Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
Marketing strategies can easily consume your life as a small business owner. In todays competitive marketplace, it seems like every day there’s something new to learn in order to keep up with the competition. Small business owners have enough on their plate already! It’s for this reason that I usually recommend small business owners pick only 3 strategies at a time. This allows them to test each, prefect each, and then and only then, try new strategies. Every business and every market is different. Finding out what works best for your business and your market takes time and patience, but it’s very much worth doing right!
Social Media Marketing
Internet marketing can be a bit of a double-edged sword, however, because it’s easy to spin your wheels with social media marketing, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, Linkedin, and a handful of other options—more of which seem to be cropping every year! I’m not saying that social media marketing doesn’t have it’s place in a small business marketing plan, but it can be very time consuming and, in some cases, completely unproductive.Depending on the nature of your business and your marketing budget, it may pay to hire a Internet-savvy student intern or social media marketing manager.
Developing a list of targeted, opt-in email subscribers can be an effective way to solidify customer relationships, maintain top-of-mind awareness, share useful information, and promote special offers. Check out this article for tips on writing an effective sales/marketing letter.
Content marketing refers to the creation of articles, blog posts, and other informative pieces that you place on your own website or on other websites that are looking for guest blog posts or other relevant content. One important caveat to keep in mind is that all content you post—either on your site or external sites—should be original and unique. The reason I mention this is because Google will not index your content if it’s duplicated elsewhere on the Internet.
There are a lot of different ways to gain visibility for your business on the Internet, but the gold standard for generating traffic to your website and getting your marketing message seen by a targeted audience is achieving high search engine ranking—especially in Google, which, at least for the time being, dominates search engine popularity.
Creating and posting marketing or informational videos on your own Web site or video-sharing sites like Youtube can accomplish several key objectives. Videos on Youtube can result in more traffic to your website, an increase in word-of-mouth advertising, and an uptick in referrals. Posting videos on your own websites can increase visitor engagement and the amount of time prospective customers stay on your website. Those are among the many factors that can favorably affect search engine ranking. Of course, the longer they stay on your site, the greater the chance that they’ll perform a desired action, such as making an online purchase, requesting an appointment, or inquiring about your services.
Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail marketing is a mainstay of many locally based small businesses because it can be a cost-effective, targeted way of getting your coupons, special offers, marketing letters, or announcements into the hands of a targeted audience.
Business to business marketing shares many of the elements of business-to-consumer marketing strategies, but often leans more toward an individualized approach. Creating detailed business proposals, scheduling appointments with corporate decision makers, and giving face-to-face presentations are usually among the cornerstones of an effective b2b marketing plan.