8 Guidelines for Effective Small Business Marketing in 2022
If you’re a small-business owner, you know that there’s a lot at stake for your company. You need to make sure that every dollar spent is spent in the right place. That’s why it’s important to create a marketing plan that will help you get the word out about your business without breaking the bank. In order to do this, you need to first understand what the most effective ways of marketing are and how they can benefit your business.
Here are eight guidelines for effective small business marketing:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is one of the most effective and affordable ways to market your business online. SEO involves using keywords and phrases that are relevant to your products or services in order to rank higher on search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. With SEO, your website will be more visible and accessible to potential customers who are looking for what you offer.
There are different ways to do SEO, but they all have one thing in common: they help to make your website more visible to search engines. There are two main types of SEO: on-page and off-page. On-page refers to things like keywords, meta descriptions, and title tags — off-page refers to things like social media shares and backlinks from other websites.
Marketing Research and Analysis
The first step in your marketing research is to analyze your competitors. You can do this by checking their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and searching for their name online. Social media has proven to be the most effective way to reach local customers. Check how often they post and what types of content they post (pictures, links). Look at how many followers they have and what kind of engagement their posts receive. Do some of their posts receive more interaction than others? If so, will it make sense for you to use a similar strategy?
You should also take the time to learn about your target audience. Whom are you trying to reach with your products or services? What types of things are important to them? What do they need in a product? How much are they willing to spend on said product or service? What type of language does your target audience use when talking about the service or product you offer? These answers will help determine whom you market yourself to and where you choose to promote your business.
An influencer is an individual who has a large following on social media and/or other online platforms. Influencers have dedicated audiences, many of whom value their opinions and rely on them for advice. What makes influencers so attractive to marketers is that they can drive significant engagement as likes, comments, shares, and purchases.
In order to tap into their influence, you’ll need to reach out to them directly and make an offer such as a product review or sponsored post. It may seem daunting at first, but if you follow these steps, it will make the process much easier:
Identify your target audience — Before reaching out to any influencers, take some time to understand your target audience and what content they consume online. This will help you find the right people with which to collaborate and create effective content that resonates with your ideal customers.
Set clear goals — What do you hope this campaign will achieve? Is it brand awareness? New customer acquisition? Increased web traffic? Conversions? Whatever it is, be sure that both parties are on the same page before moving forward on anything else, including budget, deliverables, and timeline.
Find relevant influencers — Don’t just go after any celebrity or social media star with a big following! Focus your search on individuals who have audiences that align with your brand values and are engaged in conversations around your industry or products/services (e.g., lifestyle bloggers interested in fashion).
Build relationships prior to outreach efforts — Don’t just jump right into making requests! You should build meaningful relationships with these people long before asking for anything from them, including their time or attention (i.e., don’t be pushy). The best way to go about it is simply interacting regularly by commenting on posts, sharing content, liking photos, etc… It shows genuine interest rather than self-serving motives, which often does more harm than good when attempting partnerships.
Customer Relationship Management
Small businesses are the lifeblood of most, if not all, economies. They do more than just provide goods and services; they also create the vast majority of new jobs, providing breathing room for nations to grow and build a resilient future. But small businesses can’t survive without loyal customers, which is why customer relationship management (CRM) is one of the most important elements of effective marketing. A good CRM strategy will ensure that your business:
- Understands customer needs
- Builds trust with customers
- Gathers feedback from customers
- Offers discounts to repeat customers
- Forms relationships with other small businesses
Email marketing is a highly effective way to stay in touch with customers and prospects and to keep your brand top of mind. If you’re not doing it, you should be. Have all employees add their business card info to the bottom of their emails for easy networking with others inside your company and outside. This can help drive new sales and leads. Also, make sure you are collecting information from prospects when they visit your website or respond to an email promotion so that you can add them to your database.
Build out a monthly schedule of email messages that will automatically go out on specific dates (i.e., the first Monday of each month). This allows you to create anticipation by building a schedule that readers look forward to receiving each month. For example, if one of your products is cold weather apparel, send regular updates on what’s new at the beginning of fall, as people are getting ready for winter.
Content marketing is another key tool in your small business marketing arsenal. It includes creating and sharing media that is valuable to your customers, and it can take the form of blog posts, videos, infographics, and more. The goal of content marketing should be to grow your brand by increasing awareness and building relationships with potential customers.
Effective content marketing will help you show expertise on topics that apply to consumers while adding value to a sales funnel when they are ready to buy. Content marketing also helps you get found in search engines through higher rankings and an increased number of links, which makes it an effective way to build brand awareness for your business.
Social Media Marketing
If you’re running a small business and you don’t have a social media presence, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with your customers, grow your brand, and make more sales. Social media is a great tool for small businesses because it lets you connect with your customers on a personal level. By sharing interesting content and replying to questions and comments left by customers on your social profiles, you can engage with your audience in a way that feels natural and even fun.
Best of all, there are so many social media platforms out there, you’re bound to find one that fits perfectly with your business — Instagram if you’re geared toward selling products through beautiful photos, Twitter if you want an easy platform where people can reach out to ask questions or make comments.
Another effective way to create leads is through webinars and podcasts that effectively teach, inform, and entertain their audiences. They’re a cost-effective way to market your company and promote new products or services that could benefit your community. Also, a successful webinar or podcast can actually increase sales by improving audience trust in you as an expert and making them more likely to buy from you regularly.
As a small business owner, you’ve got a lot to do. Your time and resources are limited, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the rewards of effective marketing. If you’re interested in growing your business and reaching more customers, consider these eight guidelines for effective small business marketing.