Starting a small business has many challenges, but the results are so rewarding in the end. It is not all about the money.
There is something satisfying about having an idea and seeing it come to fruition. Owning a small business gives you a sense of pride like few other experiences can do.
The key to growing and maintaining your business is getting customers in the door, or if you are online, to your website. It does not happen by itself and takes some effort on your part.
Unless you are a marketer, you might be confused as to how to reach your customers and grow your business. These top 9 timeless small business marketing tips will help you get started.
Make sure to stay to the end, because you won’t want to miss one that will make a big difference to your business.
Easy Ways to Market Your Small Business
#1. Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is the best way to grow your business. There is nothing like a personal recommendation from someone who has bought your products or used your services in the past.
This has been a tried and tested way to get new business since almost the beginning of civilization, and it still holds true today.
The main difference is that today, we have more ways than ever to spread the news about products and services that we like.
Now, these endorsements come in the way of likes and shares, and they have a much wider reach than older forms of spreading the word.
You should treat every interaction with every customer as if it is a piece of advertising because it is.
A good rule is to treat every customer interaction as if they are going to give a report to ten of their friends, and you want it to be a good one.
Always keep this principle in mind and you are set to go far.
#2. Your Website
A website is a necessity for any business no matter how small. In today’s world, if you do not have a website, you do not exist.
People looking for a product or service are more likely to turn to Google than the Yellow Pages. Some people have opted to stop getting the Yellow Pages at their door.
Now, people will go to yellowpages.com, but only a few will still pick up the Yellow Pages and thumb through the pages.
Your website is your storefront, even if you are not making any sales through the site. It is the first thing that people see, and it establishes their first impression of you.
A good website should let people know exactly who you are and what you have to offer. It should provide visitors with valuable content and direct them to purchase something, too.
Putting the time and money into a professional website is money well-spent out of your advertising budget.
#3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is the new form of direct mail marketing. It is still around because it works. The key to successful email marketing campaigns is to not become spammy.
You need to approach it like a newsletter. The most successful email marketing campaigns help solve a problem for your customers and provide valuable information beyond the sales pitch.
The best way not to automatically end up in the spam folder is to make sure you do not continually bug your customers.
There is a fine line between reaching out and keeping in touch and becoming annoying. A regular newsletter is a great way to achieve all of these email marketing goals.
The best part about email marketing is that you can automate the entire process from capturing the email to sending them out automated responses.
You can take advantage of email software that gives you drag-and-drop functionality that allows you to create professional emails quickly and easily.
#4. Social Media
According to a recent survey, 6 out of 10 small businesses felt that they were too small to have a website, but they also feel that having a website and online presence would increase their business by 25% over the next three years.
They are right, and if they combine this with well-targeted social media ads, which have been shown to generate three times more leads than any other type of marketing, they can gain access to many new markets.
Time and effort spent building a social media presence will make your business soar.
More than 78% of all businesses who engage with customers via social media see a significant increase in new customers.
Businesses see the engagement rate the highest from Instagram followed by Facebook and Twitter.
Nearly 25% of all shoppers consult social media before making a purchase.
These statistics don’t lie and give you every reason to take advantage of the low-cost advertising that social media has to offer.
Social media allows you to build a relationship with your customers and let them get to know your business on a more personal level.
#5. Hold Webinars and Training Courses
Holding free webinars and training courses is another excellent way to let your customers get to know you better.
These free courses can help you establish yourself as an authority in your business and help to establish trust in your brand.
This is a two-way street, too. You can interact with your audience through surveys and live feedback to find out what they really want from you.
You can also address any problems or concerns that they might have.
Holding a free webinar or training course can serve as a way to answer questions that your customers might have.
If you need ideas on what they might like to know, going through past comments, your FAQ, and the FAQs of your competitors can help you get some ideas.
During the webinars, you can also conduct polls and surveys to increase engagement and get a better idea of what they want.
The key to success is being well-prepared and being able to anticipate the questions that your audience might want to ask.
#6. Start a YouTube Channel
This marketing tip goes along with holding a webinar or training session. The videos that you post can be informational and promote your products and services at the same time.
The best part is that once you create a video, it will be up there forever. You can reap the benefits of your efforts many years down the road.
As the number of shares, likes, and subscribers grows, your efforts grow, too. This is like free advertising that just keeps having a further reach with very little effort from you.
Every video is an opportunity to get your branding, logo, and unique business in front of new potential customers.
The key to YouTube success is the make a regular posting schedule and stick to it. Some ideas that might spark your creativity include ideas on how to use your products and services, in-depth information, and unboxing videos.
You can also use YouTube as a resource for customer support. For instance, you can show how to assemble the product, troubleshoot it, or how to use it for a certain application.
The ideas are endless, and this is one marketing opportunity that every small business should start using.
#7. Coupons and Promo Codes
Coupons and sales are a time-tested way to draw people into your store.
Brick-and-mortar stores have been doing this for decades, and now you have even more ways to offer them to your customers.
The idea of a sale is not necessarily about selling that particular item, but it can be. The idea is to get people to come to your store and maybe see something else that interests them.
When people know that you often have sales and specials on the front page of your website, it keeps them coming back to see what other great deals you might have to offer.
Don’t be shy about getting your sales and promo codes out through social media, your videos, email campaigns, and other outlets.
The most important thing is to not see it as giving something away for free or next to free, but you need to see it as getting people in the door.
This is one small business marketing strategy that is here to stay.
#8. PPC Advertising
If you are a small business, you might have heard of pay-per-click, or PPC advertising. At first, this might seem inefficient, but there are a few nuances that make it a lucrative prospect to add to your marketing mix.
You might not want to rely on PPC advertising as your only advertising channel, but it is certainly one to consider.
The reason is that rather than using a shotgun approach and sending out a general message, you are using a targeted message that only goes to people who were already interested in something related to your product or service.
You only pay when someone actually clicks on the ad and goes to your page.
This sounds like a great model because you only pay for a successful “hit” on keywords related to your product or business.
The caveat is that once they click on your product or service, it is up to you to keep them there and convert them to a sale.
There is a lot of opportunity in PPC advertising as far as driving traffic is concerned, but you might want to hire a professional so that your campaign pays off through a higher conversion rate per click.
#9. Write an Ebook
That’s right, writing an ebook is an excellent advertising tool for a small business. The reason why is that you can show your audience that you really know your stuff.
Many businesses give short ebooks away as a freebie to those who do things like sign up for a newsletter, request further information, or take some action.
They make the person feel like they got something for free.
If you do not consider yourself to be an author, or if you were a D student in English, you don’t have to worry because there is help available.
You can hire someone to write the text and do everything for you. You can find authors on sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and content production companies who will be happy to ghostwrite your work and allow you to publish it in your own name.
This is an excellent way to attract new leads and get your branding in front of a target audience who is already interested in what you have to offer.
So What’s Next?
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