What are the top marketing strategies for small businesses?

It’s all well and good to talk about small business tips and suggest that every business out there should be undertaking X, Y, Z strategies no matter the cost.

But that’s not really etched in reality, is it? Because every single business is different; it has its own budget, its own set of goals and its own particular set of skills (channelling its inner Liam Neeson).

What this means is that there is no truly universal group of marketing tools or strategies that every single business out there should be utilising. Instead, it’s more of a ‘pick and choose’ depending on each individual business – especially due to time constraints.

So in this small business tips article we’re going to explore 7 different strategies of digital marketing. And while your specific business probably won’t need to use every single one of them to see results, it will most definitely benefit from applying (at least) a few.

Let’s not run before we can walk, though. It’s important to first understand why marketing is such an integral element for bringing in a huge amount more small business customers and driving sales.

Why marketing is one of the most important small business tips

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From local butcher shops to globally-recognised fashion brands and everything in between, marketing is a key component to seeing business success.

It’s so much more than what many believe it to be, though. That is, the ads you see on TV or online or hear when you’re listening to the radio.

Indeed, any effective collection of marketing tools will be able to help you get to know your audience in a much more in-depth way, offering shared characteristics such as demographics (age, gender, income, education, etc.) as well as location and interests. They’ll also provide you with priceless insights into your campaigns, like who clicked on what, and where and when they did, which helps you shape your marketing approach moving forward.

And this is just the tip of the marketing iceberg. Creating a marketing plan means you will write up a clear timeline you need to follow, and assists you with budgeting. It also means you’ll develop concise goals, and it makes sure you stay focused on those goals until you achieve them.

Indeed, if used the right way, marketing can be used as the sails and rudder that both advances and steers your branded ship straight to the front of the pack, ahead of your competition.

The 7 best marketing initiatives for your small business

As we said earlier, you may not be interested in bringing every single one of these strategies into your current marketing mix. But the more you do implement, the better chance you’ll have of seeing a substantial increase in your small business’s customers.

You may not have the time/resources/budget to take on all of them though, which we totally understand, but tick off at least a few and you’ll be on your way to seeing a heck of a lot more business.

  1. Know your audience
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If this is something that you haven’t yet explored, it’s nothing short of essential. The tippy top thing you need. The Princess Peach in the world of Super Mario.

If you don’t know your audience, every other facet of marketing falls apart. Think about it; you don’t know the tone of voice, style of language or even where they are. You don’t know who to target across social media marketing or PPC. You don’t even know the most appropriate channels to use! So any kind of marketing you do would be about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

You need to really know your audience if you want to see any kind of success in marketing. And it’s all well and good to think about who they are yourself, but to get a much better idea you need to conduct extensive research. Use existing data to learn as much as you can. Do an audit on your direct competitors’ social profiles and browse their follower lists. Sign up for their e-newsletters.

Once you truly get to know your audience, you can then build out things like buyer personas and deep-dive into market segments to further explore your prospective customers.

Seriously, this is the most important aspect of creating your marketing strategy. Take the care and time to get it done right and you’ll be reaping the rewards over and over again.

  1. Develop a website
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They’re basically the modern-day equivalent of a business card, and if your business isn’t represented online with a website you’re already losing out to all of your competitors who are.

These days, it can be a lot more straightforward than it was years ago. But there are still quite a few rather complicated aspects of developing a website, which is why we suggest bringing in the experts if you’re totally green. If you’re keen to give it a crack yourself, here’s what you’ll need to do:

●  Buy a domain. Visit a domain sales website and search for the one you want. Make sure when you’re considering your domain name that you keep it as simple and easy to remember as possible. If it’s available, you can effectively rent it out either on a monthly or annual basis.

●  Find web hosting. When you want to develop a website, the data that is used needs to be stored somewhere – especially for huge sites. Web hosting companies offer server space that will store it for you.

●  Choose a CMS. Content management software (CMS) such as WordPress and Joomla is what you will use to actually create and edit the website. Each CMS will offer its own advantages, so make sure you choose yours carefully.

●  Build the site. The final step is to sit down and get coding! Depending on which CMS you chose, you might have templates available to you that can be used, but you’ll still need to add things like website copy, images and other content yourself.

  1. Incorporate an SEO/local SEO strategy
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Just having a website isn’t actually enough by itself to bring in a lot of (or even any at all) website traffic. SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques allow your site to increase in rankings, driving a lot more traffic to your site and offering plenty more opportunities for sales and leads.

