Indispensable Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
In today’s technological era it seems like every day a new way of marketing is born. With hundreds of different strategies and approaches out there, keeping up on each one can feel impossible. Older marketing strategies are giving birth to newer developments every day. For example, search engine marketing gave birth to article marketing and guest blogging, social media marketing gave birth to Facebook marketing. Content marketing gave birth to most forms of marketing that now exist.
With so many new ways to market a company, every business has to decide the age old question: ‘What will work best for us?’
It’s important to stress that every business is different, every audience is different, every industry is different, and every area in the world is different. This is why newer and more creative marketing techniques have been developed and pushed out. Small businesses should embrace the new styles of marketing, and not push them away.
With all of the new information and strategies around it can be easy for small business to get overwhelmed, and it can get very difficult to decide on the next move. So where should you start? Here are some strategies small businesses should really consider implementing when developing a strategy for their business:
This is one of the most cost effective ways to develop a brand name. It will naturally increase social shares, organic search traffic, and even word of mouth influence to your brand. It can consume time and save money. To be highly effective with it requires a great deal of creativity, consistency, time, and a good website.
Just joining the conversation and engaging with the public is a great way to get your name out there. With all the social platforms, tradeshows, and community events, this style of marketing does can be very effective and it can provide results over time because people prefer to buy from people.
Websites tend to drive specific types of audiences to their content naturally. Digital marketing makes advertising these sites more effective by displaying digital ads to the right audience at the right time. People still click on ads, it just needs to really be applicable to their life and who they are to be highly effective. Narrowing down your target audience and identifying what websites attract this audience (not including your competition) can be a highly profitable strategy.
Email marketing is not a fad, and it’s not going away. The old methods of email marketing were often ineffective, but now there are different ways to use this strategy and succeed. It requires a great amount of creativity and good emailing software, but the technology is not expensive. Unfortunately, acquiring the good email list can be a long battle. Email marketing consists of contacting new customers that submitted their information or upgrading old customers to something new. It’s easy, and it can be a powerful tool in your marketing strategy.
Referral marketing is about getting your customer base to share your products or services on your behalf. For example, Direct TV offers $100 ($10 off for ten months) to every customer who refers a friend. A good referral marketing strategy can convert customers into living advertisements. Trust is important in every sell, and having a friend’s positive review and recommendation is something that every business can benefit from.
Social Media Marketing
The most popular form of marketing is popular for a reason. Social media marketing is one of the best ways to build relationships with an audience. Although it may look easy and seem like a simple form of marketing, it requires a strategy that can either consume much of your time or money, and sometimes both. This is a valuable way of communicating with your audience, though, because not everyone will open your email, but they can always see your product update on their favorite social network.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) should always be considered if a business has any sort of web presence. SEM compliments all of your other marketing efforts by making the website and search experience much more enjoyable. The new style of search engine marketing is about creating highly credible relationships on the web and developing a website that offers a lot of value. With low quality websites being consistently pushed to the back of the search engine, the new form of search is all about building a very authoritative website.
Trade Show Marketing
Trade shows are a great way for businesses to connect with their industry. They have the potential to open doors you never thought existed. They also help businesses figure out what their competition is doing as well, because sometimes competitors will give insight to their future product plans at trade shows. Due to the cost of setup and employee hours, traveling expenses, and trade show fees, it can be expensive, but if it’s strategized right it can really pay off. Pay attention to the trade shows in your industry and develop a plan for each one.
Videos can offer clarity in your message to your target audience. They can offer up more emotion and details in your product that’s harder to convey through text. With YouTube being the second largest search engine in the world, commercials are now possible for the small business. Highly talented videographers are in great demand, but can usually be found for affordable rates. This means small businesses can now create highly competitive video marketing strategies. This is a great marketing strategy for the small business.
Key Points to Remember and Consider
-Every business is different; really understand your industry and your target audience to help identify how you should relay your marketing message.
-Marketing techniques are always changing. The technology changes, people change, and so does the world. Don’t be afraid to take a couple risks with your marketing strategy.
-You don’t have to do every form of marketing listed here. It’s good to have a focus and balance.
-Creativity should be used in each strategy. It’s the lifeblood of the word viral.
Jonathan Goudy is an Online Marketing Manager at SEO.com. He specializes in search engine marketing. He currently lives in Utah, but is from Corona,CA. Besides his passion for business and marketing he enjoys playing baseball and basketball.