How to do marketing for a small business? Cheap, easy, and effective!
Hi, it's nice to see you on our blog! It is 100% dedicated to delivering articles and tips on how to grow small businesses into thriving businesses that steadily increase their revenue month after month and thus keep growing their business.
This article will give you the know-how on approaching and executing online marketing for a local small business. How to plan your marketing strategy, where to start, what to look out for, how to do it, and what to expect.
We are confident that you will get value out of this article that will help you increase profits from your small business.
*The practices presented in the article are tailored to a small business that doesn't have tens of thousands to spend on advertising; hence, we're not talking about paid video advertising, the cost of which starts at many thousands.
Read on to learn all you need to know about local internet marketing for small business!
Which small business marketing strategies are the best?
Which marketing strategy is best for small businesses?
Here are 8 online marketing strategies below that will show you how to do marketing for a small business that is both effective and inexpensive.
We considered activities that:
- You can run yourself
- Are not expensive
- Are great for small businesses
1. Google business profile - a free and effective channel for local SEO
A business profile on Google is unquestionably the best marketing channel for small business owners, and you should definitely include it in your digital marketing plan. Its main advantage is that it is entirely free. Setting it up and maintaining it afterward is entirely free and doesn't cost you any money. When done right, it will make you stand out from other local businesses. You should definitely include it in the local marketing strategy of your local business.
Setting up a profile is also very easy, and you can do it here: https://business.google.com/create
There is also no denying that the effects are visible literally days after setting up your business profile on Google.
Your business will be almost immediately visible to customers searching for the products or services you offer. Below you have an example of a company that was set up relatively recently but is already incredibly visible online and generating phone calls, page views, and route designations to the business. Significantly, other than time, it didn't cost anything.
Once you've added your small business to Google, monitor its visibility in Google statistics and a free tool to check your business' position in Google. Check precisely how visible your business is to customers in various locations around town.
2. Building relationships - a very effective but underrated channel
You don't realize how many people choose to use your business recommended to them by a colleague or family member. The percentage of new customers coming from a recommendation can start at a few and go up to a dozen, depending on the industry.
What does it look like in practice?
Let's say you are a dentist and you have two clients. One of them is served coldly, without building any relationship. With the other one, you have at least talked about how to take care of the teeth at home, care products, weather, work, family, wished him a nice day, etc.
Now they both meet in a particular circle of friends.
Asked where he goes to the dentist, the first one will inform him that he goes to your clinic, but he will also do so coolly and without any enthusiasm.
The second customer also sits in the same room. Without even being asked, he starts telling everyone that there is such a great dentist who, apart from doing his job, can chat, give advice, and is nice and friendly.
Wouldn't that influence your friends' decisions?
Now think how often you and your friends had a situation like that. Remember the enthusiasm that accompanied you when talking about a company where they have built a positive relationship with its owner or employee.
This channel is fantastic and, importantly, completely free!
3. Build a website for your small business - FREE
A website is another crucial piece of a local marketing strategy that all small business owners should take care of.
People are already used to every business having at least a basic website where they can learn more about their products or services and visit their contact page.
As your business is not that big, you don't need a spectacular website. Start from scratch and for free!
You don't need programming knowledge to create a website for your business. Here are three solutions.
- You can create a one-click and free page in your company's Google profile, a business site. You can find more information here: https://support.google.com/business/answer/7178589
- You can also make such a page using a tool such as Canva, but you will incur subscription costs for the tool
3. You can also create a free site, but more complex than a business site called Google Sites. You can find more information here: https://sites.google.com/new
We are confident that with a tutorial found on YouTube, for example, you can create a site for your small business on one of the above platforms yourself. If you want to do it quickly, make the one you can run on your company's Google profile (business online site). The others will take you longer.
Once you have created a website, remember about the Search Engine Optimization - do your keyword research thoroughly, write the copy that contains phrases relevant to your target market, and set up the headings, titles, and meta descriptions of the subpages right. You can do it yourself or hire an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) agency or a marketing consultant to do it for you.
4. Spread the news about your services/products on social media
Did you perform a service? A new product came into your warehouse? Or maybe you served a customer, and he was delighted? That's when social media marketing kicks in.
