3 Steps to Small Business Marketing Mastery
Are you having trouble with your small business marketing? Is lack of knowledge or time preventing you from generating more leads and sales?
If you’re like many small business owners, you don’t have a marketing department; no one in-house who is skilled enough. And you currently have too much in your ‘in-box’ to do the job yourself.
It’s hard, right?
Anxiety grips you like a tooth with an abscess as you worry about your marketing budget. And you’re terrified of asking a freelancer to work with you on your small business marketing plan.
With all that, you put marketing on the back burner unsure of the next steps to take.
But, wait! Isn’t that the polar opposite of what your company requires?
If indecision and uncertainty is part of your problem, we can help.
Our Ultimate Guide to Small Business Marketing will have you on the right track in no time. Banish your marketing woes using low-cost or no-cost methods, and design a 3 step success blueprint you’ll wish you’d created sooner.
Stuffed with small business marketing ideas the guide will offer you suggestions for attracting customers with little or no money. And certainly will encourage you to market your small business with cheap options.
So, why do you need to market your small business?
Does marketing help small businesses? It’s a common query when your business appears to be doing well. And it’s a question that comes too late when everything is falling apart.
Marketing, in its most basic form, is today’s Town Crier. Alerting customers by jangling your metaphorical bell as loudly as possible, so that everyone stops to listen, is a must.
After all, how can your audience decide whether or not to buy from you if you don’t tell them what you do?
Without a small business marketing budget you’ll find it hard to price your product. As a consequence, you’ll be leaving yourself (and your business) out of pocket.
STEP 1. Marketing Strategy for Small Business Success: Create a Bell-Jangling Blueprint
A marketing strategy small business owners will enjoy keeps you on track, lets you know who you’re selling to, and shows you how to sell your products or services most effectively.
Without a plan you’re playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey with a blindfold on.
The target is impossible to hit!
If you’re planning a road trip, you automatically have a start and an end point, as well as pit stops along the way.
This is the model you want to use for your own small business marketing ideas.
It does not have to be a long or difficult route map for you to follow. Keep it simple and achievable.
Action Step 1: Become the Sherlock Holmes of Market Research
How well do you know your rivals? What are they doing to make money? Here’s a chance to put on your detective hat and do some sleuthing. I promise it will be time well spent.
Dive in as far as you can, making it your mission to discover everything – good or bad. Now, apply what you’ve learned to your own business. What are you going to keep, expand on, or get rid of?
Action Step 2: Know Your Audience Inside Out
Have you heard of the term avatar?
Here you want to create a fictitious client (even give them a name!). You can develop your marketing strategy to appeal directly to them by fleshing out their personalities, likes, and dislikes.
Don’t make the mistake of attempting to market to everyone. The more you hone in on the essence of your customer, the easier it will be to sell to them. Especially when your marketing speaks directly to their heart.
Know where they appear (say, on social media) and where they spend their time and money. It means you can present your business to them wherever they are.
Later in the article, we look at some great online and offline marketing strategies, but for now, let’s get this marketing blueprint off the drawing board and into action.
Action Step 3: What Do You Need to Get There?
- Build a Brand Like Nike (the best way to eat an elephant)
It’s not suggested you grow your company to the size of Nike overnight. After all, that’s far too intimidating! And that is the purpose of this article: to relieve stress and uncertainty about what to do next.
However, if you were given the task of eating the elephant (Nike), you would do so in bite-sized chunks.
Each touchpoint in your business, like Nike, should reflect your vision; make it clear to your customers what you stand for. Weave your Avatar’s (and your own) personality throughout your marketing.
Remember how we said to find out where they hang out online and offline? Use this data to determine where you will spend your marketing dollars.
2. Money, Money, Money – Your Budget Question Answered
Costs are something you’ll want to consider right now. Making a budget is essential for determining whether your efforts are providing good value for money. And you can’t begin your journey unless you know where you’re going!
Return on investment (ROI) is a metric that must be met in order to determine success. A marketing budget of 2-5 percent of sales revenue is considered the norm. This figure should include all aspects of marketing, public relations, and anything else you do to increase sales.
Yes, even the sandwich board!
3. Test, Tweak & Terminate!
You will be ahead of the game if you use a scientific approach to your small business marketing. Too many small business owners fail to structure their marketing. And then reap the benefits of their inaction.
Don’t fall into the trap of putting off marketing.
Experiment with different strategies, tweak them to get a better response, and don’t be afraid to abandon something that isn’t working.
STEP 2: The Nuts and Bolts of Small Business Marketing
4 Keys to Clever Selling
Devising a cost effective small business marketing plan that works for you typically has 2 elements – online and offline.
Online marketing can feel daunting, but it is a MUST-HAVE tool in your arsenal.
Key Strategy 1: Your Website – Passport to Your Wizard Wheel of Success
Because your website is the only thing you own on the internet, it must work hard for you. Make your website the centre of your marketing wheel. Update your blog, news section, or online store on a regular basis to keep it fresh.
Furthermore, an email list is essential because it allows you to market directly to your customers’ email inbox. Since they’ve purchased once, there’s a good chance they’ll continue to buy as long as you keep sending them golden nuggets of temptation.
