6 Effective Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses
For a small startup, marketing can be a challenge. Resources are tighter and lack of visibility can be a major roadblock. But by incorporating a smart marketing strategy into your business plan, you can overcome those obstacles.
Here are 6 techniques you should keep in mind while putting together a marketing plan for your small business.
Advertise on Facebook
Creating ads on Facebook is possibly the most cost-effective form of social media marketing, which makes it an especially attractive option for small businesses. It allows you to specify your audience right down to their personal interests, so it’s the perfect choice when your target demographic is extremely specific.
Instead of using your ad to link directly to your website, consider building a landing page that provides users with more information about your products or service. This will improve conversion and ensure that you’re getting the most benefit out of your investment.
Be a speaker at conferences
Conferences are an excellent networking opportunity, but they’re also a great place to educate others and demonstrate your authority. Create a presentation related to your industry and share your knowledge with people who can make use of it. With any luck, some members of your audience will become new clients (or refer their friends and family to you).
If you really want to make a lasting impression, use more than just your words. Provide your audience with custom printed binders that feature your business’s name, logo, contact info and any other important details. You can include supplementary materials in the binder that enhance your presentation; more importantly, make sure you give people a reason to take the binder home. They’ll receive even more exposure to your brand every time they refer to your informative documents.
Host an event
Can’t find a good event to attend that’s related to your industry? Try hosting one of your own. Event marketing can be wildly diverse, depending on if you plan to target old customers, new customers, or other business owners in your community. Figure out who your target audience is and tailor your event to appeal to them.
The key to a successful event is preparation. Make sure you’ve set up clear channels of communication with your attendees (typically via an email list or social media) so that they’ll know about any last-minute changes.
Publish a blog
If you’re not comfortable in front of a crowd, there are other ways you can leverage your expertise. Launch a blog and start publishing useful content related to your industry. You don’t need to post something every single day. Once a month is a good start, just as long as you’re consistent. Be sure to plan your posts in advance and create an editorial calendar; this will help you blog more regularly in a way that fits your business goals.
Once you’ve built up a decent following and established some authority, keep an eye out for guest blogging opportunities. This will increase the scope of your audience and help build your own blog’s authority.
Collaborate with other brands
If your business is based out of a brick-and-mortar location, entrepreneur groups (such as your local Chamber of Commerce) are a good place to network with other business who may want to cross-promote with you. Incorporating collaboration into a marketing strategy provides more opportunities for a business. For example. If you own a hair salon, you might partner with a nearby massage parlor so that customers get a discount; this appeals to customers out for a “spa day” who are likely to patronize both businesses.
Follow up with your best customers
It’s a whole lot easier to keep an old customer than it is to acquire a new one, and the best way to maintain customer loyalty is to keep in contact with them. After someone makes a purchase, follow up by phone or email. Make sure to keep the conversation as personable as possible and focus on the benefit you can provide to the customer.
To improve customer retention even more, you may want to start up a loyalty program that rewards customers for frequent purchases. The reward doesn’t need to be especially fancy, and it should be something related to your business. Free shipping or discounts on future orders are valid options for most companies.
Do you have more marketing tips and techniques that small business owners might find useful? Share them in the comments below!