Getting started with marketing can be complicated for small businesses. There are so many options these days, from traditional marketing techniques to new online techniques that are constantly changing.
So how do you get going?
Here are some essential tips for any small business developing their marketing strategy.
Get On Board with Social Media
Many small businesses know that they should have a social presence, but they are unaware how best to get started. A common mistake is to sign up to as many platforms as you can and then spread yourself too thin. A much better option is to find out where your audience is hanging out, and then make that your main home.
Use analytics tools to find out where the best engagement is coming from. Over time you will get a better idea about which platforms are generating the most visits to your website and sales, and you can then focus your efforts on these. Don’t worry about numbers, and instead focus on building a relationship with your target audience.
Focus on Content Creation
Content creation is the one thing that all small businesses should be doing as part of their marketing efforts. The great thing about content is that it is free to create, and the results can be incredible – if you do it right.
Avoid saying the same thing as everyone else. Instead, differentiate yourself from the competition to create content that your audience will respond to. Answer the questions your target audience has, and create in-depth content that goes above and beyond the rest.
Be consistent, put in the effort, and you will find that your content will create authority, trust and, eventually, conversions. Content will also get shared, creating links that will help your SEO.
Don’t Neglect Print Marketing
Although online marketing is often the focus for small businesses with limited marketing budgets, don’t automatically dismiss print marketing. Print is still important, and especially so if you are targeting local customers. Print can work alongside digital marketing or stand on its own, so don’t assume that you have to choose one or the other.
You could save money by printing your marketing materials yourself. If you are printing high-quality leaflets, make sure you use the best ink. Head to a specialist store to get a replacement cartridge and print off marketing material that you will be proud of.
Outsource If You Need To
Should you outsource? That depends entirely on your business and budget. If you are lacking the marketing skills in-house, you may want to consider outsourcing, but you may also want to train up your own employees. Outsourcing will cost money, but the payoff can be worth it, especially when you are first starting out and don’t want to make mistakes that could cost you money.
Perhaps the most important factor to focus on with your marketing – and especially online marketing – is to be authentic. There is a lot of noise online, but little authenticity. By demonstrating to your customers that you are real people with a real story, you can stand out from your competition. Try to inject your personality into all your content and interactions, and this will help you get better results from your marketing over time.
The Hard Part Is Getting Started
Getting to grips with you marketing can be complicated, but once you get going you will soon get into your stride. Starting off is often the hardest part, so take these tips into consideration and get your marketing strategy off the ground so that you can start differentiating your business and building your brand both online and offline.
John Sollars has watched the evolution of print media. A successful business owner, he enjoys helping others who want to grow their own businesses. His articles appear mainly on business, marketing and technology websites.