In today's digital world finding the right small business strategy can feel like a war zone. With constant changes in algorithms and countless fake gurus claiming they have the "secret sauce", it's easy to wonder what can actually grow your business and what's a waste of time.
Here's the truth, there is no secret sauce. In fact, when it comes to a successful marketing strategy for a small business it's all about accumulation.
This means rather than focusing on one major marketing "hack", you devote a portion of each day to smaller techniques that create real conversions.
So which techniques should you incorporate? Here are some of the best strategies to start incorporating into your small business today.
Back to Basics: What to Consider Before Building Your Small Business Strategy
You had an amazing idea, investors took interest and you ran with it. That's amazing. However, if you're like many business owners you may have skipped some essential steps.
If you didn't dedicate a decent amount of time to marketing research, any strategy going forward will be built on sand. This is because you aren't talking to everyone, you're talking to "your people", and it pays to know who that is.
So before trying any of the following strategies we suggest going back to the drawing board and focusing on branding and market research.
Get clear on your mission and make sure all elements of your brand reflect that mission. Get in the head of who truly has a need for your product.
It helps to make an ideal customer avatar complete with a name, job, and hobbies. Make this the central point of your marketing and always remember who it is you're talking to.
Finally, be sure the numbers validate this. You may think your primary audience is one type of person and find yourself surprised as to whose really buying.
Utilise surveys, email lists and any data you can to put together the right pieces.
Get Brutally Honest
Now that you have an idea of who you're targeting, it's time to hire a few of them. You'll want to get some form of a focus group going, even if it's a casual one.
Hire (or have a third party hire for you) a small group that falls within your demographic and have them explore your current materials, along with those of your competitors.
Obviously, for this to work the individuals cannot be aware of which business is yours.
Have them review everything, from websites to social media pages. Have them discuss or write down what they like, what worked for them and what didn't.
You can even add a heat map onto your website to see what areas of your website visitors naturally gravitated to, or at what point you lose them.
From here you can get a clear idea of what your audience is looking for and make any necessary changes that can help them better engage with your brand.
Rebuild Your Content Strategy
The research is in and content is king. While sleek advertising with catchy taglines was once all it took, customers now expect you to bring some value to the table.
The good news is there are all types of valuable content that can help you convert customers. The bad news is not all content resonates with all audiences.
This is where the handy marketing research we recommended comes into play. You want to be tuned in to what your clientele looks for and where they look for it.
You can utilise content that's geared to your mission as well as your product. For example, if your product has an environmentally friendly focus to it, your audience may be looking for content on other ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
The more you mark yourself as an authority in the industry, the more likely your audience will be to trust you with their hard-earned cash.
Also, spend some time looking into where your content is displayed. Is it in a blog on your website? Through a social media post? Maybe a new video content channel? Think through where your audience is most likely to see it.
Refocus Your Email Campaign
There are countless "trending" marketing platforms these days. However, it's good to know the original is still going strong.
Email continues to be one of the most highly converting marketing techniques a business can utilise. Still. it's one area that seems to be left on the back burner often.
Even if your open rate is in the single digits (and you have the list to match), it's worth investing time in your email campaign.
The trick here is to give your audience a reason to open your emails each week. This can be done through exclusive discounts, loyalty clubs, or simply some "feel good" content.
Remember, an email campaign is also a great way to show the character of a business owner and its team. After all, this is supposed to be a letter straight from the source!
Don't be afraid to get vulnerable. Open up about your own challenges in life and how they led you to create your business. Email is also a great way to point your audience towards a blog or podcast.
Most importantly, use this opportunity to introduce your audience as to how your product can do the same for them.
Ditch the Social Media Anxiety
For many, the realm of social media can feel overwhelming. Getting exposure for your social media page isn't as easy as it was in the heyday of Facebook and Instagram.
This doesn't mean, however, that social media shouldn't be a relevant part of your strategy.
Social media is a great way to share content, offer exclusive deals, and give audiences a better idea of who you are.
Remember, even if they may not hear about you on social media they will definitely visit your pages to learn more once they do.
View social media as a "brand enforcer". Another tool to communicate your key message.
There is an important factor in social media that makes it successful, and that's engagement.
Don't just post and run, communicate with your audience. If you get a comment, comment back!
If someone has a question it's a great place to share the URL for your website or send a direct message. Social media also offers a solid ROI when it comes to paid advertising, even if you're working with a modest budget.
Remember, if you post consistently and communicate your social media pages can be a major tool in your strategy toolbox. Not to mention the fact that it will offer great insight that feeds into your market research.
Cool how that works, huh?
SEO Your Heart Out
You've heard about it. It sounds important. Yet, you're still not entirely sure how it works. Fear not, you're not alone.
Many small business owners feel they are out of their wheelhouse when it comes to SEO. However, this strategy can be utilized by any industry.
Here's the thing, you don't want to jump into SEO until you've done your homework.
Why? Because improper SEO usage can actually hurt your business rather than help it.
In it's simplest form, SEO (search engine optimisation) is the collection of words and phrases your audience is most likely to use when searching on a search engine.
You take these keywords and sprinkle them onto your content, website, social media pages etc, and as a result, you're easier to find on search engines like Google.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, when you take into account that Googles algorithm changes an average of 500 times a year...things get tricky.
Use too many keywords, have a slow running website, or even one that's not mobile-friendly and you can hurt your ranking.
This is why, while SEO is highly effective, it also requires a fair amount of research ahead of time. If you feel you can't dedicate your time to keeping up with SEO methods, it may help to hire a professional.
From Strategising to Implementing
Finding the right small business strategy for marketing is only part of the equation. The next is implementing it and finding a way to do so consistently.
For many busy business owners, this often means finding the right team to help you get there.
If the world of digital marketing strategies seems like too much, or you simply lack the time to handle it yourself, contact us today.
Our team is happy to talk with you about the various services we provide to give your business the edge it needs.