Small Business Marketing Guide

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According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses earning less than $5 million should invest 7 to 8 percent of their revenues in marketing. These funds should be used to create campaigns that will increase awareness of your company and attract new customers who are looking for your service or product. This marketing guide is aimed at small business owners. We’ll show you how to boost your company’s visibility.

Why is marketing important to small businesses?

Small business success is based on marketing. Every business needs marketing because:

  • Promotes your brand. Positions your company in a certain way. If, for example, your company’s core values include a commitment to customer service, you may want to advertise that your business is the most responsive in your market. This can help build brand awareness as it is highly persuasive to present yourself as the most responsive company in your market. This is more memorable for customers than simply stating what products you offer.
  • You can distinguish yourself from your competitors by using Your excellent customer service may be remembered in part because you work in a field that is known for its poor communication. Your marketing will help you stand out from the competition. You can give consumers more reasons to choose you over your competitors by promoting your excellent customer service.
  • Informs your customers What other information would you like potential customers to learn about your brand, before they look at your products? This is the first opportunity to educate your customers and share information. A powerful way to do this is by combining what you’re trying to say with an emotional story or a compelling narrative. You’ll be able to capture the attention of your customers and make them remember information about your company.
  • Make sure you are not lost in the crowd. There is a limited amount of money available to consumers and they have a seemingly infinite number of options when it’s time to spend their money. Marketing makes it more likely that your customer will learn about you and think you are worthy of their business. It is possible that one of the other businesses could get their business in its place.
  • Marketing builds your client or customer base. This is the key message from all of this: marketing grows your client or customer base. You need to reach out to your customers rather than expecting them to find you. You can do this through marketing.

Most popular marketing strategies

Marketing is an abstract and flexible art, as you can see from the reasons above. There are many ideas that can be used to market small businesses. This is because there’s no one size fits all solution. It may take some trial and error to find the right marketing strategy for your business. But once you do, you will know what gives you the highest return on investment for each dollar you spend. Below is a sample of the most effective marketing strategies for small business which can boost your bottom-line.

  • Content Marketing. Email marketing, blog posts, webinars and demos are all part of your strategy for content marketing. These are most effective if they are both tied to your brand, and not directly promotional. A HVAC company, for example, could post a blog that educates about the different types of filters to establish themselves as an authority. This company may start to hear from customers in need of filtration systems without promoting themselves.
  • Print collateral. It’s easy to think that print ads have lost their effectiveness in the digital age, but this is not true. Print ads, including flyers and direct mail, are still effective in generating interest for your business. You can also create them and distribute them yourself, which may lower your marketing expenses.
  • High low pricing In retail, high-low pricing is an effective marketing strategy that is barely recognized as marketing. This involves pricing products higher than current market prices, and then offering an extended sale later. Customers may feel a sense urgency when the price drops because of this combination of current inaccessibility and future accessibility. You can increase your customer base by promoting the sale across all channels.
  • Manage online reviews Respond to all customer feedback. Consider offering discounts to your happy customers and expressing your appreciation and enthusiasm. should be used to respond to negative reviews. You can sometimes convert a dissatisfied client into a satisfied customer. You’ve gained a new customer and can show it to potential clients.
  • Social Media. Many of the features on your social media channels are free. Posting interesting content regularly costs nothing (although creating this content is not always free). You can also engage in public responses and direct messages from your customers. This will allow you to reach hundreds of millions or even billions of people around the world. This marketing opportunity is obvious.

How to promote your business

Making your business known will increase brand recognition, customer engagement and strengthen your reputation. All these factors combined can help your business make more sales. You can promote your business by using a combination of marketing techniques.

1. Cross-marketing

Cross marketing involves partnering with another business to promote both of you. You can use your childhood as an example to demonstrate the effectiveness of this marketing strategy. It wasn’t corporate generosity when your parents bought you a toy at the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant. This was a promotional campaign for a new TV show or movie. This movie or TV series must have advertised that the toys are available in fast food chains.

Cross-marketing is not just for the big food companies. Establish partnerships with other small businesses to send postcards that are dual-branded to your respective mailing lists. Create a loyalty card program that allows customers to earn freebies from businesses outside your four walls, or your online store. Set up a small kiosk in the storefront of another small business or vice versa.

You will gain access to the customer base of your partner company in all these cases, which you would not otherwise have. You will get the same in return from your partner business. Cross-marketing can be a win-win situation.

