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The success of your small business depends on your marketing. Marketing covers everything that has to do with winning and retaining customers. This seems to be the biggest challenge among small business owners. According to a survey by Capital One, 41 percent of small business owners have difficulty identifying and reaching potential customers. Once you have resolved this challenge, you have overcome the main hurdle of running and running a profitable business.
For small businesses, it helps to create solutions in the form of a marketing plan. With a marketing plan, you can easily evaluate, plan, and measure your tactics. It includes your sales goals, your description of your target customers, and the small business marketing strategies you use to achieve those goals and find those customers.
In this article, we summarize ten of the best marketing strategies for small businesses. We also refer you to other resources that can help you create your small business marketing strategy.
The Best Marketing Strategies For Small Business
The following marketing strategies are ideal for the typical budget area and small business goals. Here is a list of small business marketing strategies that work:
1. Email Marketing
Email marketing involves collecting leads and customers’ email addresses, sending emails regularly and opening those emails or clicking the links they contain.
This strategy is suitable for small businesses due to the minimal cost – you usually only have to pay for the email marketing software – and the high returns. Email marketing is the strategy that delivers one of the highest return on investment (ROI), even more than social media or direct mail. Direct Marketing Association statistics show that email marketing accounts for 122 percent. In other words, it will be very profitable for a small business to include email in their marketing plans.
Since email works best when you already have a small fan base, it’s best to maintain relationships with leads and customers, turn leads into sales, maintain returning customers, and increase sales. If your primary goal is to increase brand awareness or introduce your company to potential buyers, you should first try other small business marketing strategies.
2. Content Marketing
In contrast to direct advertising for your products and services, content marketing aims to reach your target group through informative or entertaining content. The idea is that if your target audience is attracted to this content, they will learn about your business as a result. The content you use can be in one of the following formats:
- White papers
- Case studies
- Website copy (such as your homepage text or “About Us” page text).
Because content marketing doesn’t ask about sales directly, it works best as a brand engagement strategy, not a sales strategy. A study by the Content Marketing Institute found that while almost 80 percent of the marketing experts could show that content marketing increased audience engagement, only 58 percent could show that it increased sales. By complementing your content marketing strategy with more direct approaches such as email marketing or advertising, you can ensure that your branding efforts also help your sales efforts.
For companies, blogging means regularly publishing new updates for your blog or website. Although blogging is technically part of content marketing, it often requires a separate plan because it is a recurring project. Blogs need to be updated regularly, unlike white papers, case studies, or your “About Us” page.
Since you regularly publish new content on your blog, this is usually the best way to increase brand awareness, memory, and loyalty. A blog can attract the attention of new prospects who learn about your company for the first time and remind current and current customers of your company. This branding effort then leads to more leads. Perhaps this is why, regardless of company size, according to HubSpot research companies, blogs tend to get more leads.
Get your business blog off to a good start using the following ideas:
- List the most common issues your target customers are facing, especially those you are helping. Then write a blog post about each problem and present a simple solution. For example, an online store that sells aromatherapy oils may be the top five oils that help relieve stress.
- If your company already has a blog, check out your existing blog posts. Do your blog posts have pictures every 100 words? Buzzsumo research has shown that articles with pictures get double the number of parts every 75 to 100 words, like articles with fewer pictures. The more shares your blog posts receive, the more people will see them.
4. Social Media Marketing
If you use websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest to market your business, that means you are using social media marketing.
One of the challenges of social media marketing is that it is difficult to know if it works. A consultancy study shows that 60 percent of marketers have difficulty tracking ROI. Marketers see social media primarily as an engine for brand engagement. Since you can include photos, graphics, videos, sound, and emojis in your social media posts, this is a good channel for expressing your brand values in a variety of ways.
However, this does not mean that sales have no place on social media. Pinterest drives a lot of sales on e-commerce websites. Shopify research shows that 93 percent of online shoppers use Pinterest to plan purchases, and Pinterest is also the second most popular source of website traffic for online stores. Facebook and Instagram also have online shopping features, so it’s just a matter of using the right social media website and the right features to increase your sales.
5. Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC advertising) is simply a form of online advertising in which you pay for the clicks on an online ad. Typically, these are the ads you see when you enter a keyword in a search engine and look at the results. However, PPC ads are also found on other websites and even on social media. Google Adwords and Bing Ads are two examples of networks that allow companies to buy PPC ads.
