5 Tips for Your Small Business Marketing Strategy


Published: February 3, 2020 Author: Jason Holicky - Hometown Design Studio Inc.
5 Tips for Your Small Business Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategies for growing your small business are an important part of your overall business plan, but nailing down the best approach for your company can be tricky. With so many options available and even more combinations to try, how can you be sure that you’re choosing the best small business marketing strategies? 

1. Start at the Beginning
As with all marketing tactics, every strategy begins with a deep look into who your customers are, what they want from you, and how they will look for and ask about the products and services you offer. Your small business marketing strategy should be entirely focused on this group and not yourself or the company, so begin by creating a detailed persona for each segment of your audience. (Read more about creating personas.)

2. Embrace Google
If there’s one thing that no small business marketing strategy can avoid, it’s Google. With a market share of over 90 percent worldwide and an average of 3 to 4 searches per person per day, Google is one of the best resources small businesses have for reaching customers.

There are three primary avenues you should take to bring Google into your marketing fold. The first is SEO, or search engine optimization. In a nutshell, this means following all the guidelines recommended by Google, search experts, and other search engines to make your website easier to discover by people using search engines. We won’t dig too deep into SEO in this post, but you can get started learning more about SEO here.

Next on your Google checklist should be Google My Business, especially if you have a physical storefront for customers to visit. Every business should, at the very least, claim their listing and update the basic information listed. Small businesses that need to attract local foot traffic should optimize their profiles and take full advantage of this free tool.

Last on your Google checklist is to have a look at AdWords. For small businesses just starting out or established companies looking for a boost, this paid resource can bring some heavy traffic your way while also boosting the efforts of your other digital strategies. Learn more about search engine marketing here.

3. Get Social
Nearly 70 percent of all Americans use Facebook, and of that group, about 74 percent visit the site every single day. Every small business should have a Facebook presence, even if it’s just an updated profile and the occasional post, if only for the reason that Facebook is virtually universal in the U.S.

Facebook also allows for direct-to-consumer advertising with some of the best targeting available to digital advertisers. Because Facebook profiles collect so much information about their users—including location, interests, age, and online behavior—you’ll be able to run a highly targeted ad campaign and not waste valuable resources marketing to people who can’t use your messaging.

Outside of Facebook, there are an endless number of social media platforms that could work for your small business marketing strategy. Some options include Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, WhatsApp, and TikTok, and probably a dozen more that are popping up today. Don’t worry—not all of these options are going to be a good fit for your company so there’s no need to try and learn them all. Instead, return to your customer personas and see if there is an opportunity to add one or two to your mix.

4. Email Marketing
Email is one of the most effective tools you have in your marketer toolbox as it’s the best way to nurture fresh leads into paying customers. To be effective, you’ll want to create a compelling offer on your website to entice visitors into providing you their email address and agreeing to receive your marketing messages.

Once a potential customer has subscribed to your list, you can customize your messaging based on your own time and resources available, as well as the actions taken by your readers. For example, the most basic strategy involves one email every month sent to your entire subscriber list. The most sophisticated use segmenting and messages triggered by events. The good news is that if you’re new to email, it’s super simple to start small and grow from there.

5. Don’t Forget Offline Options
There’s a tendency to focus only on digital efforts for small businesses marketing strategies, and for a good reason. Digital tactics are affordable (and often free), easy to get started without a great deal of knowledge, and virtually everyone seems to be on the internet in some form these days. However, all of us also exist offline and there are plenty of ways to market your business in the real world.

As with all other marketing avenues, knowing what will work comes down to who your customers are and where they go to learn about products and services. For example, industrial companies should participate in industry trade shows and events to gain visibility. Local food shops should consider coupons and offers sent via snail mail. Speaking at events is a great path for professional services, and schools, churches, and local clubs such as the Rotary and Chamber of Commerce should provide ideas for business owners of every kind to find opportunities for engaging with the public.

You Do You
While there are definitely some must-have options to include in your small business marketing strategy, how you assemble the different pieces and how you craft your messaging will look different for every business. When you focus on the needs and behaviors of your audience and your customers, you’ll be able to build a marketing strategy that’s effective for carving out a reliable customer base in today’s competitive market.

If it all seems overwhelming or you don’t know where to start, we can help! Start with a quick message telling us what you’re trying to achieve and we’ll take it from there.

About the Author

Creative Director Jason co-founded Hometown Design Studio of New Lenox, IL in 2013. He spends his days guiding and consulting industrial clients and small businesses owners on their marketing strategy and projects. Jason enables everyone to be successful and grow their business by sharing his knowledge and experience.
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