Top Tool Tip: Online marketing for small business using email is also an excellent way to build a relationship with your customer. To deliver quality content and value on a regular basis, use free mailing platforms like Mailchimp or Mailerlite.
Your clients and customers will adore you!
Key Strategy 2: Social Media – Every Wizard Demands a Wand
Your research reveals where your target audience spends their time. Do they prefer Twitter over Facebook, for example? Or is it TicTok and Instagram?
Most experts recommend to start with one or two platforms. A word of caution is necessary here as it’s easy to become overwhelmed when there are too many social media platforms to manage at once.
Don’t be Jack of all trades, and Master of none.
Social media is an excellent place to repurpose snippets of a longer article or blog post. You can generate a flood of interest by breaking down a bigger article into smaller chunks of information, creating images, quotes, memes, or smaller list articles.
Top Tool Tip:
Turn into a social media ninja, even if you were never good at art in school.
With the help of Canva, a free online graphic design tool, you will be able to easily create eye-catching images, graphs, and infographics galore!
And if you are wondering how to get the most out of your time on social media, why not consider these small business marketing automation tools Neil Patel recommends?
Neil Patel is a leading figure in the field of online marketing. His approach is to present you with actionable marketing advice and ideas so that you don’t feel overwhelmed or discouraged. His free Ubersuggest tool will also help tremendously with keyword research and SEO strategies, making the most of all your online copywriting.
Key Strategy 3: Content Marketing King or Queen?
Many people are unsure of what content marketing is. Essentially every piece of written work is classed as content. Be that writing on your web page, email marketing, leaflets or anything else associated with your company.
However, it also includes videos, webinars, podcasts, even the graphics and images you’ve learned to create on Canva!
It is thought that people need to interact with you (or your business) up to 7 times before deciding to buy from you. So the more content you can produce to entice customers to buy, the more chances you’ve got of making the sale.
Be a content marketing king or queen with the ideas below:
Key Strategy 4: Offline and Local Marketing – Your Physical Presence in a World of Online Noise
People often ask, “How do I market my small business locally?” And it’s a valid question when so many small business marketing tips are aimed at a global audience.
It’s easy to forget about some of the small business marketing strategies that worked so well before the internet. Many of them are still relevant today.
However, some local marketing ideas may be more costly than others, so keep in mind where your customer expects to find you. For instance, it’s pointless to pay for expensive magazine advertising if your target audience isn’t interested in it.
Here’s a wealth of offline and local marketing ideas for you to consider.
Marketing Event Ideas for Small Business – Make Marketing Enjoyable
Sometimes it is the simplest of marketing event ideas that can be the most inspiring. Take for instance volunteering your time for charity. Not only do you trade your time, and possibly expertise in your field, you receive valuable local marketing exposure.
Other marketing events such as networking, trade shows, Chamber of Commerce exhibitions and conferences are all excellent opportunities to attract customers you may not otherwise connect with.
Using social settings to promote your business is a great way to connect with people on a personal level.
Small Business Marketing Ideas with Seth Godin
Seth Godin is often called the Godfather of Marketing. He gets to the heart of the matter and is able to explain usable ideas clearly, so you can put his theory into practice.
Why should you take a look at Seth’s work?
Well, he has a habit of taking an idea and turning it on it’s head. Of showing you something ordinary and flipping it into remarkable. It is a significant skill to create memorable moments so your business lives long in the mind.
Watch Seth in action in “Seth Godin – Everything You (probably) DON’T Know about Marketing” below … you’ll be so glad you did! Guaranteed to get your mind buzzing with possibilities.
STEP 3. Small Business Marketing Tips for Booming Sales
Incorporate some, or all, of these small business marketing tips into your daily marketing activities for added rocket fuel:
- Build a brand, not just a business – people will remember you
- Spend your money wisely – what can you do first with little or no finance?
- Make the most of your website – your mighty wheel of success
- Remember the Rule of Seven – it takes 7 points of contact before people engage
- Social media is a great way to interact with your customers – don’t let it swamp you!
- Consider your customer at all times whenever you are writing marketing messages
- Email marketing is NOT dead! Use it consistently to build relationships
- Don’t forget word of mouth! Testimonials and reviews are powerful selling points
- Use a good CRM (customer relationship management) tool – Organisation is key!
- Always be offering value in your marketing efforts – selling turns people off
- Engage your staff in your marketing – brand ambassadors are a great way to spread the word
- Be realistic with your expectations – it may not be a “set and done” experience
Small Business Marketing: Your Ultimate Success Guide
Congratulations! You’ve worked hard, as there is a lot to take in. But if you remember how you felt at the beginning of our time together, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s been time well spent.
Your toothache of apprehension keeping you stuck has become a thing of the past.
Those anxiety ridden marketing nightmares keeping you awake at night are banished.
You’ve learned how to craft your marketing message and advertise it in all the right places, at the right time.
By taking consistent action on the 3 step success pathway mapped out for you above, you’ll soon find your small business marketing efforts building into an unstoppable flow of new leads and sales.
You’ll save time and money by using the marketing tips and resources you’ve discovered. And you’ll be instilling trust in your brand and generating clients who will become loyal customers for life.
Build your plan and take baby steps consistently, and you’ll be amazed at how much more you achieve than you first thought possible.
If you would like more help with your small business marketing, why not get in touch and contact us now to discover how we can help.