Small business owners would know what a struggle it is to expand and make their products and services known to the right audience. It can be a hit or miss if you don’t incorporate appropriate strategies that will help your small business grow. There’s no one-size fits all formula for growing your small business or any business size for that matter. A certain strategy may work for one and it may not work for another. However, the good thing is that strategies don’t run out — they simply multiply and adapt to the current trends. So this means you can always find new strategies to apply to your marketing mix to enhance how you present your brand to your target market.
What is Small Business Marketing?
Small business marketing comprises several tactics both online and offline that enable your small business to enhance not only its presence and visibility to the right people, but also improve your sales and grow your business. This process makes use of different marketing tools and online platforms to gain exposure, helping to widen the reach of your products and services. Running a small business isn’t easy, so it’s necessary to have it backed up by effective marketing strategies to get your business on top of the minds of potential customers and deem your brand as a credible go-to when it comes to a certain product or service.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your small business marketing, you’re absolutely in the right place. Here’s a list of practical tips that you can adopt to keep your small business up and running:
1. Get a Better Understanding of Your Target Audience
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, and it’s very important to not only know but also to be able to understand their needs. That way, you can properly plan out tactics that will suit your target niche and create ways to better engage them to gather their interests. This allows you to avoid lousy customer service and maintain a good impression of your brand. Of course, you can’t expect that every single customer will perceive your business positively as others did, but you can make sure that you’re on the right track because you understand what they expect and need from your business, helping you to come up with better products and services every time.
In the process of understanding your target market, it’s important to define them using a demographic profile that can potentially aid in your upcoming marketing campaigns and strategies. Here are some of the most common characteristics you can use to define your target market:
- Buying Habits
- Geographic Location
- Ethnic Group
- Hobbies and Interests
2. Curate Targeted Contents
Customers are drawn to content that addresses their needs and queries — and what better way to do that than to curate targeted content that will increase your brand’s relevance? Content marketing, in particular, is an effective strategy that you can use to create lasting and meaningful relationships with your customers as this approach leans on aiming to draw the right audience by creating valuable, engaging, and relevant content. One of the most common examples are blogs. Blogs carry informative and relevant content that can be helpful to your target audience because it answers essential questions that customers usually ask about online.
Another good thing about creating blogs that represent your products and services is that you can use keywords that will help direct your target audience towards your business. Combining content marketing with SEO is even better since it enables your content to be more accessible to your target audience, enhances your search engine rankings, and drives more traffic to your website.
3. Showcase Customer Reviews and Testimonials From Happy Customers
First hand experience from actual people who experienced transacting with your business makes an impact on potential customers or buyers because it gives them an idea whether your brand should be trusted or not, and if the products and services you offer suit their needs. You have to take into consideration that online shopping is different from buying in physical stores, so many online shoppers rely on reviews to help them in the buying process.
Showcasing reviews and testimonials from happy and satisfied customers help promote your brand to people since it allows you to build credibility. However, keep in mind that before you get to generate positive responses from customers, you will have to serve them first with quality and satisfaction in mind. You can’t expect a positive response from an angry and unsatisfied customer, right? It’s also a must that you respond as quickly and efficiently as possible because it helps create an impression that you are reliable and trustworthy. In the event that you encounter angry customers, don’t retaliate — instead, stay polite and think of a way to properly address the issue. Learning how to handle negative online feedback from customers can also be handy when this happens.
4. Incorporate Email Marketing
Email marketing isn’t exclusive for large corporations because even small businesses can reap its benefits. In fact, 81% of small businesses treat email marketing as an acquisition tool to retain customers. This means that email marketing, despite the presence of mainstream social media platforms, is still deemed effective in reaching your target audience. Using this tool, you can build an email list of old and new customers, then tailor fit newsletters to communicate exactly what they need to learn and know about your business. There are 4.26 billion email users worldwide, so it’s not something that will go away fast, which is why you can keep using email to directly update them about new products and promotions, re-engage old customers, and reach potential customers.
5. Widen Your Audience Reach With Social Media Marketing
Social media served as the easiest, most accessible way for many small businesses to reach their target audience — especially when the pandemic started. It’s an online platform where billions of people across the globe typically stay and browse through, hence why social media marketing is a tactic you should employ to widen your audience reach. This will help you better relate and engage with customers, drive conversations, improve brand awareness, and build relationships with both current and potential customers. Being on social media helps your business stay relevant to the online marketplace.
6. Go for Paid Ads
Doing business requires investment and if you’re not cautious enough, you can end up wasting money on marketing tactics that don’t deliver results to your business. So instead of wasting time, money, and effort on uninterested customers, why not invest in the right audience? Paid ads allow you to reach your target audience — those that are highly likely to engage and show interest in the product or service you offer. You can utilize this on search engines and on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It can also serve as a way to boost your content or posts on social media.
PPC, Facebook Ads, and Google Ads are just some of the examples of paid advertising. They are cost-effective solutions that you can turn to when you want your brand to show up to the right audience because you can set a demographic profile that will target the customers you are aiming for. You can even set your budget, which means that you’re not forced to pay a big amount on the first try. This is particularly beneficial when you’re on a tight budget or when you’re trying paid advertising for the first time.
7. Make Use of SEO
SEO or search engine optimization refers to the process of getting your website to rank higher on search engines — and ranking high on search engines would mean that more people will see your content or come across your website. When you invest in SEO, you are not only boosting your search engine ranking, but you are also allowing your target audience to find out and learn more about your brand. On top of that, it lets you stay competitive and visible online.
8. Engage Your Target Audience Using Video Marketing
Videos simply catch people’s attention. Take note as well that it’s not just any video because the content should still be relevant and interesting for people to stop and watch it. Facebook and YouTube are two of the most popular social media platforms that people use for videos — and alongside them is TikTok, which grew in popularity more during the start of the pandemic. These platforms are being made use by many small businesses today because you don’t have to be a professional at video editing all at once to be able to publish a video content that can garner views and the attention of your target audience.
You can up your A-game and dive into video marketing to properly engage your audience. Video marketing allows you to connect better with both current and potential customers because videos are essentially easy to digest and entertaining. In addition, videos won’t go out of style since they’re accessible to many people who have internet access. You just have to think of a way to be creative and present your brand in a way that your audience will perceive it as something that’s striking and interesting.
9. Consider Influencer Marketing
If you’ve seen products and services being recommended by macro and micro-influencers — that’s called influencer marketing. It is a form of social media marketing that makes use of product endorsements and mentions from influencers to gain awareness from potential customers. This type of marketing centers on the trust level since influencers are people who have a large following, so many of their audiences have developed trust in the quality of their recommendations over time, making them suitable if you want to widen your reach and establish credibility to your target audience.
Think of it this way: potential buyers tend to trust a certain product or service from a brand when it’s recommended or endorsed by someone they find credible. You can reach out to your chosen influencers and collaborate with them in boosting the brand awareness of your small business. You can do this by contacting them directly or personally to ask if they can promote the products or services you offer.