It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run, marketing is always going to be one of your most significant expenditures. The old adage about spending money to make money certainly holds true with regards to marketing; if you aren’t able to promote your business effectively, it’s going to be very difficult to grow and evolve. However, small businesses are just that – small.
As a result, smaller businesses need to get smart about their marketing. Your biggest competitors might be able to throw huge amounts of money at their marketing campaigns and achieve a level of saturation that is way out of reach for your business. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t compete, nor that you can’t market yourself effectively.
The following marketing techniques are perfectly suited to smaller businesses who need to get their business, brands, and products in front of as large an audience as possible. Every small business needs a solid marketing strategy, but developing one is often easier said than done.
Social media platforms are arguably the most powerful marketing platforms available to a modern business. Simply creating a social media profile isn’t going to be enough, you will also need to be active on the platform and you need to use it with purpose.
There are two strands to social media marketing, the first strand consists of the advertising features that the social media platforms sell to customers. The other is the way in which you use the platform to interact with people. In order to get the most out of social media marketing, you need to work on both strands.
When you buy advertising on social media, you can target it at very specific demographics. It is here that the true power of social media marketing lies. When you are able to make sure that your marketing is being shown to those most likely to respond positively to it, your conversion rate will be much higher than usual.
In terms of your interactions with other users of the platform, common sense prevails. It should go without saying that you should avoid any controversial or offensive comments. Ideally, you should hire someone to handle your social media accounts who is already familiar with how each platform works.
Every business should have its own website. It doesn’t matter what field you work in or the industry your business is trying to break into, having a dedicated website is essential. Many businesses these days are setting up social media profiles and leaving it at that. However, this is a mistake, as a social media profile is only viewable by users of the platform.
On the other hand, a website can be used to reach anyone with an internet connection. While social media marketing is great for targeted advertising, it should be complementing your main website, not replacing it. Setting up a website is not nearly as expensive as many people assume it is. When your business is just starting out, it’s unlikely you’ll be experiencing high volumes of traffic to your website. You don’t need to expand your infrastructure until the demand justifies it.
But, as with your social media profile, simply making a website isn’t enough. Your website needs to make all the information about your business that a customer could want as clear as possible. It should promote your products and services without reading like one giant advertisement.
Partnering up with another business for your mutual benefit is one of the most cost-effective marketing methods there is. In many cases, you won’t need to spend any money at all in order to strike a mutually advantageous deal. Of course, this will depend somewhat on your abilities to negotiate, as well as the value that you can offer to your partner.
For many businesses, there will be an obvious choice for a partnership. For example, if your business sells skating gear, you could partner up with a clothing shop. They could give their customers a coupon for 20% off at your business whenever they buy skating clothes from your partner. There are endless variations on this idea that you can use.
They key to success with this technique is choosing the right partner. If there isn’t an obvious partner available (some businesses will have a harder time finding a partner than others), you will need to get creative. A great way of finding potential partners is to simply ask your customers where else they regularly shop.
Improving your search engine optimization is one of the most important things that you can do in order to make sure that your business is as visible as possible to people online. Internet traffic is largely driven by search engines these days; the majority of us find websites by searching for them and we only usually have a few websites that we visit specifically.
The best part about SEO is that there are a large number of different techniques that you can use in order to accomplish it. First and foremost, publishing really good high-quality content will definitely help your SEO score. Search engines have gotten a lot smarter in recent years about ascertaining which websites are linking to and from good content and which are just spam pages artificially inflating SEO.
Other ways of keeping your SEO score high include keeping all the content on your website updated so that it’s relevant and people will continue to visit it. You should also make sure that your website has all its metadata tags properly in place. Metadata is important for services like Google to be able to build an accurate picture of a website. If you can compel other high-quality websites to link to yours, your SEO score will explode.
These are just some of the low-cost marketing techniques that small businesses can access. If none of these appeal to you, or you’ve already tried them, then hopefully they will at least get your creative juices flowing. Effective marketing is essential for a business’s survival, so don’t cut any corners when it comes to yours.