Most small businesses, especially the new businesses, are working with a limited marketing budget. And they have to maximize this marketing budget while still competing with larger companies for their target audience’s attention. So how do you stay competitive in the digital marketing place while working within a strict budget?
Unfortunately, there is no one magic marketing strategy for small businesses. However, there are a handful of marketing strategies for small businesses that have proven to get the most bang for their buck, so to speak. These marketing tactics allow you to do a lot more with a smaller budget because they provide a high return on investment, no matter what industry your business is in.
Here are just a few of the top marketing strategies for small businesses along with some advice on how to use them to grow your company:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the most important marketing strategies for small businesses. SEO is the process of optimizing your site structure and content to make it easier for search engines to crawl or “read.”
By making small changes to your site and developing relevant content that is keyword rich, you can work to rank higher on the search engine results page. The higher you rank on Google, the more opportunities you will have to drive new traffic to your web pages.
SEO is especially important for small business owners because potential customers who are searching for local businesses to buy from often use their mobile device to find nearby locations. By optimizing your site and content for local SEO, you can increase your chances of appearing in these local mobile search results and reaching more of your target customers. You can use Google My Business profile to better boost your brand awareness in your local area. As an added note, it’s also important that your site is mobile responsive, which means that it can easily be accessed and navigated through on a mobile device.
So how do you improve SEO for your small business? You can start with a site audit. Whether you choose to conduct the audit yourself or hire an experienced SEO agency, a site audit is the first step in understanding where your site stands when it comes to search engine optimization. The audit will take a look at your on-page SEO to determine your website’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to search engine optimization. This includes both your site structure as well as content.
Search engine optimization is important, but it can be a bit tricky, especially if you don’t have in-house experts that know the ins and outs of optimizing your site for search engines like Google. Fortunately, this is something that can very easily be outsourced to an SEO marketing agency. With on-going SEO services available from LYFE, we can help you improve your search engine rankings while you focus on your core business.
- Content Marketing
Content marketing is at the center of most marketing strategies for small businesses. Content marketing is the process of creating and publishing quality content that is relevant to your target audience and provides some time of value for readers or viewers. The key to developing great content marketing is knowing what your audience cares about most, including their greatest challenges, needs, and desires.
Unlike some paid marketing strategies for small businesses, this small business marketing tactic focuses on the long-term. You can use quality content to improve your SEO. However, it’s also beneficial if you want to build trust with your audience, promote a positive brand identity, and foster powerful relationships with your leads and customers.
In the end, content marketing provides an attractive return on investment for any brand because you can continue to share and promote content long after the original piece is published.
Before you get started with your content marketing, you’ll need to make sure that you have clearly defined your audience and gathered information about them. Creating buyer personas is a great way to ensure that your audience is at the center of all your content marketing efforts.
Buyer personas are generalized profiles of your target buyers, containing data like demographics, challenges, likes and preferences, buying behaviors, and other information that’s vital to getting to know your customer.
Once you’ve gotten to know your buyers well, it’s time to brainstorm some possible content topics. Start with your audience’s greatest challenges. What questions do customers often ask? What do consumers need to know more about before making a purchasing decision? This is a great starting point for developing topics for a wide range of content from blog and social media posts to infographics and eBooks.
When developing topics for your content, it’s important to consider where your leads or new customers are in their buyer’s journey. Different topics and content types work better for different parts of the funnel.
For example, a video that gives an overview of the person’s greatest challenge works well during the awareness stage when the consumer is first becoming aware of the problem.
However, a case study which includes testimonials from previous customers might work better to help those who are ready to make a purchase better understand how your brand can benefit them.
Creating and publishing quality content on a consistent basis is not easy. It requires time and resources to ensure that your content is not only relevant and valuable but of the same high quality that your products and services are.
If you don’t have the resources in-house to sustain a consistent content calendar, it may be time to call in the experts. For example, hiring an agency for blogging services is a great way to ensure that you’re consistently putting out new content that attracts and engages your target buyers.
- PPC Advertising
PPC, or pay-per-click, advertising is a type of online ad model that allows small businesses to display their ads to people searching online for relevant products and services.
