Small businesses often find it hard to compete against larger enterprises, especially due to their limited resources. But this doesn’t mean that you have to give up and be okay with conglomerates zeroing in on your tuff. A little creative thinking and innovation can go a long way towards successfully marketing your small business. The trick is knowing what methods are a waste of resources and which ones provide a positive ROI. This post highlights marketing ideas for small businesses that provide results without requiring too much financial investment.
Invest in marketing automation
Marketing automation solutions are incredibly affordable and are often offered in freemium and premium packages. Features include lead scoring, lead nurturing & management, analytics & reporting and more. They make it easier to manage customers and market products by automating processes. Depending on your objectives, you can use automation tools to improve your bottom line, gain new customers, retain existing customers, drive sales, and increase customer engagement.
Regardless of your industry, online reviews will prove an invaluable tool for landing and retaining clients. Surveys have shown that more than 85% of customers read online reviews before purchasing products. It is likely that potential customer’s scope out the business before knocking on your door. Ask your clients to leave a review on your social media pages or Google My Business.
Social media marketing
This is particularly important if you are targeting millennials and younger audiences. Maintaining a consistent social media presence is crucial when it comes to lead scoring and nurturing. Take advantage of tools like Shop and Paid Ads to drive sales. Only set up accounts on platforms where your target audience is, starting with 1-2 platforms. Use a CRM solution with social media integration to schedule posts. You can use social media to promote new products, answer customer questions, announce sales and offers, drive discussions and more.
Market to existing customers
Don’t focus too much on getting new customers that you forget about your existing ones. You already know they love your product so why not make them return customers? Encourage them to join your email list, then send them inventory updates, discounted sales, and news about your firm. Regular emails will keep your business top of mind.
Customer referral program
Another effective marketing strategy for small business is implementing a customer referral program. It is cost-effective and doesn’t require a lot of time. Make it a regular habit to ask for referrals, but only from satisfied and happy customers. Consider providing an incentive to the customer if their referral results in a sale. Avoid asking the same customers for repeated referrals as this makes them feel less valued. Following up on referrals is important and so is asking open-ended questions to get a referral.
Small businesses need an optimized website that shows up at the top of search results. The web pages should appear first when someone performs a local search for your product or service. This means stepping up your SEO game. Subtle efforts like listing your business on Google, using meta descriptions and title tags, publishing informational blog posts as well as linking to social media pages will go a long way towards optimizing your site for search engines.
Nothing keeps people coming back like free stuff. Making it possible for customers to try your product or service encourages them to make a purchase. Don’t be afraid to offer a sample or free trial, as this will drive sales and even encourage customers to make referrals.
In a world that is technology driven, embracing marketing automation strategies can prove invaluable for your business. Implement any or all of these seven tips and you’ll be on your way to successfully marketing your small business and improving your bottom line.
The SmallBizRising Blog is designed to be an educational content hub pulling information, best practices and practical advice for the small business owner and features topics including accounting, marketing, technology and more. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with new content as it is posted. The blog was created by The Neat Company and receives contributed content from a group of contributing companies that provide technology, services and solutions to small businesses.