If you are planning to start a small business or have an existing one, its success depends on how well you market it.
In the US, there are nearly 30 million small businesses that are competing to become successful.
As per a survey of 500 small businesses by Visual Objects, 71% of them plan to increase their social media spending, 29% plan to build a website, 25% plan to use digital marketing, 21% plan to use SEO more, and only 8% plan to use augmented and virtual reality.
Even if you do not have a handsome budget, there is much more for a small business owner to do to attract their target market and maintain their customer base. Thus, focus on marketing strategies to boost your business.
Let’s first understand why marketing is important for your small business and then jump into learning marketing tactics that will actually work for your business.
Importance of Marketing in Small Business
To sustain or grow your business in the market, small business owners need to map appropriate marketing techniques relevant to the type of the business.
Here are the reasons explaining why marketing is important for your business:
Make Your Target Audience Aware of the Existence of Your Business
For a small business, it is easy to get lost in the huge business hub if you fail to have a good marketing strategy.
Your business may offer great products and services, but if your potential customers do not know that you exist, then you will not have sales. Thus, marketing helps you make people aware of your business.
Educate Target Market About Your Product and Services
Effective marketing strategies help small businesses to educate their target audience about the products and services.
Nearly 54% of social media users utilize it for researching products and services.
You can use social media platforms to display your products or email marketing to make people aware of any new product launch.
Give Boost to Your Business Sales
At the end of the day, the existence of your business is to make money.
For nearly 50% of small businesses, driving sales and building brand awareness are the two top marketing priorities. Besides, opting for customer experience automation is another channel that small business owners should take seriously.
Therefore, as long as you are marketing your products and services right, you can always drum up your business sales quickly & easily.
Help You Compete with Larger Businesses
A great marketing program helps small businesses to compete with large businesses for their market share.
Small businesses can provide greater amounts of attention and value to their existing and potential customers with the help of the right marketing tactics.
Marketing Strategies to Set Your Small Business Up for Success
According to the Outbound Engine-Marketing-Survey 2019, 50% of small businesses do not use a dedicated marketing strategy.
Small businesses often have a limited money constraint where they have to cope up with a limited marketing strategy, which obviously, impacts the visibility of the business in the market.
Below are some basic tactics that actually help you to grow your business and can earn a high return on investment:
1- Search Engine Optimization To Rank On Google
SEO is the process of optimizing your business website in a way that makes it easier for search engines to find your business online.
If you have a higher rank on Google, then there are higher chances of attracting customers to your website. Around 49% of small businesses invest in SEO, ignoring the fact that SEO is one of the most impactful ways to generate new leads and grow a business audience.
Best ways to do SEO:
- Create a Google My Business account
- Request reviews from your customers
- Optimize your website with local keywords
- Create blog posts or videos that relate to the local community
- Use location pages
- Focus on getting high-quality backlinks
2- Email Marketing To Target Potential Customers
Email marketing is one of the easiest and budget friendly techniques of marketing strategy. It can also be automated, providing instantaneous communication while reaching a large number of potential buyers.
Around 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months. Email marketers are witnessing their email ROI skyrocket, with the latest numbers of $42 to $1.
Once email addresses have been added to a list, the businesses need to send engaging, valuable, and relevant information to the addresses for the emails to be opened rather than being filtered as spam.
3- Social Media Marketing To Engage And Nurture Customers
Social media marketing is another technique a small business should use to reach a larger audience.
The average time people spend on social media is around 2.5 hours each day. It becomes easier to reach a larger audience through social media. Also, it is one of the inexpensive methods.
You can use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, or Instagram depending on your target audience. For instance, Lines shares regular updates on their Facebook page to engage with sports fans. It helps them nurture their target audiences for more engagement.
Here are the best ways to use social media marketing to grow your small business:
- Create high-quality content that triggers the emotional response of consumers.
- Create social media contests to get your followers tagging their own network.
- Collaborate with influencers for establishing brand trust.
- Create user-generated content using brand hashtags.
- Provide a quick response to your customers’ questions and queries.
4- Pay-Per-Click Advertising To Generate Instant Leads
Pay-Per-Click advertising allows small businesses to display their ads when customers look for certain keywords on search engines. While this can result in a costly bidding war, local markets are frequently less competitive, and the PPC model allows you to keep your spending under control.
Bid on certain keywords like “pharmacy near me” based on factors, such as keyword relevance and landing page quality. Advertising platforms utilize an algorithm to display your ads in the search engine result pages (SERP). You can use Google AdWords and PPC campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.
Here are the best ways to make the most out of pay-per-click advertising for small businesses:
- Create different campaigns for the search network and the display network. If you have a limited budget, then focus on the search network to get a good ROI on your advertising investment.
- Be strategic with your ad’s reach and focus on a specific geographic area.
- Focus on your products that are already popular.
- Boost your quality score by focusing on ad relevance, CTR, and landing page experience.
5- Content Marketing To Improve Branding
Over 91% of businesses use content marketing. In fact, around 70% of consumers learn about a business through an article.
Content marketing focuses on creating and delivering valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and maintain a specific audience. It eventually drives profitable consumer action.
Building a relationship with your consumers and search engines through this technique is quite time-consuming. However, once done correctly, it can position your business as an industry leader and build a long-lasting impact on your audience.
6- Customer Experience Optimization To Retain Customers
Offering a good CX helps to retain customers and promote brand advocacy. With the help of Customer Experience Optimization, your business takes the steps needed to optimize the entire customer journey to acquire, nurture, and retain them for longer.
Investing in customer service is vital to reduce customer frustration and keep them happy. Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your business to others and generate repeat orders leading to long term profits.
Small businesses can definitely grow their business when they follow proven marketing techniques and practices. You should choose a marketing mix rather than going for just one.
It is equally important to evaluate your results and see which strategy is working best for your business. Finally, revisit your marketing strategy and make the necessary changes.
Joydeep Bhattacharya is a digital marketing evangelist and author of SEOsandwitch.com. He is a regular contributor on publications like Wired, SEMrush, Ahrefs, Hubspot and several other sites.