Small Business Marketing: A High-Level Guide for Budding Entrepreneurs

Decision 168 - Small Business Marketing

"Business is about more than just money. It’s about being creative and innovative."
- Peter Jones

The Importance of Small Business Marketing

First things first, we should understand the role and importance of marketing. When running a small business, marketing is an area that many budding entrepreneurs and business owners overlook or put off entirely because they think it’s too expensive, hard to manage, or just not relevant. In reality, however, there are plenty of ways you can appeal to your audience by devoting a little attention (and money) to marketing. The critical question is, If I don’t market my business, product, or service, how do I expect to have potential customers to know about them? How will I interact with them once they show interest? 

Small Business Marketing on Any Budget is Possible.

This high-level guide outlines a few marketing channels you can use to grow your business. There are options for different budgets and even a few free methods besides the basic musts to operating a business in the modern marketplace. 

So here we go…

Create a Strategy

A strategy will help determine how you will use different marketing tactics to reach more people and convert them into customers. A good plan will consider budget constraints and target audience demographics so that the most appropriate forms of advertising are used for each situation. It may also involve developing new products or services so that there is something new for potential customers to get excited about.

Start Building Your Brand Identity

The first step is building your brand identity by creating an effective marketing campaign. It means creating a clear image of what people should think of when they hear your name or see your logo. Once you have created this image, it will be easier for potential customers to recognize your brand and associate it with your products and services when they see them. Notice we said ‘Brand Identity’ and not Brand; that’s another topic.

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Though it may seem obvious, many businesses fail to consider their customers’ needs when devising their marketing plans.

Business Basics

Let’s assume you’ve already covered the basics, but just in case, make sure you have an online presence; this includes a website, SEO, and social media at a minimum.

1) Website:

Regardless of the size of a business, in this day and age, and the amount of competition, every business needs to have a website. It can be simple but should include all the potential information that customers may need. Several resources are available to get a website up and running with minimal to no cost (i.e., WordPress), so there shouldn’t be a reason not to have one.

2) Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

At the early stage of building your company, prospects will likely not be looking for your brand. You will want to follow Google recommendations for content, sitemaps, etc. You have to use appropriate focus keywords in your page’s content.

3) Social Media:

Perhaps one of the least expensive approaches to marketing is the use of social media. And if done right, it could be the most effective marketing technique. Creating brand pages on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn doesn’t cost anything. Post regularly and make a few video blogs to create a personal relationship with your customers.

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Marketing Essentials

Now that you have the basics in place. Let’s move on to a few more marketing essentials for small businesses. You may be able to start with these too at no cost but might need some assistance in ensuring that everything is optimized to get you the best possible results. It’s critical to remember that marketing is not just making sure that the world knows about your brand. It ensures that your marketing pitch forges a strong connection between your brand and your customers.

1) Google My Business Profile:

You can use various strategies and techniques to market your business, but Google My Business is one of the most effective. What is Google My Business?

Google My Business allows businesses to create their page on Google Maps and set up their listing for their company on the website. The information that users enter into these pages is all verified by Google, so it gives businesses more credibility than just a random listing on the internet would have. The main benefit of creating this page is that it helps people find companies close by them when they search for something online.

2) Your Network is Your Net Worth

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.”

When it comes to building a business, this is especially true. As a budding entrepreneur, you’ll be able to grow your company faster if you can build relationships with other people in your industry.

Networking is a simple concept: building relationships with people who can help your business succeed. The math is simple, the more people you know, the more opportunities will come your way.

Keep these five things in mind for networking as you start and continue to build your empire:

a) Decide what kind of networking you want to do (online or in person)

b) Determine who it is that you want to meet and why (for example, prospective clients or potential partners)

c) Make a list of all the people in your industry who might be helpful to meet (this could be on a spreadsheet)

d) Go out and find these people at events where they hang out (such as conferences, seminars, or trade shows) or through social media groups that are relevant to their interests

e) When meeting someone new, be prepared with an elevator pitch about yourself and what you have to offer

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3) Email Drip Campaigns:

Yes, Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach your audience. It is a cost-effective way to reach customers regularly and keep them up-to-date on new products and services. And it’s easy to get started.

Here are some things to remember for using email marketing campaigns as part of your small business marketing strategy:

Choose a platform to automate email campaigns:

We recommend MailChimp or Constant Contact if you’re starting with email marketing. Both platforms offer free accounts that include analytics and basic templates. They also provide access to large databases of subscribers who may be interested in what you have to offer. You can upload your existing contacts or import them from another service like Gmail or Outlook (though there may be a cost associated with this).

Build your list through opt-in forms:

Create an opt-in form for your website or landing page that asks visitors if they’d like to receive emails from your company. This approach lets you build up an audience of people who are genuinely interested in hearing from you — not just anyone who happens across your site.

Use email to engage with customers:

Build relationships with subscribers by sending regular updates with news about new products, discounts, and other valuable information that will keep readers engaged over time. Email offers you a chance to get direct feedback from customers, allowing you to provide better service. You can use customer surveys and questionnaires to gather information about their needs and preferences. E-campaigns enable you to share new products or services with them before they’re available.

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4) The Sale is in the Follow-up

A successful business is about getting the right customers and ensuring they are happy with your product or service. This means knowing how to interact and follow up with potential customers so you can grow your small business and close deals.

Think about these things as you build your strategy:

a) Be Patient

b) Know Your Product Inside Out

c) Understand Your Customer’s Needs

d) Build Relationships with People in Your Industry but Outside Your Company

e) Develop Relationships with Influencers in Your Field

f) Stay In Touch with Potential Customers and Follow Up Regularly

There’s no denying that small business marketing is a tricky beast, but it’s a critical component of any company’s success. With the right strategy, you can drive traffic to your site and convert more visitors into paying customers.

Remember, what works for one small business doesn’t always work for another, and each industry has its challenges and opportunities.

Still, specific approaches can help fledgling entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground and grow. Make things easier for yourself and use the Decision 168 App to manage your projects, tasks, and teams while maintaining visibility.

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LEADERSHIP

MARKETING

PERSONAL GROWTH

BUSINESS FINANCE

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