You’re feeling a bit intimidated about marketing your new business.
You’re eager to let the world know you have arrived, yet fear is squashing your excitement. You don’t even fully understand what small business marketing entails.
You want to show people the value of what you have here, but you’re anxious about how you will be received.
It has taken nearly all your available funds to bring you thus far, and you don’t want to flub it up at this stage of the game.
You’re overwhelmed, and you long for it all to be simplified for you.
You’re hoping to apply easy to follow steps that help you emerge into the market and experience the acceptance and momentum you’ve imagined.
This ultimate guide to small business marketing has the simple steps you need to expose your business to those people who really need it.
Here are cost effective ways to market your business,
to help you save money and easily implement small business marketing ideas.
It’s Easier Than You Think To Begin With A Small Business Marketing Plan
The dreaded marketing plan. I know.
But it cost you $0 and will save you money as well. This forethought keeps you from having unnecessary expenditures.
Every success begins with a plan. Rather than wandering aimlessly through your business’s development, you gain focus, seize control and create vision.
“How do I create a simple marketing plan?” I hear you asking. You simply want to merge your marketing efforts with your overall business plan.
Use your business structure and goals relative to production, sales and customer relations, to direct you on how to develop a clear and concise small business marketing plan as well.
Be detailed and definite.
- How will you alert people to what you are producing?
- What will make them want to purchase from you?
- Determine who your customer is with a Buyer Persona that identifies:
- Who needs your product or service?
- How old are they and where do they live?
- Who makes enough money to purchase what you’re offering?
- What are their goals and motivations?
- What will make you their first choice among the many businesses offering similar products or services?
- What will cause them to be a loyal customer and not just a one time buyer?
- Know who your ideal customer is and position yourself to attract their attention.
- Challenge yourself to generate sales in a certain time frame.
- Determine how to transform customer relations into customer sales and satisfaction; envision what that will look like and feel like.
Answer these questions and set these goals in your small business marketing plan.
Here is access to a simple marketing plan template you can use and enjoy.
Once your plan is set, you then use various marketing avenues to reveal your value and unique points for customers to see and gravitate to.
How To Make Your Marketing Avenues Successful
There are specific ways to be seen by your customers.
Being seen is not enough.
It’s how you use these marketing avenues that brings you success.
Inbound Marketing: How to Market Your Business Online
People are online daily, searching for products and solutions specific to their needs.
Inbound marketing employs content to inform and communicate with potential customers, and build enduring relationships with them.
You can do more than just attract them, you can hold them as loyal customers.
Because inbound marketing cuts costs, it is the best strategy for marketing a small business.
You engage your customers by being present with a business website, blog, email correspondence and social media connection.
You anchor all these distribution channels strategically with the SEO keywords your audience puts in the Google search bar to find what they need.
Let’s get right into the application of your successful marketing avenues.
What Maximizes Your Website’s First Impression?
Your website is your business’s lighthouse, guiding customers in from the sea of a multitude of options. They should immediately see that you offer what they want.
If they inputted, “purple rain boots” into the search engine, as soon as they hit your website, they should see purple rain boots.
How do you make sure they know exactly what you offer?
- Use titles and pictures that show them the object of their desire. Be specific.
- Place solutions and clear directions at the top of your web page to engage them directly; without the need to scroll down.
- Create a website that is easy to navigate with bold and clear tabs and links.
When you immediately show searchers you have what they are looking for, they are more apt to stay on your site and discover the value you offer them.
Your domain name for your website is another thing that attracts your audience. Make it clear and to the point.
Short and catchy names are most attractive. Try to make it something people will remember. Use this resource to help you come up with a winner.
How A Blog Stimulates Customer Interest and Interaction
Your blog contributes greatly to your inbound marketing success.
- It keeps your customers and potential customers updated on your business’s activities.
- It provides them with relative content that creates excitement around your product.
- It creates an ongoing conversation with them.
There is statistical proof that 79% of companies that have a blog report a positive ROI for inbound marketing.
How do you join that 79%?
- Have a consistent blog presence with regular posts; at least once a week is ideal, even more times per week is better.
- Communicate with your readers with a personal tone that makes them feel at home, coupled with an authoritative presentation that builds their trust in your expertise.
- Every blog post should be high quality content your readers benefit from.
- Include video blogs for personalization and an ease of information consumption.
- Use visuals such as charts and pictures in your posts to demonstrate certain processes and facts. This is a way to virtually take your customer by the hand and lead them; empowering them to confidently use your product with success.
- Promote each post on your social media channels and in emails to your clients.
Having an active blog on your website causes search engines to take notice and increases your chances of being indexed and discovered by your target audience.
Use Email Marketing To Get The Highest Return On Investment
Your website and blog should feature an invite to readers to receive regular emails from you.
Email marketing is a direct way into your customers’ personal space.
We all check our emails throughout the day and engage in the informative and entertaining emails we receive.
“73 percent of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email.”
“More than 50 percent of U.S. respondents check their personal email account more than 10 times a day, and it is by far their preferred way to receive updates from brands.”
