Have you ever wondered why many small businesses fail while others are successful?
Do the successful ones have some secret recipe for success?
Well, the recipe is in the right blend of marketing strategies for small businesses.
So let us discuss these marketing strategies that do not require a huge budget and are easy to implement.
Points to note before creating marketing strategies
The key decisions you should take before formulating a marketing strategy affect the outcome of the strategy itself. Here are the points to consider.
- Define your target customers and find out where they exist both online and offline
- Identify the sector, industry or category in which your business exists
- What is the unique benefit that you are providing to the customers which none of your competitors are offering?
- Identify the strategies that your competitors are using to win customers
Once you have made the key decisions before formulating the marketing strategies for small businesses, you have done the essential groundwork upon which you can work further.
It is so important for small businesses to have a well-defined marketing strategy that is aligned with the objectives because then the organization will move towards their achievement.
The efforts will be directed in the right direction.
8 best marketing strategies for small businesses
1. Define a goal and budget for the marketing efforts
Depending upon the type of business, goals can be getting more traffic to the website, lead generation, brand building exercise, an engaged social media community, buying a product, downloading an ebook or a guide which you have used as a Lead Magnet in your content strategy etc.
Since small businesses are a little tight on budget, you have to decide beforehand how much you can spend comfortably.
Although we will focus on very low budget strategies, yet for online or offline marketing some budget has to be allocated.
2. Go local and use Google’s local offerings
Google My Business (GMB) is a very helpful tool for having an online presence when you register on the platform.
Your listing appears right when people are searching for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search or Maps.
It is very helpful especially for local offerings where you have to target local customers or clients. This will give you a very good exposure without spending a penny.
3. Social media that works
Although these are free tools, it is not important to be present on all the social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc.
Each one may not work for you.
Analyze where your target customers are and then focus on those platforms only. For example, if your customers are on Facebook, you may focus on Facebook ads.
These are pretty easy to set up. You just need headline, descriptive copy and the headline link. They can be targeted on the basis of age, sex, location etc. If visual content is more important for your business then Instagram can be a very good social media.
People look for business on social media and your chance to be found out can be great by going social. Word of mouth also happens there and engagement is possible in an informal way without appearing too pushy.
4. The indispensable email marketing
This is the cornerstone of digital marketing and one of the most important marketing strategies for small businesses. It is low cost and very easy to setup and track.
Once you have built up an email list, it gets so much easier to communicate with the prospects and customers. To get more sign-ups, you may use a ‘Lead Magnet‘ which is essentially offering something compelling on your website that urges people to sign-up for your newsletters.
5. Keyword Research and SEO
We all know that content marketing is important for your business. You have to work on the SEO and write keyword researched articles to be found easily in Google search.
This does not require any investment of money.
6. Content Marketing
Content marketing can be done well if you have a clear blog content strategy written down.
This includes blog posts, podcasts, webinars etc. Select that content which has a payoff. It is one of the best strategies of companies on a small budget.
INFLUENCER MARKETING: This is a part of content marketing. Identify the influencers in your business field and leverage the power of their audience to spread the word around for your business.
Influencers have a huge audience and you don’t need to find more traffic or create shareable content. They can create a high impact content on a budget.
7. Networking or Referrals
Network with people to grow your business as word-of-mouth publicity is also important.
For getting referrals, contact five people you know and ask them to introduce you to 5 others who may be able to give ideas or have a talk around your business.
Meet each one of them and listen to the insights, ideas and suggestions they have for your business. You will be surprised by the brilliant ideas that crop up from these discussions.
8. Google AdWords (paid strategy)
This can be a bit more expensive depending on the competition in your domain of business. In this, you basically create an ad for your business that appears in inorganic search results whenever someone types the keywords for your advertisement.
You have to set the budget for keywords and when somebody clicks on your advertisement, you pay Google. This also requires expertise and cost.
So, be very careful if you use this as one of the marketing strategies for small businesses. If used wisely, this can give your business a good start.
No matter whichever marketing strategies you use, it is important to do them properly and measure the success to see which works for your business.