Pay-per-click works just like it sounds – you pay each time a consumer clicks on your ad content.
Though Facebook and other ad platforms use the pay-per-click model, we are going to focus on PPC ads that are displayed on Google and other search engines.
You may be wondering, how exactly do PPC ads work on search engines?
Well, advertisers have to bid on certain keywords that are relevant to their new product or service offering. The search engine uses an algorithm to determine which ads show up on the search engine results page (SERP) based on quality, relevance, and validity.
Much like SEO, the keyword research plays an important role in PPC ad campaigns as you have to bid on keywords that would most likely be used by relevant leads.
Google Ads (you may have previously heard it referred to as Google AdWords), is the most popular PPC advertising platform. Since the majority of consumers are using the Google search engine to search for information about products and services, Google is a great place to start with your PPC advertising.
Google uses keyword relevance, landing page quality, and other factors to determine your quality score, which impacts when and where your ads are served on the SERP for related search queries.
The first step to creating PPC ad campaigns is conducting keyword research. This is a time-consuming yet vital process as your entire campaign is built around the keywords that you choose.
An effective PPC keyword list should be relevant and exhaustive, including both popular, frequently searched terms and other less competitive long tail keywords. As search trends are constantly changing, it’s important to continue to expand and refine your PPC keywords list over time to make sure you’re getting the best possible return on investment (ROI) for your ad campaigns.
Moreover, it needs to have a compelling ad copy and clear call to action. You also shouldn’t overlook using analytics tools like Google Analytics to measure your campaign’s KPIs and better optimize them.
If no one on your team has experience managing Google Ads or creating and managing PPC ad campaigns, then we highly recommend that you don’t try to tackle this yourself. PPC ads cost money every time someone clicks on them, which means that if you don’t know the ins and outs of PPC advertising, you may be wasting your budget on strategies and tactics that just don’t work.
Instead, you can hire a Google AdWords management agency to help create and manage your campaigns. Our agency not only has experience managing PPC ad campaigns for small businesses from a variety of industries, but our team stays up-to-date on the latest best practices and strategies. We also provide Google Shopping Ads services and Google remarketing services to help you capture more relevant traffic on the search engines.
- Facebook Advertising
According to Facebook, there are 2 million small to medium-sized businesses advertising on this social media platform.
And that should come as no surprise given that Facebook ads are one of the most effective and least expensive marketing tools to advertise your products to nearly any niche audience.
No matter what industry you are in or who your target market is, there’s a good chance that you can reach your target buyers on Facebook.
One of the greatest advantages of Facebook ads are the sophisticated targeting features. While other ad platforms may have you guessing as to who is really seeing your ads, Facebook helps you narrow down your audience so that only relevant consumers can see your ad content. The platform allows you to target your audience based on a number of characteristics including location, age, gender, online behavior, and other factors.
Getting started with Facebook ads is pretty easy. First, you need to make sure that your company has a business page. You will access the ad platform through Facebook Ads Manager, which you can access through the drop down menu on your Facebook account. Just click on “Manage Ads,” and you’ll be able to access all of the ad features.
Once you have a Facebook business page and have accessed Facebook Ads Manager, here are some other steps that you’ll need to take to get started with Facebook advertising:
- First, you’ll need to choose your objective. Facebook gives you several objective options between the Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion phases of the buyer’s journey.
- Then, work to define your audience. Facebook allows you to narrow your audience based on a variety of demographic factors as well as interests, behaviors, and connections.
- Set a budget. When it comes to Facebook ads, you can set a daily budget that provides a limit for what you can spend each day or a lifetime budget, which shows the maximum you’d like to spend for the lifetime of the ad campaign.
- It’s time to create your ad. Before you develop a headline and ad copy, you’ll want to decide on which ad format you will use. Also, be sure to include some compelling and professional images or video.
- Choose an ad placement. You can place your ads in many different areas of Facebook as well as on the Instagram social media platform. Today, your ad campaigns can appear on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network. And it will all depend on the campaign objective. Recently, how they group ad placements has been updated by Facebook. They are now grouped by how you want users to experience your ads. It’s either on the user’s feed or in Stories.
