5 Small Business Marketing Strategies That Work:
How to avoid the pitfalls of small business marketing and achieve your marketing goals
1. Leverage the low-cost and high returns of email marketing
When it comes to small business marketing, cold emailing is one of the most effective strategies. It’s a great way to connect with potential customers who may not be familiar with your business. Here are 3 takeaway stats you should be aware of:
- About 78 percent of marketers find that email marketing is important to company success.
- 77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months.
- For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42
Here are a few tips for using email to market your small business:
- Start by creating a list of your existing customers and potential customers
- Research the companies you want to target and find out who the decision-makers are.
- Draft a personalized email that introduces your business and explains why you think they would be a good fit for your products or services.
- Send the email and follow up with phone calls (if you have their phone number)
- Use an email marketing automation tool to keep track of your results and adjust your strategy as needed.
Building an email list isn’t hard. It doesn’t take much time or any special skills to do, and once it’s done it saves you a lot of time in the future. The key in terms of the content of your emails is to offer something valuable (and usually free) like a white paper, eBook, free webinar or coupon code for joining your mailing list.
On your website, be sure to ask people who complete your subscriber form to opt-in to receive updates from you via email. You should include a sign-up form on all of your website pages and blog posts.
There are many small business owners who think the best results happen through organic (non-paid) social media posts, while others believe the best way to increase customer reach and engagement is by buying paid ads on social media platforms. My opinion and experience is that the best results come from a combination of the two depending on budget.
Social media advertising is one of the most popular online marketing tactics available to the small business owner. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are affordable ways to effectively promote your business. Your digital marketing professional can put together a program to meet your advertising needs to best target the specific demographics and interests of your customers. You can learn more about the benefits of the various social media platforms and paid ads in our free, 30 minute digital marketing course.
3. Start a Blog
According to WordPress, every month, more than 409 million people view over 20 billion pages on its platform.
So how do you get your potential customers to read the blog pages on your site?
Your digital marketing professional can easily help you set up a blog hosted right on your WordPress website or other blogging platform. The harder part is actually creating content that your site visitors (and the Google search engine!) will find valuable and relevant for their particular needs.
Over 70% of customers prefer articles to ads according to recent research. An average blog post from keyword research to publishing takes on average about 3-4 hours to create, which is why many small businesses get professional copywriters to create the content. Many freelancers who specialize in your industry’s topics are available online to help you manage the content development process.
This brief article highlights some of the benefits of blogging and ways your small business can get started.
4. Create Video Content for YouTube
According to the latest video marketing statistics, YouTube is the most popular social media platform for marketers to publish videos on. Nearly nine out of ten (89 percent) marketers say they plan to do video marketing on YouTube.
The same study shows that most people (96 percent) turn to videos to learn more about a particular product and/or service.
Another major trend (especially for service businesses) is the use of video testimonials on your website hosted by YouTube for best performance as well as its search capabilities. Customer testimonials are a valuable way to build trust in your brand. To a potential customer, a testimonial is similar to a personal recommendation for a product or service. They are entertaining, engaging and easy to digest.
The cost and time to put together short videos has dropped significantly in recent years and is easily accessible and manageable to create with a standard smartphone.
5. Ensure your current customers complete an online review for your business
Online reviews are a major part of business these days. It’s just as important for a service business as it is for a product-based company. Nearly all consumers (97%) now use online media when researching products or services in their local area.
It’s a matter of trust. People trust consumer reviews online more than any source other than our own friends or family.
Responding to online reviews is something that many small business owners forget to do, but by responding to online reviews, you not only show the customer that you provide great service, but everyone else who researches your company will see it as well. Just be sure not to respond nastily to negative reviews, or you’ll end up hurting your business more than helping.
In today’s digital world, small businesses must embrace reviews. This means asking customers to leave reviews, monitoring those reviews and taking the time to respond to customers. It also means that you need to share your best reviews on social media as well as use them effectively in your advertising.