5 Small Business Marketing Tips for Success
If you’re looking to grow your small business in the coming year, there are a few marketing trends that you simply cannot ignore. In the past, you may have been able to slide by without investing a significant amount of time and money into the latest marketing strategies for one reason or another. However, with the vast amount of digital marketing technology and data available today, it’s impossible to move forward without adopting some basic marketing techniques this year.
Will this be the year your business charges forward? That’s entirely up to you. Here are 5 small business marketing tips to help set your business up for success.
1. Refresh Your Website
You likely already know how important your website is to maintaining a successful business today. However, your website really shouldn’t be a “set it and forget it” type of deal. It should do more for you than simply sit there and look pretty (though, it should do that, too). It should also help you generate leads, educate potential customers, and generally serve the interests of your target audience.
If your website isn’t engaging, interactive, and personalized, it may be time to make some updates. Do you have clear call-to-actions throughout your site? (If not, you should.) Is your content geared towards particular buyer personas, or is aimed at a general audience? (The more targeted, the better.) Is your navigation easy to follow, and is your website generally user-friendly? (The answer you’re looking for here is “yes”.)
2. Mobile-Friendly is No Longer an “Option” (It’s a Requirement.)
Although this tip technically could be categorized as part of your efforts to refresh your website, it has become so important that it really deserves its own section. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s simply not going to survive beyond the present. Mobile users won’t bother with it, and soon, they may not even be able to find it, due to Google’s newly rolled out plan for mobile-first indexing.
While the mobile-first indexing doesn’t pose an immediate threat to your site, it’s definitely a sign that mobile design is pretty important to Google, so you should probably make the switch as soon as possible. If you’re already running a mobile-friendly and/or responsive web design, then you’re in good shape. You may also want to consider creating a mobile app for your site. Why? According to Yahoo’s Flurry Analytics, “90% of time on mobile time is spent in apps.” That seems like a pretty good reason, don’t you think?
3. Improve Your Social Media Strategy
Do you have a solid social media marketing strategy? Many small businesses don’t. However, it’s important to have a plan for your social media efforts, so you’re spending your time as efficiently as possible. It’s also important to pay attention to who’s engaging with the content you share on each social media platform, when, and how. That way, you can adjust the type of content you share, when you share it, and what types of content get the type of engagement you’re looking for.
In addition to utilizing platform insight data to analyze your audience, you also need to be monitoring the conversation that’s happening with regards to your business. It’s happening whether you’re involved or not, so you might as well jump in and stand up for yourself whenever possible. Be sure to respond to all reviews in a professional and timely matter. If your audience takes the time to like or comment on a post, or write a review about your services, it’s definitely worth responding. Plus, it’s proper etiquette.
4. Invest in Email Marketing
When done right, email marketing can be a highly effective method for nurturing leads, with the goal of eventually converting them into buyers. Doing email marketing right means less selling, and more educating. Instead of throwing a bunch of facts about your company, products and/or services at potential customers, your email marketing efforts should focus more on providing helpful resources to your audience.
Give potential customers answers to questions they haven’t even asked yet, along with helpful tips and tricks, industry-related news, and other informative content, just because. By backing off from the hard selling, you give them a reason to trust and respect your expertise. This way, when it comes time to make a purchasing decision, they’ll be more likely to view your company as a top choice.
5. Produce Consistent and Quality Content
The number of small businesses today that don’t spend any time or money on content development and strategy is shocking. According to Hubspot, “Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts.” You need to be creating content regularly. Why? Because your entire marketing strategy is built around sharing content. The content isn’t going to create itself, so you’ll need to invest in content writers, editors, and a content marketing strategy.
In addition to regular blogging, you can also create downloadable content, such as eBooks, whitepapers, and instructional checklists. Videos have also become increasingly popular, and they don’t always have to be super-professional. A simple video explaining how to navigate your website or how to use your products and services can go a long way.
Whether you stick to blogging or expand to include other content types, it’s important to be consistent with your brand messaging. It’s also important to be relatively consistent with your content publishing schedule. If you publish 5 blogs this month and then skip the following month, you may lose a significant portion of your audience. Pick a schedule that works for you and your business, and stick to it.
Start with tip # 5 first. It will make doing all of the other steps that much easier. Then you can review the quality of your website, and determine what improvements can be made. Make sure it’s as pretty and functional as possible, and that it’s designed for both mobile and desktop users. From there, you can get to work on fine-tuning your social media strategy and creating some email marketing campaigns.
Need help with your digital marketing efforts? Contact SMILE today to find out how we can help bring your business to the next level.