35 Ways to Market Your Small Business Effectively: Part 1

k.singh
Kay Singh Director (E-Commerce), Noble Infosys

Posted on April 26th 2013

35 Ways to Market Your Small Business Effectively: Part 1

How to market effectively is one of the biggest challenges faced by small businesses and entrepreneurs today. There are many marketing techniques that can be used, and choosing the right approach for your business is not easy. Small businesses also have limited budget to use on marketing which makes it even more challenging.

A good marketing strategy is a very valuable tool for any business.  In order for your business to be successful, it is essential for people know about your brand as well as the products and services you offer.  This is where a good online marketing strategy can help.

In this two-part article, we will take a look at some of the most effective strategies to market your small business. These will help to increase your reach and improve the visibility of your business in front of your targeted audience.

Here is the first part of “35 effective strategies to market your small business effectively”. The remaining points will be covered in part two of the article.

1. Make Sure Your Website Can Deliver Results

An attractive website can make your business look professional. But the real benefits will depend on functionality and ability to acquire customers for your business. If your website is outdated, consider a redesign.

If you cannot afford bespoke web design, you can take advantage of other affordable website services to get your business online fast and cost effectively. One such service that I have used before and recommend is smallbusinessecommerce.co.uk. They offer ready-made website templates with lead-generation features, free logo, web-hosting and set-up.

Marketing - Good Web Design

2. Make Blogging a High Priority

Blog is an excellent marketing tool for businesses. It takes time to establish your blog but the results are well worth the effort. To get most out of your blog, you will need to set aside some time every week to write quality content. The benefits of a blog increase manifold as you increase your publishing frequency. Studies show that businesses that blog regularly are more than two times as likely to generate leads via their website as businesses that don’t. It also builds trust in your business.

Small Business Marketing - BLOGition

3. Start Building Your Email List From Day One

Most businesses are aware of the benefits of email marketing. However, many small businesses fail to leverage their website or blog to build their email list. This is best done from the start. A simple email sign-up form on your website can produce great results. Giving users an incentive to sign-up to your list is also very important. This can be anything from a newsletter to a freebie such as an eBook or Whitepaper that is relevant to your audience.

Market Business Online - Email Marketing

4. Distribute Press Release Once A Month

Press releases are easy to create and can be promotional in nature. The editorial guidelines are straightforward and it is easy to get your releases accepted on major press release distribution sites. It is an easy way to market your business and boost your online visibility. For best results, contact local media including newspapers and magazines to see if they will publish your press release. You may be surprised with the result.

5. Take Steps to Boost Conversions

There are many small businesses that get a lot of traffic on their website but fail to convert them into leads. Your website traffic is of little use if you cannot convert them into customers for your business. There are many ways to do this. Here are some examples:

  • Use good call to action on website
  • Use call to action in all other marketing material
  • Make sure call to action are prominently displayed throughout your website

Marketing - Call to Action

6. Learn From Other Businesses

You can learn a lot from other successful businesses in your niche. Simply looking at their website and social profiles can tell you a lot. There are also many competitive analysis tools that your business can take advantage of. Research your competition to get inspiration and learn new ways to market your business.

7. Offer Discounts and Deals

Every consumer loves a discount. Offering discounts and deals are a great way to market your business and reward customers. Make sure to promote your offers on your social media profiles and through articles and blog posts. There are also many deal websites that you can take advantage of. This is a great way to ge extra coverage for your business.

Small Business Marketing- Offers

8. Run Competitions

Running a competition is another very effective way to market your business. Use a good prize or reward to entice customers. It also gets people talking about your brand. Social media sites like Facebook can be great for promoting your competitions and can also attract new followers for your business.

Small Business Marketing- Run Contests

9. Start Using Videos To Market Your Business

Videos are very popular with consumers today and offer an excellent way to market your business. There are many ways a small business can use videos as part of their marketing strategy.

Displaying product videos on website is a very effective way to increase sales. Studies show that  customers are much more likely to buy if they see a video on your product or service landing pages.

Market Small Business With Videos

Being active on YouTube is another effective way to market your small business. YouTube is one of the most widely used channels by consumers today and building your company’s presence on the site can get extra coverage for your business and help to attract new customers.

You can also start your own YouTube channel to post your videos as well as share videos of other users that are relevant to your target market.  Commenting on videos relevant to your niche is another way to engage with users and increase your brand visibility.

If you are creating your own videos, don’t limit yourself to promotional videos about your products or services only. Creating instructional videos that can help your targeted audience to solve common problems will get far more coverage than promotional videos.

10. Have an Ongoing Optimisation Strategy

Your website will be of little use if no one can find it on search engines. Simply optimizing your website at the start is not enough. To get good coverage on search engines, you will need to work on your website continuously, monitoring your statistics closely and refining your website accordingly. You will also need to update your site frequently with keyword rich content and work on building quality back-links to your site.

