Small businesses must come out with unique marketing strategies if they want to be ahead of competitors. Although, the conventional ways of marketing a product or service are still relevant but try using them along with new strategies to reach out to the audience.
For example, inviting the potential customers to an event that displays your products or services is a traditional approach to spreading a good word for your business. But you cannot win consumers solely by organizing such events since modern people are busy and you should be searching them everywhere to interact with them. So, use a whole gamut of marketing tactics, old and new, instead of relying on a few ones only.
Before we discuss the most important marketing strategies small business should take up, we assume that you have done some basic research work. For instance, we understand that you know your market and customers well. If you do not know, then research the existing conditions in your niche market where you want to sell your products or services.
Research your target customers also. After all, a major aim of your marketing plans is to win your potential customers and their loyalty. Find out your customers’ educational, social and financial backgrounds so that you reach out to them well prepared.
Most importantly, you must precisely know where your potential consumers hang out online. You will be targeting those social channels specially to take your business to the target audience.
We also assume that you boast of a creative and user-friendly website design for your small business. An impressive website design with relevant information of your business is essential to do business.
Here Are 13 Best Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses In 2017
1. Use Google My Business
One of the most powerful marketing strategies for your small business is to use Google My Business to your advantage. Your business listing gets a promotion on the GMB. For businesses targeting local markets, this platform is a powerful marketing medium. The listing appears at top half of the search page ahead of the search results.
So, try to get your small business in the top listings. If your marketing team is able to get your business listings in the top 3 listings, you are bound to get an enormous amount of traffic, which solely can bring you huge business without spending much on ads.
Google My Business is the platform that combines all the other Google marketing tools such as Google+. Google Analytics, Google Reviews Google Insights and Google Maps profile.
GMB is a creditable way to ensure that your potential customers take notice of your small business more often. What is more, you do not have to work hard to rank your GMB listings higher. All you need to do is to optimize your profile. Then, get some reviews and citation for your company’s small business.
2. Pair Your Strategy With Google AdWords
Google AdWords is an old but proven online marketing channel. It may be a bit expensive but it is competitive and if you are a master of exploring this platform, you will reap the benefits. If you are doing your on-page SEO perfectly, it will deliver you the relevant search results to drive traffic.
Depending on your CTR [Click Through Rate] and the amount of traffic your landing page gets from your ad, Google assigns a quality score to your ad. Your bid cost will be reduced if your ad score is higher.
AdWords is your marketing tool to get the results immediately. For maximum output, it would be good if you pair this channel with your other marketing strategies.
3. Explore Content Marketing
You should create relevant content showcasing your business values and the care you take to resolve people’s problems with your products or services. Then, distribute the content through a wide range of channels online. This way of content marketing is a proven tactic to drive the traffic towards your business from varied sources.
However, you need to have some patience, as the results will take time to materialize. Content marketing should be your strategy for a sustainable growth of visitors and customers of your business in the long term.
But make sure that you produce quality content on relevant topics. You must also optimize the content for SEO and readers.
Along with written content, pay equal attention also to videos, online courses, podcasts, infographics and many other forms of content. Note that content marketing is not just about writing and distributing big posts. But make sure that you formulate a perfect content marketing strategy specifically for your small business.
4. Create Facebook Ads
Facebook advertising is another effective strategy that your small business can benefit from immensely. For small entrepreneurs, Facebook is an inexpensive platform to reach out to virtually any audience.
You can place Facebook ads to target your specific set of consumers based on their location, online behavior, sex, age etc. It should be among your top marketing strategies for small business.
You do not require experienced people to use this social platform for marketing. Only few steps such as creating a catchy headline and adding some description, an image and a link to the ad is good enough to draw the attention of the audience to your ad and business.
Facebook Ads Manager will guide you to create, run and test many ad tests so that you can find out which ad formula is catching attention of your consumers.
5. Partner With Other Brands
Small business can reach out to more people by collaborating with other ventures. This is an effective way of marketing your products or services as you are using the consumers of the other ventures for promoting your products.
For example, if you are a beauty therapist, you can approach a hair stylist with the proposal of offering free manicure to its clients. In this way, you will advertise your small business amid the ready-made clients of the other enterprise. Similarly, your coffee shop can provide free vouchers to the other businesses such as a plumber’s customers.
