6 Best Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses For 2019

As a savvy small business owner, you most likely know the importance of properly planned and targeted marketing for the success of your brand. However, the myriad of marketing options available means that it can be challenging to settle for a specific marketing strategy. Throw in the fact that you are in a war with more settled, larger brands with a deeper purse, and it gets even more challenging.

While designing your small business marketing strategies, it is essential to note that there is no single magic bullet that will yield all the results you need. For the best results, combine some of the best marketing strategies proven to work for businesses such as yours.  Here are some of these strategies.

Design a Logo and Build Your Business Website

As a local small business owner, 97% of your target audience will hear about your brand online. It could be from a social media post or a classified ad listing. If they are interested in your offerings, the next step after they’ve heard about the brand is to check out your website. More than 80% of people put businesses through this vetting process. 

A professionally designed website and a clean, clutter-free logo instantly enhance your brand’s reputation.  The logo also makes it easy for your audience to identify your brand online anywhere it appears. A website is the foundation of all your online marketing efforts. Don’t have a proper website? Here are a few reasons why you need one:

  • You get to control the information shared about your brand
  • You can compete with the biggest brands in your niche
  • Websites are easier to keep up to date
  • It is cheaper to run a website than to engage in traditional advertising
  • You will attract your existing customers and continually find new ones
  • Your website is available round the clock, answering customer questions (through website content) thus saving you a lot of time.

So, to start your marketing on the right footing, you need a logo and a website. Fortunately, technological advancements today means that the entry barrier to owning a properly optimized website is lower than ever.

Check Your Competitors

By understanding the competition, you can find their areas of weakness and capitalise on them in your marketing efforts.  Can you offer better pricing? Do you have a more inclusive product offering? Do you have a better marketing campaign idea?  You’ll probably never know until you analyze your competition.

How can you find your competition?

A quick search online using the same keywords that describe your business is usually enough. You can also find them through local business listings and classified ads.

For Customer Service Use Social Media

67% of consumers have reached out to businesses on social media before.  Each social mention your brand receives is more exposure and a juicy marketing opportunity.  When a consumer mentions your brand on social media, either during a complaint or a positive remark, they introduce you to their immediate social circle. How you react to that mention can go a long way to foster more goodwill with that consumer, and to generate more leads from their social circle.

To properly use social media for customer service, here are a few things you should do:

  • Respond to ALL social media comments (questions, feedback, complaints).
  • Respond as quickly as possible.
  • With complaints, have a clear plan for which ones to respond to in public or offline.
  • Social media users hate automated responses from brands. Humanise your interaction by addressing the user by their name if visible and using your initials.
  • Resist the impulse to react negatively even in the face of unwarranted provocation.
  • Use tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer to keep your social media customer service in one place.

Combine Micro Strategies

A lot of micro strategies form the crux of digital marketing for small businesses. Combine as many of them as you can for the best results.  Some of these strategies include the following:

Email Marketing

73% of millenials prefer communications from businesses in their email.  You need to use email to communicate with both your existing and new customers.  Find an email marketing tool that appeals to you and then create compelling email newsletters for your audience.  You can use email marketing to generate leads, increase sales or keep in touch with your clientele. 

PPC Advertising

When you initiate a search on Google for “wedding photography tips” for instance, the top centre, bottom left, and right-hand corners of your screen will contain adverts delivered alongside the organic search results. These adverts will most likely be from wedding photographers in your area or other businesses in the wedding niche.  When you click on the advert, the business owner pays a specific cost, hence the name Pay Per Click advertising (PPC). 

PPC is a quick way to spread the word about your business.  However, it can be costly. To ensure you are getting a good return on your investment, spend time to create a compelling landing page and target the right keywords. 

Facebook Marketing

More than two million businesses are using Facebook advertising. It is another affordable way to spread the word about your brand regardless of your target audience.  Facebook marketing works because you can target people based on their sex, location, age and other such metrics. The entire process may be overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, Facebook marketing is a massive weapon in any marketing Arsenal.

Instagram Marketing

Instagram is the platform with the highest rates of engagement across all social media.  Research shows that Instagram engagement rates beat the results on other social platforms, email marketing and more.  If your business is highly visual, (think Fashion, Food and Drinks, Travel, etc.), you need to take your Instagram marketing seriously. Apart from having a solid business profile here, you should consider Instagram sponsored ads.

Other forms of micro marketing you should consider, include:

  • Twitter Marketing
  • Pinterest Marketing
  • Linkedin Marketing

A combination of these strategies will deliver immense and long term results.

Write Optimized Blog Posts

Blogging is an inexpensive way to draw traffic to your website as a small business. According to research, 80% of companies that incorporate optimized blog posts into their marketing strategy reported customer acquisition through these posts.  Optimized blogs are a powerful boost to your website’s search engine rankings. They also allow you to form relationships with new and existing customers, especially when the posts address pain-points, educate or entertain. When these customers enjoy your posts, they will share them with their audience, extending your brand’s reach.  With properly optimized blog posts, you can also quickly set up your brand as a thought leader in the niche.

Offer a Free Service

Most people are always on the hunt for bargains. A marketing message that promises free service will always garner attention. So consider offering free consultations, free quotes, buy-one-get-one-free deals and general discounts from time to time.  When done correctly, this can significantly increase your bottom line while spreading the word about your brand.

Marketing strategies need to be approached from a holistic standpoint to yield results.  With the right combinations the strategies discussed here, you can put your brand on the path to success. Remember; give your strategies enough time to blossom. Social media-based strategies and paid advertising can yield results quicker, but others like the use of blog posts will take longer.