And then you’re ready to take your campaigns live! Setting up Facebook ads is quick and easy. But if you want to get the most out of your ad budget, you’ll need to make sure that you monitor success over time.
If you find that one ad outperforms another, take a look at the successful ad to see what factors might be impacting performance such as the graphic or headline. Then, use what you learn when creating future ads.
Need help getting started with Facebook ads? Check out the Facebook advertising services we offer to small businesses like yours. With a little help, you can be on your way to implementing one of the most profitable marketing strategies for small businesses in no time.
- Social Media Marketing
Using social media channels to reach and engage your target audience is no longer an option – it’s a must! Rather than asking yourself if you should be active on social media, you should be asking yourself how much time and resources you plan to devote to growing your social media audience and fostering your relationships with leads and customers.
The first step in developing a social media marketing strategy for your small business is choosing which channels to spend your time on. You want to consider both which social media platforms your target audience uses most often as well as which social media channels provide the advantages that can help you reach and engage your audience.
Below is a quick visual guide to helping you understand the difference between each channel:
Once you have an idea of which social media channels you’ll be using to connect with your ideal buyers, it’s time to think about what types of content you will post and how often you plan on posting.
Having a social media content calendar can help you keep track of what has been posted where. It’s important to create and share different types of media on your pages from relevant third-party articles to branded images and videos.
Don’t have the time or resources to manage your own social media marketing? We can help! We provide a range of social media marketing services including:
Our team will help you develop a social media strategy, develop compelling content, manage engagement, and anything else you might need help with.
- Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the best marketing strategies for small businesses. Most consumers are not going to purchase from your brand the first time they visit your site. That’s why it’s important to find ways to keep in touch with these consumers after they leave. Once you have captured your visitors’ contact information, you can nurture these leads. And email marketing is a great strategy for lead nurturing.
Before you can start designing and implementing email marketing campaigns, you need to find a way to capture your target audience’s contact information. One way to do this is through a “lead magnet,” which is a compelling offer that is given to site visitors in exchange for their email address. This can be a special content asset like an eBook or whitepaper, a webinar invitation, or a special promotion.
Once you have a list of email subscribers, you can start designing targeted campaigns that allow you to build authority and nurture relationships with leads and customers. For best results, segment your email lists so that you can send more targeted content and offers to your subscribers. For instance, you might create a list for subscribers that are in the same step of the buyer’s journey or leads that have similar characteristics.
In terms of email marketing content, there are many different types of messaging you can provide to your email list. Consumers often prefer to get promotions and sale details through email. You can also use email marketing to deliver targeted and valuable content like your blog posts, eBooks, infographics, and any other types of marketing content you’ve created.
Email newsletters are also a great way to stay on top of your customers’ minds while letting them know about your latest promotions.
If you don’t have the time or resources to design and send your own monthly newsletter, you may be interested in an email newsletter service where our team of experienced marketers will create your email newsletter content, design it, and send while managing your email marketing list and adjusting your strategy for best results.
Start Using these Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses Today
Just because you have a small marketing budget, doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of these powerful and profitable marketing strategies for small businesses. As you start developing your own marketing plan, remember how each strategy can benefit your business:
- Improving your SEO will help improve your visibility online by ensuring that new buyers can find you on search engines like Google.
- By developing your content marketing, you can create new touch points that allow you to build trust and foster relationships that lead to lifelong customers.
- PPC advertising works as a great supplement to your organic search efforts, allowing you to drive relevant traffic to your site immediately.
- With Facebook advertising, you can work to reach new leads and customers across the popular social media platform.
- Through social media marketing, your business can stay connected with leads and customers while expanding your reach online.
- Email marketing is a great way to stay top of mind within your customer base and send triggered communications to relevant customer segments.
With a little help and a lot of hard work, you’ll be on your way to driving more qualified leads and boosting your bottom line. Whether you’re new to the industry or have been running a business for years, the strategies above are a great place to get started.
Need help implementing some of these marketing strategies for small businesses? Our team at LYFE Marketing has a wealth of knowledge and experience that we use to help small companies just like yours reach, engage, and close their target buyers.
To get started, contact us to speak with one of our marketing experts and see how we can help your business grow.