Looking for marketing tips for small business? You’re in the right place. Let’s start with the basics. Marketing is a broad term that covers everything from pricing to promotion. When many small business owners say they need help with marketing, they’re looking for help with promotion.
Most small businesses struggle with three constraints on their promotional marketing:
- limited budget
- not enough time
- and/or a lack of direction.
If you’re dealing with all three constraints, then it is even more important to get laser focused on your marketing plan.
How to Create a Marketing Plan
You don’t want to waste time or money creating marketing plan that’s not appropriate for your type of business.
In order to create a marketing plan, you’ll need to
- Know your target audience.
- Define your USP (Unique Selling Point)
A marketing plan includes setting goals, understanding your audience, and developing a strategy.
A marketing plan can be as simple as a one-page document that outlines your goals and strategies or it can be an extensive document with detailed information about each step of your strategy.
The most important thing about a marketing plan is that it needs to be tailored to your company’s specific needs and goals.
There’s a saying, “the riches are in the niches.” Choosing a tightly targeted niche market is the best way to maximize your marketing’s impact. A niche marketing strategy allows you to save money on advertising while increasing your marketing ROI. In order to appeal to buyers within a niche market, you must understand their problems, goals and desires.
Marketing Tips for Small Business #1: Create a strong online presence.
Your online presence begins with your website. Don’t confuse this with your social media business profiles.
You should be paying for web hosting and a domain name for your website. Don’t cheap out on this. Having a professional-looking website is one of your most important marketing assets. Your website is where you show who you are, what you offer, where you are, and how consumers can get in touch with you.
Domain name registrations are less than $20 per year for the standard .com/.net/.org. Then, pay to host your website. There are a ton of hosting options that are less than $10 per month. Many of these provide templates so you can create your own website too.
If you’re paying for your domain name and hosting, then you will always have control over your website, unlike social media platforms which may change policies or go in and out of style.
Of course, you should still create social media profiles for your business. This can easily become overwhelming if you haven’t identified your niche market. Start with the social media site your target audience uses. If you don’t know, then start with the social media site you use most often.
Marketing Tips for Small Business #2: Create content about the products/services you offer.
Creating content (on your website) is a great way to generate organic (free) traffic. If you focus on creating content about the problems (pain points) of your target audience, you’ll reach people who haven’t made a purchasing decision yet. Creating content will also help to establish your credibility and position you as a thought leader. This will help to establish your brand as an expert in your field.
Even if you only publish an article (blog post) once a week, it will improve your website’s visibility online and help educate people on why they should buy from you.
Marketing Tips for Small Business #3: Invest in advertising
Creating content is a long term play. It can takes months – or even years – to begin enjoying the benefits of organic (free) traffic. If you’re like most small businesses, you can’t afford to wait months or years. Instead, you will want to invest in pay-to-play tactics.
This is where it’s critically important to know who your target audience is as well as your USP (Unique Selling Point).
If your target audience is searching the web for solutions, then consider investing in PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising. PPC advertising is not a set it and forget it proposition. You’ll need to monitor your campaigns, keywords and results. If you don’t, PPC can quickly become a black hole.
Another pay to play tactic is using social media ads. Using highly targeted ads, you can gain the interest of your target audience.
Again, don’t make the rookie mistake of paying for advertising that sends people to your social media profile. Create a specific page on your website for each keyword or product you’re targeting.
Finally, if you want to get maximum bang for your marketing dollars, consider creating a marketing giveaway. Contests are an incredibly cost effective promotional tool. You get a lot of bang for your buck by putting together a marketing giveaway. Not only is it a great way to create word-of-mouth marketing, but it can also generate free PR as well.
The Importance of Marketing in Today’s World
Marketing is an important part of any business. It is the driving force behind any successful campaign. Marketing can be done in many different ways, from traditional methods to digital marketing.
Marketing has changed significantly over the years, but it is still an essential part of any business.