Small Business Marketing - SEO

11. List Your Business On Popular Local Directories

Other local business directories such as Google Plus Local, Bing Local and Yahoo Local are equally important. Make sure to include a good description about your business and a link to your website.

11. List Your Business on Location Based Services and Apps

Location based services such as Yelp and Foursquare are very popular among consumers. Listing your business on these services is a great way to market your business and attract new customers.

Market Business Online - Location Based Services

13. Be Active on Social Media

A majority of small business already have a profile on the main social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. But this initself will not offer much marketing benefits for your business. To maximize the benefits of social media, you must do more. Here are some tips:

  • Keep your profiles up to date and fresh with new information
  • Post few times per week
  • Add value for users by sharing content that is of value to them
  • Engage actively with users – follow, share, retweet, like content of other users
  • Don’t just share content from your website

Social Marketing Benefits

14. Try Google Adwords

Google Adwords, Google’s pid advertising program, is a very effective way to get your website listed on search engines for your desired search terms. It can be very effective particularly in the short term while you work on improving your organic rank in the free listings. Due to increasing competition, the cost per click can be high but you can set a maximum monthly budget to keep your costs in control. With the right targeting, the ROI can be easily noticeable.

You can also use free advertising vouchers to try it out and get some advertising for your business for free.

Small Business Marketing -aDWORDS

15. Consider Paid Advertising on Social Media

If you are new and do not yet have a large enough following on social media, you can consider paid advertising on social media. Social networks like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube offer cost-effective advertising options for businesses.

16. Make Sure Your Site is Accessible to Mobile Users

Having a mobile optimized website is one of the simplest ways to reach mobile users. In spite of increase in mobile internet use, only about a third of businesses have got around to making sure their website is accessible seamlessly to mobile users. Having a responsive website that automatically scales to fit all screen sizes is a popular method. Alternatively, you can use free mobile website builders to create a mobile version of your website and redirect mobile traffic to this site.

Small Business Marketing - Mobile Enabled Site

17. Leverage Content Marketing

Content marketing i.e. producing and distributing quality content that is relevant to your audience is one of the most effective ways to market your business and attract customers. This form of marketing is also highly targeted. If done correctly, content marketing can prove a very valuable asset to your marketing strategy. For best results, product a variety content types such as articles, infographics, videos, or webinars and distribute them on several channels.

Content Marketing

18. Have an Editorial Calendar

We have already discussed the importance of producing quality content. However, this takes time and effort. A haphazard approach will lead to a waste of valuable resources and not produce the expected results. This is where a publishing schedule or editorial calendar can help.

Conclusion

A good marketing strategy is critical to the success of your small business. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, the proven marketing strategies above can help to grow your business and find new customers.

This is the first part of “35 effective strategies to market your small business effectively”. The remaining points will be covered in part two of the article.

k.singh

Kay Singh

Director (E-Commerce), Noble Infosys

K.Singh is an E-Commerce Consultant from London with over 12 years of experience consulting and training  with prestigious businesses. He is the Director of Noble Infosys, the London based New Media Agency & the Editor of the Internet Marketing Blog.

He is also the founder of SmallBusinessEcommerce.co,uk, a service that offers Professional Websites for £49

See Full Profile >

Comments

disruptivedigitalmarketingdotcom
Posted on April 26th 2013 at 7:00PM

Thanks Kay for writing such an informative article. I am a believer that all of these items are key to growing a small business, but even the items you listed above take time and money.You list 18 items to consider in the strategic plan, out of those 18 what would be your top 5 reccomendations if that was all small business could afford to produce?

 

All the best, 

Jessica, disruptivedigitalmarketing.com

k.singh
Posted on May 1st 2013 at 5:34AM

Dear Jessica,

Thank you for your comment. Every business is different but if I had to pick 5 items that every small business must do to market effectively, it will be as follows:

1. A good conversion optimised website which is different to a visually appealing one

2. Ongoing social media strategy

3. Maintaining an active Blog

4. Content marketing - Here you could repurpose a lot of your existing content including blog posts

5. Incentivized email list building

Above have got to be my top 5 strategies.

kheuna
Posted on June 24th 2013 at 8:53AM

You have provided a good list with some major players. Can I be bold and also suggest three more places to advertise local business for free. They are covering businesses such as lawyers, restaurants, cafes and hotels, as well as one man / woman comapnies.

www.businessrays.com  covering almost all of the cities and small towns in USA.

www.classifiedny.com is for New York State.

www.olca.co.uk   is for local businesses in UK.

