Marketing a small business can be a daunting prospect. Competition has never been fiercer for most industries and there are so many avenues and channels to explore, some of which might be ideal for your business and your brand and some of which will almost certainly not be.
Ultimately, marketing is a means of not only making consumers aware of your business but forging a connection. With the hundreds of ads being thrown our way every few seconds, that connection has never been more important and if you can build that connection into a relationship, you could have a customer for life.
But the road leading to that relationship needs to be paved the right way and approached with caution. Because with so many promotional options at your disposal, choosing the right ones could mark the difference between your success or failure.
With that in mind, here are the 5 tips on marketing a small business that will apply to any business, regardless of sector or size.
Know your audience
How can you expect to reach your audience if you don’t know what your audience looks like? Many marketing tips for small businesses tend to focus on how they should be spending their money and splitting their resources but it’s actually more important to focus on the actual target audience.
Create content for your audience, not other people like you, and do adequate market research so you know what makes them tick. Also, see what influencers and other brands your target audience is connecting with and use that information to your advantage.
Stick with what works
There are dozens of great small business marketing ideas and tips and you probably don’t have the resources to latch on to every single one. If you’re getting a lot of conversions from your mailing list, for example, double down on building that list.
Allocate your resources to the marketing channels that are working for you already (Google Analytics is an invaluable tool here) and scale up operations in those areas rather than investing in lots of new ones. And don’t be afraid to cut the tactics that are not working for you at all.
SEO is not dead
Search engine optimisation is a marketing tool that has been around since the early days of Google and in those days it didn’t have the best reputation. There was a time when SEO meant hiring writers to stuff as many keywords as possible into a piece of unreadable content and hope that Google didn’t realise it was a mess.
Google is a lot smarter these days but that doesn’t mean SEO shouldn’t still be an important part of your marketing strategy. It just means that you need to focus on content that is genuinely engaging and authoritative.
Use all social media channels
There are so many social media sites these days it can be hard to keep track. However, they also represent a great opportunity for small businesses. Many social media marketing tips for small businesses focus on specific platforms but you should really be using all of them. The best thing about being multi-platform is that you can easily repurpose existing content on different channels.
Post a top 10 list on LinkedIn one week then repurpose that content as a thought leadership piece for your blog the next and then boil it down to a top 5 for Facebook and an infographic for Instagram. And don’t be afraid to pay to boost your most popular posts if they are really performing for you.
Nailing your service or product positioning is about underlining what it is about your business that makes it so different from all of the other similar businesses in your area and online. Make it clear what you’re offering and why it matters.
This is easier said than done, of course, but if you can find that sweet spot then the rest of your marketing strategy should comfortably fall into place.
We can help
If you’re interested in finding out more about marketing your small business, or any other aspect of your business finances, then get in touch with our financial experts at GoCardless. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.