Today, the market is extremely conducive, welcoming, and accommodative for any number of businesses. Therefore, one can see many small businesses thriving in the market. However, every business needs to compete with the peers in the industry. For all those who want to succeed, the solution is effective marketing both offline and online.
In the current competitive scenario, marketing is that tool that can make or break a business. A well-defined marketing strategy not only helps you to reach out to your target audience but also helps you to increase your business and enhance its brand value. Of late, business owners are aware of the importance of marketing and thus keep a definite fund aside for it.
Marketing is a vast subject and therefore, you need to choose the best marketing practices that would suit your business and help it grow. Here are the most effective 51 marketing strategies for small businesses from experts that would certainly help you.
Online marketing has come a long way but of late with the digital wave, it has picked up great momentum. Banking on the digital world, the once minimalistic online marketing today has many avenues to reach the target audience apart from the website. Here are a few online marketing strategies to help small businesses explore various online channels to inform and attract potential customers.
Rosy Strategies is a South Florida based company that offers online marketing services. Here are a few strategies from one of the blogs published on their website.
1. Spend on content: When considering online marketing, the ideal way to reach out to your audience is creating quality and long-form content regularly. This can be done through blogs, articles, and whitepapers. You can also think of publishing content on online news portals or magazines. This will contribute a lot to your exclusive online marketing campaign by creating brand awareness.
2. Compatible with mobile: With smartphones, life has shrunk into our hands. Therefore, when you are planning your online presence through your website, do ensure that it is compatible with mobiles as well. Therefore, it is mandatory to have a mobile-friendly website to avoid any sort of customer dissatisfaction.
3. Voice search: These days voice search has become quite popular with the majority of smartphone users. Therefore, to take advantage of voice search, you must think of and carry out a research to know the frequently asked questions about your niche and try and answer them with clarity on your website.
Abhishek Bhattacharjee is a blogger with deep knowledge of marketing startups and small businesses.
4. E-mail marketing: This is one way of reaching the targeted audience in an effective way. Touch base with your existing and prospective clients through a professional mail. This is a prudent way to begin an association that can later lead to business.
5. SEO is the key: Focusing on search engine optimization is like the basic mandate for any business to build online visibility. This is an effort wherein you wish to increase the visibility of your brand when anyone searches for your business online.
6. Social media marketing: We are living in an era wherein there is hardly anyone who is not there on some or the other social media marketing platform. Therefore, businesses, who wish to reach out to a wider audience in an economical yet effective way, must surely tap on social media marketing.
In the current digital world, anything and everything begins with a Google search. Therefore, the first target should be to make your business visible online to anyone who searches for the product or service you offer. For this, you must ensure that all the components of your website are well optimized so that whenever anyone searches for anything related to your product, your brand name and your website appears in top search results. Here are a few worth considering SEO marketing strategies by experts.
Justin Wong is a leading digital strategist at Curve Communications specializing in social media, SEO, and inbound marketing. Here are some insights from him to enhance your SEO marketing.
7. Effective Google Business profile: For a top position in search listings, you must have a solid Google presence and business listings. For this, the first essential element is to have a well-designed and informative company profile on Google. Here the business category you select plays a key role in communicating Google about your business niche. So, do a detailed breakdown of your business category.
8. Relevant content: What you write about yourself should be what the audience is seeking for. In short, your content should explain what you can provide to your audience. Complementing this mandate, see to it that content is search engine friendly. i.e. dapped with relevant keywords in the right density.
9. Credibility: Another important aspect of SEO is to build your credibility in the digital space. Therefore, it is essential to build links wherein external pages are linked to your website, which signifies that other websites believe in your content. Thus, the higher the number of external links to your site, the better is the ranking in the search engine.
10. Reviews: Good reviews are like report cards of your products. The goal should be to have maximum reviews as they increase the search engine rankings. However, due attention must be paid to keeping the reviews authentic.
Art Anthony is a market analyst and author at App Institute who discusses various marketing strategies, and how they can help businesses to excel in his blogs and articles.
