10 Small Business Marketing Strategies That Actually Work Avoid the pitfalls of small business marketing and achieve long-term goals by choosing the right strategies.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
As a small business owner, you know your vision and plan matter. To start a successful business, you'll need an ironclad business plan that includes financials and a marketing plan.
If you're a small business owner, then you know that marketing can be tough. It seems like everyone is competing for attention, and it's hard to stand out from the crowd.
Whether you handle marketing yourself or you have a marketing department, some strategies can increase visibility to boost awareness for your brand. Ready to learn more? Keep reading for 10 small business marketing strategies that work.
1. Know how to target your audience
When it comes to marketing your small business, it's essential to target the right audience. By developing a strategy that focuses on your ideal customer, you'll be able to reach more people who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer. So how do you go about doing this? Here are some tips for targeting your audience effectively:
- Know your target market
- Define your niche
- Research your competition
- Create buyer personas
- Use in-depthdemographic data
- Segment your audience
- Tailor your marketing messages
- Don't forget offline marketing
2. Leverage cold email marketing
When it comes to small business marketing, cold emailing is one of the most effective strategies. It's a great way to connect with potential customers who may not be familiar with your business. Here are a few tips for using cold email to market your small business:
- Start by creating a list of potential customers.
- Research the companies you want to target and find out who the decision-makers are.
- Draft a personalized email that introduces your business and explains why you think the contact would be a good fit for your products or services.
- Send the email and follow up with phone calls if necessary.
- Keep track of your results and adjust your strategy as needed.
Related: Email Marketing - Entrepreneur
3. Advertise your business online
When it comes to advertising your business, there are several different strategies that you can use. However, not all of these strategies will be effective for your business. To find the best digital marketing strategy for your small business, you need to do some research and try out a few different tactics.
One of the most popular online marketing tactics is social media advertising. This involves using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote your business. You can create ads that target specific demographics, or you can simply post about your business on your social media apps.
Since most people are on their mobile devices frequently, using social media posts or Google Ads to promote your brand may be a better marketing idea than using direct mail efforts. The internet also functions as the hub of word-of-mouth marketing, with in-person experiences being reflected on review and referral sites like Yelp.
4. Use influencers to build brand awareness
When it comes to marketing your small business, you can't afford to overlook the power of influencers. Influencers are individuals with a large online following who can sway the opinions of their followers. In other words, if an influencer promotes your product or service, their followers are likely to take notice.
There are several ways to work with influencers to build awareness for your small business. One option is to reach out to them directly and ask them to join a marketing campaign to promote your product or service. Another option is to partner with an influencer marketing agency that can connect you with influencers who are a good fit for your brand.
5. Connect with local businesses
One of the best ways to market your small business is to connect with local businesses. When you partner with other businesses in your area, you can share resources and promote each other to your customer base. You can also collaborate on marketing initiatives and events.
To connect with local businesses, start by networking with other business owners in your community. Attend business events and join online forums and groups that focus on local business collaboration. You can also reach out to local businesses directly and offer to collaborate.
6. Offer incentives and discounts
This can be in the form of a percentage off your products or services or even a free item with purchase. You can also offer loyalty programs, which give customers rewards for continued patronage. Whatever incentive or discount you choose to offer, make sure it's something that your customers will find valuable.
7. Build an email list
Building an email list isn't hard. It doesn't take much time or any special skills to do, and once it's done, it saves you a lot of time in the future. Here are some ideas for building your initial newsletter subscribers:
- Offer something valuable (and usually free) like a white paper, eBook, free webinar, or coupon code for joining your mailing list
- Ask people who complete certain forms on your website to opt-in to receive updates from you via email
- Use social media platforms to post about how excited you are about launching your new products/services and share where to sign up for them using links that lead directly to the sign-up form
- Include a sign-up form on all of your website pages and blog posts
8. Automated marketing
Running a small business can often be an all-hands-on-deck situation, especially as you start up. Because you and your employees have so much to juggle, automation might be just what you need to boost efficiency and increase communication consistency.
Automation can also help you and your team take back your time, as it can provide more freedom for job tasks, collaboration, and creativity.
Consider automation platforms for:
- Social media content calendars
- Email marketing (eCommerce shopping carts and abandoned carts, and email list blasts)
- SMS notifications (loyalty program, discounts, and shipping notifications)
9. Invest in search engine optimization (SEO)
Another popular online marketing strategy is search engine optimization (SEO). This involves optimizing your website so that it appears higher on search engine results pages. By investing in SEO, you can improve your website's ranking in search results and attract more visitors.
There are many different SEO techniques that you can use, and it's important to choose the right ones for your business. If you have a limited budget, you may want to consider using online marketing tools like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads. These tools allow you to target specific audiences with your ads, which can help you save money on advertising costs.
If you have a small marketing budget, check out these five affordable small business SEO softwares:
10. Blog about the latest trends and events related to your business niche
Blogging is a great way to connect with customers and share information about your business. When you blog about the latest trends, news stories, and events related to your business niche, potential customers can learn more about you and what you offer. This can help you attract new customers and build trust with existing customers.
Ready to build your small business?
As you continue to grow your small business, your marketing efforts matter. You need to understand your target audience, create multiple marketing channels, maintain consistent content marketing efforts, and follow a messaging system that aligns with your brand's mission.