A small-business marketing strategy will help you build, maintain and reach your customers. A small business can reach a wider audience through online marketing, including social media profiles, email campaigns and a website. You can expand your reach with traditional marketing techniques such as billboards, flyers and print ads. However, you also have the option of “experiential” workshops or pop-up events where customers can experience your products and brands.
Your goals, customer base and market niche will all influence your marketing strategy. Here are some ways to get started.
Define your marketing goals
First, determine what your goals are for your marketing campaign. Next, consider how your campaign can help you achieve them. Identify your unique selling proposition, or USP. This is what sets your business apart from the rest and should be highlighted in marketing materials.
As you develop your marketing strategies, your business plan that you created when you started your business can be very useful. You’ve probably already done the research to find out the market and created a plan for marketing and selling your products and services.
You can use numbers (e.g. website visitors, leads generated customers gained or revenue grown), when you are defining your marketing goals to make it easier for you to track and measure your success and evaluate your efforts.
Each business will have its marketing goals, but here are some metrics that you might want to track:
Engagement rates of social media content.
Conversion rates between browsers and buyers.
Effective small-business marketing contributes to brand awareness, which is the ability to reach people with tangible goals. Your marketing efforts can build a positive reputation over time and help customers stay loyal, which is crucial to your business’s long-term success.
Understanding your market
Once you have established your marketing goals, identify your target audience. This is the group of people most likely to purchase the products or services offered by your business. Reaching out to existing customers is one way to identify this audience. You can do this by calling, emailing, or in-person.
Learn what your customers like about your company and the products or services it offers. Also, find out how you can improve. This is a great opportunity to collect data about your target audience’s demographics such as their age, gender and location. Ask them what platforms they use the most to shop and discover new brands. Make sure your business is present in these spaces.
Small business marketing
Online marketing is a key area for many businesses. A digital presence can be a cost-effective and effective way to reach customers.
Create a website for your business
Your small-business marketing strategy should include a website that explains your business and offers information about the products and services you offer. You may need an e-commerce site to sell your products online, depending on the type of business you have. You should include contact information for your business, as well as the address and operating hours of any brick-and-mortar locations.
A website is important for your business to appear in the results page of web searches. You want your website to appear in the top results regardless of whether someone searches for your company name or the products and services you offer.
Optimizing your website can improve its visibility. You should consider an e-commerce website designer that emphasizes search engine optimization (or SEO) best practices. Also, make sure you use the right keywords to describe your business and what it offers.
Google Search Console and Google Analytics are website analytics tools that provide data on how visitors interact and how long they stay on your site. These metrics can help you optimize your website for your customers’ browsing preferences and preferences.
Create social media accounts
NerdWallet’s October 2022 survey found that 42% of Americans use social networking platforms to find small businesses. You can create business accounts on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter to help potential customers find you and allow you to interact with existing customers.
You should choose social media platforms that are appropriate for your business and that you can manage on a regular basis. Also, you will want to create business profiles for Google, Yelp, and other similar platforms.
These are some tips to help you manage your social media strategy.
Share high quality images of your products and behind-the scenes moments with your employees. Live chats about your business.
Get exclusive discounts and updates about upcoming events.
Make time to reply to comments and DMs.
Encourage customers and employees to share their experiences with your company. Tag your business account so that you can repost the post.
Manage all of your social media accounts using a content management platform like Hootsuite or Sprout Social.
Start email marketing campaigns
Email remains a key component of any well-rounded marketing strategy, even with the advent of social media. An effective email campaign can be cost-effective and return around $36 for every $1.
Create a plan to get the best out of this channel.
Frequency: Daily or weekly, biweekly, monthly, or any other frequency. It is possible to allow recipients to choose which emails or frequency they want from your company.
Type of campaign: This will determine which type of email campaign is most effective. Newsletters, drip campaigns and product updates are just a few examples.
MailChimp is a popular email service provider. HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, MailChimp and Drip are all good options.
Build your email list: Use your existing customer base, leads and social media accounts to build your email list.
Write a compelling subject line for your email to get your recipient to open it. Keep your emails short and to-the-point. Use conversational language. Include links to social media profiles, and include a call-to-action to direct recipients to your website or storefront.
Consider paying advertising
There are many ways to pay for online advertising. These are some of the most common ways to advertise online:
Buy ad space on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Sponsoring a podcast.
Partnering up with influencers to promote your products and services on their platforms.
Pay-per-click advertising is where you pay a fee every time someone clicks your online advertisement, up to a budget.
Other marketing strategies for small businesses
An integrated marketing strategy for small businesses leverages more than just online campaigns.
Traditional marketing strategies are a great way to attract buyers from your community, especially if you have a brick-and mortar location. Foot traffic can also contribute to your monthly sales. Examples include:
Direct mail campaigns with postcards, brochures and letters.
Trade shows and fairs for farmers, markets, and other events.
Print advertising, including magazines, newspapers and coupon books, as well as billboards.
Broadcast advertising via podcasts, radio and television.
Open house in your store with food and swag.
Promotional merchandise like pens, keychains, and tote bags.
Business cards and flyers.
Connecting with local entrepreneurs to build a network.
Offers such as giveaways, flash sales, free trials, and discounts for customers who leave reviews or testimonials.
Experiential marketing’s goal is not to sell products, but to increase brand awareness and build brand loyalty. Your goal is to create an experience that makes the consumer feel connected to your brand and encourages them tell their family, friends, and coworkers about you.
Workshops, tutorials and tours of your facility, competitions, pop-up shops, giveaways and concerts are all examples of events that fall under experiential marketing.
Caroline Goldstein is a freelance writer who contributed to this article.
This article was originally published on Fundera, a subsidiary to NerdWallet.