11. Writing naturally is important: Many a times, in the effort to infuse keywords, one tends to neglect the fact that the beauty of SEO writing is in providing useful and original content that is well-written. Therefore, aim to provide good, relevant and quality content on all the pages of your website. However, remember that extra care must be taken for what is written on your homepage. If the homepage is impactful with relevant information, one would definitely run through the website.
12. Keep an eye on your competitor: As you pay attention to how your business is performing on the search engine, it is equally important to know what your competitors are doing. However, this doesn’t mean that you should do everything your competitor is doing.
13. Think local: Though globalisation has hit every industry, local audiences must not be neglected. There are audiences who look for area-specific service providers. In such situation, highlighting your address, location, phone number on your website is a key element to improve your SEO.
14. Sign up & verify: Getting on to the digital place is not the criterion, signing up and verifying your presence on sites like Google Analytics and others show your commitment towards being on the online media.
15. Hit it with the headlines: Blogs have been picking up big time as one of the most effective SEO tools. However, mind you not all blogs succeed in attracting audience. The crux to achieve this is to have interesting, catchy headlines for your blogs that attracts readers and hooks them to read through. There are tools to help you understand how to create titles for blogs.
Jayson DeMers is the CEO and founder of Seattle-based SEO agency. He has also authored an ebook, The Definitive Guide to Marketing Your Business Online.
16. Focus on your niche: Small businesses, in the urge of making them visible and easily accessible on the internet, aim to cover as many areas of expertise as possible in web content. However, if you really want to have an edge over your competitors, instead of overcrowding your content with all kinds of keywords, choose a specific area of expertise and choose a handful of keywords that make you the best in that service.
17. Use long-tail keyword strategy: When focusing on your niche, the long-tail keyword strategy should be approach to establish the niche. Long-tail keywords are nothing but long phrases which Google looks for in an elaborate manner. There are tools that help you form long-tail keywords based on the main keywords for your business.
18. Use local content: Being on the internet undoubtedly helps you to reach out to a wide audience, but another tactic that small businesses can exploit is to go ultra-local. This gives you the advantage to outdo your big competitor who operates in the same city.
If you thought that managing the digital space is all about having powerful SEO then you have got the game just partially right. Digital space is a huge arena and has many aspects to it. One among them is Social Media Marketing wherein you need to identify the various platforms, understand which would suit your nature of business the most and exploit it the right way.
Marc Schenker is a copywriter and a marketing consultant who specializes in dealing with all kinds of digital marketing that includes e-commerce, blogging and more. He runs Marcschenkercopywriter.com
19. Have a plan: Just like you ensure to have a business plan, similarly, it is a must to have a social media plan as well. Don’t just focus on the number of followers, likes and retweets, instead focus on leads, conversion rates and web referrals.
20. Conduct an audit: As you focus on building your social media presence, also focus on who is connected with you, what are the networks of your target audience and compare your social media presence with that of your competitors.
21. Get inspired but don’t imitate: It is always good to observe your surroundings and learn about winning strategies. This includes knowing how your industry peers’ social media performance is and also in general what industry leaders are doing. This would help you get an insight on creating innovative ideas for your own social media.
22. Analyze and revamp: Learning and improving is the mantra. Therefore, you must regularly improvise your social media campaigns based on the performance of your past campaigns in terms of reach, clicks per post and more.
Brenda Cagara is an established blogger who writes on various topics like marketing, finance and taxation. She has created a niche for herself among various categories of businesses.
23. Be consistent: Establishing yourself on social media happens over a period of time. This has to be built with patience, consistency, time, and dedicated efforts. Social media is an ongoing process and must be done religiously to keep the brand visible. Whenever there is any new product/service launch, it should be done even more meticulously and effectively.
24. Know your audience: Social media is an open space for all age groups using it for different reasons. Therefore, the thumb rule is to know your target audience and understand why they use social media. This understanding of demographics and psychographics help you create an integrated social media strategy.
