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The Best Small Business Marketing Strategies for You

More than 80% of consumers start their search process online from home and spend an average of 79 days gathering information before making a purchase, according to research published on MarketWatch.

Think about it for a moment.

Consumers spend an average of 79 days researching about products they want to buy, and from whom.

That’s a lot of time to switch between different merchants.

The web plays a big role in commerce today.

Consumers use digital tools like search engines, social media, and online forums to research products and merchants.

The MarketWatch research also states that 66% of consumers start by visiting search engines. From there, they go to the retailer’s website. These things happen before they even consider visiting the retailer’s store.

You may not be a retailing company.

Perhaps, your business sells services.

And your marketing budget is not as big as the big brands in your industry.

How can you effectively promote your small business without spending lots of money on marketing?

Fortunately, there are smart ways to do that.

Set up your business on Google My Business

What is Google My Business?

“Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses, brands, artists, and organisations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.

By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.”

With Google My Business, you can control your business information in Google search and maps.

Businesses that have verified listings on Google My Business are likely to enjoy a high level of reputation in the minds of consumers who use Google.

For example, when you type the business name of a London restaurant like The Ledbury, you’ll see that they have a verified listing on Google.

Marketing Company - Google Results

The business information is well-arranged.

You can see The Ledbury’s:

  • Address.
  • Their opening and closing hours for today.
  • Their phone number.
  • A link to Open Table where you can make reservations.

In addition to that, the business has accrued 275 reviews at the time of writing, on Google My Business.

Prospects will want to check out these reviews to see what customers are saying about the restaurant.

Google My Business will help prospects learn about your business when they are interested in buying your products or services.

Companies that are listed on Google My Business show up when prospects search on Google.

For example, my search for “restaurants in London” provided some amazing restaurants I may want to visit.

Marketing Company - Restaurants in London

I can see where each business is located on the map.

Google also gives me the option of seeing more places I may want to check out.

According to research, 43% of the total searches that happen on Google are local queries like “restaurants in London” and “marketing consultants in London.”

Marketing Company - Local Queries

Businesses that aren’t on Google My Business are missing out on local searches web users make on the Google search engine and map.

Get your business on Google My Business if you haven’t done that.

Signing up is super easy.

Marketing Company - Sign up for Google Biz

Leverage content marketing

In today’s digital world, there’s more noise than ever.

Consumers are being bombarded with a lot of marketing messages on a daily basis.

This has made it more difficult for small business owners to compete.

You have to find ways to ensure your business isn’t ignored in the digital world.

Content marketing is one of the best ways to do that.

Don’t just ask your customers to buy your product. Doing that will make you one of the aggressive marketers web users have become accustomed to over the years.

Instead, write messages prospects want to see and read.

For example, Jo and Graham Milgrew are local Behavioural Therapists for Bark Busters‘ Home Dog Training in London.

Instead of using the hard sell tactics, the couples are creating content dog owners want to read.

They created articles like “10 tips for managing your dog fears of fireworks and thunderstorms” and “How often should you bathe your dog?”

They also created an infographic titled “Understanding Dog Body Language.

Marketing Company - Dog Training Biz

No doubt that their customers, who are dog owners, are finding this content helpful.

Marcus Sheridan is the owner of River Pool Spas, a swimming pool contractor based in Northern Virginia.

The company was in a financial storm when Marcus turned to content marketing.

Content marketing saved the business from going under, turned it into a multi-million dollar company, and made it known across the United States and the world.

Marcus told the New York Times that one article made the company over $1.7 million.

Marketing Company - Content Marketing

All he did was write articles that answer customers’ questions.

Customers don’t want to read a sales page that tells them why your product is the best.

They want to read content that educates them. That is what content marketing does.

Content marketing helps you compete. It helps you cut through the noise with ease.

“Content marketing is the weapon Davids use to slay Goliaths every day,” Marcus Sheridan said.

Boost your social media reach

No matter what you sell, social media can help you grow your company.

According to a report published by the Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers.

It’s time to become active on social media if you’re not already.

To succeed with social media, you need to reach a significant percentage of your brand’s followers every time you post something.

How do you achieve that?

Here are the things you can do to achieve maximum reach when you post on social media:

  1. Focus on social platforms where your target customers are spending their time.
  2. Make sure your company’s social profiles are well-optimized.
  3. Post high-quality content on your social media accounts.
  4. Interact and engage with your followers.
  5. Start your own group on Facebook.
  6. Post when your competitors are sleeping (slow hours).
  7. Publish visual content.
  8. Partner with other active social media users in your niche.
  9. Use fewer hashtags.
  10. Become more active on social media than you are right now.

