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Starting a small business takes much thought, hard work, and planning. However, your business will not generate revenue if your potential customers don’t know you exist. The best way to generate income is to market your products and services to your target market. Well, here are some excellent small business marketing ideas to help you grow faster.
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In this article
Part 1. What Is a Marketing Plan/Strategy?
Before we dive head-first into the marketing strategies for small businesses, we first need to understand what they are.
A marketing strategy is a detailed plan that helps you understand the how, why and what of all your small business marketing activities. This strategy also allows you to spread the word about your business, analyze your marketing campaigns, track their success and determine other tactics you could use to achieve your goals.
Essential features of a marketing strategy include a comprehensive description of your potential client, a list of your short and long-term goals, and a couple of small business marketing ideas you plan to use.
If you are interested in creating a more complex plan, you should include a detailed budget, a timeline, KPIs, and an analysis of current market trends.
Part 2. Steps To Formulate Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
A marketing strategy template is a key to creating the best strategy for your small business. If you don’t have one, you can get a sample marketing plan on the Wondershare PDFelement Template Mall. You can find the best marketing plan template that will fit your small business better.
Once you have the right template, you are good to get into the details. Here are the steps you should use to develop a winning marketing strategy for your small business:
Step 1Conduct a SWOT analysis
You cannot create a marketing strategy before you look at your business objectively and take stock of where you stand in the industry. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
A SWOT analysis will help you understand where you are doing exceptionally well and identify areas of weakness. For instance, you might be good with books and accounts but struggling to have a robust online presence.
Step 2Set an upper limit on what you can invest in a marketing strategy
Since your small business might have limited resources, we suggest you stick to what you can afford to invest.
First and foremost, it would be wise to create a marketing budget. A rule of thumb would be to allocate about 12 - 20% of your gross revenue to marketing. The next step would be determining how many hours you can assign to marketing activities per week.
Step 3Define your marketing goals
You can now use your budget and the findings from your SWOT analysis to formulate clear marketing goals for your small business. A pro tip when defining your goals would be to ensure they are SMART- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant to your company, and Timely.
Examples of typical marketing goals you could set include growing your numbers online, increasing your website visits, garnering more leads, and engaging more with your audience.
Step 4Outline whom you want to target
A crucial part of your marketing strategy is building a customer persona. In a nutshell, a persona is a profile of people you think would be interested in your products or services. You could use general demographics such as gender, age, location, and purchasing power to guide you.
Once you determine who you want to target, you could use the appropriate channels to spread the word about your business. For instance, print media would not be an intelligent way to market your business to Gen Z clients.
Step 5Make a list of potential marketing tactics
The next step in formulating a winning marketing plan for small businesses is indicating a few marketing tactics that you think would work best to achieve each goal.
For instance, if you intend to increase the number of visits to your website, you should consider using tactics like Facebook ads, SEO, and Pay Per Click. After you have a list of tactics for each goal, refer to your budget for guidance in choosing the best and most affordable marketing tactics.
Step 6Draft an action plan
Lastly, all that’s left is to ensure that all the moving parts of your marketing strategy will work harmoniously. It would be wise to rank the goals and tasks in order of urgency so you can deal with the most important ones first. Ensure you share the list with the rest of your employees as soon as possible so everyone can get to work.
Furthermore, you are recommended to have an easy-to-use document processing editor, like Wondershare PDFelement, to edit your marketing plan in PDF and convert your documents to and from PDFs.
Part 3. 6 Best Small Business Marketing Ideas
You now understand what a marketing strategy is and how to formulate one. Without further ado, let’s dive into six of the best small business advertising ideas to help you put your business out there.
1. Build a Business Website
A business website is no longer a luxury but a necessity if you want your business to become successful. Remember that most customers today are digitally driven and prefer everything at their fingertips.
Therefore, it would be wise to create a robust, professional-looking website that will educate new visitors, potential clients, and existing customers about who you are, what you stand for, what you offer, and why they should support your brand.