25. Choose the channel wisely: Social media has many platforms that are of different nature, catering to a different set of audience. Therefore, it is essential to choose wisely the channels that you wish to have your business on. Depending upon the product/service you offer and the age group of your target audience, you can decide the social media channel you must choose.
26. Make valuable content: Just because consistency and regularity is a must on social media, don’t aim to create content for your social media just for the sake of posting. Ensure that your content has a concept/theme revolves around the currently discussed topics. However, try to stay away from controversial topics. Whatever may be the topic, ensure that your content attracts your audiences’ attraction.
27. Humanitarian touch: It is highly recommended to have a human touch to your social media marketing campaign. This is essential to gain the trust of potential consumers. Therefore, ensure to keep your social media activities engaging and crisp with a humanistic approach. To create a post, adding a human face or voice is also a good idea.
28. Don’t overdo: Maintaining social media is not a cake walk. In the race of creating a follower base, don’t overdo or bombard your social media platforms as the frequency of your posts determine the engagement of the audience. Therefore, understand the ideal number of posts that must be posted on each platform and stay in that limit so that your social media stays healthy.
29. Automate it: Once your social media campaigns have picked up and shown good results, there is always a chance that you may find it difficult to manage it manually. Don’t worry as there are options available to automate your social media postings that would ensure that your account is active without any lags.
Samir Balwani is a technology strategist at Morpheus Media, a firm specializing in Social Marketing, SEM, and SEO.
30. Opt for multimedia: “A picture is worth a thousand words,” says a popular quote and this quote holds great relevance in social media marketing as well. Currently, consumers look for product pictures and videos when they plan to buy any product. Therefore, it would be ideal for you to share pictures of not just products but also of your team, office and more as this would build brand credibility.
31. Balancing act: Though social media marketing is a separate entity, it is a fact that an ideal marketing must be a balance between online and offline marketing. This balancing act not only enhances the conversion process but also helps build online community.
32. Customise: It is known that social media is a vast arena and there are many platforms for the same. However, what majority of the businesses fail to understand is that being on multiple platforms is good but sharing or creating the same content on every platform is futile. Therefore, tailor-made communication for each platform is a must.
Once your social media is in place, conducting social media campaigns is a must. However, planning and executing the campaign includes a key element that is performance tracking. Any campaign would fall flat if it doesn’t reach the targeted audience. That’s where PPC (Pay Per Click) comes into the picture that gives you an insight of how much to spend on what and make the campaign a hit.
Christi Olson is head of Evangelism at Microsoft and Bing. In addition, she writes on various marketing techniques and how businesses can use them effectively for a better brand building.
33. Set a budget: Many who are planning a social media campaign, often fail to know how much budget should be allocated for the same. Ideally, a small business can allocate a minimum of $50 a month. However, before setting a budget for PPC understand the cost per click on every channel so that you know how to segregate your budget.
34. Set specific targets: As you fix your budget also narrow down your target audience who searches for your products or services. It is imperative to channelize your advertising tactics on the most effective channels to increase conversion rates.
35. Harp on the high performing services: It always looks lucrative to plan campaigns for specific services but it is better to harp on high performing products. Thus, when you have low budgets allocate them for products/services that have high revenue margins.
Julia Olennikova is a former journalist now turned to digital marketing. She is the Product Marketing Manager at SEMRush and also a blogger who writes on the various facets of digital marketing.
36. Right keywords: Once the PPC budget is set, it’s time to conduct a thorough research on the keywords that you wish to use. Also, when the budget is low and wants to maximise the cost per click, the best way is to identify high volume keywords. There are many tools available to achieve this.
37. Be creative: Having the right keywords is not sufficient because your competitors also are targeting and harping on the same keywords. Therefore, make your Ads creative and out of the box so that they increase the conversion rate.
38. Try Display campaigns: Google display network is considered the most effective platform for display campaigning. This is highly preferred for businesses who are looking for leads and conversions. This channel also gives you an opportunity to showcase your creativity and hit the target audience.
