Effective marketing is something that many small business owners struggle with. You may have a fantastic product or service, but without a marketing plan, there’s a high risk that the business won’t thrive because it doesn’t reach an audience. Up to half of small businesses don’t have an advertising budget or dedicated marketing strategy.
In a rapidly changing world, traditional marketing techniques are becoming less and less effective. Advertising is not only expensive, but it no longer even reaches the customers it needs. Hundreds of millions of internet users now use ad blockers, and many more simply see so many ads that they turn them off.
So, if paid advertising is no longer the way to go, what can small business owners do to put themselves on the map? Today, there are more ways than ever to do digital marketing, even on a modest budget. Let’s dive in and look at some of the most powerful tools available to market a small business without breaking the bank.
Although it may seem obvious, email marketing is probably the most effective way to connect with your customers. Over 80% of small businesses use email as their primary marketing toolboth to generate leads and promote new products.
Rather than sending out general emails, however, it’s a good idea to personalize the missives more. You can categorize your customers based on a number of criteria and make emails more targeted. Remember that people get a lot of mail these days in their inbox, so make sure the subject line is compelling enough to make it worth clicking.
For your existing customer base, consider a newsletter with company and product updates, as well as special offers. Make sure there’s something actionable in every email, like click through to an exclusive promotion.
Cold emails can also be very productive for connecting with new customers. Use this approach when you come into contact with other businesses that you might find useful – for example, a retail outlet that could potentially stock your products. Find the right person to contact and follow up with a phone call.
Everyone wants valuable content these days, and that’s why it should be at the heart of your marketing strategy. It won’t happen overnight, but over time it will build your brand and create a strong connection with your audience.
Storytelling has become a buzzword in recent years, but it works. Use a variety of media to show the public who you are and what you do and invite feedback. Blogs are a good way to start – make sure they contain lots of attractive visuals such as useful photographs and infographics. You should also include some search engine optimization here too, incorporating keywords and phrases your customers might be looking for – but don’t make it too obvious.
Think about what you do that would be useful and interesting to your target audience. Maybe you can break down a production process or share some interesting facts about your area of expertise. Short video content is also very popular and can attract people to you. It’s a much better strategy than advertising. By creating something that people are interested in, they will seek you out themselves.
Several small businesses in the gaming affiliate marketing scene have been able to step up their game and achieve significantly better rankings in Google’s SERPs by focusing on creating engaging, high-quality content. . One such example is NewCasinoUK.coma smaller scale website that has managed to establish itself as a leading information portal for gambling enthusiasts in the UK, arguably the most competitive market in Europe.
This is absolutely essential to the marketing strategy of any small business. Almost everyone uses some form of social media, so leaving this resource untapped would be a serious missed opportunity. An active social media presence builds trust, enables customer engagement and boosts your brand profile.
There are many different platforms out there, so focus on the one or two that you think will best reach your target audience. Facebook and Twitter are a common combination for many business owners. Facebook is great for posting candid photos of your daily life, sharing stories, and highlighting positive customer experiences. Twitter is more about real-time engagement. If your target audience is younger, you can also consider newer platforms like TikTok.
Consistency is key with social media. Keep showing up, posting content, interacting with customers – if an account has no activity for a long time, it’s a real bummer for your customers.
Reviews, ratings, reputation
Honest and genuine positive reviews are incredibly powerful and relatively hard to come by. Make it as easy as possible for customers to leave reviews by providing links and even incentives. The damaging effect of negative reviews can also be mitigated by quick responses that the public can see. If it seems like the business owner responds quickly, politely, and helpfully to a bad review, that can be almost as helpful as a positive one.
Finally, be sure to regularly Google your own business or brand name. Not only can this help show how your marketing is working, but it can also highlight anything that might be annoying that you may need to address.