2. Try Google’s Marketing Options
Besides its search engine, Google is also famous for its marketing options. You could Google my business or search engine marketing to spread the word about your small business. Besides its search engine, Google is also famous for its marketing options. You could Google my business or search engine marketing to spread the word about your small business.
If you choose search engine marketing, you must pay a particular amount when a visitor clicks on the texts that appear above search results on Google. With Google My Business, you must provide your business details to Google for use in the search engine and Google Maps.
3. Mobile Marketing
A significant percentage of your target audience uses mobile phones to find businesses that can address an immediate need. For instance, a potential client might be looking for a restaurant with the best ratings.
Therefore, it would only make sense to leverage mobile marketing to reach a massive audience. Digital marketing for small businesses is also an excellent way to raise awareness about your small business.
4. Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses
It wouldn’t be a good idea to underestimate social media as a powerful marketing tool for your small business. Platforms like Facebook contain powerful analytics that help you build the perfect customer profile.
You can also use social media to manage your reputation and get into good books with your customers. The biggest perk of using social media marketing for small businesses is that it is a low-cost strategy.
5. Email Marketing
While email marketing is suitable for a wide variety of companies, it is an excellent choice for small businesses that are low on resources. However, you ought to create different segments and tailor unique emails for each.
For instance, you can curate welcome emails for new clients and send follow-up emails for repeat clients. You can even go a step further and personalize the email by including the recipient’s first name.
6. Cooperate With Influencers/KOLs
Influencer marketing is still a new concept in the business world, but one of the best marketing strategies for startups. You can leverage influencers who have built a large audience online to get the word out there about you. They are trusted. Thus, they have the power to sway the opinions and interests of their followers.
If you can get the right influencers to try your product or service, you will also manage to capture the attention of their followers. You could reach out to an influencer directly or request an influencer marketing agency to promote your products.
7. Local Business Marketing
Another excellent marketing idea that doesn’t cost much would be local business marketing. It would be best to partner with a company that has been around longer than you. Ensure you leverage your new connection by identifying new opportunities and learning as much as you can about the industry and the local community. You could also share resources and ideas that are mutually beneficial.
8. Offer Contests, Coupons, and Incentives
Customers love freebies. Once you offer your clients coupons, free products, or services, they will be more inclined to return for more. You could also host contests where the winner leaves with a product of their choice or a discount on their next purchase.
These promotions are the best way to advertise your business as they create a buzz around your brand that your target audience won’t resist. We guarantee that happy customers will tell their loved ones about their exhilarating experience with your brand.
Part 4. People Also Ask
In this section of the article, we will answer some frequently asked questions about marketing ideas for small businesses.
1. What Are the Best Online Marketing Business Ideas?
Unfortunately, online marketing business ideas are not a one-size-fits-all affair. What works for your business might not work for another company. Therefore, it is up to you to determine what marketing idea will work best for you before you can stick with it. Here is a list of top online marketing business ideas you could try.
- PPC ads
- Blog posts
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Content creation and videos
2. Are There Any Low-Cost Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses?
We understand that you are pinching pennies before your small business can thrive. Fortunately, numerous low-cost marketing ideas are equally effective and will go easy on your wallet. The following is a list of budget-friendly marketing ideas you could try.
- Hosting competitions
- Word of mouth or referral marketing
- Attending networking events
- Participating in local competitions
- Attending trade fairs
3. What Are the Four Basics of Marketing?
The principles of marketing have been around since the ‘60s. Researchers have since extended them to the 7Ps. However, there is no disputing that a basic understanding of these concepts will help you make your business successful.
The four basics of marketing include place, price, product, and promotion. Over the years, the basic marketing principles have evolved to include process, physical evidence, and people.
Bespoke marketing strategies are crucial to growth hacking for a small business. A good marketing plan is the best place to start. It ensures that you are working towards the set goal. It will help you better understand your business and give you a sense of direction to grow faster. You are bound to reap Return on Investments (ROIs) as a small business working on a budget!