Create a solid brand awareness online and achieve your company’s goals by following these marketing tips for a small business.
Many startup companies treat marketing as nothing but an afterthought. What they don’t realize is that one of the reasons why more than half of new companies fail within their first five years is due to insufficient marketing effort, especially online.
Contrary to popular belief, online or digital marketing does not entail exorbitant budgets. In fact, the Internet has leveled the playing field that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can now compete with more established companies with a bigger marketing budget.
Even solo entrepreneurs and “side hustlers” can take full advantage of digital marketing without having to spend a fortune. For bootstrappers, a good way to start is to reach their target audience through social media networks like Facebook and Instagram.
Table of Contents
Whether you’re a small startup company or an established one, digital marketing has one primary purpose: To create a solid brand awareness online.
Meanwhile, your long-term success is closely tied to how effective your marketing is. Remember, the best strategies are the ones that reflect the current business landscape and the customers’ behavior and sentiment. Take into account these marketing tips for a small business.
In addition, the success of your marketing campaign does not boil to the budget. In fact, the use of free online platforms and paid ads designed to target qualified leads (i.e., consumers who are the most likely to buy from you based on their online activities) is enough to give you a competitive edge.
Market a Good Product or Service
Remember, even the best marketing strategies cannot solve a mediocre product or a shoddy service. So before you inject more budget into your paid ads, perhaps you should take a moment to answer this question: “Do I have a marketing problem or a core business problem?”
If you have a less-than-stellar product, beefing up your marketing effort is nothing but a band-aid solution. The best way to address this problem is to solve the “underlying issue” and/or add value to the product.
Remember this: It is easier to market an excellent product that provides real value to the customers than a nondescript or mediocre one.
Apple is the perfect example of a superb brand that is propelled into success by its equally superb marketing and branding.
Use Personal Network
The importance of the network in marketing for startups and small companies especially now that the new norm entails almost every customer and businesses to be online.
With your personal network, you can broaden your customer base quickly and possibly drive your sales. In addition, you can take advantage of word of mouth marketing, which is the most effective marketing as people trust their friends and family’s recommendations more than websites and ad campaigns.
To strengthen your word of mouth marketing, you can use a reward system, which does not necessarily come in cash. You can reward your personal network and loyal customers with discounts, free access to valuable content (ebook, tutorial, webinar, etc.), loyalty programs, and small items (pens, mugs, and t-shirts).
Get Your Customer's Attention
One of the biggest mistakes of marketing is focusing more on their marketing per se than their customers.
The best marketing strategies have all one thing in common: The main focus is the customer, not the product itself. After all, even the best product in the market is obsolete for someone who doesn’t need it.
The first step to get your customer’s attention is to make sure that they are the “right” target based on their demographics and online activities.
The second step is to make your website visible to your target audience through SEO, which is an acronym for search engine optimization. The goal is to make your business “searchable” every time your customer types into the Google search box the keywords and phrases.
“Searchable” means that your website ranks on the top of the list, specifically the first three results. According to Google report, the number one position gets 32.5% of search traffic, the second gets 17.6%, the third gets 11.4%, and from there the traffic continues to decline significantly.
Know Your Target Market Needs
Research shows that knowing your target market significantly reduces your failure rate. According to statistics, more than half of startups do not make it past their fifth year due to insufficient marketing effort, lack of capital, quick expansion, etc.
To know your target market, look at their demographics. To put this in perspective, imagine that you are a plumbing service provider, which means that your potential customers are homeowners, property managers, and building owners who are living in your local community or near your business.
Once you know your target market, you’ll need to research the same services and products being offered in your area.
For example, if you are a restaurateur in a small town in Mississippi, you may want to stick to the traditional Southern meal like cornbread, collard greens, and fried chicken to reflect the local taste. But if you are into fusion cuisine, you might find more success in cosmopolitan areas and big cities.
When having a detailed business plan, you can now create a marketing plan that explains your customers’ specific demographics and the services and products that appeal to them. For example, imagine that you run a daycare center. Your best bet is to “reach” out to working parents and young families who need a reliable childcare provider.
Measure the Results of Your Marketing Efforts
Finally, the last of the marketing tips for a small business is the importance of marketing results on the Internet. You want to get ranked well on the search engine result pages. SERPs are essential to online users because they show the relevance of your website in terms of content, products, services, keywords, and phrases.
It is also a good idea to keep tabs on your competitors, paying close attention to their rank position. With this technique, you’ll know where they find success, where they fail, and how you can fill in the gap to drive your sales and grow your customer base.
Final Word About Marketing Tips for a Small Business
For most SMEs, digital marketing involves time-consuming tasks and familiarity with best practices and the ever-changing Google algorithm. Another challenge is that having their own in-house online marketing team can put a dent in their [limited] budget.
By partnering with LOJO, you can access a pool of talents, ranging from digital marketing specialists, content creators, visual artists to social media managers, paid ads experts, and SEO copywriters–at a fraction of the cost.