Operating as a small business puts you in a bit of a conundrum. You have a lot of room for growth but maybe not quite the budget to make it happen. And when it comes to marketing ideas for small businesses, you have to either put in the time or the dollars.
Now, since the key to any successful small business is to make every penny (and every minute) count, we want to help out!
In this day and age, digital marketing provides you with the best avenues to connect your brand with your audience. Yet figuring out where to start can be really daunting, especially when you don’t have previous experience.
So, to give you the best shot at it – and avoid a lot of learning-curve headaches – we’ve put together a list of tried-and-true marketing strategies for small businesses that want to take off this year.
Nowadays, when you need a reliable and low-cost way to get your brand out there, social media is usually the place to start.
Not only can you find most population segments across all the different social media platforms, but you can engage them on their own terms – which can be a great way to concentrate your marketing efforts on audiences that fit your business best!
And what does “engage audiences on their own terms” mean?
Well, it can mean different things in different niches, but filling your company’s social media presence to the brim with overtly promotional content tends to be detrimental to a social media strategy.
You should always try to reflect your target audience’s interests in your feed’s content.
Of course, a dash of promotion should always be present, but your primary focus for these strategies should be to provide useful, appealing, and interesting content that delivers value to your burgeoning audience. And there’s no better way to do so than to get to know what your audience wants!
So, when looking to implement community marketing as a small business, the first step is to get an accurate picture of who your ideal audience is. Then, start tailoring your social media content to their tastes.
Remember, we all want to be part of something; share mutual interests with peers. So, if you make sure your community marketing strategy provides that, people will come flocking to your brand.
Once you have a sizable community, you can start thinking about implementing more directly monetizable social media marketing strategies, like PPC Ads, or even in-app shopping.
With so much attention centered on “going viral”, one might forget the true jewel on the digital marketing crown – video content – and how to get the most out of it.
No, we are not talking about your run-of-the-mill, thirty-seconds Instagram reels. Those are all well and good and do have their marketing purposes. However, we are talking well-developed, multi-platform, multimedia content that not only gets the message across, but does so in style.
Now, a great video marketing piece can be a powerful attention and conversion-generating tool. But the best video in the world will do little for your company if nobody sees it!
So, the moment you invest in a flagship video to represent your brand or product, you also need to consider how to get the most out of it.
Email strategies are usually a great place to start. Putting the mail listing you already have to good use and following up on your leads with engaging video content could be a game-changer. You know they’re already interested in your brand or a product – it’s just a matter of reeling them all the way in with a great piece.
Your company’s website can be another powerful marketing tool that synergizes extremely well with video content. As a single, well-made video at the right time (or in this case, in the correct section of your site) can do what dozens of text landing pages won’t.
On the other hand, if your fledgling company is more focused on social presence as means of promotion – with smaller size comes more agility – established video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo can be a powerful driver of eyes and attention.
And if you want to start leveraging video but don’t have the budget to do live-action content that is up to par, animation can be a godsend.
Animation lets you produce visually compelling, engaging, and extremely distinctive pieces of content, which come great when you need to stand out from the crowd without breaking the bank – which is probably why so many small business marketing companies are going the animation route lately.
A contextual marketing strategy consists in personalizing the customers’ experience across the whole buyer’s journey.
Your goal here is to have the customer feel special and valued. To show that your company understands them, and is there to offer a fitting solution… But not just “to everyone”. To them in particular.
Having everything tailored to the consumer’s needs softens the hard corners of the shopping experience, making it a smooth path to customer satisfaction. And it doesn’t hurt that this approach’s ROI is one of the best among these marketing strategies for small businesses, too.
Now, contextual marketing can take many forms when it comes to implementation, but at its core, is all about effective segmentation. And the great news is that audience segmentation has never been easier.
All it takes is for you to employ one of the many tools available for it online and dive deep into hard data. We are talking about demographics, affinity, behavior… the whole nine yards.
Start with Google Analytics. With this helpful – and free – tool you can learn how your customers find your brand, who they are, what content they’re engaging with, and so much more. But the list doesn’t stop there. Kissmetrics is another popular option, for example, and one especially centered on the customer journey, too!