The success of your PPC ads depends on whether you choose the right keywords, bid the right amount, and have a high-converting copy. Since the cost of these ads depends on the number of clicks on the ad, the best place for them in your small business marketing plan is to collect leads or make sales. Here are some approaches you can use with your PPC ads:
- Set up your PPC ad to go directly to a landing page or squeeze page where leads can be collected.
- You can also point your PPC ads to specific product pages if you use keywords that target buyers who want to buy.
If you want to get started with PPC ads, these tutorials in Google Adwords can help you learn how it works.
6. Posters and Flyers
Viewing posters or giving away brochures and flyers is essential for small businesses that need to market in a specific location. This is because they are usually displayed and distributed in a specific area. For small businesses where the location is important, flyers and posters should be an integral part of their small business marketing plan.
One challenge with this approach is that it can be difficult to measure success. Make sure your incoming leads are easier to track from flyers and posters. You can insert coupon codes in the content, or in the case of flyers you can even include tearable paper coupons. This way you can determine if the design, printing, and distribution costs are worth the return.
7. Print Advertising
It is just one of the more traditional marketing approaches, which is all about buying advertising space on printed media such as newspapers, magazines, newsletters, direct mail or yellow pages. While this may sound “old school” compared to online marketing strategies, there is a reason why they exist – they are still effective.
Compared to other media such as short online videos, websites or social media, printed newspapers attract the greatest attention, as the research shows. Even among millennial consumers, a study found that 82 percent use direct mail and 49 percent print coupons. Given these results, the pressure is clearly still relevant.
Since print advertising costs money, it is best to ensure that it leads directly to measurable results, e.g. B. to more sales, customers or leads.
8. Referral Marketing
As the name suggests, referral marketing is about getting new leads and sales of referrals. These can come from your existing customers or other people who know your company. If you have ever participated in a Tell a Friend program that gives you a discount or freebie by recommending a product or service to your friends, you have participated in a referral marketing campaign.
Referral marketing campaigns are very effective in making sales and winning new customers. Nielsen’s research shows that 77 percent of consumers are more likely to buy based on recommendations from family and friends, making recommendations more compelling than paid advertising and expert recommendations. According to a WOMMA study, it’s five times more sales than paid ads.
Here are some examples of referral marketing campaigns:
- In 2016, Tesla ran a referral campaign that invited customers with the most referrals to be invited to tour the Tesla factory, to an opening ceremony, discounts, or a new Tesla model that was not open to the public. These recommendations received 42 times more for every dollar spent on the campaign.
- Harrys, who sells shaving products, has been able to collect 100,000 guidelines for starting their business from a referral campaign. Leads who have registered on their homepage can receive free products, depending on the number of new leads they have specified. Five transfers entitled her to a free bottle of shaving cream, while fifty transfers entitled her to a year of new blades.
You can use the ideas above and change them depending on the needs of your small business. With or without incentives, as long as your customers like to recommend your business to family and friends, your business will be in good shape.
9. Event Marketing
Small businesses, especially those that have a shop window or serve a local community, can also benefit from holding simple events that appeal to their target audience. This approach is called event marketing. The idea is that your target customers are gathered in the same room by creating an event. In this area, you can buy your products or at least become aware of your brand. Here are some examples of event marketing:
- Miss Me’s clothes shop regularly goes on a “summer tour” where they have a mobile roadshow of their products. The roadshow includes a photo booth, a competition, and a charity component.
- The “#WeighThis” campaign by Lean Cuisine challenged local women to measure their performance instead of their weight. These were then painted on a scale and exhibited in an art installation in Grand Central Station.
- Sensodyne hosted The Great Sensitivity Test, which included a variety of activities for potential customers, including dental exams, games, and product samples.
10. Business Partnerships
To make your small business stronger, sometimes it’s best to look for other small businesses and join together. This could be in the form of cross-promoting each other’s products, bundling some of your products or co-hosting an event for your target customers.
Find your future partners by starting with your target audience. What other products do you need besides your products? List these products and look for small businesses that offer them. These small businesses are natural partners, and you can approach them to see if they’re open to a mutually beneficial promotion or event. Here are some examples of these natural partnerships:
- If your business sells organic sunscreen, you can find a company that makes eco-friendly swimwear and ties your products together for a summer promotion.
- A lawn care company may want to work with a cleaning service and offer a spring cleaning service together.
- A wedding photographer can work with other wedding parties such as a baker, a printer, and a wedding supplies company and host a bazaar for future brides.
By pooling resources, target groups, and skills, you can help each other.