Business Tips

Marketing Tips and Strategies for Small Businesses

Digital marketing has completely changed the way businesses promote themselves, connect with customers, and gain new business. Instead of relying on traditional marketing ideas for small businesses, such as selling to people in your immediate circle or depending on customer footfall, you can now reach people all over the world in a cost-effective and measurable way. 

Online marketing is important for any business, but even more essential to the success of small business owners. Getting up to speed can seem daunting, but we’re here to help. We’ll take you through our top 10 marketing tactics for small businesses, so you’ll have a solid starting point to boost your marketing efforts and promote your brand. Optimum Business is committed to helping your small business thrive with tips and resources on Internet and business solutions.

Two people using a white board to work on a marketing strategy

Why Invest in Marketing for Your Small Business? 

For a small business, every investment counts, so why spend precious resources on marketing?

Brand awareness 

In a hugely crowded digital world, it’s harder than ever to cut through the clutter and reach your target audience. People may already know you exist, but even well-established brands continue to expand their reach. Promoting your business online across many channels is key to reaching new prospects as well as reminding customers you’re out there. 

Increase sales

The farther your reach, the more opportunity for potential sales. With better marketing of your company towards the correct audience and market, you should start to see more sales. 

Beat competition

It’s a crowded market with so many brands fighting for the attention of customers. Having a marketing strategy will give you the tools you need to advertise, promote, and establish your business as being of higher value than the competition. Even if you’re a small business with larger competitors, the right marketing strategy means you can be just as effective at promoting your business. 

Now, let’s dive into the best marketing strategies for small businesses.

Top 10 Marketing Tips

1. Know your audience:

When thinking about expanding your reach, it’s not all about having a big net - you need to know which pond to fish in. Not just anyone is your buyer, and you don’t want to waste valuable time and resources targeting people who aren’t looking for your product or service. You'll have the most leverage as a small business in a niche space. To develop a niche and appeal to its buyers, you must understand customer pains, problems, triggering events, and priorities.

What is pushing them to make a purchasing decision? What does it look like if they succeed? Knowing these things will help you craft messaging that resonates and makes a compelling case for your solution. Start by thinking about your existing customers and who you'd like to work with. Then, create a buyer persona to start the process of getting into the head of your ideal client.

2. Emphasize your value proposition: 

Knowing what is going to stand out among your competitors is crucial. Do you have a unique selling proposition? Shout about it. If you’re offering something similar to your competitors, tell people why your business does it better and how you’re the solution that’ll work best for them. 

3. Double down on what works:

In creating marketing strategies, it’s important to do an audit of your existing marketing efforts to identify what is currently working well. You should measure your campaigns and use the data to inform your understanding. Once you know what’s been proven successful in generating revenue - do more of it.

4. Understand the power of existing customers:

Growing your customer base is certainly a top priority for any business; however, acquiring a new customer costs five times more than closing an existing one. This means you shouldn't stop marketing once they've made a purchase. Identify your opportunities for repeat purchasing, upselling, and cross-selling.

5. Use free promotion tools: 

Funds can be tight for small businesses, so make use of free promotional tools where possible, and only commit to paid tools if you know they will drastically improve existing operations or performance. If you’re tight on time, then there are a number of free tools, such as Hootsuite, that will help you schedule your social media posts so you’re keeping up a constant presence online. You can also make use of free tools to improve your graphic design. Design Wizard offers a large database of images along with a host of free templates (over 10,000), plus a simple, easy-to-use interface.

6. Use local influencers to build awareness: 

Influencers are individuals with a large online following who can sway the opinions of their followers. In other words, if an influencer promotes your product or service, their followers are likely to take notice. Analyze your target market and brand offering, and if they’re likely to respond to an influencer endorsement, there are two ways to work with them. One option is to reach out to the influencer directly with your proposal, and another is to partner with an influencer marketing agency that can connect you with influencers who are a good fit for your brand.

7. Connect with other local businesses: 

There can be strength in numbers. One of the best marketing strategies for a small business is to connect with other local businesses. By partnering, you can share resources, promote each other to your customers, and collaborate on marketing initiatives and events. You can make connections with local businesses by networking at events, joining online forums and groups, or reaching out to them directly. 

8. Offer incentives and discounts: 

This can be an effective way of drumming up interest in your product or service or driving traffic to your website with the opportunity of reaching potential customers. Consider offering a percentage off your products or services or even a free item with purchase. You can also offer loyalty programs, which give customers rewards for continued patronage. Whatever incentive or discount you choose to offer, make sure it's something that your customers will find valuable. Also, consider the size of any discount you offer and the length of time the discount is available. You want to avoid dropping prices too low and putting them back up suddenly, as this can affect your credibility with both potential and existing customers. 

9. Leverage digital marketing like SEO, Paid Search, Social Media, Content Marketing, etc: 

Within digital marketing, there are many tools at your disposal. Consider using content marketing to create videos and blogs that will enrich the quality of your website and optimize it for search engine optimization (SEO) to help with search engine result pages (SERPs). In addition to boosting your organic search results, you can invest in paid search to target consumers searching for keywords related to your business through ads. Finally, assess which social media platforms best complement your target audience and start creating a presence and a platform where you can easily communicate with customers and build brand awareness. You can also consider email marketing or text message marketing

10. Lean into word of mouth: 

Even as our marketing landscape becomes increasingly digital, few things are as powerful as word of mouth. Delighting customers can have a big impact on your business, primarily in repeat purchases. If you provide a great experience, your customers will be more inclined to leave reviews, give testimonials, and tell their friends about you.
Looking for more small business marketing tips? Take a look at our hub on Optimum Business where we have lots of resources and ideas.