What Are the Best Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses?
Leading a successful small business is tough work. In fact, the business owner must wear just about every hat imaginable, as they take charge of sales, accounting and procurement while serving as an inspirational leader to their team.
Alongside these tasks, small business owners can’t underestimate the importance of marketing. Backed by a rigorous digital marketing campaign that addresses their specific needs, a small operation can thrive above the competition and quickly reach the next stage of its development.
However, knowing how to achieve this goal is easier said than done. Here, we cover a range of marketing ideas for small businesses to provide a much-needed shortcut on your journey to the top of the industry.
Do Small Businesses Need Marketing Strategies?
Considering solopreneurs and small business owners are often managing a host of tasks simultaneously, something usually has to give to free up their time and resources. However, ignoring your marketing strategy is bound to leave your business in a challenging position.
After all, it’s virtually impossible to attract customers if they aren’t aware you exist. Instead, planning and executing a razor-sharp digital marketing campaign that speaks to your precise target market can deliver incredible results.
While the competition only grows stronger as more businesses get online and reach their customers, there’s no need to raise the white flag when you employ the right approach for your organisation. Use these proven marketing tips to get sales for your small business.
Unfortunately, the average small business doesn’t have a massive budget to sink into its marketing campaigns. This is why search engine optimisation (SEO) has become one of the top options for companies looking to build from the ground up.
As the techniques that underpin SEO for small businesses can be implemented for free, you give your business the best chance of climbing the search engine results page and reaching engaged customers.
By identifying relevant keywords to use within your content while making technical changes that enhance your website, achieving outstanding organic website traffic is within your grasp.
Within the concept of search engine optimisation is a range of strategies that can be used for various purposes. One method that benefits small businesses greatly is known as local SEO.
As small businesses often want to attract customers within their neighbourhood or city, this technique helps brands skyrocket their visibility to their most relevant target market. As an estimated 46% of Google searches involve local information, the results of a properly implemented strategy can be incredible.
Across Google My Business, NAP data and mobile-friendly optimisations, a powerful local SEO campaign will drive nearby customers straight to your website or physical storefront.
Although many small business owners know the benefits of search engine optimisation, some believe that pay-per-click (PPC) advertising services are simply too expensive. However, even a small budget can achieve unmatched leads and conversions when targeted effectively.
Google Ads is the biggest player in the PPC space, with brands bidding on keywords to reach their ideal customers on the search engine and services like YouTube. If you’ve only got a limited budget to spend, the most important factor is targeting your ads to the right people.
This means you must have a great understanding of their demographics, interests and behaviours. By conducting extensive research into your audience, you can ensure your Google Ads campaigns deliver a stellar ROI.
As a small business owner, you can’t be afraid to leverage your personal and professional networks. By reaching out to friends, family and former colleagues, you might just strike up a conversation that leads to a sale or a productive collaboration.
Although you can handle this process with physical word of mouth, building up an engaged following on LinkedIn could also prove to be a great decision.
As this thriving social media platform helps you start conversations with key decision-makers while immersing yourself in a community of like-minded people, finding people who can enhance your business comes a little bit easier.
It’s a great business idea to get active in the online world with LinkedIn. But you also shouldn’t ignore opportunities that exist throughout your local community.
As small businesses play a critical role in shaping their neighbourhood, developing clever techniques to promote your business in the immediate area can be highly beneficial. So, what should you do?
There are opportunities everywhere, but you might consider sponsoring a local event. For example, a popular sports club or a local school event might need a benefactor to help make their endeavour a success.
Getting your brand name attached will help make relevant customers aware of your business and put you in the best possible light.
Most business owners consider launching a blog at one time or another. However, few realise just how powerful this content marketing idea for small business truly is. Research has found that websites with blogs receive as much as 434% more website traffic than those without.
When you put it that way, choosing not to bother with a blog is clearly detrimental to the long-term stability of your operation. However, you can’t expect to upload a few posts and call it a day. You’ll need regular uploads that appeal to your target market’s needs.
Backed with targeted keyword research, superior formatting and educational content, you can make sure your blog delivers the website traffic of your dreams.
Video marketing has quickly become the preferred way customers want to interact with their favourite brands. With people having shorter attention spans than ever before, many people prefer to watch a short video on a topic rather than read through a blog post.
However, many small business owners think they need to be pumping out Hollywood blockbusters to have a chance on YouTube. Fortunately, the truth is that customers are more than willing to watch videos captured on nothing more than a smartphone, as long as it’s engaging and answers their questions.