2. Direct marketing

In recent years, it’s become commonplace to hear “direct marketing ” used instead of “mailing marketing,” however the latter is actually a subtype. Direct marketing is any type of marketing that involves reaching out directly to customers, whether they are potential or existing. Direct marketing can be done through:

  • Postal Mail Send postcards or promotional materials directly to the home addresses of potential or existing customers. You can personalize, test and measure your marketing efforts in this way while reaching older audiences that spend less time online.
  • Telemarketing. It is true that the mere mention of this practice can rile up some people. It can be helpful to have a list with phone numbers of customers who may have shown interest in your product. You can call these people and leave a convincing, informative message. Then, you can record their feedback.
  • Direct Response Ads. The intense radio or television ad that encourages you to call multiple times is a classic direct response ad. This approach can be used by your business, whether it’s via email or direct mailing. You’re on the right track as long as your call to action is bold and encourages customers to make purchases.
  • Direct Selling Middlemen are expensive. This changes when you do door-to-door sales or make presentations to prospective buyers. Direct selling is a method that puts you in direct contact with customers. You can also charge lower prices if there are no middlemen involved.
  • Email. Almost any email containing the name of your customer can be considered direct mail. Email newsletters can be used to promote sales, encourage customers to return online shopping carts and more. This is a method that goes along with digital marketing.

3. Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is a very broad term. Digital marketing includes all marketing activities conducted via text or the internet. Digital marketing includes email, social media sites, your website, blog, online reviews and business listing pages.

You should consider a number of tips for a successful digital marketing campaign. Included in these tips are a focus on inclusivity, and the development of highly targeted audiences locally and online. Also important are content marketing, pay-per click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO) and SEO. You should use Google (r), My Business, chatbots and omnichannel communication regardless of the digital marketing strategy you choose.

4. In-store marketing

In store marketing engages your customers while they are in your shop. You may have attracted these customers through previous marketing campaigns. Now, it’s the right time to make sure you follow up on all of that.

In-store marketing can be as simple and straightforward as greeting customers at the door, offering assistance when they enter. Some ideas may require more planning, like offering discounts only in-store. In-store events are another option. They can be complex, but they may be worth the effort to attract customers you might not have otherwise known about.

5. Local marketing

Local Marketing targets only the most responsive customers. Global marketing methods, such as digital marketing, are usually broad. This can include one-time tasks such as creating social media pages and a Google My Business listing. It can be more complex with an emphasis on local SEO, loyalty programs for customers, and cross-promotion.

Local marketing gives you the opportunity to be seen as a leader in your community. You can demonstrate your concern for your neighbors through charitable activities and media appearances. This community-mindedness can also make people more inclined to purchase from you.

6. New product marketing

Marketing can be a little different when you are introducing a brand new product. A new product marketing may involve more competitor research, audience development and identification, as well as the refinement and improvement of your unique value proposition. This also means paying attention to the specifics of your product. For example, its lifecycle or why you made it.

7. Market expansion

Market Expansion is a form of marketing that can help you build your clientele and reach new consumers. You sell your products to new markets. These could be geographical areas or consumers you’ve never reached before. Market expansion is best saved until your business has reached its peak in the current market.

8. Niche marketing

In all forms of marketing, you want to convince consumers that only you can meet their needs, and not your competitors. Niche Marketing narrows down your audience by focusing on the people who are most likely to purchase what you have to offer.

You’ll find that your strengths and the needs of your customers are often in sync when you use niche marketing. It’s important to keep up a high level of customer service and expertise that is rare among competitors. You can offer a product as well asan experience that is not available anywhere else.

9. B2B Marketing

Most guides on small business marketing are geared towards individuals, not businesses. You can apply some marketing strategies to business, but only to a certain extent. Principles of business-tobusiness (B2B), marketing are more useful in this case, as they can sometimes differ from tactics for businesses to consumers (B2C).

B2B campaigns are more successful if they’re built on small business websites that are easy to navigate and can be integrated into multiple channels. Setting up a referral system, automating the lead generation process and incorporating influencers are all ways to help. Word-of-mouth advertising is also a good option, since business owners who have similar needs will often seek advice from one another. You can expect to see more sales if the advice includes working with you.

Apps for business marketing that can be helpful

marketing apps are essential for any business, no matter what type of marketing strategy or type you choose. You should consider using apps such as team communication tools and project management software. Email marketing platforms and social media management are also good choices. The names of these apps will give you a good idea about what they do.

Visual apps and customer relationship management (CRM), both of which are necessary, also require a little more explanation. CRM apps allow you to access and store customer data for better conversations during sales or customer service interactions. This data may come from the responses of your customers to your marketing campaigns.

Visual apps let you create, edit and share photos, video, flyers and ads as well as other graphics that are key to marketing campaigns. Visual apps allow you to do more than simply design something unengaging using your slideshow platform, or the photo editor that comes with your computer. It’s crucial, because you need eye-catching, high-quality images for any marketing campaign.

It doesn’t matter what apps you choose to market your small business. If you combine your apps with these marketing tips, you will likely be able to spread awareness and make sales much more easily.

Get out now!

Marketing is not just about planning and executing, but also learning and improving as you go. Consider which of the strategies, methods, and apps above can help you reach your new goals. When questions arise in this exciting period for your business, visit the SmartBiz (r) Learning Center and explore additional marketing and small-business resources to support your growth.

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