With all the different marketing strategies nowadays, they can be overwhelming especially for small business owners. Most advertising methods would need a large budget that small businesses usually can’t provide.
While small businesses have a small-scale target market, it’s difficult to compete with large companies that have an established name.
How can your small clothing brand compete with large names such as Nike and H&M? They have advertisements everywhere — on TV, in magazines, and even in popular events.
But like every business, they started small. They achieved their success because they did things right that includes effective marketing.
Your marketing skills will certainly be put to the test. If you don’t know where to start, here are some tips to help you begin planning your marketing strategy.
Pro Marketing Tips for Startups and Small Business Owners
1. Know your target market
Businesses survive because of their customers. And if businesses can’t reach their potential customers, they’ll close down in a blink of an eye. Obviously it stands to reason that having a wider customer base can help insulate our businesses from fickle markets. A great way to achieve this is to conduct business internationally. Do you already speak one of the 5 best business languages? If so, that may be a great starting point for your marketing strategy.
You should find the answer to the question, “Who is my target audience?” It should cover basic demographics (e.g. age, gender, and occupation) and psychographics (e.g. personalities, lifestyles, and hobbies).
You can use customer insight analytic tools to get a better perception of your current and potential customers.
Here’s a simple example:
You’ve opened a pet accessory shop in a small urban town. You have a loyal following that consists of friends and family. You’ve also set up an online shop and noticed that you’re not reaching your target sales.
Now, determine your target audience which are pet owners in and around your area. You can use tools like Google Analytics or go through the traditional methods of gathering data like conducting surveys.
Once you’ve determined your market, you can build more effective marketing plans.
Let’s say 60% of pet owners in your area are dedicated dog lovers who belong to large, middle-class families. You can create adverts on social media that feature families with their dogs to make them more relatable. Offering discounts can also be a good marketing strategy to capture this market.
2. Personalize your emails
Email marketing is a common method used in digital marketing. A 2015 DMA report suggests that for every dollar spent on this type of marketing, you may get an ROI (Return of Investment) of up to 5,000%.
However, you’ll need to brush up on your email marketing skills. You can find tons of tips online on how to be successful in email marketing. But there’s one important thing that you should consider, personalization.
This is a crucial factor in creating emails that some may ignore. It’s also one tactic to prevent your email from getting deleted in a second.
Of course, writing personalized emails to everyone you’re planning to message will take forever. It’s also counterproductive since you still have a business to run. That’s why there are email marketing tools that you can use for easy email automation.
But the thing is, you need to have a balance of automation and personalization in your emails. Luckily, the email tools nowadays are more technologically advanced so you can even include their location or purchase history to make emails more personal.
Social media content is continuously evolving and we can’t escape the fact that almost everyone has a social media account. Here’s a quick fact from Statista, there are about 3 billion social media users around the world and this number is projected to increase in the coming years.
Based on research, around 72 percent of B2C (Business to Consumer) marketers use social media ads and 58 percent of these marketers say that they’re useful. Also, social media has been used as leverage for B2B startups as well.
This is why you should consider boosting posts and paying for advertisements. Each social media platform has its own terms when it comes to paid adverts and post boosting. You may need to assign a dedicated startup marketing agency to focus on this type of marketing.
Additionally, interacting with your audience has a positive effect on your brand. Providing quality customer service through social media by responding to questions or helping them with problems is also another smart marketing strategy.
4. Dedicate time in creating digital content
This goes hand in hand with tip number 3. Before you can boost your content, you have to make it first.
Sharing links to your website content on social media may be a great idea. But people respond more to digital media content that’s entertaining and educational.
For example, Snapchat has some unique filters that you can use to make stories related to your business more fun and interactive.
Create infographics that provide helpful information to readers and help people with their problems.
Here’s an example of digital content posted on Facebook by the popular fast-food chain, Wendy’s. Instead of only posting information about the quality of their food, they’ve created an image that’s eye-catching to convey their message.
Now, here’s an example from a small burger restaurant’s Facebook page. They uploaded a video that shows grilling burgers to attract customers. Since they’re not as popular as other big restaurants, they showcase their product using appealing videos and photos.
Once you’ve published your digital media content, you can boost them to reach more people.
If you’re clueless on how to create such content, it’s pretty easy to learn even for a beginner as mentioned by JoyofAndroid.
5. Keep an eye on reviews
Online reviews play a big role in your business’s success. In a survey conducted by Statista in 2019, 91% from over 1,100 people responded that they’ll likely buy a product based on a good review and 82% said that negative reviews make them less likely to buy the product.
Reviews from other people have such a great impact on businesses.
If you’re planning to create reviews for your own business, then you should forget about it. Some people have their own way to know if a review is real or not.
One good tip to get authentic customer reviews is by simply asking them. If your customers are truly satisfied and happy with your product or service, there’s a great chance that they’ll leave reviews.
You can also offer some rewards to people who review your business like discounts or gifts on their next purchase.
Another tip would be asking influencers to review your product or service. You can send them free products for them to review.
6. Engage in partnership marketing
Small businesses and startups can benefit a lot from partnership marketing. Creating marketing campaigns with other businesses is a way to improve brand awareness leading to more customers and success that’s cost-efficient.
Of course, your partners should also benefit from your partnership. When looking for partners, going for businesses that may be in a different industry than you might be a good move.
For starters, you can go with these partnership marketing strategies:
- Content sharing
- Co-creating offers and marketing
- Affiliate marketing
You can be as creative as you can with this. If you’re trying to get an established business to partner up with you, be ready with a compelling pitch and presentation to prove that they can benefit from your partnership.
Having a link-building strategy is also a great way to improve your website’s awareness and interactions. Building links with other websites improves your visibility, especially if you’re linking with websites with good metrics.
This also improves your website’s SEO. With better SEO, it will be easier for you to reach your target market.
To be effective, you have to invest a lot of time and effort in link building. You can try blogger outreach services if you think link building will take much of your time. This way, you can focus on other marketing strategies.
Are you ready to grow?
Starting a business is just the easy part. The process of maintaining it is the most difficult aspect you need to learn.
You’ll likely face struggles and failures. But that’s a part of owning a business. Still, you can prevent them from happening if you’re equipped with enough skills and knowledge.
When it comes to marketing your small business, these tips will surely help you to create strategies that’ll work. Still, your decisions will determine your success.