As a small business, just thinking about gathering funds for marketing campaigns can be daunting. However, not every campaign needs to put you on the brink of bankruptcy. Today, the digital world provides numerous opportunities to get your name out there with little investment. Balancing the right digital and traditional marketing methods will allow you to reach the right people and keep growing your business. Here are some of the best marketing strategies small businesses can take advantage of today.
Create business profiles
Sometimes, the simplest thing is the most effective. The first step to ensure your small business’s visibility is simply placing yourself on the map. Set up your Google My Business profile if you still haven’t and fill in all the essential information about your business. Besides Google Maps, you might also want to enter your name in other directories as well, such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and any other that is relevant in your area. Just make sure that the information you enter is identical across pages: Google will take it as an indication of your trustworthiness.
Another crucial element for establishing your trustworthiness and making sure your business will show up on the first page of local searches is reviews. Good reviews and ratings will not only convince the algorithm, but they will also convince customers. As you probably know, people hold online reviews in high regard—almost as high as in-person recommendations. So, encourage every satisfied customer to let their voice be heard. Send them a reminder a few days after their purchase, just so they don’t forget.
Get on social media
The next (basically free) marketing strategy that every small business should be doing religiously is social media marketing. Start by creating profiles for your business on relevant platforms. Definitely don’t bite off more than you can chew, since an abandoned, rarely updated profile will send the wrong message about your business, but don’t limit yourself to one platform. Social media not only makes it possible to get your message across to the right people, thanks to accurate targeting options, but it also allows you to build a following: a community that you can stay in touch with.
Tap into content marketing
Content marketing is one of the most important elements of digital marketing today. High-quality content that is informative, engaging, and entertaining is highly sought-after and this gives businesses a chance to showcase their authority. So, start a blog and tap into the world of optimized content. Be sure you’re sharing your articles through all your social media channels. If you have the means, consider producing video content, since this format has taken the world by storm. If you’re finding it hard to keep to your content creation schedule, don’t hesitate to hire freelancers to get the job done.
Don’t skip traditional methods
While there is a lot of talk about digital marketing nowadays, businesses shouldn’t disregard traditional marketing methods that are still more than relevant for ensuring brand presence and visibility. Traditional marketing methods like distributing flyers and free promotional materials are, for instance, invaluable for a relatively new business that is still in the process of gaining a foothold in its local market. If you have a brick-and-mortar store or are planning to visit trade shows, signage such as posters, pull up banners and other printed materials will be crucial. Make sure you go for high-quality printing so your ads send the right message in more than one way.
Work on your mailing list
Your marketing efforts shouldn’t only be focused on immediate results. You should think about the future and how you could maintain growth through the implementation of long-term strategies, such as building a mailing list. Email marketing is more effective than most would think, and while you shouldn’t flood the inboxes of those leads who have entrusted you with their data, regular, well-constructed, personalized emails won’t cost your business anything but can bring great results.
Focus on customer retention
Since keeping a customer costs much less than converting a new one, unless you specialize in typical one-time purchase products, at least some of your marketing efforts should focus on keeping the interest of those who have already done business with you. This can be finely executed in several ways. Firstly, it’s a good idea to keep retargeting the same customers, through social media ads, for instance. If you acquired the consent of the customer, putting them on your mailing list is another way to keep your business in front of them. You can even take it a step further and create repeat customers and brand ambassadors with the implementation of a loyalty program or other incentives.
Marketing does not have to break the bank in order to be effective. However, that does not mean that just about anything will bring great results. Before investing a tremendous amount of time and effort in any campaign, be sure you do plenty of research. Start with the aforementioned strategies to save some time.