Annie Everill, Digital Marketing Executive, Imaginaire, https://www.imaginaire.co.uk
No matter the business, every market is crowded and filled with competition. But that’s where a solid marketing strategy and promotion comes to play. Making a clear plan of platforms and methods you’re wanting to use will not only keep the business on track but will also open doors in terms of customer research, insights and data. Small businesses are becoming more popular as side hustles or full-time employment, with customers now valuing quality and morals more than ever before. It is, however, difficult to compete with larger brands and cooperations, especially through a classic search engine. Advancements in the digital world have now made it much easier for smaller companies to get their names out there and have ultimately resulted in a rise in smaller businesses being created. Here are some key ways in which you can promote your small business.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing is one of the easiest and most creative ways to market your business, and the best part is, it’s completely free! As most small businesses have lower budgets, using free materials is a huge advantage. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Tiktok all offer unique features and benefits. Here are just a few benefits of social media marketing.
Increases brand awareness
Executing a social media strategy will increase your brand recognition since you will be engaging with a large number of people, all over the world. To begin your social media journey, encourage employees, business partners, and sponsors to “like” and “share” your page. These simple interactions will increase brand awareness and begin building your reputation and reliability.
Improves search engine rankings
Although social media doesn’t directly increase search engine rankings, researchers state that more than 58% of marketers using social media for one year or longer still see improvements to their rankings.
Current and relevant content
Many customers will look for a business or provider who shares common interests or communicate in ways they’re familiar with. Social media marketing is the way the world is heading, and if customers can see your brand is relevant, the feeling of reliability and trust will follow. Social media platforms enable you to create unique content such as video, graphics, infographics, live streaming and much more.
One of the biggest benefits of using social media in your marketing plan is the cost that comes with it. Not only are social media accounts completely free to use and set up, but they also come with low-cost paid advertising and extra features.
Using social media for customer service is becoming a key strategy used in today’s marketing plans. As the majority of customers purchase and communicate through their mobile phones and apps, utilising platforms to which they constantly have access offers a number of benefits in terms of customer service and customer satisfaction. These platforms provide efficient response times, direct messaging services and direct human interaction. Good customer service links directly to customer experience, so the better the support, the happier the customer.
SEO ( Search engine optimization )
Small businesses often avoid SEO as mega-corporations tend to invest millions into the search game, making it extremely difficult to climb the ladder. Whilst this is true, search is still a huge part of any business promotion and can offer a range of advantages when done correctly. Here are just a few reasons why SEO can help a small business.
- Increased organic traffic
- Dominates market share
- Promotes mobile search
Google’s latest algorithm favours local businesses in its search results in order to offer highly relevant and personal results for customers. This is especially true for consumers who use Google on their smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices.
Email marketing works in reminding customers of their visit and keeping your brand name at the forefront of their minds. Not every customer which visits your website or the Instagram page will purchase a product, so sending out emails with promotions, discounts or reminders can give them that extra push to follow through with their transaction. Email marketing is free, easy to use and ideal for reaching a large scale of customers. Once you have an email marketing tool in place, sending out newsletters or promotional content is super simple and quick. Email marketing also opens opportunities in terms of personalisation and customer relationships. By collecting customer data and information, you can then increase loyalty and offer things such as birthday discounts or seasonal offers.
Although it seems that digital media has taken over from printed material, when it comes to small and local businesses, using print media can still have huge benefits. Using methods such as newsletters, leaflets, posters or magazine ads has a great chance of reaching local customers who are close by and looking for convenience or reliability. For example, if you’re a window cleaner who needs customers in a particular area, you might opt for printed leaflets to post through local doors.