With either of these options, you’ll be able to fully tailor every piece of marketing content you produce to appeal specifically to your audience. Making every step of the journey feel personal and engaging won’t only drive sales, but build trust in your brand as well.
Having said all that, be careful not to overdo it.
Even though they will appreciate the personalization, customers probably won’t enjoy the fact that you’re using their data if they feel manipulated. So make sure you are being subtle, and actually using data to genuinely improve their experience.
Influencer marketing refers to the promotion of a product, service, or brand, through public figures relevant to your audience or niche. And if you are looking to jumpstart your online presence, this is an excellent way.
Partnering up with an influencer – a relevant figure or personality in your niche – allows you to leverage their (presumably) sizable audience and reputation. Not to mention their pre-existing personal connection with the potential consumers will get your message through much more effectively.
However, this marketing strategy will only work if you put in the work beforehand.
Assuming you have your ideal target well defined, you will only need to find influencers that already appeal to such an audience, or have a robust presence or pre-existing rapport with them.
For this influencer marketing strategy to work best, the influencer’s engagement with your brand needs to feel natural and organic. This isn’t meant to be a sales pitch, but more of a sincere recommendation from the influencer to their audience, as friends.
Content marketing is a strategy that can seem counterintuitive at first on a list of marketing ideas for small businesses. After all, it consists of offering top-notch, relevant content related to your niche; be it via your blog, online queries’ answers, or guest blogging.
But isn’t that giving away the store? Well, quite the opposite.
As you put out highly valuable content, the audience starts to see you as an authority on the field. Being generous with your knowledge will probably keep the audiences most likely to be interested in your products coming back for more information relevant to your area of expertise.
The secret to doing content marketing right? Sit down to think and plan what topics – related to your products – are relevant to your public at the current moment, and which ones are basic, forever-useful ones. These last ones are known as evergreen, while the former is your topical content.
Now, we wouldn’t be talking about marketing strategies for small businesses here if there wasn’t a strategy to it.
You should dish out your content keeping a healthy balance between both types. Topical will make you seem up to the times and bring day-to-day traffic your way, while evergreen content is the gift that keeps on giving as it cements your authority and is likely to keep people coming for an extended period.
Intertwine in there some conversion mechanisms here and there – CTAs, exclusive content in exchange for contact info/email – and do proper SEO to your content, and you can nurture a constant stream of potential customers coming your way with little to no monetary investment.
For those who have already implemented marketing ideas for small businesses such as producing content, this little-thought-of strategy can be a game-changer. Repurpose marketing means giving a second life to the content you have produced in the past.
As fruit in a bowl, your content decays over time. It becomes outdated and less and less relevant as time goes by. Even evergreen content gets stale eventually!
But if you followed some of our previous marketing strategies for small businesses and already have been producing high-quality content, then it would be a squandering – of time and money – to take it down or let it waste away. What then? Tighten the loose screws, a fresh coat of paint, and your content can be as good as new!
Start by identifying the content that is worth revamping. After all, you can’t get away with the same over and over again, forever.
Focus your energy on your best-performing evergreen content, the one that still keeps bringing traffic your way after months – or longer! Those are going to be your best players.
Keep your best content updated and relevant, adding as much value as you can each time.
As for your topic content, consider the possibility of having guest bloggers bring the latest and freshest. It is a mutually beneficial enterprise, as they provide good content and you lend your authority to them. Very popular in small business marketing agencies!
When it’s all said and done, true recycling can begin – the final tidbit in our marketing strategies for small businesses. Here are some fast and easy ways to repurpose content across formats and make the most out of it:
What a journey! Started up looking for growth opportunities and ended as an expert in the latest trends in digital marketing.
And as you could see, no small business marketing companies required. Just the will and the way – namely, the internet.
You will most likely see, as you start employing these marketing strategies for small businesses, a sudden influx of people curious about your brand. Don’t lose the momentum! Polish up your best content across all your platforms and get ready to engage them right away.
Now go get them!