Small Business Marketing Strategies That Work

Small Business Marketing Strategies That Work

Your small business may just be in its infancy, or you may have been on the scene for a while now, but either way, a solid marketing strategy is crucial for your company’s growth and success. It isn’t enough to set up your shop and implement a casual marketing strategy, regardless of how excellent your goods and services are. Thanks to low barriers to entry for small business owners, each market is relatively saturated and sincere efforts must be made to get your company’s offerings in front of the right clients. This guide will help you to develop and carry out a strong marketing plan to bring in new customers, grow your business and ensure your company’s success. 

Social Media

Perhaps one of the most powerful small business marketing strategies is one of the easiest to launch. Small businesses can expand their reach and attract more consumers through a clean, well-branded and regularly-updated social media presence. Social media allows small businesses to solidify their brand identity, promote products, share user-generated content, announce promotions and sales and even address customer concerns and feedback. Social media is a great way to reach customers where they already spend a great deal of their own free time. A large number of consumers will experience your company first through social media, so it’s important that you update your presence regularly on whatever platform you choose. 

Partnerships and Collaborations

Many small businesses have the same or a similar target customer base, yet their products don’t directly compete for their business. Through partnerships and collaborations, you can team up with another company to expand your influence while using fewer resources to do so–and promote another member of the small business community at the same time. Such partnerships may involve bundling a product or service from each company at a discounted rate, collaborating on a new product together, sponsoring one another or teaming up for a cause you both believe in. 

Email Marketing

Small businesses can use email marketing strategies to reach existing customers, bring in new ones and maintain loyalty with those who know and love your business. An email list is typically populated with customers who have already expressed an interest in your business and what you have to offer, which can increase the likelihood that your email marketing efforts will result in conversions. You can use emails to send out newsletters, advertise limited-time offers, remind customers about an abandoned cart or release promotions that will drive sales and invite customers to visit your shop with an exclusive offer. 

Paid Ads

It takes time to develop a loyal customer base who will visit your company naturally and encounter your content organically. In the meantime, it’s important that you push your content so that it reaches the largest number of people possible. Paid ads offer a short-term way to push your content toward buyers most likely to visit your shop. Google ads are great to reach your target customer through specific search terms and queries that might result in a sale much sooner, while social media ads can increase your impressions and expand your audience while encouraging buyers to visit your shop or profile. 

Specialized Promotions

While evergreen content is valuable and necessary for your small business, short-term or specialized promotions and products can encourage buyers to take quick action as you capitalize on a fleeting circumstance to drive traffic toward your business. Take time to identify your audience and their demographics and try to create advertisements and promotions that appeal to their evolving needs and interests. You may want to release holiday-based or seasonal sales, or you may find it helpful to generate content that centers around a trending current event or occurrence to ride the wave of social momentum at the time. Think, as well, about the types of buyers you need to appeal to. You may want to begin a blog that subtly features your products, create gift guides that pull in a variety of products from other shops as well as yours, form relationships with influencers or affiliates or start a side-venture such as a podcast, video series, eBook or course enrollment to expand the space you occupy within your own niche. 

Referral Programs

One of the best ways to bring in new customers is to mobilize existing, happy customers to do so. Invite customers to share your products or services and incentivize their efforts by offering a discount for their next purchase, a gift card, store credit or access to an exclusive product or service reserved just for referrals. Referral marketing works best when both the existing customer and the new customer receive some sort of compensation or incentive for their patronage, which can encourage both parties at once to make a purchase. 

Loyalty Systems

Though your high-quality goods and services are rewarding enough for customers, it helps to boost the benefits for repeat customers and compensate clients who visit again and again every further. Loyalty programs can include a punch card that offers a free product or item after a certain number of purchases, a points system that will provide a discount or product after the customer reaches a certain tier, cashback or rebate programs or exclusive discounts reserved for those who have already shopped with you to encourage them to return for more. 

Third-Party Press

Consumers are less likely to shop with a company in which they know little about, so it’s important to invest in the acquisition of social proof for your small business. The grand majority of consumers look to reviews and recommendations before they make a purchase. Make sure that your customers can leave a review for your stellar products, and try to feature as much praise on your website and social media accounts as you can. Try to reach out to publications, bloggers, influencers or even other companies to share your small business and its products and services to earn a little positive media and develop more consumer trust. The more clout your small business has, the more established and reputable your company will seem, both to existing and new customers alike. 

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