The biggest tactical challenges for how to market a small business often come down to time, expertise and resources. You know you should be marketing, but who has the time? How do you even know where to start? Where will the money come from?
Fortunately, launching an effective marketing program doesn’t have to take forever, can use tools you already have in hand and won’t break the bank if you make wise investments. And keep in mind that you don’t have to go it alone.
Small business marketing has come a long way since the days when marketing was accessible only to big companies with big budgets. With low-cost and high-impact efforts in mind, here are tactical tips for how to market a small business.
Know your ideal clients/customers
Before you begin marketing anything, develop detailed buyer personas for your brand first. Emphasis on the word detailed: You want to gather as much information as possible about who your ideal clients or customers are, including their age, where they live, their occupation, interests and level of education.
Next, you’ll dig a bit deeper, listing any problems they have that your business can solve and what barriers you may have in reaching them. Information about personas informs small business marketing strategies, determines what tactics and tasks will be most effective and assists in setting metrics that make sense.
Meet your ideal customers where they are
Today’s consumers, including your ideal clients, are constantly bombarded with information across every platform imaginable, and it’s common for small businesses to think that they have to be everywhere at once in order to reach them.
While you should have an integrated marketing approach across platforms, you’ll also want to target the bulk of your efforts where you get the best return:
- Lead where you have the most followers. If you’re a B2B with a large LinkedIn following, for instance, spend more time posting relevant content there that positions you as a thought leader than trying to learn a new, photo-based social media type that isn’t a good fit for your business.
- Don’t spend valuable social media advertising dollars on duds. Wait to spend money to “boost” a post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram until it’s already gotten some traction and attention. It’ll benefit more from the extra oomph, giving you a better return on your investment.
- Consistently engage customers with email marketing for small business. Email is an excellent tactic for keeping in touch outside of the fleeting nature of social media. Set up a regular cadence for email and test out a few different approaches until you find one that seems to click.
Use the content you already have
Whether you’re just starting to develop marketing collateral for small business or have existing efforts that have stalled, there are some quick ways to build digital marketing materials around what’s already in front of you.
To start using what you have today:
- Build promotional social media posts using details from your profile. Have a pithy tagline that you like? Turn it into a tweet. Are there parts of your bio or background you’d like to highlight? Make them a Facebook post. Want to let people know that you’re now open on weekends? Post it early and often.
- Turn a lengthy blog post into a free ebook offer. If you’ve ever gotten carried away while blogging and suddenly ended up with 1,200-plus words on a single topic, you have enough content for an ebook that can be offered on your site in exchange for visitors’ contact information. It will still need to be designed and laid out to look professional, but the writing part is over.
- Put customer testimonials to work. Every time you get a glowing review or testimonial from a satisfied customer, use their words as widely as you can.
- Turn FAQs into blog posts. In addition to posting quick responses to the most frequently asked questions from your customers and prospects, draft longer answers to use as blog posts. The content will be unique, and you already know there's an audience for the topic based on how often you're asked about it.
Feeling overwhelmed? Get some help
If all of these tips for how to market a small business still have you reeling, remember that you don’t have to go it alone, no matter how small you are. Consider contracting with a copywriter to help generate content or partner with a digital marketing agency that can take it all of your hands, from setup to lead tracking.