While all companies need a marketing strategy, in a small business, it's especially important to find the right approach. Small business marketing strategies should not only boost a brand's visibility and reputation but also help to pinpoint potential customers and convert them into loyal clients.
Beginning the process might feel overwhelming, but the good news is that there are more opportunities than ever for business owners to capitalize on free and affordable marketing tools. Nailing the right techniques can make a huge difference to profit margins, helping to nurture sustainable growth and establish long-term success.
In this article, we'll share the most effective small business marketing strategies from across the digital world, including email marketing, small business social media strategy, and targeted SEO (search engine optimization). Don't worry if this sounds complicated – we'll talk you through every stage.
Email Marketing for Small Businesses
Email marketing is a lucrative strategy for businesses of any size. A recent study indicated that email marketing campaigns generated an average ROI of 4400%, making it one of the most effective tools in the small business arsenal.
Small businesses can use email marketing in several different ways. Generally speaking, it helps to combine a few of the following ideas to create a well-rounded email marketing campaign that not only drives sales, but that helps to build a long-lasting relationship with clients.
- Use welcome emails to engage new customers. These should give the subscriber an overview of what the business offers and present opportunities for further engagement.
- Promote new products and services through regular newsletters, and generate trust and hype in the process.
- Send emails to subscribers to promote special offers and sales. This also presents a golden opportunity to engage customers directly by providing personalised discount links.
- Remain at the forefront of customers' minds by sending out celebration emails on special occasions. This type of email can also be used to promote seasonal sales.
- Always send out order notifications so customers can track the progress of their delivery.
As well as providing affordable marketing, email marketing can also help small businesses learn more about their customer base. Pay attention to how specific campaigns influence sales, then use this information to inform future marketing strategies.
Small Business Content Marketing
Content marketing is a hot topic in the business world, and for good reason. Creating high-quality content and sharing it on a small business page is a powerful way to engage prospective clients and provides a free opportunity to build trust and showcase industry expertise. Many small businesses feature a blog on their website, which they update with useful articles about their company niche. This not only helps potential customers understand more about the service or product provided but also improves the chances of the website being found in the first place by boosting its search engine optimization.
But what makes a great content marketing strategy in small businesses?
It's helpful to ask these questions before crafting content:
- Does the content answer a question or solve a problem?
- Is the subject matter relevant to the business?
- Are the headline and intro paragraph engaging?
- Is there an opportunity to add photos and video
Once the content is published, it's crucial to monitor how audiences respond to it. Over time, this will serve as a useful guide to the types of content that will attract and convert users into customers, and inspire them to keep returning.
Small Business Social Media Strategy
According to the Social Media Scheduling App Hootsuite, there are more than 4.2 billion active users on social media right now. This represents a 100% increase from five years ago, with users wracking up an average of 2.5 hours on social platforms every single day. This increase in online activity is fantastic news for small businesses looking to grow their revenue, with a recent survey by Sprout Social indicating that people were 57% more likely to purchase from a brand that they followed on social media and 71% more likely to make a purchase following a positive social interaction with that brand.
But with so many social platforms out there, how do small businesses decide on the most effective business marketing strategy for them?
These tips will help small businesses establish social media strategies that drive results.
Understand the Audience
When it comes to social media, it's tempting to make assumptions about its users. Many businesses mistakenly assume that older platforms like Facebook no longer appeal to a Gen Z audience, when in fact the data shows that almost a quarter of users on Facebook fall into the 18 to 24 age bracket. Similarly, many smaller businesses avoid newer platforms like Tik Tok, despite the fact that larger brands are leveraging the platform to engage audiences that go far beyond Gen Z.
It's crucial that small businesses pay attention to where their target audiences hang out online and avoid a single-pronged approach. While Facebook is great for building an audience, Twitter is a popular choice for customer service. Pinterest presents a fantastic opportunity for those in the retail and content industries, and LinkedIn works well for small business owners looking to build their professional network. Experiment with a range of platforms and track the results.
Understand the Algorithms
While the social marketing strategy of small business owners will vary depending on specific goals, it is essential to understand each platform's unique algorithm.
Social media algorithms decide which posts are likely to bring the most value to individual users, and automatically sorts content accordingly. This means that posts that the algorithm identifies as being the most useful to users will appear at the top of peoples' feeds, whereas those considered less valuable will be pushed to the bottom. Small businesses can easily take advantage of algorithms to increase their visibility on social media, without spending a penny on ads.
Since algorithms differ from platform to platform, here's a quick guide to the type of content each site is looking for.
Small Business Marketing Strategy for Facebook
The Facebook algorithm pays attention to four main things:
- How often the user interacts with the poster
- How often the user interacts with the type of media shared – video, link, photo
- How much engagement the post is generating via shares, comments, and likes
- How recently the post was shared
When posting to Facebook, small businesses should think about how they can engage people with their content. Consider the type of content that people are likely to share with friends, and ask questions to encourage users to post comments. Sharing content that receives lots of engagement will increase the visibility of future posts.
Pinterest Marketing Strategy
When it comes to creating a small business social media strategy for Pinterest, the key is to treat the platform like a search engine. Key words are crucial for optimizing content, as this is how users discover new pins.
The crucial things to remember when adding pins are:
- Keywords should be used in both the pin title and description
- Hashtags should also be added
- Using specific keywords will reduce the amount of competition for the post
Business Marketing Strategy for Instagram
Last year, Instagram announced that it was shifting its focus away from likes and towards content that generates engagement via shares and saves. It calculates how likely a post is to succeed based on three key metrics:
- Does it inspire?
- Does it educate?
- Does it entertain?
Small businesses should consider whether their content ticks these boxes, and aim to include a healthy mix of images, videos, and reels.
Small Business Marketing Strategies
Marketing a small business has never been easier. With the right marketing strategies, even small businesses with restricted budgets can boost their revenue and safeguard their future. By using a multi-pronged approach that encompasses the full marketing funnel, small business owners can raise the profile of their products and services, boost their reputation, and maximize the return on marketing investments.