Advertise on Facebook

Above, I mentioned why social media is very important for your business.

We have social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Reddit.

Why advertise on Facebook?

Facebook is the largest social media site with 1.86 billion monthly active users as at December 2016.

Facebook users are from various demographics. This makes Facebook the social media platform of choice for many small businesses.

People spend a lot of time on Facebook every day.

According to the New York Times, the average amount of time people spend each day on Facebook properties is 50 minutes.

That may not sound like a lot to you, but when you consider that there are only 24 hours in a day, then it’s much.

According to another study by Mediakix, web users spend a daily average of 35 minutes on Facebook. Only YouTube, which has 40 minutes beats Facebook.

Marketing Company - Daily web time

Web users spend less time on social networks like Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter.

Advertising on Facebook will help you reach your ideal clients.

Because Facebook organic reach is too small to rely upon, advertising on Facebook makes more sense.

For example, if your Facebook business page has 10,000 followers.

What you may not know is, it’s likely that less than 1% of your fans will see your updates.

That means 100 people out of 10,000 fans will see an update from your Facebook business page.

The good thing is that Facebook ads are cheap when compared to other advertising platforms.

A $50 investment can help you reach 5,000 out of those 10,000 fans. Facebook advertising increases your chance of converting fans into customers.

Another reason Facebook ad shines is the amazing targeting options it offers businesses.

You can target people based on their age, gender, work, education and interests. No other advertising platform can let you do that.

Marketing Company - Facebook ad targeting

Here’s Amazon using a Facebook ad to promote its Black Friday deals.

Marketing Company - Black Friday

And here’s the New York Times using a Facebook ad to drive traffic to their website on mobile.

Marketing Company - New York Times

Facebook ads are cheap and effective.

Your small business should be taking advantage of Facebook ads.

Use email marketing

According to Salesforce’s 2016 State of Marketing report, 80% of marketers agree that email marketing is very important to their business.

Email marketing yields an average 4,300 percent return on investment for businesses.

Email marketing gets even more powerful when combined with content marketing.

Combining email with content marketing will help you nurture leads better. That generates 50% more sales at 33% lower cost.

One of the best things about email marketing is, it allows you to create personal experiences that speak directly to their recipients.

For example, if you operate a tour company and someone signed up for your email list through a cruise vacation content on your site, that tells you that they are interested in cruise tours.

Armed with this information, you can send them cruise deals and even a cruise content like “How to plan a cruise vacation.”

You can send them testimonials from your past cruise vacation clients.

You can always reach people who are subscribed to your email list.

Here’s an email I recently received from HP asking me to shop their store in 24 hours and save a couple of hundred dollars on their products.

Marketing Company - HP Email

And here’s Apple introducing their new iPad to me via email a few days ago.

Marketing Company - Apple marketing

Big brands like HP and Apple are using email marketing. It’s because it works.

Your small business should start using email marketing to keep in touch with customers and introduce your products and services to them.

Advertise in your local print media

Smartphones are becoming less expensive and more consumers have wireless broadband connections on multiple devices.

According to the 2015 McKinsey Global Media Report, marketers will use 50% or more of their media spends on digital media by 2019.

The demand for print media may be falling in the past few years, but it’s not dead.

There’s still a demand for print media.

Many people still prefer consuming content in print than digital.

A print piece is a physical thing. Many people still love the idea of getting the physical thing.

There’s a low credibility on the web when compared to print.

For example, when people see ads on a website with a pop-up and banner ads, they are unlikely to click.

There’s an overwhelming fear of spam and virus on the web.

Appearing in a print media solidifies your brand. It makes you look more real.

That is not to say that you aren’t real online. It’s just that there’s a growing hatred for online ads, especially those flashy ads.

There’s also a wide-held belief that any business can advertise online.

So, consumers take you more serious when you appear in print media like newspapers and magazines.

The ugly truth about advertising online is that people rarely read on the web. They skim.

The average web user has an attention span of 8 seconds.

There’s a high chance that a web user could mistakenly click on your ad too. And that costs you money.

That is not to say advertising online is a bad idea.

A lot of small businesses are advertising online, and they are reaping huge rewards with it.

Combining digital and print is a better idea.

There are fewer ads in print media, which gives your ad enough space to shine and make an impact on readers.

Sometimes, advertising in print can be cheaper and more effective.

A study showed that every euro invested in newsprint ads delivers an average of €1.20. That’s 120% ROI, which is not bad.

Another study reveals that advertising with newspapers triples ad campaign effectiveness.

Are you struggling to market and grow your small business?

Don’t hesitate to contact us today to help you effectively and efficiently market and grow your business.

Thank you for reading.

Please share this article with your network on social media.


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