35 Ways to Market Your Small Business Effectively: Part 1
This post has been updated! Please read the new version here.
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 If your website is outdated, consider a redesign.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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Follow Kay Singh on Twitter