“You might be wondering if email is still a worthwhile marketing strategy. In fact, email generates $38 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 3,800% ROI, making it one of the most effective options available.”
When your customer puts their contact information in your email opt-in form, it means they want to hear from you and learn more about your business. This is a great way to build a relationship.
What makes customers opt-in to receive your emails?
- Offer them valued information as a gift.
- Gift them an ebook or ongoing newsletter relative to your business offer.
- A coupon or discount is also an attractive gift to offer.
- Free trials attract visitors to take a test drive of your product.
- Assure them you will respect their privacy and not share their contact information with anyone.
- Provide strong, quality content that makes them want to stick around and learn more.
Once you begin to contact your customers, keep your emails relative, informative and genuine. Your email headlines should arouse curiosity and make everyone want to open the email and find out more.
Make sure your emails are mobile friendly, as most people will be reading them on their phones.
Do not send too many emails and do not be “salesy”.
Focus on building a relationship that assures them you are here to help with solutions to their needs. Answer their questions, discover their preferences and give them what they want.
How To Excel at Social Media Marketing For Small Business
Connecting with your customers on social media channels is another way to be present in your customers’ world.
They enjoy engaging on a human level and having a longstanding dialogue.
It is essential to discover which social media channels your ideal customers frequent.
Businesses with rich product pictures and reviews may find more customers on Pinterest or Instagram, where people love to see products and imagine them into their space.
Businesses with a more professional, dialogue edge, may find their customers on Linkedin or Twitter.
Visit the various social media sites and see who is sharing there. Pay attention to what they are sharing and what they are searching for.
Notice what businesses are there too and how they are sharing their message.
Once you find your customers on social media, what is the best way to engage with them?
- Let them feel your personality through your social media posts.
- Let them feel your excitement to serve them.
- Keep them alerted to your business news, updates, discounts and sales.
- Make some sales and discounts exclusively for them. It will inspire them to stay connected and attentive.
- Hear them. Read their threads to find out what challenges they have and help them tackle those challenges. Find out what problems they have and step in to solve them.
It is just like in your brick and mortar store, when customers come in and you strike up a conversation with them.
Over time, you interact and build a connection that keeps them coming back to your store instead of another similar store.
It’s like that with social media connections as well. The more you and your customers share, trust develops and you become their preference.
The magic of social media marketing is in the likes and shares.
The like sign triggers people’s curiosity and they want to put their eyes on what other people like; they don’t want to miss out on a good thing.
You may communicate with one person, but they in turn communicate with many others. When they share your social media posts, you get more mileage out of your efforts.
Each like and share begets more likes and shares. It can be great exposure for your business.
Use this cool, free resource to develop a social media marketing strategy.
Why SEO Anchors Your Marketing Avenues
Your social media channels, blog and website need to be anchored with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to help you be found.
Keywords are a major contributor.
The keywords you add are the same ones your buyers are using to look for products and services on Google, Bing and other search engines.
When you place keywords and phrases in:
- Your website and blog titles, meta tag descriptions, image alt text and sparsely throughout your content.
- Your social media channels keyword prompts.
It helps your customers find you. It leads them to the exact things they are looking for.
Visit Google and search for the keywords people would use to find your product or service. What keywords would you use?
Test different keywords to see how many people are searching for them. Notice the suggestions Google has in their drop down menu. Use Google’s “People also ask” feature to generate ideas.
Using keywords for your specific locale is also a great way to attract those customers near you. So, along with using, Vegan Bakery, you would also use Vegan Bakery in Chicago, IL. (Or wherever your location is)
Having a fast loading website page and including both external and internal backlinks will also increase your visibility.
These actions land your website on the primary search engine pages where your buyers can see and choose you.
Brian Dean is known as the king of SEO. Here are some tips he shares on how to land on page #1 of Google:
- Make your content actionable.
- Improve bounce rates by quickly giving your reader the outcomes, benefits and previews of your content.
- Use external links to other well known sites and internal links within your site.
- Add images, videos and other visuals.
- Improve the Click Through Rate to your content by including these things in your title: numbers and how your reader can use the content quickly.
- Use not only keywords, but related words sparsely throughout your content.
- Generate comments by concluding with a call to action.
SEO will increase your visibility and initiate relationships with your targeted audience.
How to Grow Your Small Business With Marketing (Or Shrink)
As you continue to engage with your audience, they have the potential to become lifelong followers and customers, who are comfortable with you providing their solutions and opportunities.
For instance, you plan ahead for your website and social media presence to uniformly, seamlessly deliver on the search requests of your audience.
Also, you plan ahead to thank customers after each purchase and even provide them with multiple ways to benefit from the use of your product. This makes them more apt to return for a repeat purchase.
Inbound marketing allows you to scale your business sales with more repeat purchases and less hunting for one off sales.
You find customers who love your product, you strengthen your relationship with them and you become their continual provider.
How To Build A Community Around Your Business
Creating a personal brand around your business helps to attract a like-minded, targeted audience.
When you are able to create a unique and catchy brand identity, your customers become your followers.