Don't hesitate. Take your phone in hand, take a picture or record a video, create a short description and upload it to your social media channel. You can start with Facebook and Instagram at first.
In your social media posts, don't forget to tag the product, manufacturer, service, and detailed information on how the producer made it and why you decided to make it. I bet your target audience likes to read this, and by the way, you are building trust in your company and a sense that you know what you are doing or selling.
Plus, as you tag the customer, they are sure to like your post and share it on their wall. Thus, you increase your reach!
Don't delay, and try growing your social media channel now!
If you want to maintain a profile for your company on multiple social media accounts, a tool like Buffer can make your job easier. With one click, you can publish the same post on multiple platforms.
In our next blog article, you'll find a round up of the best online marketing tools for small business selected by the experts. Read on!
5. Video Content - you don't have to be a professional video creator to do it
Make videos about products you sell or services you perform. Video marketing is one of the most effective online marketing tactics for local businesses.
Show people how to put the product into practice. Compare it to several other products. Show what a good-looking service looks like, the problem, what products you recommend, etc. The only limit is your imagination.
IMPORTANT: don't worry that the video may not have good quality. People care more about the knowledge you share than the quality of the video. Suppose you talk about something valuable, something that can solve their problem and help them in their everyday lives. In that case, they will become regular viewers of your channel. They will become clients and surely recommend your services or products to others with time.
The best place to publish is on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
6. Build your authority and brand recognition on industry blogs, forums, groups and local business directories
Whether you sell products or services, you're sure to know and read industry forums and blogs or be added to some industry group on Facebook. Usually, most of them allow you to contribute in the comments. The groups are the perfect place to add something from yourself and share your knowledge and thoughts on a topic.
You have a Facebook profile of your small business that sells some products or services. It could be a company that manufactures shoe insoles.
On the group, you notice that someone has posted that they have long-lasting pain in their heels when they run. Let's assume that you know something about it and your company sells special insoles. Share your knowledge! Tell us why this can happen, how many people you have seen with it, and if they have had any success in solving it? Or maybe your product is the perfect solution?
Don't hesitate to help!
You can apply the same marketing strategy to the service industry. Someone's car door handle froze due to frost. Even though you're just making keys, recommend a product that someone can use because you know it will help them solve their problem. He will remember the situation and your company, and when the need for crucial making comes, he will not think twice and visit your company.
7. Don't forget about Google reviews!
Reviews are among the most critical elements in an online marketing strategy that affect purchasing decisions of people who do not know your company and have not yet had the opportunity to use its services or products.
They can also incredibly boost your position in the search engines' results pages.
You had probably checked out reviews on the internet more than once before you used a service or bought a product.
If you already know that reviews are essential, you probably wonder how to get them? Nothing could be simpler! Here are two simple steps to get them easily, quickly, and effectively.
- Read a short article about how to ask customers to leave reviews about your business on Google.
- Create a Google feedback solicitation poster that you print out and hang on your door, place on your counter, add a card on your menu or add to a customer's order. The decision is yours. Learn more about the Google review poster.
8. But on the start, be sure to get to know your customer - create a buyer persona
Information about who your potential customers are is essential to begin any marketing efforts. You need to know this to create your marketing message well enough. You will design entirely different content to appeal to young people and entirely different for those who are older.
Getting to know your local customers and picking the perfect target audience will help you create the best digital marketing strategy - from content marketing to a way to run your social media sites or developing an effective email marketing strategy.
Additionally, each persona may have different needs, problems, interests, etc.
Don't hesitate and start your adventure with persona building as soon as possible.
You can find examples of what this looks like on Google Graphics. Click here and type in: Persona example.
Do you see? Online small business marketing can be easy, effective, free, or, at least, cheap! After all, that's all you want when you start your business when you don't have a lot of customers yet.
Thanks to the examples above, you already know how to grow your small business and which channels. Now the decision is up to you. Are you ready to grow your small business? Then you're ready, get started!
Good luck from the entire Surfer Local team! Don't forget to add yourself to the newsletter to stay up to date with the latest stuff to help you grow your small business bigger and better on Google.