In the early stages of a business, choosing a viable marketing strategy can be a challenge. More often than not, you are working on a tight budget, which basically means that you can’t risk making the wrong decision. Moreover, there is such an abundance of marketing-related information on the internet, that it can become hard to know where to start. Should you create a sales funnel that funnels leads from your social media to a landing page, or should you conduct market research and try to build a buyer persona first? How to know what would work best for your business?
It’s true that your business has a unique business model and a niche target market. It would be natural to assume that what worked for say company A (from industry X) might not work for you. However, there are some effective, universal marketing techniques that any business can benefit from, regardless of what it sells. In the following sections, we will talk about some of those marketing techniques for small businesses:
Don’t neglect SEO
As a customer, what’s the first thing you do when you want to purchase a product or a service? You search for it on Google, of course. What’s the next thing you do? You go through the results on the first page and look for a suitable match. You rarely go to the second page (if at all), right? After all, why would you? You trust Google enough to know that it displayed the best results for you, first. As a business owner, you must strive to make your website rank as high in these search engine results as possible. You can do this by improving your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO).
Google, and other search engines, have a huge list of websites to search from. Using SEO, you can make your website easy to find and thus rank higher in the results. So how do you get started? First, you begin with an SEO audit. Websites like SEMrush offer great insight regarding your website’s SEO status. You can know your website’s strengths and weaknesses, along with the organic keywords that lead visitors to your website. From there, you can identify areas of improvement. As a first step, revamp your website’s content to incorporate relevant keywords more appropriately. Then, focus on other avenues of SEO building like backlinking and social signals etc. We’ve put together a list of free SEO tools here that can help you implement an effective SEO strategy.
Advertise on Facebook
More than 2 million businesses are advertising on Facebook, and there are good reasons why. No matter what age, demographic, or location your target market might have, they can be reached via Facebook. To say that it’s one of the most effective ways to market in the modern world, won’t be an overstatement.
The best part about Facebook ads is that they are immensely targeted. You can choose an audience on the basis of gender, location, online behaviour, occupation, age, and many other factors. Creating an ad on Facebook is also fairly straightforward. All you need is a catchy headline, a succinct description, an image, and a link. You can manage your ads and track their progress easily using the Facebook ad manager.
Content marketing involves posting relevant, informative content on a regular basis, to attract and retain visitors to your website. Content marketing might not yield tangible benefits immediately (like paid advertising), but it’s a very effective long-term strategy. If you are able to identify the needs, pain points, and challenges of your target audience, then you can post content on your website that relates to them on an emotional level, opening numerous possibilities for profitable customer actions. The content you create must be:
- High quality
- SEO optimised
Content marketing isn’t limited to starting and maintaining an online blog. You can also create videos, webinars, online courses, etc., and share them across different customer touchpoints.
Generate Leads Using Lead Magnets
Lead generation is an important part of a marketing lifecycle. Before you create targeted marketing campaigns, you must first have an extensive list of potential leads. A great tactic to generate leads quickly is using a lead magnet. A lead magnet is something you offer (for free) to prospects in exchange for their emails, phone numbers, or any other desired information. This can be a small helpful e-book, interactive quizzes, cheat sheets, discount coupons, webinars, limited-period trials, etc.
Solidify Your Presence on Social Media Websites
67% of customers prefer using social media while seeking customer support. This is only one of the many reasons why having social media accounts for your business is a no-brainer. Look at it this way: If a potential customer can’t find you on social media, they will probably settle for your counterpart that does. However, we aren’t debating having a business social media account here (because that’s non-negotiable), we are talking about investing time and money in social media engagement.
Most businesses can benefit from investing in social media growth by posting relevant content regularly. One share can (start a chain and) make you viral, one like can make you appear on numerous news feeds, and one giveaway can earn you hundreds of thousands of comments! The possibilities of customer outreach via social media are phenomenal.
Personalised Email Campaigns
Email marketing has always been a marketing technique you can depend upon. It’s easy to do and using a marketing automation tool, it’s also incredibly easy to automate. Once you have generated a list of potential leads, start engaging with them via email. The key here is to frequently provide interesting and personalised content, which allows you to avoid the dreaded spam folder. Simply remembering a prospect’s name or talking about their pain points in the email’s body can do a world of good.
Some of the marketing techniques mentioned above can prove to be game-changers for your small business. If you are in the early days of running a business and want to go for the safest options first, don’t think twice before implementing any of the aforementioned marketing techniques.