With a carefully conceived approach to YouTube content, you can showcase your knowledge and reach pertinent customers with a powerful message.
Podcasts are only growing more popular in Australia, with almost 40% of people listening to at least one episode per month. With a clever concept and entertaining delivery, it’s possible to massively expand the reach of your small business by embarking on your own production.
So, where do you begin? The first place is getting some decent audio equipment. While you don’t have to spend a fortune, some quality microphones and a mixer ensure your podcast has a wonderfully professional quality that keeps listeners around.
Then, you need to develop a format and episode ideas that engage your target market. For example, a local art supply store could discuss the latest industry news while highlighting the best new products available.
Many business owners with limited time spend their entire focus on social media marketing. Naturally, this method can be greatly beneficial. But some businesses achieve even more success with email marketing.
While this small business marketing idea means you have to spend time establishing a subscriber list, the key advantage is that you know individual customers receive your message.
In contrast, achieving the ideal reach on social media means companies must rely on the platform’s algorithm to deliver outstanding reach. Instead, you can take charge of your own destiny by fostering email subscribers and sending a tailored message straight to inboxes.
As a small business, promoting your products and services is a challenging task. In part, this is because customers are bombarded with branded messages every day. However, a thoughtful affiliate marketing campaign can maximise your company’s output.
This marketing tip works by teaming up with individuals tasked with marketing and selling your products on their own. With each sale that these representatives generate earning them a commission, this revenue sharing scheme is highly productive due to its mutually beneficial nature.
With a sharp affiliate marketing campaign increasing your brand awareness, sales and website traffic, online services like Commission Factory and ShareASale streamline this method for businesses at every scale.
Influencer marketing is another hugely effective marketing technique for small businesses. While you might not have the budget to land an A-list celebrity or athlete, it’s still possible to identify affordable influencers that share your target audience.
The best way to achieve this is by targeting a smaller yet increasingly active customer base. With the right partnership in place, your brand can deliver targeted messages to users across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok.
As an influencer’s followers trust them to only recommend high-quality products, forming the right relationship on social media can prove particularly lucrative for your brand.
Spreading the word about your business is made so much easier with a referral marketing strategy. But what does this campaign involve?
The idea is to reward your current customers with a special discount if they get their friends and family to complete an action that benefits your operation. For instance, you might establish a referral programme where customers who deliver five sales or 10 email subscribers save 20% on their next order.
While running a referral programme manually takes plenty of time and effort, several convenient digital solutions help businesses lead this word-of-mouth marketing strategy, including ReferralCandy, Talon.One and Tapfiliate.
Competitions and Giveaways
Everyone loves to receive a free gift. So why not use a giveaway to your company’s advantage? By developing a clever scheme that engages your ideal target market and convinces them to share your message, you can expect a boost in visibility and awareness.
Before you get started, defining transparent goals is crucial. Are you looking to promote a product category or simply want to skyrocket your social media followers? This decision should help frame the nature of your giveaway.
By advertising this competition on your social media profiles and through email marketing campaigns, your business can expect to attract many new eyeballs to your brand in the short term.
Coupon websites are especially useful for small businesses keen to drive more engagement and visibility. By uploading attractive deals to platforms like Groupon and Scoopon, you can reach price-conscious customers who aren’t afraid to try something new.
These massively popular websites help customers enjoy a top-notch dinner or adventure experience for less. With businesses benefiting from a boost in brand awareness within their local area, this strategy can quickly level up the amount of interest in your operation.
However, keep in mind that a booming coupon will see your business inundated with heavily discounted requests. This means you have to think carefully about what offer makes sense for your business.
Marketing a small business means you must get customers to trust your judgement and advice. One of the best ways to kickstart this understanding is by hosting detailed webinars that establish your credibility and provide an informative experience to attendees.
While you might decide to pre-record a webinar to upload to platforms like YouTube or Facebook, you might also find that hosting a live presentation makes the experience even more dynamic.
So what should you discuss? Naturally, it depends on your industry and expertise. But an independent fashion designer could explore how their brand got off the ground or delve into the inner workings of a popular product line.
Chat with the Experts
Looking to take your small business to the next level but haven’t quite figured out a marketing plan to achieve your goals? The good news is there are literally dozens of avenues to explore, ensuring a business with the right product and target market can find success.
However, keeping the lights on is already a big job for small business owners to manage. When you add leading a comprehensive marketing campaign to the mix, other critical tasks often go ignored.
Instead, partner with the experts at First Page Australia. Our talented team has helped hundreds of businesses – across virtually every sector in Australia – lead profitable digital marketing campaigns. Get in touch to find out more.