 

Fade Adenile
Posted on August 26th 2013 at 8:06AM

Excellent list.  My favorite is video; specifically youtube marketing because of the power of youtube to target prospective customers, engage and build relationship with customers.  Some youtube stats:

Youtube is the top 3 website in the world
More than 1 billion unique visits
Over 6 billion hours of video are watched
100 hours of video are uploaded
70% of traffic comes from outside the US
Localized in 56 countries nd 61 languages

Justin Skiffington
Posted on September 14th 2013 at 2:25AM

Some internet marketing methods that will save an internet Business are:

A business owner does not have to be techie to be able to design their website. By learning how to manipulate web design templates; website designing becomes easy. Oftentimes, web design templates or custom made layouts are available for businesses to use.

Monitoring a website's visibility by using tools such as search engine position trackers may be used to see a business’s website's standing.

alexandriascott01
Posted on October 9th 2013 at 10:31PM

Awesome! Thank you Kay Singh for you informative blog post. Your insights regarding online marketing and blog posting are very relevant and helpful to us. Your tips on how to make blogs more appealing and realistic are very timely. Your online strategies are what every online marketers need to keep going in this online journey. Surely, you've given us a very knowledgeable and practical thought. We will surely apply all our learnings from your blog and continue to share your passion!. Have a wonderful day!

yemlektutors
Posted on November 26th 2013 at 6:25AM

I appreciate your fanastic post, when should we expect the part 2?

 

nicholes
Posted on December 6th 2013 at 3:05AM

Great post,your experiences in regards to web advertising and web journal posting are exceptionally significant and supportive to us

CM
Posted on December 7th 2013 at 12:24AM

Hello! I am in the process of starting my own business. I previously did market research for Fortune 500 companies, and I have an MBA. 

My business aims to help small business owners improve their marketing and consumer understanding, but always with the end goal of boosting sales.

I have put together a very short questionnaire to get a better idea about my client base. If you have 5 minutes (really, it’s super short), I would appreciate your input.

https://qtrial.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0MJmAZLc0EX8WjP

kiara
Posted on January 24th 2014 at 3:12AM

Excellent marketing tool!!! You covered almost all major way of marketing. Apart from them On hold messaging is also one of very effective marketing tool for any kind of business.80% of all call to our business are placed on hold or transfers to the staff. The draw a negative impact of your business on custmour.That time you have opportunity to promote your services, up-sell you’re other products and can notify your clients about the new changes in your business. That will definitely give a boost to your business progress!!!.

 

David Wader
Posted on January 29th 2014 at 4:54AM

Hey,

Your post is amazing, but why don’t you elaborate more about Google Adwords Coupon codes in the introduction of Google Adwords. As I come to know that Google Adwords are distributed for free from some kind FreeVouch.com sites. I think this will make your marketing almost free and worthwhile.

 

shogomomo
Posted on July 16th 2014 at 11:34PM

Super list. Really pleased you included business directory listings - I think a lot of businesses get facebook accounts and assume "that's it!" but there's SO many free online resources. Case and point: http://www.directorybug.com/top100/ has 100 free directories. If you have the time to list your business, why would you not...?

bryanilee
Posted on July 17th 2014 at 2:52PM

Great article and great ideas.  Just to add to point 11 and to Abdul and Marjorie's comments, you may also wish to submit to the yellow pages sites (there are a bunch of them like yp.com, dexknows.com, etc.).  And look for new sites as there are always more popping up.  There's manta.com, and a brand new one http://localtoe.com/ which allows you to use images and links back to your website in the listings.

yuv_rocks
Posted on December 15th 2014 at 4:14AM
Thank you for your invaluable help and i know it takes a lot to write for others without any profit.. But i have one question and that is you havent mentioned any Search Engine Optimization Tricks anywhere in this blog.. As far as i know, SEO is one of the best ways to grow business from strength-to-strength.. Awaiting your reply..
 
Yuv Lukmani
Bizadz Team
Posted on December 18th 2014 at 9:06PM

Aweosme Blog by Mr. Kay !! 

I would like to add on by listing a website small businesses across Canada can use for FREE to advertise !! Log on to www.bizadz.ca and advertise your services for FREE. If you can't find a category to fit your business let us know we will create a new category exclusively for you and at zero cost !!

Why Bizadz ? 

- Latest and fastest scripting enabling very fast loading and great User experience

- Post your advertisement where it can ACTUALLY BE SEEN 

- Thousands of unique visitors use our website daily (according to alexa ranking)

- We DONOT charge at all

- You can integrate and sign in using Facebook for better social presence

- Embed Youtube Video talking about your business for greater response for FREE

Spend 5 minutes on advertising at www.bizadz.ca and see the change !!! 

 

Regards 

Bizadz Team