1. Identify the right audience to target
Creating your ideal buyer persona is vital to your marketing. Such a persona is a fictional model of the buyer your team must target.
The main reasoning for creating such a model is simple. Buyer personas help marketers to identify the suitable type of content to use to capture their target audience.
You want to give your audience the content they crave, but before you can do that, first, you need to know as much as possible about their characteristics, needs, preferences, and budget.
That means you must craft a highly targeted messaging that resonates well with a highly targeted audience. Doing that makes you avoid a mistake that other marketers commit - namely, running after everyone they think is a potential clients.
Remember a counsel that small businesses receive: You cannot be everything to everybody. Being everything to everybody is the easiest way you can nip your business in the bud. You will waste resources on an audience that will not respond to your marketing promotions.
Before going out there, study your audience and their buying behavior. What content does your audience consume before purchasing?
Use these techniques:
- Talk to your existing customers and clients. Let them talk about what they like about your marketing approaches and services.
- Monitor the traffic coming to your website.
- What particular content do they consume?
- How long do they engage with your content?
- What actions do your visitors do that eventually lead to a purchase?
- Use tracking tools like HubSpot tracking code for this purpose. It can track how your users find and consume your content.
- Capture persona information through contact and inquiry forms.
- Get inputs from the sales team. What type of people interacts with them the most? What kind of leads best fit your company’s solution? And what type is not worth pursuing at all?
If the marketing budget is tight, all the more that you need to identify the ideal persona that will transact business with your business. Ask the sales team about questions they receive when engaging with clients:
- Is it about price or quality?
- Does warranty matter the most for most people?
- What about maintenance and support? Many people are worried they will not receive customer support when something happens to their gadgets or technical systems?
- What about safety and security?
When you know your target audience well, you also get to discover their concerns about products. Address the foremost concerns of your audience. You want them to see that you put a priority on their welfare.
2. Make Your Website SEO-Friendly
One of the most effective marketing tips for small businesses in the modern marketing landscape is website SEO optimization.
Does your business operate a website? If yes, you can turn such a website into a lead-generating engine that drives traffic to your small business. One of the tricks for that is to make your site SEO-friendly.
An SEO-friendly website means it can help you increase your business’s online presence and boost your rankings on search engine results pages. People who do not know you or may have heard about your business somewhere in the past can find you when they search through Google and similar search engines.
For this to be possible, you need to SEO optimize the following:
- Website content
- Linking infrastructure
Website content for SEO
Content SEO is about creating content geared towards better positioning in search engine results. It works two ways:
- Search engines crawl through websites that contain relevant content to the searcher’s inquiry. The more relevant your content is, the higher Google will rank it on its search result pages.
- Google ranks websites higher if there is evidence of higher audience engagement. Create content that will keep your audience engaged with your website and browse through the pages of your site for a long time.
Keep your bounce rates low and optimize site speed. Google monitors these metrics as a gauge for ranking higher or lower.
Keyword optimization for SEO
Apart from your content being relevant and informative, you also want to entice Google to rank your site high because of the relevant keywords that you use in your content.
Keywords are words that searchers use in searching for information through search engines. People searching for sports apparel may use “men’s jogging pants” or “best Nike shoes for teenagers” as search keywords. If your business happens to be in the sports industry, these are examples you might need to optimize in your content.
If Google senses that your content has these keywords, it will show your website and its pages to the searcher. You need to allocate a part of your marketing budget to boost your keyword SEO capabilities by conducting keyword research.
To get started with keyword research, use Google keyword finder tools. Start testing the keywords suggested by Google. Later on, you can also use paid keyword research tools that can help you improve more your (click-through rate) CTR ratio and website engagement.
Digital marketing for small businesses should also focus on another essential component of SEO marketing – linking strategy. Learn about three types:
Google wants your content to link to other sites and, preferably, to authority sites. It signals to Google that you have well-research content, and you somehow have connections with thought leaders in your industry.
Examples of authority sites are Wikipedia, Google.com, Forbes, the social media platforms like LinkedIn, forums like Quora, Huffington Post, and many more.
Inbound links are links that connect to your site. You want authority sites and other websites to use your content and eventually use your site as their resource.
You can be proactively promoting your links. Post your content on social media and forums. At the end of your content, post your links as well. That can help drive traffic to your site and establish yourself as a credible resource.
Create engaging and relevant content all over your site, and link your pages by providing links here and there throughout your content. You want to make sure that your visitors can get more valuable information once they have accessed your site.
Make use of content considered most credible by users, such as research and case studies, Infographics, and images.
There is pretty much you need to do concerning SEO. You might need an extra hand to help you plan out the best content and SEO strategies for your small business. Get more information from Influencer Marketing Hub: 7 Marketing Ideas for Growing Your Small Business in 2021.
3. Use ads marketing
Another strategy to use is ads marketing. Paid social media advertising is one of the ways to advertise businesses nowadays.
Although it can be expensive, it gives faster results than capturing audiences organically (i.e., SEO, forums, blogging, etc.).
There are several social media platforms available. Facebook ads target users depending on their demographic, location, and profile.
Twitter has a system called Promoted Tweets. Promoted Tweets are advertisements that Twitter places in front of your audience based on their location and interests.
