Let’s cut to the chase. You already know you need to learn about marketing strategies for small businesses.
You have an amazing product, but you’re not getting as many customers as you deserve.
Problem is you don’t have a huge budget to spend on marketing.
Don’t worry. You don’t need one.
There are many effective strategies out there that won’t cost you much at all.
What you will need are patience and time.
With that in mind, here are eight marketing strategies for small businesses in 2017.
1. ENCOURAGE REVIEWS.
This might sound obvious, but it’s often forgotten.
Good reviews are an essential part of a customer’s decision-making process.
Online marketing expert, Neil Patel writes;
“90% of customers admitted to getting influenced by positive reviews before buying from a business”.
Businesses with a larger number of good reviews on their online profiles will be more likely to show up in search in places like Google and Yelp. This will result in more traffic to your website.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews on social sites as well as your Google Business profile page.
- Offer incentives to your customers if they post a good review e.g. a discount on future purchases.
- If you receive any negative reviews, try and resolve any issues as soon as possible. Where possible email the customer directly to resolve the issue.
2. BE MOBILE FRIENDLY.
When it comes to marketing strategies for small businesses, it is important that your website looks just as good on small screens (mobile phones/tablets) as it does on desktops and laptops. Sites that have been optimized for all devices will make usability and navigation a lot easier for your customers. Meaning they are more likely to stay on your site. When designing the motionediting website. We made sure to hold off launching until we were certain it could function just as well on mobile as on desktop.
Google takes mobile compatability into consideration when deciding where your website should rank.
According to Sixth City marketing;
“Google is also starting to take the speed of your mobile website into account for ranking purposes.”
A good loading page speed for a website is now considered to be less than 2 seconds.
- Check your website is mobile friendly.
- Check the speed of your website using tools like GTmetrix.
3. MAKE A FACEBOOK PAGE FOR YOUR BRAND.
Despite a rise in more fashionable social media platforms like Instagram & Snapchat. Facebook is still considered to be the top social channel for marketers. A staggering 80% of marketers are currently using the platform.
But it’s not just marketers; your customers are there too.
In a survey of 1,000 US millennials aged 18-29; Facebook was the number one resource used by in researching new businesses.
It is also a great platform for discovering more about your target customer. Facebook Insights collects information from the people who like your page. This includes location, interests and age.
This information can be useful when deciding what content to publish on the platform. As a general rule, 70% of your content should be either original entertaining or informative content. 20% should be reposts of other people’s content and 10% should be direct sales.
Remember Facebook is a social platform. Keep the ads to a minimum and people are less likely to reject them if the majority of the time you are delivering free high-value propositions.
- Set up a Facebook page for your brand.
- Post informative or entertaining content based on your audience’s interests.
4. OPTIMIZE FOR LOCAL SEO.
If you get this right (and you will, I believe in you)! It can be a huge win. Google is designed to really deliver when it comes to local searches and is one of the more achievable marketing strategies for small businesses.
Google understand that when somebody searches for “supermarket” they want to see local results.
If you optimize your local business it can result in higher rankings.
Forbes writes, “According to one source, 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone, visit a store that same day. And if your business’s visibility is not ranking highly in your area, your brick and mortar location could be losing out to competitors.”
- Create a Google Business Page. This will give you a better chance of showing up in search results for specific keywords related to your business.
- In your title tags add a local keyword. This will increase the chances of your business showing up in searches from that specific area.
- Work on getting high-quality links back to your website. You can achieve this through blog posts and guest posts.
5. MAKE SURE YOUR BUSINESS HAS A SOCIAL PRESENCE.
Having a social media strategy in place is essential, as this is where a lot of your audience will be.
The first thing you need to do is research where your audience is spending time on social media.
“There are over 3 billion internet users—and over 2 billion of them have active social media accounts.” (Emily Copp, Hootsuite).
Social media sites will give you valuable information about your customer’s interests.
When you have researched your ideal customer you can then use this data to engage with them through ads, organic posts and video content. The most obvious platforms to join are the big four; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
This step is arguably the most important marketing strategies for small businesses.
If your goal is to build a web presence that will attract customers to local shops, make sure you set up profiles on:
- Research your target audience.
- Based on your findings, set up profiles on the platforms where they hang out.
- Engage with your audience through organic posts and ads.
6.OFFER FREE SAMPLES TO YOUR CUSTOMERS.
Kali Hwalk of Shopify.com writes, “free samples can generate a lot of sales for you over time. In some cases, free samples can boost sales by as much as 2,000%.”
Offering a free sample is a great way to gain exposure to your product.
- It gives you chance to get some feedback on your product.
- Can encourage your target customer to buy from you again.
- Helps build trust and leave the customer appreciated. So they are more likely to want to return the favour by choosing your company in the future.
- Offer a free sample or consultation (if a service) to new customers.
- Survey your customers for feedback on how to improve the product.
7. DON’T BE OVERLY PROMOTIONAL & LET CUSTOMERS SEE YOUR PERSONALITY.
“Nothing damages consumer trust in branded content as badly as self-promotion, with even a hint of a sales pitch in an otherwise objective piece of content automatically lowering the content’s credibility by 29%.” (Forbes)
By contrast, sharing your company’s story of how it came to be, can really help your audience connect with you. Customers often feel more trustworthy towards a business if they can put a face behind a name.
If possible show pictures of your team and write blogs about what your company is up to. Producing organic content that is not promotional also makes you more relatable.
- Engage with your audience in forums. Respond to people that get in touch. This shows that you are invested in them and value their opinion.
- Whether it is a blog, podcast or a video series, give away free advice to your customers to show that you care about them. Not just their money.
8. OFFER DISCOUNTS TO YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWERS.
Offering discounts can be a great way to grow your brand on social media and get followers.
Fitsmallbusiness.com writes, “CMO Council reports that 71% of internet users in the U.S. were influenced by coupons and discounts when making their purchase decisions.”
This will not only show you appreciate your existing followers. It will also encourage more customers to engage with your brand. This step is one of the more underused marketing strategies for small businesses.
- Look at where you can offer a discount on social media.
- Add a strong call to action on your discount.
You don’t need a big budget to market your small business. You need to know who your target customer is and where they are online.
These 8 marketing strategies will help you achieve exactly that. You will reach the right audience for your business, which will bring you more customers.