Owning a small business is an incredibly exciting process, but possibly one if the scariest things you’ll ever do. Whilst it’s amazing creating products for customers that love your brand, there are so many stressful things that can make the whole experience much harder than it needs to be – especially when it comes to marketing.
Whilst some having a small understanding of what it takes to market a company, some business owners are still completely in the dark. If this is you the don’t worry, you’re definitely in the right place.
To help small business owners see the potential marketing can bring them, we’ve put together a small guide detailing 13 incredible marketing practices small business owners can put into practice today.
So why should you be focussing on marketing as a business?
Whilst it’s all well and good having a business plan with goals and targets, if you’re not marketing your business correctly then the likelihood of you hitting your targets is going to be very slim.
Marketing helps increase your brand’s visibility, using simple techniques to help you bring in clients that will love and support your brand throughout its journey. Although it may seem daunting at first, the world of marketing is incredibly fascinating.
So, where should you begin?
#1 Create A Persona For Your Target Audience
The first thing you need to do when you set up your business is creating a target audience. Whilst you may have a rough idea of who this is, the more detail you go into the better.
Think about what they like to eat, where they like to shop, what their hobbies are and what they like and dislike. Although It may seem ridiculous, you should create an avatar and give them a name. The more you understand about your target audience, the better you will be able to target your products and marketing towards them. For more information on creating a target audience, you can read this guide here.
#2 Use Social Media To Build A Loyal Following
Social media is an incredible tool for small businesses, especially those that can commit to creating content on a regular basis. Whilst it may seem as though it’s too time-consuming to begin with, once you get a hang of the different scheduling tools that are available then it becomes much easier.
Scheduling refused posts that are geared towards your target audience is a great way to start building your following. Although it won’t happen right away, you’ll start to notice the correlation it has in terms of sales and conversions.
If you think you’re going to struggle to commit to social media, or you don’t think you’ll be able to think of what to post – you could always consider outsourcing to an expert in the industry. They may be a bit of a cost, but you’ll definitely be able to see the return on investment within the first six months.
#3 Consider Using Email Marketing And Newsletters
If you have already started to build a loyal following up on social media, it may be time to start thinking about how you can market to those people further. One of the best ways to increase your existing audience, as well as bring in a new one, is to start building an email list.
When you first start it may be difficult to get sign-ups, but there are lots of different tactics you can use in order to a list that’s interested in what you’ve got to say. Whether you offer a freebie, host a competition or encourage sign-ups on your social media or website – people will sign up to your newsletter hoping for news and exclusive offers.
#4 Have An Aesthetically Pleasing Website That Compliments Your Brand
Having a website that compliments your brand is often an incredibly difficult thing to do if you’re not working with a web developer or designer. Whilst there are lots of ways to create your own branding, some things just can’t be done properly without the correct skills.
Having a well-designed website that is easy to use is not only eye-catching to your customers, but it gives them comfort in the knowledge they’re working with a professional brand. For more information on how to brand yourself, you can visit this site here.
#5 Us SEO To Improve Your Rankings In Search Engines
Search Engine Optimisation is a great way to bring in new customers that may not have found your website otherwise. You can make changes to your website that will allow Google to rank your site higher, favoring it in other people’s search results. If you don’t get a lot of ROI and sales from social media, this is another amazing route to take. Whilst it does take a long time to learn, the benefits and rewards it brings are absolutely incredible.
For more information on SEO and how to get started, you can view this handy guide here.
#6 Create Regular Blog Content To Draw In Readers To Your Site
Whilst SEO is a great way to bring people to your site, often people won’t have any reason to visit if they’re not aware of your product. Creating regular blog content that will appeal to your target audience is a great way to share valuable information on social media and rank in Google search results.
The content will act as a base, where people have the opportunity to stay and explore your site afterward. Chances are if they liked your content, they’ll love your products.
#7 Use Pinterest To Increase Click-Throughs
If you’re not already using Pinterest as a business tool then you should definitely consider adding it to your marketing strategy. If you’re creating lots of incredible content that people will want to read, then Pinterest is an incredible place to increase the visibility of your posts.
Pinterest acts as a search bar for a lot of people when looking for ideas, so if you have evergreen content that you believe would perform well on the platform it’s better to get them uploaded sooner rather than later. Once you’ve pinned your own content, people will also be able to share it to their own boards.
#8 Consider Working With A PR To Increase Your Visibility
If you want to increase your visibility but don’t know where to start, talking to a PR could be a great place to start. They’ll be able to advise you of all of the best possible coverage you could get, helping you do everything you can to increase your profile.
Whether it’s being featured in your local magazine, working with influencers or appearing on TV – a PR really is a worthwhile investment.
#9 Write For Well-Known Publications In Your Industry
Another great marketing strategy that often isn’t talked about is writing as much as you can for publications in your industry. You need to come across as THE expert in your field so the more times people see your name popping up in their favorite publications, the more likely they are to seek out what it is your business does.
Whilst it can be difficult to find guest posting opportunities, to begin with, you’ll soon find that publications will be approaching you as your name grows.
#10 Work With Bloggers And Influencers To Help Reach Your Target Audience
Bloggers and influencers are a great way to increase your brand name within your target audience. Using the avatar you created when you first set up your business, you will be able to work out what kind of bloggers have a similar audience. From there, you can choose to gift them products in return for a review, or you can pay them to talk about your products in a paid advertisement.
Whilst most larger bloggers won’t work on a gifting basis, there are lots of microbloggers that often have a bigger value than thousands with thousands of more followers. For advice on working with bloggers and influencers, you can visit this guide here.
#11 Attend Events And Conferences In Your Industry
Attending events and conferences in your local industry may not seem as though it’s a marketing strategy, but given the amount of networking you do with other brands and potential customers – they should be considered an incredibly valuable tool.
#12 Creating Promotional Products And Merchandise That Compliment Your Brand
Although you may not feel as though you need promotional marketing and merchandise for your brand, you may be underestimating the lower in which they have. If you create a freebie that people will use on a daily basis, then you have the potential to have your brand on the show every single day that they’re using it.
#13 Consider Using Traditional Media To Increase Your Reach
Finally, traditional media is still an incredible way to reach new audiences. Whether it’s having a full spread in a magazine or working with your local paper – you may be surprised what they can do for you.
Are you a small business? What marketing strategies do you use? Did we miss anything that has been successful for you? Let me know in the comments section below.