Marketing your small business is essential for success. Wait, let’s rephrase that: Effectively marketing your small business is essential for success. There, that’s better. There are thousands of ways you can market your small business, especially since the tactics change and evolve quickly. Staying on top of the trends and finding the right mix of strategies can take your marketing strategy from just good to great.
1. Use Social Media
A presence on social media is where you can find your audience where they are. You can build brand awareness, reach prospects, and connect with your current customer base. But it’s not as simple as just posting pretty images or some copy every day. Effective social media is about engagement.
To engage with your followers, you’ll want to be consistent in your presence. You should post regularly and be available to answer any questions – 59 percent of Americans on social media believe that customer service, via social media, has made it easier to get their questions answered and their issues resolved. Have someone on your team manage social media so that when customers ask questions or comment, someone can reply quickly and affirm your connection.
2. Create a Blog
A high-quality, consistently published blog is a great way to drive traffic to your website. Not only does content creation improve your search ranking and visibility, but it also helps establish your brand as an expert in your field. Of course, you can’t just write a blog and expect people to flock to it, no matter how useful it may be. Get your content in front of huge audiences by engaging in LinkedIn’s publishing platform or sites like Medium and Quora, which have an incredible reach. Also, remember to create high-quality blog posts that solve a problem, provide guidance, or entertains.
3. Use Video Content
Almost one-third of internet users (over one billion) use Youtube, and with 52 percent of marketing professionals naming video as the piece of content with the best ROI, you can’t ignore the power of video. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on camera equipment or production to start making videos -- it can be as easy as using your smartphone to start. Useful video tutorials and how-tos are always a great way to start, as you will be providing valuable information in an easy and engaging format.
4. Optimize Your Website
SEO can be both powerful and frightening, but when you know how to leverage SEO, it can be quite helpful for website traffic, lead generation, and business growth. SEO is a long-term strategy that can provide positive results. In order to generate organic leads, it’s important that you research and identify industry-specific keywords and integrate them into your website content ( landing pages, blog posts, emails, meta tags, and social media posts).
5. Utilize Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising using Google Adwords or Bing is a fantastic way to get your brand at the top of search in and in front of qualified leads. The results of your PPC campaign are easy to track, which makes it easy to optimize and improve. PPC can help increase awareness, and at best, generate qualified leads and sales. Those who click a paid ad are 50 percent more likely to buy than those who click an organic link.
6. Email Marketing
Email marketing can be a great forum to connect with your audience and provides a fantastic ROI. In fact, for every $1 spent on email marketing the average return is $44.25. The trick lies in obtaining their email address first. You often need to offer an incentive in exchange for users to give up their contact information. If you can create some helpful content, such as a free report, case study, webinar, or short ebook, you can offer it on your website in exchange for their name and email address. Then, you can continue to nurture this relationship through drip email campaigns. This is an excellent opportunity to connect and build the customer relationship, which will help with conversions and brand loyalty.
To extend your reach, sometimes it pays to get a little help from our friends. Instagram influencers and micro-influencers can help. They have anywhere from a few thousand dedicated followers to millions, and -- for a range of prices -- can promote your product or service, give it a shout-out, and share a discount code with all their followers. You’ll want to find the influencers that are prominent in your niche, of course.
You can also collaborate with popular bloggers who write within your subject or niche. If you’re a good writer or have a good writing team, you can offer to do a guest blog on their site, which can provide valuable backlinks and exposure for your brand.