Kevin Dean is an analyst and a blogger who writes on an array of subjects that businesses would need.
39. Fast results: Though many believe in organic traffic, to get instantly reach out to vast audience and get even faster results, PPC is the best. PPC is ideal for the promotion of seasonal products and services. As the products and services are available for a short time, PPC can help you grab maximum eye balls in the short span. Also it is affordable and easy to implement.
40. Target Local Customers: If you run a local business, PPC will help you to reach local customers who often conduct online search to find businesses and service providers in their area. PPC allows you to display ads to local customers. So, make sure your ads are displayed in local search listings.
41. Unique Way to Test Other Strategies: PPC can help you test other marketing moves too. For example, if you are not sure which product to stock more, you can run PPC ads for both and see which one has more demand. Accordingly, you can buy the product with more hits in larger quantity as compared to the other.
Though the world has gone digital and everything has shrunk to a click, the fact remains that the traditional marketing techniques are evergreen. Therefore, businesses must incorporate the offline marketing techniques as well in their overall marketing strategy.
Sonia Pansare is the Hub Manager, Co-Ordinator and Facilitator at Nexus Hub. She also writes on online marketing.
42. Print media: When we talk about print media, it’s not just about business cards that act as your identity, but marketing brochures, flyers, postcards and more are inexpensive but have the potential to create an impact. Therefore, give due attention to the design and quality of the same.
43. Sell a story: Offline media like newspapers, magazines and radios are always on the lookout for stories; so if you have an interesting story, share it on these platforms. Mind you, these stories need not necessarily speak about your product/service they can be anything like a success or vision story that interests readers.
44. Print Advertisements: Another way of utilizing the print media apart from stories is advertisements in newspapers and magazines. However, choose a newspaper that would ensure to reach out to your targeted audience.
45. Giveaways: Tie up with newspapers, magazines, and radio stations; and offer some special giveaways. These platforms keep conducting some or the other promotional events and offering limited freebies during these is a good bet. However, be sure that the event is for the target audience that your business is targeting.
46. High tea: If you are new to the market, know your target audience. And if you want to instantly establish your presence, then plan a high tea or lunch for your potential customers. Plan for a quick presentation about your business, what you offer and how it is beneficial. This gives you a full proof chance of leaving a mark on the customers.
Dan Kenitz is an established freelance writer who helps companies and individuals to establish their brand through professionally-written content.
47. Networking: This is one the best and the most reliable offline marketing technique which helps businesses in the long run. Therefore, try to attend seminars, workshops and join business groups. The more you meet people, the stronger will be your network. The stronger the network, the better are the chances for business identity.
48. Referrals: This is oldest offline marketing technique wherein your product/service speaks for itself. Word of mouth is the crux of this technique. In addition to your product/service, you can also be talked about for your values and customer service which again creates a buzz in the audience.
Patrick Schock is Campaign Manager at Bizness Apps and also a blogger who writes of various marketing strategies.
49. Cold Calls: These days, getting the contact of prospective clients is not a tough job. So, make a list and call them. However, before you venture into cold calls, have a plan of what you shall speak which you could customise depending on the client’s responses. For B2B businesses, a small research about the business you are calling is suggested.
50. Celebrate success: Another idea to make your presence felt is to celebrate your success. Be it cracking a big partnership or launching a new product/service throw a small celebration with your team, peers of the industry and more. Call for the press to cover the same. This would create a buzz among your targeted audience.
51. Revamp yourself: To sustain competition, you must keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and also on what your targeted audience is looking for. Based on this info, it is essential to revamp/repackage your product/service in new ways to grab attention. This also includes changing your store look.
Thus, it is loud and clear that small businesses with an effective and well-planned marketing strategy can attain great market presence and also increase their business. So, next time, you are making your marketing plan, depending upon the nature of your business, targeted audience and budget, invest wisely in online and offline marketing for better returns.