Marketing remains essential for small businesses. It allows them to compete with others. But it also allows them to sell products and services. And it enables them to become profitable and grow. But the ways to market your small business seem endless. So how do you know which marketing tactics will be right for you?
Marketing Best Practices
Fortunately you’ll find some help below. Check out these 20 marketing best practices for small business owners.
Set Attainable Goals
Don’t start your marketing efforts without this tip. Start by setting attainable goals. You must keep your goals realistic. And make them something you can stick to. But how do you set these attainable goals? Begin by determining your current position in the market. Then decide what you want to achieve.
Shanelle Mullin, Director of Marketing at Onboardly, tells marketing guru Neil Patel:
“The key to setting achievable marketing goals is to spend time evaluating your current position. Many startups set lofty, unattainable goals and end up discouraged, which can be detrimental in the early days. On the other hand, some startups set easy, insignificant goals and end up missing out on growth potential.”
Define Your Target Market
Consider this key ingredient to successful marketing. Ensure your campaigns reach your target markets. Again begin prior to starting a marketing strategy. You need to have defined your target market. And consider the age, gender, interests, location, consumer habits and other factors of your target customer.
Establish a Clear Brand Identity
Prepare yourself to communicate what your business does. And also figure out how to demonstrate what your brand stands for. Project a clear identity. Because customers and prospective customers must identify with your brand. Establish a clear brand identity through the right name, logo, colors and imagery. Do all of this before you start a marketing campaign.
Have a Website
We are now firmly entrenched in the digital era where website are the window to virtually any type of business.
In fact, with nearly two-thirds of small businesses relying on website to connect with customers, if you haven’t already got one, now’s the time to make designing a website a key marketing practice priority.
Use Facebook Advertising
With more than three million businesses advertising of Facebook, this method of marketing is a practice no small business can afford to ignore. Facebook advertising excels at target marketing, so you’ll need to have defined your target market before setting up Facebook advertising.
Use More Than One Channel
Despite the importance of Facebook advertising, when it comes to marketing avoid ‘putting your eggs in one basket.’ Instead use multiple channels, both online and offline, to extend the reach of your brand to as many people as possible and to determine which channels are most effective for your business.
Use Google My Business
Small businesses should not ignore Google My Business as an effective marketing practice. By listing your business on this free marketing channel you’ll enjoy better search visibility, gain customer insights and be able to display useful information to help customers find you.
Prepare for a Google AdWords Campaign
Google AdWords is a tried and tested marketing method for small businesses, hailed as one of the “most productive and quickest methods for bringing huge traffic on the verge of converting.”
Before starting a Google AdWords campaign, you should sufficiently prepare for it by setting a proper budget, finding the right keywords and creating landing pages that bear significance.
Be Mindful of SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of creating a website to help businesses rank higher on the search engines, which, in turn, brings more potential customers to their site, eventually increasing conversion rates.
When designing a website or other online portal such as social media profiles, you should therefore be mindful of SEO and the benefits incorporating relevant keywords into online marketing portals is likely to bring to your business.
Don’t Discount Email Marketing
Email marketing has long been a simple, cost-effective way to drive revenue for small businesses. Every time you add a new subscriber to your email list, they are a potential paying customer and therefore time and effort should ideally be put into developing email marketing campaigns.
Make Emails Mobile-Friendly
With a whopping 66% of emails now being opened on mobile devices, to optimize the success of email marketing campaigns, you will need to make your emails mobile-friendly by using mobile responsive templates that automatically adapt emails to mobile formats.
Prioritize Content Marketing
Research shows that in 2016, 18% of marketers said content marketing had the greatest commercial impact on their business.
When planning different marketing strategies for your small business, ensure they include the creation and sharing of quality, unique content through the likes of blogs and social media posts.
Combine Online and Offline Marketing Strategies
Again, avoiding putting “all your eggs in one basket” by concentrating solely on online or offline media. Instead, combine online channels like blogs and social media with traditional, offline marketing practices such as newspaper and radio advertising to help extend your reach as far as possible.
Share Your Knowledge
Don’t be afraid to use your expertise to your commercial advantage by sharing your knowledge of your particular business or niche through the likes of YouTube tutorials, webinars, blogs and more.
Promote Free Consultations
Another effective marketing strategy for small business owners is to promote free consultations of your services that enable prospective customers to effectively ‘try before they buy.’
Network Online and Offline
Attending networking sessions, both online on portals like LinkedIn and offline by attending networking sessions in person, is an effective marketing practice for small business owners.
Join Local Business Groups
One effective way to physically network and to showcase your business is to join local business groups where you’ll have the opportunity to meet like-minded people and share common business stories and goals.
Send Out Surveys
Customer feedback is a powerful tool for small business owners, as WordStream writes, “Look for feedback, because the best companies are constantly improving.”
Make Applications for Awards
You might be a small business but that doesn’t mean to say you can’t win a fantastic business award. Being an “award-winning business” can be one of the most effective ways to boost your business’s credibility and success.
Be Different and Stand Out
It might sound obvious but in order to ensure your small business gets noticed, you need to make being different and standing out a key marketing practice. Tips to ensure you stand out include taking a controversial stand on industry trends and issues and publishing striking content that nobody can resist.