6. Use Social Media
A majority of your target customers are on different social channels. Most of your target audience is using social media for customer support. Your small business must be present on all the major social platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Make sure that you devote your time to efforts for the growth of your social media audience. Many clever marketing professional invest a lot of time and money toward building their social media presence.
So, find out which social channels your audience is using more and make special marketing plans to target such channels.
7. Promote On Coupon Deal Sites
Coupon deal sites have massive number of your target consumers. You should explore marketing opportunities presented by big coupon deal sites like Groupon. Even big businesses offer limited-time-discounts to their members on these sites.
You can easily target local advertising on the coupon deal sites. Your brand awareness amongst the audience increases manifold and new customers come searching for your small business.
Keep in mind that your main purpose of using coupon deal sites should not be to earn profit and sales. The purpose should be to generate awareness about your small and unknown business by encouraging people to try your products.
8. Advertise In Print Media
Print media such as newspapers and magazines have large readership. A reputed newspaper reaches to a huge number of people from different educational and social backgrounds. In fact, newspapers are read by almost all section of populations. This means that your advertisements of products or services will catch attention of people who rely more on print media for detailed news and views.
Many retail consumers take their purchasing decisions based on the information they get from advertisements in newspapers. Your small enterprise can now afford placing ads in print media as the advertisements rates have decreased over the years.
Make sure that you combine print media with online marketing strategies.
9. Explore Webinars
Webinars are also seen by marketing experts as a potential strategy to draw customers to a business. A webinar is a seminar conducted online in varied forms such as demonstration, discussion and presentation.
Often, clever marketers use webinars to generate a larger email list. People who join a webinar have to give their details such as name, phone number and email. So, your small business can generate a larger number of emails this way. You can then use these emails to promote your products or services. Webinar marketing is surely a great way to promote your small business steadily.
As compared to simple videos, webinars are far more engaging because of the live Q&A sessions for the subscribers. When they get answers to their specific queries, they feel special and satisfied.
10. Help Others By Offering Free Consultation
People want help from experts. You can use their urge for help by offering your expert views on a problem free to them. If you can position yourself as an authority in your niche and provide free consultation, it will help generate new leads.
The people who need your expertise on a product or service will be impressed by your free service. In return, many of them will buy your products as their way of thanking you. By offering your free consultation, you are helping your potential customers in making a right purchasing decision. Also, one can use referral software such as Omnistar through which your customer would refer your company to others.
But this marketing tactic will work more efficiently if your small business offers expert services or high-priced products, which need an informed buying decision.
11. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a time-tested way to convince the consumers about the usefulness of a product or service. Remember that many people want to have more information and convincing before making a purchasing decision.
To gather email addresses of your potential customers, you will offer them something enticing such as a free download, a ‘seat’ at a webinar, a coupon, a free service trial and so on. When a person subscribes to your free offerings, you include one more member in your email list.
Email marketing is a low-cost strategy that you can use to enhance your global reach of business. You can send emails in an automatic way without wasting your time. Emails are easy to setup and run and you can establish communication with your consumers immediately.
12. Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail marketing is a conventional way of business promotion. Many small businesses still use it effectively. Since online channels already have a massive amount of content, people want to be engaged in a different way.
But you need to make your direct mail attractive to draw the recipients’ attention. Start with creating an eye-catching envelope design and make it appear bulky so that people open it to satisfy their curiosity. Use all the tricks such as creating unique shapes of envelope, use attractive colors, make envelope lumpy to grab the attention.
Make sure that the letter inside of envelope has a compelling content for the best results. Right from the headline to the main body of the letter, everything must send your message to the readers in quick time.
13. Offer Incentives To Your Staff
You should use your own employees to promote your business. This is also a marketing strategy to get new customers. Your employees know about your business more than the outsiders do. After all, they know your product or service inside out.
Just offer some incentives to the staff. For example, you can offer financial rewards to the employees who refer new clients or bring in new business. You can offer these incentives in money and in various other ways such as vouchers for restaurants, movies, membership to publications etc.
To conclude, these marketing ideas will surely help you in promoting your products or services among your target consumers. You must devote time and money to reap benefits from these strategies.