Your brand is your personality and your way to provide unique solutions.
Take time to research your competition and see how they are branding themselves. What will make you stand out and distinguish your brand?
Branding your business can be a fun and rewarding experience
A Small Business Marketing Budget That Saves You Money
From website creation to branding, you are implementing your small business marketing plan.
Research to get the best prices and learn what is free, and from there you can create your marketing budget.
Here are some cost effective ways to market your small business on a budget.
Content marketing is at the heart of inbound marketing. It is all about engagement.
This content engagement reduces your marketing costs.
You spend time on social media, producing blog posts and crafting emails, as opposed to spending all your budget purchasing advertising.
Your marketing efforts begin to secure customers who are more eager to yield to your sales efforts. They are more eager having read your content that helped them better understand your purpose and how your product will help them.
If you are wondering, “How do I market my small business for free?”, this is your closest option.
Paid Marketing Options
Pay Per Click (PPC) ads on Google, Facebook and other social and ad networks are also an option.
These ads allow you to reach your target audience, as the ads are strategically placed on pages where people are searching for specific search terms.
You choose specific details you want to target, like location, age, gender, finances, interests, behaviors and connections.
You only pay for this advertisement when someone actually clicks on your ads. Cost per click can range from $1 to thousands of dollars. It depends on your choice of keywords and your search criteria.
You can control your costs by paying a monthly fee and accepting the amount of clicks you receive within that cost range.
Once buyers click your paid ads, they begin immediately to benefit from your inbound marketing efforts as well.
Inbound marketing also enhances your offline marketing methods such as:
- Attending and sponsoring special events (i.e. workshops, demonstrations, special discount events, etc.)
- Distributing business cards, flyers, and posters
- Distributing brochures
- Sending press releases
- Direct Mailing Campaigns
- Giving out promotional items like stickers, magnets, pens, key chains, bumper stickers, etc.
- Ads in magazines and newspapers
You determine how much money you will spend for each marketing avenue you want to use.
With your budget in tact, you go for it. It‘s actually quite exciting, initiating your tailored, small business marketing budget, and wisely spending your money.
Here’s How You Know Your Plan Is Working
It is important to follow through and measure the results you receive from your investment into various marketing channels and methods. Some may work better than others.
If you do not follow through, you risk the penalty of your hard work being eclipsed, rather than it bringing forth your best outcome.
Measuring results helps you determine which of your efforts are most effective and which aren’t. You then wisely invest in those efforts that are bringing you audience interaction and sales.
How do you measure results?
- Google Analytics tracks your website traffic, navigation and conversions. Here’s how
- Tracking links allow you to use a different link for each platform you advertise on. Comparing links tells you which platform is performing the best.
- The personal contact information of website visitors, entered into your email opt-in form, shows you who is interested.
- Blog likes, shares, follows and comments show you engagement.
- Social media activity, also likes, shares and responses let you know you have an active audience.
- Sales numbers define conversion rates.
As you receive these information streams, you determine where to continue and where to suspend your efforts.
You make whatever adjustments are needed and exercise continual control over your marketing success.
The inbound marketing avenues prove more cost effective here again, as comments, email opt-ins, and social media interaction are free to measure.
Of particular interest is the record of email subscribers; where they are coming from, what attracts them to you, who remains on your list and who opts out.
Your email subscribers are the cream of your crop as you develop enduring relationships and build strong loyalty with them.
They give you feedback and insights that assist you in providing stronger services and better products to fit their needs and desires. These are often lifelong customers.
There are companies that offer more in depth measuring tools at cost.
Click here to investigate one option.
Help Your Customers Purchase With Ease
With all your marketing avenues and efforts, it is essential to make it easy for your customers to pay you.
You should offer various payment methods such as credit cards, online payment processors, (i.e. Paypal, Payoneer, etc.) as well as cash. (At offline locales and events)
There are even phone apps that allow you to swipe credit cards for payment.
Payment processors provide buy buttons that you can easily place on your website and blog. Purchasing carts give the option to pay by credit card or payment processor.
When you finally earn the trust and confidence of your audience and they are ready to make purchases, make sure several options are in place for them to be successful.
You Can Enjoy Small Business Marketing Success
What better way to tackle the real apprehension and anxiety you’re feeling, than to gain a sense of direction and control using these insights on inbound marketing.
While being in the dark about how to implement small business marketing ideas has left you paralyzed to take action, you can now begin to be proactive with this Small Business Marketing Ultimate Guide 2019 (With Money Saving Success Tips).
You can perform these actionable steps at your own pace.
You will steadily experience the meaningful results of inbound marketing avenues, while cutting costs.
It will not feel like an extra chore because you will be engaged with your customers, proudly exhibiting your business’s helpful benefits for them and strategically tailoring your efforts to their requests.
You will be in a realm of discovery, monitoring your efforts and maneuvering your traffic campaigns for maximum success.
Begin immediately to formulate and implement your small business marketing strategy, using these small business marketing tips. You will profit monetarily and with the enduring relationships you engender.