Effective Techniques for Marketing
a Small Business

See also: Strategic Marketing

Whether you’re on the cusp of launching a new business, or you’re already trading and need a way to spread the word about your new venture, marketing is an essential task for any business. Having a strong presence for your brand is the key to attracting (and retaining) customers and making sales.

But as a small business, budgets can be tight so it’s all about finding ways that are hugely effective without spending a fortune on advertising and branded products. With these tips, you’ll be able to garner interest in your brand offerings without it impacting your bottom line.

Make use of social media

Social media is a great way to build a relationship with your audience and grow your brand. For small businesses, it’s particularly useful because it’s a free source of marketing that when done right can be hugely effective at reaching a much broader group of people. The best way to use social media is to provide high quality content that provides genuine value, whether that’s information or entertainment.

You should also take the time to respond to comments and posts you’ve been tagged in, as this helps to build trust in your brand. It also doubles up your social accounts as customer service channels as well as marketing solutions.

Don’t neglect printed materials

Businesses tend to prioritise digital methods for marketing these days, and while that’s a great approach, there’s still a place for physical marketing too, especially in the form of print. For example, printed materials such as flyers are an affordable form of advertising that highlight your services or products and they can be a great way to get your contact details out there. They can even provide new customers with discounts or offers to entice them to your site or store.

There’s also the option of QR code stickers, merging a physical product with your online presence. As Discount Sticker Printing illustrates, “QR codes are a fantastic way to get potential customers visiting your website. You can simply have a plain code which sends people to your business’s website, or you can combine it with your logo or promotional message on a sticker, and then stick it anywhere for instant promotion”.

If your business sells physical items, using these codes on your labels is another way to guide your customers to your online presence to help build relationships and improve brand loyalty.

Create a GMB listing

To be visible online, you need to rank high in search engine results, and that requires a strong search engine strategy. There are a few main elements to implement here. But for many small businesses, local SEO is a great way to target customers who are searching for companies and services close to them – a Google My Business (GMB) listing is the perfect way to market to these groups. GMB is a comprehensive space for managing how your site performs in search engines and organic search results, collating contact details, reviews and information about your services and specialisms. In fact, it’s one of the biggest drivers of local SEO success.

As digital agency Brick Digital explains, GMB listings are “one of the easiest wins for most businesses, but still, something which is underrated. Reach out to your customers and request them to post their testimonials on your Google Business Listing. When people look up your business on Google, the more positive reviews you have and higher the rating of your business listing, the more likely it will become for your business to capture them as a lead and eventually as a customer”.

Get writing

Something that search engines like Google really value is fresh content. You should be regularly updating your site with relevant, high-quality content. A blog is the ideal platform for this, appealing not only to search engines but also your site visitors, however, it’s not the only option when it comes to creating content. Unlike paid advertising, content marketing is a long-term strategy which offers sustainable growth and boosts leads, and traffic to your website. Business owners need to focus on relevancy and quality when developing content, but consistency also plays a role.

Think of ways you can add value to your visitors and promote your brand in a positive way. That might be via video content, online courses, podcast episodes or shareable guides. Email marketing is also a fantastic way to share and promote your content, update customers with new products or services you’re offering, and provide freebies or discounts.

Invest in advertising

Advertising, whether online or offline, can do wonders for building your customer base and getting the word out about your brand and what you offer. If you’re choosing to go digital, this might include Facebook advertising. Pay Per Click (PPC), when correctly managed, can also be incredibly successful in providing immediate results and generating leads.

But, there are also offline options available if you don’t want to invest exclusively in online tools, such as sponsoring events, billboard adverts, local press and PR, or even radio which can be a great way to reach a captive audience. Radio adverts might perhaps reach people who aren’t necessarily the groups you’re targeting directly.

Partner with other companies in your niche

Teamwork can really boost your efforts when it comes to marketing, so why not combine resources with another company in your sector to achieve goals you might struggle to achieve alone? For example, you could work with another business to provide a giveaway on social media to join followers and broaden your reach, or maybe you’re a brick-and-mortar store who can team up with another local business to combine services into one package for customers.

There’s no limit to the options available – all that’s required is to find a crossover between your business and another, and provide a solution that’s mutually beneficial for you both. The outcome is that both businesses get some additional exposure that could result in long-term loyalty from customers that would otherwise be unaware of your brand.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Self-Employment and Running Your Own Business

The Skills You Need Guide to Self-Employment and
Running Your Own Business

If you are thinking about running your own business, or already do so, but feel that you need some guidance, then this eBook is for you. It takes you through self-employment in easy steps, helping you to ensure that your business has more chance of success.

The Skills You Need Guide to Self-Employment and Running Your Own Business is the guide no new or aspiring entrepreneur can afford to be without!

Based on our popular self-employment and entrepreneurship content.

In summary

As any small business owner knows, the journey to building a brand and boosting recognition is a long one. But any steps you can take in the early stages will benefit your business in a positive way and help to generate more traffic. From social media content and GMB listings which target local customers to building your email marketing list and using physical marketing products, there are various options available for small businesses to market their services and products effectively without breaking the budget.

About the Author

Dakota Murphey is a writer based in Brighton, specialising in management training, HR and effective talent acquisition. Having authored pieces for numerous online and print magazines, Dakota has undertaken independent studies to discover how managerial styles and practices can positively impact business productivity.