. TikTok is becoming increasingly popular, so if you have the capacity to make videos, it’s sensible to get on TikTok too!
It’s not just young people who use social media either. There has been a shift in recent years – more middle aged and older people are making social accounts, often in an effort to keep up with their kids and grandchildren! So make sure you’re marketing to people of all ages, not just Millennials.
4. Utilise Analytic Software
With marketing, you can’t just go with your gut, assuming you know what will work. The only way to ensure consistent success is to analyse the strategies you’ve already implemented. See what was successful and which strategies need improvement. Then carry out tests to find out how you can get even better results.
There are loads of software platforms which can help you measure success, by comparing key metrics. For example, you could compare the number of visitors to your website, before and after a particular marketing campaign.Google Analytics is a good place to start, as this can tell you a lot about your site traffic.
It can be hard to reach your target audience if they don’t even know to search for your business. So when you’re starting out, it can be sensible to invest some money in advertising. You don’t need to air an advert during prime time television, as that would cost a fortune, but at least get your name out there.
For example, you can try and use Google AdWords, which allows you to specifically target people who are interested in the types of products or services you offer. AdWords also provides you with the flexibility to control your advertising budget, as you can decide which keywords to target.
6. Make Local Connections
As well as making connections and drawing in customers online, you can also reach out to people locally. Start establishing a network in your local area, raising brand awareness and potentially capturing a few business leads.
You could try attending industry events, or sponsoring worthy causes, from nonprofit events to sporting events. Essentially, make sure your local community knows who you are! Some businesses see success by giving out branded items too – any promotional items that have your logo on them.
7. Offer Free Trials and Products
One of the best ways to create loyalty early on is to make your customers happy. And how can you easily do this? By offering free stuff! When you’re starting out, you can create a buzz by offering free trials, or organising giveaway competitions. People will probably tell their friends about the offer, and suddenly a lot more people will know about your business!
You can also try and use brand ambassadors – even your own friends and family – to help promote your company. Word of mouth continues to be a great marketing tool, especially if the people you reach out to are influential!