Starting a new business is no easy task and requires a lot of time and effort. You need to perfect your offering, select the right sales channels, research your target customers, and more.
However, no matter how good your product or service is, people won’t know about your business unless you market it. Marketing is an essential part of establishing your brand and generating sales leads for your small business. In this post, we will discuss some of the best marketing techniques that will help you grow your small business both in size and reputation.
So, let’s get right to it.
7 Marketing Ideas for Growing Your Small Business in 2021:
1. Build an SEO-Friendly Website
The first thing that any new business needs is a website where people can learn about your business and buy your products or services. If you build a website that is optimized for both the search engines and conversions, then you’ve already crossed the first hurdle.
Getting organic traffic to your website should be your first priority before you start investing in other marketing tactics.
Here are some things that you should consider:
- Create good-quality content on trending topics in your niche.
- Do extensive keyword research before creating your website content.
- Incorporate your primary keywords into all your website landing pages, titles, meta descriptions, etc.
- Use structured data to get better SERP rankings for your web pages and make your SERP listings stand apart from others.
- Focus more on local SEO and long-tail keywords.
- Don’t forget to take care of technical SEO aspects like page-load speed and website design.
There is a lot that goes into building an SEO-friendly website, but these tips should get you started on the right path.
2. Tell Your Brand Story
For any business, it is important to connect with their target audience and form a distinct brand image. Telling your brand story is a brilliant and effective way to achieve that.
Brands that are authentic and have a good story about how they came to be are often more memorable and form lasting impressions. So, if you want people who hear about your brand for the first time to remember it, tell them your brand story.
Burt’s Bees, for example, takes advantage of every chance they get to tell the wonderful story of how the brand came to be. It is a simple story of boy meets girl, falls in love, and creates something that will live long after they’re gone.
They have a detailed “About Us” section on their website and have a separate page for telling their brand story. It also includes major milestones in the founders’ lives and the brand’s history. The use of videos and pictures to tell the story is remarkable and memorable.
3. Leverage Social Media Marketing
As a small-business owner, one of the cheapest and most effective forms of marketing that you can invest in is social media marketing.
If you’re willing to invest time and effort into it, you can do this in-house with minimal expenditure. And, as your business grows, you can start leveraging social media marketing tools to manage your accounts.
Here are some social media marketing tips to get you started:
- Select the right platforms where your target customers are active.
- Find your brand voice and stick to it.
- Be regular and consistent in posting social media content.
- Use high-quality, eye-catching visuals to attract audience attention.
- Add your website link in your social media bios.
- Use tactics that drive social media traffic to your website.
- Use popular and relevant hashtags to reach more people.
- Create your own branded hashtags to track your campaigns.
There is a lot that goes into formulating a winning social media marketing strategy. These are just some tips to get you started. Once you have mastered these, you should dig deeper, upskill yourself, and try more advanced social media marketing tactics.
4. Start a Rewards and Referral Program From the Outset
This is a simple yet effective marketing strategy that small businesses often overlook. You may think that these programs are meant only for large businesses who have a substantial number of customers. However, that is not necessarily correct.
Small businesses have a lot more to gain from such an initiative as it is one of the best ways to generate leads. Think of it from customers’ perspectives.
Would you buy from a brand that you’ve never heard of simply by looking at a promotion or ad? No, right?
But, if someone you know and trust recommends it, would you consider at least checking it out? The answer for most would be yes.
That’s the power and beauty of referral marketing and that is precisely why you should have a referral program in place. By providing rewards you can incentivise your existing customers to recommend your brand to their friends.
Also, you can give rewards to customers who complete certain actions like following your social media channels or making a purchase. This will ensure that they engage more with your brand, fostering customer loyalty.
5. Invest in Analytics Early-On
Having a data-driven marketing strategy gives you an edge and makes your initiatives more effective. As a small business, you cannot afford to make mistakes and need to do things right the first time. That is where data and analytics can help you.
And the best part is that you don’t necessarily need to pay for sophisticated software solutions to get that. There are plenty of free or affordable options that you can use.
Social media analytics, for example, is available for free as most platforms have built-in analytics tools that can provide you with all essential information. Similarly, for your website, you can use Google Analytics to get insights into the performance of your different landing pages.
One thing that you should invest in is social media monitoring tools as they can help you track relevant conversations and respond to them. This is very important for small businesses as it is very important to respond to customer queries and resolve issues quickly. An established brand may still be able to live with a few negative reviews but for small businesses, it can be devastating.
So, whichever type of marketing tactic you’re trying, make sure that you track and measure performance metrics for it and do your research before implementing it.
6. Establish Your Expertise in Your Niche
This is one thing that can help you distinguish yourself from others in your niche and build your brand image. Everyone else is probably using the same marketing tactics as you are, so you need to find additional ways to set yourself apart.
Focussing on establishing yourself as an industry expert is one such tactic.
Here are some of the ways in which you can do that.
- Sign-up for HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and answer questions asked by journalists. These are usually published on reputable websites and a mention or backlink from such websites is good for your reputation.
- Start a blog and create informative and useful content on topics within your niche.
- Join community forums like Quora and answer questions there.
- Engage in discussions on social media on relevant topics within your areas of expertise.
- Host webinars and podcasts on useful and relevant topics. Invite other experts to get more visibility and reach.
As you start making waves in your industry, people will start inviting you for interviews and podcasts. Make time to participate in these things as it further enhances your reputation.
7. Create and Promote Explainer Videos
This tactic, while relevant for all businesses, is especially important for new ones who want to spread brand awareness.
Even the best of businesses with amazing products can struggle to gain that initial momentum and get people to learn about their brand. And, if you launch an innovative product, then it is even more difficult to make people understand what it is and how it can help them.
This is where product tutorials and explainer videos shine. These videos demonstrate what your product does and the different ways in which it can be used.
This removes that initial hurdle where most businesses fail to make their target customers understand the value that they’re providing.
Take Panasonic’s explainer video for its ES-SL33 shaver, for example. The product was innovative and had many advantages over regular razors. However, the brand could not have conveyed how it differs from other razors, if not for this explainer video.
So, the next time you launch a new product, create and promote an explainer video to pique consumers’ interest.
If you have a small business and are struggling to meet your marketing goals, try the tactics mentioned in this post. These are tried-and-tested marketing techniques that can give you the push that you need to ace your marketing game.
Try these out and see the results for yourself.