10 marketing tips for the small business owner
Updated: Dec 16, 2019
Marketing is becoming easier for small businesses. Search engine optimisation and the consistent production of quality content helps new businesses gain popularity and rank high on Google, but it is not the only way.
With the advent of social media, marketing budgets no longer have to be exorbitantly large. Your target group(s) can be reached for "free" through the right social media channels or targeted online advertising campaigns at a small price.
However, small businesses sometimes have a problem. Finding customers. As a starting company you often have to do it all yourself and that is a lot of work! So how do you make the best use of your time to ensure that your marketing activities (both online and offline) are actually seen by people?
These 10 marketing tips help you further develop your business and attract new customers. Moreover, the tips are easy and quick to apply, so that you can get started today.
1. The unique story behind your company
One of the best ways to be noticed is to tell your story openly. Consumers want to buy products and services from real everyday people. They want to understand what your company stands for, who started it, what kind of people work there, etc. So be open and tell a story that they can relate to.
2. Search for customers within your own network
You can often find customers within your own network. Because you already know them, it’s not difficult to get them to become your customers. In addition, you are generally allowed to make more mistakes with these customers without them leaving you, although you would naturally prefer not to make mistakes with your acquaintances. Whether your customers are acquaintances or not, always strive to give them the best of services.
3. Go to (local) events
A large and strong network is very important. By going to relevant events you get to know potential customers, who you can directly add to your network (and they can later become customers). Don't forget to ask for business cards from the people you meet at these events, and also make sure you hand out your business cards. And also try to check-in and stay in touch.
4. Make sure your office building stand out
Do you have your own office building? Then that is an ideal means to bring your company to the attention of everyone. Often thousands of people walk by every day, so that is also an opportunity to attract new customers. For example, use banners and flags with your business colours and logo to make your office building stand out in the street where you are located.
5. Use social media
You can easily reach your target group via social media. Make sure your posts are interactive and effectively tell your company’s story. As a small business, you can ask acquaintances in your network to help increase your reach. If ten of your friends share your social media post, you often have a reach of thousands of people.
The big advantage of social media is that it can be set up for free. A disadvantage is that it takes a lot of time and effort to keep up.
6. Approach your local target group
80% of small businesses have a local target group. If you know that your target group is in a small geographical area, then that makes marketing a lot easier and cheaper. You do not have to approach the people who do not fall within that area. That way you can focus on the (local) target group that matters.
If you know where the target group lives, then door-to-door mailing is also very effective.
7. Google local listings
If you have a physical store that people can visit, make sure you are optimised for Local Listings on Google. This service from Google is free and it ensures that if a potential customer is or lives near your company and they search online for your products or services, they will see your company appear high in the Google search results.
Potential customers can also easily find all your information in the search results via the Google Knowledge Graph if they search by your company name. It is an extra service to reduce the contact threshold and to improve the user experience of your customers online.
8. Reach out to larger companies
It may seem like a strange idea, but reaching out to larger companies in the same niche can go a long way in helping you grow your business. Ask if they can refer you to the smaller assignments that they do not have time to focus on. Larger companies sometimes make use of smaller ones especially for smaller assignments and if you don’t ask, you may never find out if you could become partners with them. This way you increase your customer base without touching your small marketing budget.
9. Email campaigns
It cannot be said often enough, but always make sure you collect e-mails from all your customers, business contacts and more. Even if you do not make use of this list in the beginning, it is very important to have it! These are the people who have already shown interest in your company. You no longer need to reach out to them for them to know about you. You do have to keep them interested in your business though. And that can be done through well-designed email campaigns. And with free or easily accessible apps (such as Mailchimp), you can easily send beautifully designed emails to them. This way your brand stays popular and they know where to find you when they need a product or service from you.
10. Organise a group around your product or service
You can easily start a group on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Within this group of like-minded people, you offer your target group something of value (information, experiences, answers, etc.) It is a good way to connect regularly with your target group, without selling anything to them. It is informal and the discussions/conversations are not only of value to them but also to you as you gain a broader understanding of your target audience and learn how to improve your products and services to continue satisfying them.
The possibilities are endless
The above tips are just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless opportunities to attract more new customers and grow your business.
Do you have a good marketing tip or an example of an excellent campaign? Let me know in the comments! I am very curious about your ideas.