If you are a small business owner, marketing can be one of the most important aspects of your business. While marketing your brand may seem daunting at first and small marketing budgets can be a challenge, there are many ways that you can get brand exposure and connect with your target market without huge expenditures.
Did you know, 74% of consumers rely on social media to guide purchasing decisions and 41% of brick-and-mortar buyers read reviews before making a purchase? Therefore, it is so important to create a brand presence that is not only aligned with your business goals and objectives but also strongly represented on social media.
This article will provide small businesses who are just starting out with some helpful marketing tips to help reach their marketing goals and build their company’s brand.
In fact, data gathered by MasterCard shows that 73 per cent of consumers actively want to spend money in their local community to help businesses bounce back and 42 per cent are happy to buy items locally even if they cost more, to show this support.
There are several marketing strategies that small businesses can use to maximise their return on investment (ROI) from their marketing efforts, even on smaller budgets, including:
Investing in social media marketing
Social media marketing is a great way to connect with your customers and build brand recognition. It’s free, easy to use, and has the power to do wonders for your business.
Small businesses can utilise Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn or Pinterest today to start making contact with their target audience and increasing their brand exposure.
When it comes to social media posts, consistency is key. It is important to share content at least once per week across all channels so people stay interested in what you have to say. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok require more frequent posting (one post every 1-2 days if possible) to increase consumer engagement.
Once you have gained momentum in social media marketing it will become easier over time. It is vital that you don’t give up after just one or two posts if people aren’t engaging right away.
Make use of content marketing
Content marketing involves producing usable and interesting content that contains popular keywords that people are searching for on search engines. This attracts potential customers who may have an interest in the products or services you offer.
Content marketing is great for smaller businesses as it is free (other than the time spent to create it), easier to produce than traditional marketing campaigns, and more likely to be shared via social media channels like Facebook or Twitter, which can lead to even further exposure of your business’s brand name and logo. Here is how you can get started!
A good example of content marketing might be a ‘how-to’ article on flower arranging posted by a local florist that includes popular search terms for buying flower arrangements and hiring florists for events.
Consider using PPC (pay-per-click) advertising
Pay-per-click advertising means that you pay for an advertisement only when someone clicks on it.
This is a popular marketing tactic for small business owners because of the quick results they see which can be used to help promote your products or services, boost traffic to your website and generate leads.
Investing in online marketing campaigns isn’t always cheap but it does allow you to segment and target your desired audience and is significantly cheaper than above the line or traditional advertising options such as billboards or radio ads.
Engage with your customers
More and more customers are expecting a level of engagement and personalisation from the companies they shop with, even the smaller ones. Engaging with your customers on social media or by replying to reviews can quickly boost your brand profile and increase customer loyalty.
This is particularly true when dealing with complaints. A quick response and resolution to the customer’s issue can turn them from someone with a negative opinion of your brand to a potential brand advocate with very little effort.
Leverage marketing automation tools
There are a range of marketing automation solutions that are capable of taking some marketing tasks off your plate, including actively managing social media channels and sending targeted emails (eDMs) to customers.
Time is always money when running a small business, and automated marketing campaigns can go a long way to giving you the best ROI possible for the smallest amount of time and money spent. It is important to have a social media and communication strategy so your customers know who you are, what you offer and how to shop with you.
Building an effective marketing strategy is hugely important in creating a competitive advantage for your business. By following this guide, and the other articles in our upcoming marketing series for small businesses, you’ll be utilising new marketing platforms, boosting your brand and connecting with new customers in no time!