Best Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
Whether you are having an existing business or are planning to launch one, it is very important for you to develop a proper market/ business strategy. Marketing strategies are used to achieve the business goals. While developing a marketing strategy, the business owners must research the latest trends in the market, where to start from and what are the relevant information regarding their business.
The 7Cs must be kept in mind while developing a marketing strategy, i.e. clients, competition, communication, consistency, creative content, credibility and convenience. Limited resources are the main constraint for small businesses. That’s why here I have mentioned 10+ effective marketing strategies for small businesses to stand out from the crowd.
Offline/Traditional Marketing Strategies for Local Businesses:
The marketing strategies can be online or even offline. The online mode is through digital marketing which we shall learn subsequently. Some of the benefits of traditional marketing strategies are:
- Local marketing targets users within the radius of your business. It is beneficial for physical businesses like restaurants, designer outlets and professional consultants. The location of your business is the most essential thing you should understand well before promoting your brand.
- For local marketing, you should ensure that your website provides a google map, which can drive in local traffic more efficiently. Further, if your business has various locations, then try to create an individual page for each location.
- Hosting local events can increase your brand awareness within the locality.
- Alliances with other local businesses are also beneficial.
- Localising ads through newspapers, radio channels, movie theatres, coupons and local sponsors, can also promote your brand to local users.
Traditional marketing strategies for small businesses:
A printed document, like a brochure to promote your business. Such flyers can be distributed physically within the community, telling them about any event or upcoming sales regarding your business.
Generally found in highways carrying company logos and promotional advertisements. They are generally made creative so as to attract the attention of commuters on the road.
Direct mail –
Sending printed materials in form of letters or postcards to the targeted audiences of your area. Some NGOs and other fundraising organisations use direct mail marketing to promote the cause they are supporting. This creates emotional bonding between the organisation and the recipient.
Print advertisement –
Targets customers through newspapers or magazines. You can add attractive graphics and compelling texts in different locations to grab the attention of customers.
It helps to promote business through industry events in the form of conferences and seminars. You can direct the attendees to visit your mobile outlets at the seminar, to provide detailed information about your company. To increase brand awareness, you can also participate in various events.
Commercialising on radio or television can gain local and national recognition. Listening to or seeing such broadcasted ads can create curiosity in the minds of the viewer to research more about your brand and contact you.
It majorly applies by B2B (Business to Business) companies who sell their products or services to other companies. This strategy allows you to interact with potential customers in person about the benefits your company may render. This further improves connectivity and develops trust between the company and the consumer.
Outdoor marketing/ Guerilla marketing –
Takes place outdoors by including street elements. Some companies use street marketing campaigns for promoting their brand. They rely on personal interactions using unconventional techniques.
Your existing customer may recommend your name to his known people in exchange for discounts or special offers.
For a local business to boon, it’s very important that you have updated and relevant information readily available for potential customers. In case you are a small business with less exposure, you can use digital marketing strategies to boom your small business. Let’s understand some digital marketing strategies that fit small businesses.
Online/Digital Marketing Strategies for small businesses:
Digital marketing is an important marketing strategy and learning about it is interesting. It can yield better results for small businesses. It requires less manpower and more brainpower. You just have to put your feet into the shoes of your customers.
Focus on your real customer base:
To develop a niche and reach out to people in that niche, you have to understand their priorities and problems. For that, you can start thinking about your existing customers and who you would like to work with, and then get into the heads of your clients for clarity.
Make a difference:
If you don’t show how you are different from other competitors, how is a customer gonna choose you over your competitors? Your value proposition is what will make you unique and attract your prospect’s mind that you are the one he needs.
Target for achieving small goals and objectives:
While exploring the world of marketing, it might be tempting for you to cover all areas, but that would make your business very complicated to understand. Instead, focus on strategies that would yield a better impact. Focus on that very particular key sector, focus all your resources on tactics to achieve a performance goal. Once you achieve your goal, you can then pivot to other areas.
Start from the scrap. As you grow, you can see cash inflow which you can then put towards larger projects and long-term plans. As a beginner, do not invest your time and revenue in un-neccessaries things.
Work on improving your data:
Once you are done with the initiatives, now focus on your data which will give you an insight into which plan is working well for you.
Treat your existing customers well:
It is very important to build trust among the existing customers, who may help in promoting your business. Increase scope for repurchase for the customers. This way they can trust you for a better shopping experience. Word of mouth is one of the best promotional tools.
Create your own website:
This way you can show people who you are, what your products and services are, how to reach you and other aspects. Your websites help in generating online traffic and revenue as well. It will act as a 24*7 salesperson.
This can generate huge organic traffic. Blogging can increase your online visibility. In your blogs, you should add a CTA (Call to Action) section where the customers can get in touch with you.
Promote yourself on different platforms like social media. This can boost your business by getting connected with prospective customers and increasing your search engine rankings.
Look out for ads:
Investing time in building organic traffic is difficult for a small business. Instead, you can invest your revenue in paid ads like Google Ads or Social Media Ads. For that, you need to first know whether your target audience is searching for your products or not. Through social media ads, you can gain the interest of the audience towards your business.
It is an important tool to convert website traffic to leads and see that such leads are purchased. A study revealed that around 75% of professionals prefer communications from business to come via emails. Due to a lack of time to invest, small business owners can consider marketing automation to fasten up this process.
Create a customer database:
Include a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) system in your database, where you can track customer activities and identify sale opportunities. HubSpot is one of the marketers of software products for inbound marketing, sales and customer service. It has one of the best CRMs.
Encourage the users and existing customers to spread the word:
Provide incentives to your staff in the form of extra income, medical facilities, etc. To encourage them to market your company among their connections.
Provide scope for expertise:
Professionals consider expertise in products and services. If you are an expert in your niche, then you can include free consultations for users.
Be prepared and deliver a speech at events like in schools, churches, rotary clubs, etc. try to reach out to the audience by promoting your business through presentations and distributing pamphlets.
This is a form of presentation and discussion done online. You can arrange webinars, online events, and even online educational training for free related to your business to increase trust factor and brand awareness.
There is a long journey for you to build an online market for your business and the steps that you take will surely have a good impact. Generating traffic through blogging takes some time, but social media posts, having paid ads, have quick results.
Creating a short marketing strategy lets you focus on limited customers whose needs can be catered further increasing your chances of earning their loyalty and trust.
Correct business marketing strategies can make a big difference in growing your small business. The list of market strategies I have mentioned today might seem time-consuming to you. But if the maximum of them can be attained, then the success of your business can skyrocket.
What matters the most is building connections with people, either online or by the offline medium. While applying marketing strategies for small businesses, marketing automation like OutboundEngine may assist you to create online profiles, collecting the best customer reviews and other optimizations.
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1. What are the types of Traditional marketing strategies for small businesses?
– Direct Mail
– Print advertisement
– Outdoor marketing/ Guerilla marketing
– Referral/word of mouth
2. What are the types of digital marketing strategies for small businesses?
– Focus on your real customer base
– Make a difference
– Target for achieving small goals and objectives
– Capitalise your short goals
– Work on improving your data
– Treat your existing customers well
– Create your own website
– Start blogging
– Look out for ads
– Email marketing
– Create a customer database
– Encourage the users and existing customers to spread a word
– Provide scope for expertise
– Speak at events
– Conduct webinars