If you’re a local business whose customers are mostly local as well, there are lots of different local SEO techniques that will drive more customers to your store like creating local listings – especially a Google My Business page. It’s then important to generate as many positive reviews as possible so yours is one of if not the first business that pops up in the ‘3-pack’ of local businesses in your industry above Google’s search results.

For brands with multiple locations or that focus more on bringing in customers all over the country (world, even), your SEO strategy will be quite different. From the development of SEO-friendly website copy and on-page technical SEO to link-building efforts, there are more than 200 factors that Google looks at to rank sites on its results pages.

It’s one of the more important aspects of digital marketing and should be addressed by any business that is interested in bringing in a substantial amount more sales and leads.

  1. Build your brand up
Build-your-brand-up

A business name alone is nothing to get excited about. But an established brand and logo have the power to influence people’s emotions.

When you’re just starting a business, you should always aim to eventually have a household brand name that people first think of when they think of your industry. And to do that, it all begins with choosing the colours, logo and imagery that accompany your business name.

Once you’ve decided on those, you need to then brand everything with them. Your work vehicles, business cards, website, letterheads, t-shirts, hats, stubby holders. You name it, your logo should be on it.

Why? Brand awareness, recognition and recollection. The more people know about your brand, the better chance you have of someone buying from you. And the more people that can actually recall your brand, the closer you are to becoming an institutional name in your category.

  1. Take advantage of marketing tools available
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There are about a million different free marketing tools that are available these days. You might want to conduct an SEO audit of your current website to find out where any improvements could be made to help you rank higher. Maybe you’re updating your meta information and want to see how it’ll look (or if it’ll fit) using a Google SERP simulator.

There really are marketing tools that can assist you with almost everything. But it’s important to remember that while they’re good supplementary tools, you probably shouldn’t fully rely on them to dictate everything you do marketing-wise.

Yes, getting a digital marketing report through a tool like Google Analytics is going to provide you with some awesome insights into what visitors are doing on your website. Yes, you can use this information to optimise your website and drive more conversions. But the human touch when it comes to actually creating the site content is what’s going to ultimately best promote the final purchase click.

The bottom line with marketing tools is that they can certainly take you a fair chunk of the way, but they’re not going to get you all the way across the finish line.

  1. Create a social media presence
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Provided you’ve done the most important undertaking in all of marketing and know your audience actually uses particular social media platforms, you should really think about bringing your brand into the spotlight there.

This doesn’t mean wasting your time and energy getting onto every single social network out there, though. Find where your target audience is most prevalent and focus there.

This involves signing up to the platform and creating your profile. Make sure when you’re doing this that you brand it well, so there’s no mistaking your audience that when they arrive on your profile it couldn’t be anyone but you.

You then need to build out a plan and schedule for your posts, using the types of posts that align with your audience best. Then, reviewing and adjusting accordingly based on metrics such as likes, shares and comments. It can often take a bit of fine-tuning, so be patient with the process.

  1. Use paid ad campaigns
Image source: IB Photography / Shutterstock.com

Got a website that’s ranking well and socials that are humming along nicely? You might want to bring in paid campaigns to complement each better. A paid Google Ads campaign in conjunction with Facebook/Insta/YouTube Ads campaign can really help to not only grow your brand but, more specifically, increase click-throughs.

If you decide to run paid ads – wherever they might be – you need to make sure you’re keeping a very close eye on the campaign in order to properly optimise it and see the best ROI results possible.

Remember, though, that paid ad campaigns really need a trained hand to pull off. Otherwise they can quite quickly become budget black holes.

A little bit too difficult and/or time-consuming? Leave it to us.

We know just how busy life gets when you’re running your own business. And while it’s all well and good to know these awesome small business tips, if you don’t have enough time in your day to implement them well it’ll be next to impossible for you to actually do.

That’s where we come in. At First Page Digital, we’re backed by a huge amount of experience across all areas of digital marketing. That means we know exactly how to speak directly to your small business’s customers at the right time in the right place to help you increase sales.

And because we pride ourselves in our transparency, you’ll always be kept firmly in the loop from start to finish. Plus, the digital marketing report we put together for you will provide (in great detail) precisely what your budget has gone towards and why, as well as valuable insights that can be utilised in future marketing efforts.

So when you want to increase sales for your small business, tips are great – but First Page Digital is best. Call us now on 1300 479 226 and discover what our expert staff and first-class marketing tools can do for you.

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