Marketing a small business can be tricky. Most smaller operations are working with limited budgets, a small team, and little time. Every move you make has to provide positive returns or you could have wasted valuable resources. While operating online gives a vast amount of choice, it can be difficult to know what will offer the highest return on investment (ROI). The following strategies are perfect for smaller businesses, allowing you to maximize your time and money to reach targeted audiences.
1. Set Realistic Goals and a Timeframe
2. Set Up Social Media Channels
Social media is crucial to a modern marketing plan. Initially, you need to set up accounts on the primary platforms where your audience exists. The main sites are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but you may find you can reach people on additional platforms. Pinterest, for example, has a large female audience, while LinkedIn speaks to business users. Get used to posting consistently on the platforms, engaging with followers and encouraging user-generated content. As you start to amass a following, new promotions will gain more traction.
3. Use Google My Business
Google My Business is useful for local businesses trying to reach customers online. You can set up a profile to drive visitors to a location, offering helpful information to searchers. In most niches, gaining a prominent position for your brand is achievable, so you can get some easy wins. Encourage customers to leave positive reviews, leading to a positive brand experience and higher click-through rate.
4. Implement a Content Marketing Plan
Content marketing can be time-consuming and costly, but the results are currently hard to beat. People are eager to consume quality content, driving them closer to your brand. This process is not something you can cut too many corners with, though, as poor content will only produce negative results. Dedicate resources to producing and syndicating exceptional content that speaks to your audience, whether through articles, videos, images, podcasts or any other format.
5. Work With Influencers
Influencers are in high demand at present, with access to consumers and the trust of your desired audience. While you want to build your own audience, it is also worth reaching existing crowds who follow an influencer. A recommendation from a trusted source can lead to sales, but you can also experience an improvement in your reputation. Influencer marketing is often associated with popular figures, but smaller names in your niche can be effective for small businesses.
6. Gain and Promote Reviews
Reviews play a more crucial role than ever in online marketing. Savvy consumers have gotten used to checking reviews before making purchases, relying on the opinions of others to confirm their decision. A series of negative reviews can dramatically harm the results of a small business, as there is almost always an alternative option. Look to gain reviews from existing customers, making the process straightforward by developing guides. When you have several positive reviews, make sure customers can see them by publishing testimonials on your website and in marketing materials.
Small businesses are reliant on effective marketing strategies, with little room for error. The online world is highly competitive and your ideas can be copied and replicated quickly and easily. You often have limited time to find and engage an audience, with countless distractions for attention. When you follow this marketing strategy, though, you can maximize use of your resources, gaining the attention that will lead to sales.