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6 Small Business Marketing Strategies for Success

6 Small Business Marketing Strategies for Success
Written by publishing team

Billboard with small business marketing sign and notepad.

By Shelley Grishop

You don’t have to be a huge company to need a marketing plan. Small businesses need marketing strategies just as much as big companies – maybe more than that. Roughly 20% of small businesses fail in the first two years, and only a third are still around a decade later. These are real facts that apply to every industry and prove that small businesses need to consider every marketing option available to succeed.

What type of marketing is best for small businesses?

Search online for small business marketing strategies and you will get about 600 million results. Each one suggests dozens of ways to gain exposure and brand recognition. But what works for a coffee shop down the street may not boost your company’s or bank account traffic.

Finding the right mix of advertising methods for your business is often trial and error. A lot will depend on your marketing budget, which I’ll talk about a little later. Your personal business goals are also an important factor in defining an overall strategy. Exploring your capabilities, balancing risks, and getting used to the digital world are your number one priorities.

Social media marketing continues to rank as one of the most popular advertising strategies today. Email and content marketing are methods mostly used by well-established small businesses and well-employed people. Promotional products are another effective form of advertising when targeting all age groups.

So how do I market my small business? Take a look at the 6 most popular and effective marketing ideas for small businesses.

6 great ways to market your small business

1. Social media marketing

Social media is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing. That’s why 88% of companies use it for marketing purposes. It can definitely help you boost your brand awareness and engage more customers. Today 72% of the US population uses some form of social media. This means that sites like Facebook attract attention, interaction and comments from millions of people.

You’ll save a lot if you already have tech-savvy employees on staff who can handle social media duties. However, to get the most out of your social media marketing, it’s best to have a dedicated employee, team, or agency on the job.

The average American company spends anywhere from $200 to $350 a day on social media marketing. Depending on how many channels you use, your social media management agency may charge $1,000 to $20,000 per month. A freelance social media worker can charge up to $35 an hour.

The top five corporate social media sites today are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

2. Email Marketing

Are you old enough to remember when companies relied solely on American mail and phone calls to attract customers? Although some companies still use these costly and labour-intensive methods, most of them have switched to email marketing. Over 64% of small businesses use email as a marketing tool.

Bulk emails to clients and potential customers can be sent with the touch of a button. No print, no stamps. An interesting subject line and well-written creative content will interest your target audience. Gorgeous graphics and pictures that sparkle on the cake.

What is the downside? The average email open rate is only about 21%. That’s why it’s so important to mention deals, new arrivals, and anything else exciting in the subject line. These first few sentences in the email body are also important if you want to read your entire message. Videos are also known to attract people to them. Don’t forget to include a CTA that directs customers to your website or physical store.

One of the most common questions small businesses ask is how often you send an email to customers. The general answer is once a week. Consumers are rightly annoyed with repetitive emails that don’t do them much good.

It is a good practice to send emails regularly every week, even choosing a specific day. Inconsistent posting can seem undesirable and create bad public relations for your company.

Email marketing can cost up to $20 per week if you have employees with good writing and email skills. If you’re paying a third party or email marketing agency, count on shelling out $500 per month or more.

3. Acquired signals

Mentioning your company name and linking to your website via reputable media sources can be huge assets for a small business. A backlink to your website from a source with a high domain authority will help you rank higher with Google.

One way to get mention and build trust for your work is through an article in the press. The story of an online newspaper or magazine can be shared by thousands or even millions of subscribers. Exposure like this is invaluable. Media with business sections often welcome stories about the company’s special accomplishments, new leadership, community contribution, or historic anniversaries. Usually, there is no cost to submit business news for publication, but check your media source for rules and restrictions.

Small businesses can also sign up for organizations like Help A Reporter Out (HARO) to earn mentions in a wide variety of publications. HARO connects journalists with sources that provide expert advice on various topics. Journalists choose the responses they feel are most appropriate for their stories. They attribute the source and usually link to their website or tag on social media. The basic subscription costs for such services are free, but the options are limited without paying a fee.

More articles from AllBusiness.com:

4. Content Marketing

It’s strange to include content marketing on this list because all types of marketing involve content. But content marketing for small businesses is primarily about blogging. Successful blogging requires extensive research, strong grammatical and punctuation skills, search engine optimization, and knowledge about your target audience.

Determining what to write about is often the hardest part of blogging. Stick to themes that make sense for your business and industry. The goal is to demonstrate your authority on specific topics and build trust in your brand.

Bloggers often get objective ideas from the questions that their clients ask. Use the comments and reviews left by customers to see what topics interest or confuse them. Create a list of ideas to research from the information you retrieve.

Blogs with testimonials and customer stories tend to get more traffic. The more character, the better. why? People love to learn from the experiences of others. Research shows that positive testimonials increase confidence in your business. You’ll also get a valuable proposition when customers share how your products or services have helped them succeed.

5. SEO Marketing

Search engine optimization is one of the best marketing tools around the world. The basic concept behind SEO is simple: find out what people are searching for online and optimize your content/website accordingly to rank on or near the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). Customers place more confidence in businesses that they find at the top of search results.

It is not easy to get real estate with any search engine. Maintaining a high ranking is a work in progress due to the constant competition from other websites and the frequent changes that search engines make. But even small businesses can learn and use SEO to rank higher or close to their biggest competitors.

Hiring a search engine optimization (SEO) professional or SEO company is a good investment. One report listed SEO costs as a minimum of $25 per hour and $750-$2000 per month. A small business must balance the cost of implementing an SEO marketing strategy with its ability to drive traffic and sales.

6. Promotional products

free stuff. This is the secret behind marketing promotional products. Everyone loves to get free gifts just for attending a trade show, running a 5K or being a loyal customer. They want those items printed with your logo.

About half (53%) of the population use a promotional product at least once a week. Think of the personalized pen you keep on your desk or the personal water bottle you take to the gym. These logos are highly visible and impact everyone who sees them. This is an amazing offer and affordable advertising at its best.

Promotional products are available in bulk to help small businesses keep marketing expenses low. The average CPM for custom items is 3 cents. This means that you will only pay 3 cents for each impression of your logo or brand.

With small business marketing, success is in the details

Before embarking on a specific plan, set a realistic marketing budget for your business and goals. What can you? Only you know the answer to that. The SBA recommends that small businesses spend 7 to 8% of their total revenue on marketing.

All small business marketing strategies should have at least a one-year plan and specific implementation. I recommend creating a detailed calendar showing each planned step to accomplish your task. Be sure to include an estimated and actual expense sheet to keep your spending in check.

Perhaps the most important component of your plan is measurement. Without measuring your progress (or failures) regularly, you will miss the opportunity to make needed changes in a timely manner. Schedule regular meetings to discuss the state of your small business’s marketing with your team, and don’t be afraid to make changes. Effective marketing plans need to be tweaked now and then to remain successful.

Related: 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Text Marketing for Your Business

About the author

Posted by: Shelley Grishop

Shelley Grishop is a former newspaper journalist who has received more than a dozen Associated Press awards for her in-depth research and writing skills. In May 2016, she joined Totally Promotional as a creative writer. She currently writes company blogs on branding, marketing, logos, wedding planning and party planning. In her spare time, she loves to run, garden, and spend time with her 12 grandchildren who are always on the go.

Company: Totally Promotional
Website: www.totallypromotional.com
Connect with me on Facebook.

About the author

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