Another platform for ads marketing is Google Ads. Google Ads is one ads strategy that allows marketers to reduce ad spending while maximizing their ROI.
Also, explore LinkedIn ad marketing campaigns. With LinkedIn, you can reach your ideal clietns on the world’s most extensive professional network.
The LinkedIn platform provides an easy campaign setup process:
- Create a manager campaign account on LinkedIn.
- Choose your goals and objectives.
- Launch your LinkedIn campaign.
Whatever platform suits your business, make sure you get the best services available. Work with experienced ad copywriters and managers, especially if you can’t manage it personally or you don’t have time to learn the ropes yourself.
4. Blog to show your authority in your niche
You want to establish yourself as an expert in your field of business and make sure that people know about your qualifications. Blogging is one of the best channels for you to achieve that goal.
Create great content relevant to people and make sure that you provide them ways to access it via forums, social media posts, regular website posting, etc.
Make these posts actionable. That way, people can continue engaging with you after reading your posts. When you are successful with your content, and people flock to you because you are an authority they believe in, continue to boost your online presence and increase your availability.
Make use of the linking opportunities discussed above whenever you can. Even with your ads, there are ways to connect your content and engage with your target audience.
Want to know how to get started building your authority through content marketing and blogging? Click here.
5. Use social media marketing
When marketing small businesses, it is imperative to look at social media platforms as viable channels for promotions. That is because most consumers use social media. They use it not only to connect with their friends and family but also to search for good products. The strategy presents vast opportunities for your business to grow.
Since you are still a small business, reaching large audiences at once is a wise strategy, and social media is a cutout for that purpose.
With over 3.7 billion active users worldwide, social media platforms can provide your business a massive reach to engage with your clients, generate leads, and increase brand awareness online.
Social media marketing also brings these additional benefits:
- Social marketing is effective because brands can hyper-target ideal clients based on demographics. Showing your ads and content to the right individuals is a critical component of the process.
- Social marketing allows retargeting. That means you can build a base of leads out of those individuals that clicked your ads, visited your landing pages, or signed up to your email lists. You can re-engage with these users at a later date.
- Social media marketing also allows you to track your return on investment from your social marketing campaigns. If you do it right, the result is small ad spend with high sales return.
Check out this page about targeting local audiences through social mediae if you want to know more.
6. Use social proof/leverage reviews
While you grow your business, you can benefit a lot from reviews. Even if you receive a negative product review, you can turn it into an opportunity to engage with your audience. You can tell them you take responsibility for the mishap and are taking steps to do it right.
On the other hand, when receiving favorable reviews, make sure you respond promptly to say you appreciate the effort. It is also an opportunity to invite them to upcoming events or browse more products that may benefit them more.
Receive more reviews with the target of building your reputation online. Platforms that can help you in this component of your marketing include Google My Business and Google Alerts.
An online review is helpful because:
- It demonstrates social proof.
- It plays a crucial role in decision-making.
- It helps your business to be easily found online.
7. Compose a persuasive elevator pitch
The idea behind the elevator pitch is to engage with prospects to get their attention and get them interested in your product within less than a minute.
“Good morning. I am __name__ from __company__, supplier of __product___. We deliver various types of responsibly sourced __product__. Our rates are affordable, and our service is the best in the state. I would love you to fill in this form for a 10-minute meeting. How about a meet-up this weekend? I will show you samples, and perhaps I can cook up discounts for you.”
This example allows you to emphasize the strengths of your company – affordable rates and excellent customer service. The key is to customize your pitch based on the needs of your target audience.
Leverage your community
Target your local community, but make sure that strategy coincides with what you do online and vice versa.
For instance, host local events that your community will find valuable. Mention that they can find more information about these events on social media and newsletters.
Engage with people at those events and tell them about your online channels where they can follow up on you later.
8. Collaborate with other businesses and domains
Tweak your small business marketing strategies every time you have an opportunity to work with other companies. Use promotional techniques that allow you to tap new sets of audiences from your partners. Collaboration marketing promotions include:
- Social media and offline events
- Reciprocal website links
- Bundled promotions
- Coupon offerings
Steps to collaborative partnerships include:
- Joining industry organizations
- Reaching out to local businesses
- Getting involved in local community causes through donations and charities
- Embracing referrals and outsourcing
Building a network that helps grow your business may take time, but you must commit yourself. A strong network can be one valuable asset for your business. To build a strong network, you must possess skills, such as public speaking, active listening, showing empathy, and being positive all the time.
Use referral strategies
If you are not asking for referrals, you are missing opportunities to open new doors and engage with a new audience. The majority of businesses say they are willing to provide referrals if only they are asked.
It is challenging to promote a small business, especially if you are tight with the budget. Nonetheless, you can start with offline and online techniques that do not require you to spend lots of money on them.
Take advantage of free online marketing tools. Use free trials of these tools, and when you find they work for your business, upgrade to a paid service.
Offline strategies are also cost-effective strategies. Collaboration, networking, and referrals do not cost that much. Sometimes, you do not even have to shell out a single dollar to get connected with organizations.
Outsourcing some of your marketing processes can cut down costs as well. You make others do the dirty work without being heavy on the budget. Plus, doing that allows you to focus on other equally important aspects of your business, such as:
- Creating new products and services
- Building relationships with leaders in your industry