Tried and True Small Business Marketing Strategies
For the owners of a local coffee shop or a neighborhood dance studio, the word marketing may have an alien sound to it. Many people (small business owners included) may think of marketing as something from the ‘big leagues,’ and instead focus on people-to-people interactions. After all, marketing agency Infusionsoft recently found that nearly two-thirds of small businesses saw word-of-mouth as a top 3 marketing strategy.
While in-person customer referrals certainly remain beneficial for small businesses, the Internet provides new opportunities to employ updated small business marketing strategies. Online tools and social media give small business owners an efficient and cost-effective way to market their message. While there are many tools and platforms, this post explores some of the most ‘tried and true’ small business marketing strategies today.
We are at the height of the Information Age, and one of the most effective and inexpensive means for small businesses to connect with their customers is to share information online. This can take a variety of forms. First and foremost, successful small business marketing strategies nearly always include the use of a blog. A small business can use a blog to announce news, share unique stories about clients, and discuss information relevant to their customers. A blog is a necessity or the modern small business, not only because it engages customers on a new level, but also helps with SEO and page ranking. Other ways to curate content include creating and sharing videos, and even sharing what you are reading and what you find interesting on your personal and business social media pages.
Utilize Online Tools
In today’s world of social media and Google, there is a plethora of tools that aid in the realization of small business marketing strategies. Many of these tools are free, and most paid services are relatively inexpensive. One of the best free tools for a small business to utilize is Google Maps. It is simple (and completely free) to create a listing and location for a small business, and comes with a variety of benefits. The listing will not only direct potential customers to a business when they are in the area, but also usually raises a business’ Google search ranking, and allows customers to review the business on the listing. Facebook also represents an inexpensive yet effective means of enacting small business marketing strategies. While simply posting to a small business page is important, it may be beneficial to utilize Facebook’s sponsored stories. For $5-$10 per day, a small business can reach a substantially larger audience than usual. Small businesses can start by allocating $50 to test specific stories and ads, and move forward based on the feedback.
Specify Your Strategy
Whether online or offline, it is crucial for business owners to ask specific questions of their small business marketing strategies: “Who are we serving, what are we doing, and why are we doing it?” These questions ought to define target customers, the business category, the benefit the business offers, and the difference between the small business and its competitors. Defining these factors should allow a small business to communicate what it does in one, clear sentence, remain consistent in its target audience, and maintain focus in all marketing communication. The small business with a specific, defined marketing strategy should prove more successful in the long run.