If you own a small business, you know how important it is to market your business effectively so that it stands out from your competitors. However, in today’s market, you might need to think outside the box when it comes to how to properly market your business. These tips and examples for effective marketing for small businesses can help your company stand out and attract customers.
Social media is still huge, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Best of all, you can use the reach of social media to your advantage. However, trying to keep up with every social media account out there is impossible. Instead, you need to pick one or two social channels and focus your energy there. For example, if you notice you get plenty of likes on Facebook but hardly any retweets on Twitter, you’re better off putting all your energy into growing your Facebook following.
Plus, there are plenty of unique ways you can grow this following. If you own a salon, consider creating a selfie station. People love taking selfies and sharing the pictures on their social media accounts. With a dedicated area in your salon where your clients can snap photos, share the photos all over their social media accounts, and tag your business in their posts, you get free marketing and your customers get to enjoy something fun and different.
Content marketing is the process of making and distributing relevant, valuable, and consistent content that will attract and retain your customers. Unlike paid advertising, which focuses on short-term goals, content marketing is more concerned about long-term results for your company. While your initial pay-off with content marketing might be low, the real value comes when sustainable leads help grow your business year after year.
While most people picture content marketing as writing blog posts, that’s not your only option. It can also include online courses, pictures, podcasts, and videos. In fact, YouTube is actually the second largest search engine behind Google. If you own an HVAC company, you can use this to your advantage.
Consider creating a YouTube account and posting regular videos that help people solve problems. This can include answering questions about how certain HVAC services work, simple do-it-yourself fixes, or troubleshooting problems with HVAC units. Offering valuable content is a great way to grow your credibility and customer base.
Email marketing is one of the original forms of digital marketing, and it’s still a legitimate way to market your small business. When you can get customers to give you their email address, you can now send personalized messages that alert them to sales, special events, or even a newsletter. Plus, email marketing is inexpensive, has a global reach, is easy to run, can be automated, and is simple to track and optimize.
If you’re interested in creating your email campaign, you need to offer something compelling to get your customers to give you their email address. Options can include a free digital download, coupon, site membership, or free service trial. Once you start sending emails, test the time of day and week you send the email and subject lines you use to discover what works best. Also, keep in mind that many people now use their phones to check their emails, so you want to make sure what you’re sending out is optimized for small mobile screens.
A webinar is a seminar that happens online. Discussions, presentations, and demonstrations are all types of webinars you can put together. There’s a lot of flexibility to webinars. Some companies use them as lead magnets for email marketing since a good topic can bring in a large number of new subscribers. However, you can also use webinars to build credibility with your current subscribers. You can do them live or record them. You can also use them as standalone products or as a series.
As an example, if you own a property management company, you can put together webinars that offer tips on how to raise rent, how to use social media to rent properties, or to discuss trends in the housing market.
Incentives for Referrals
With all the new digital marketing strategies out there, there’s still nothing that can beat a referral. Plus, there’s no one out there who’s more equipped to offer referrals than your current staff. They know your product or service, and they know the type of customer you’re trying to reach. While some of your staff members might take the initiative to bring in referrals without any incentive, most probably won’t. However, if you offer some type of incentive for every new client a staff member refers, you might be surprised with the results.
You don’t always have to offer monetary incentives. Other ideas include gift cards or vouchers to restaurants, spas, and movie theaters; an extra vacation day; casual dress day; or sleep-in day where they can come in later than normal. If you decide to try this strategy, make sure your staff has the tools they need to attract referrals, such as coupons or special discount codes.
Local Search Marketing
While digital marketing can help you reach customers around the world, you shouldn’t forget about the ones in your own backyard, especially if you have a brick and mortar location. When you optimize search results for your local area, you’re now focusing on a powerful strategy to target local customers.
The search engine giant Google even offers a free business listing with Google My Business (GMB) to help. With GMB, you combine all your different Google platforms into one place. This includes your Google Maps location, Google+ profile, Google reviews, and more. It can also list your website address, phone number, and hours of operation, so customers have a way to contact you if they’re interested in your product or service.
If you have a small business and you’re looking for ways to attract and maintain new customers, consider implementing some of these effective marketing strategies, and see how your business grows.