Small business marketing can present far more challenges than creating a marketing strategy for a larger corporation. Predominantly this is because manpower, time and money are far more limited. However, with careful planning there is no reason why smaller companies cannot yield great results from marketing.
The Importance Of Marketing
It is particularly important to understand your marketing goals if you are going to make the most of your restricted resources. There are three keys ways to market a small business and still be able to increase profits:
* Attracting more customers
* Enticing existing customers to purchase more
* Encouraging customers to buy products or services which have a larger profit margin
Which of these you focus your efforts on will determine which strategies will offer the greatest rewards.
Effective Small Business Marketing Ideas
If you are running a small business, it is likely that most of your marketing efforts will be focused on the Internet. The Internet is an excellent platform for marketing because it is easily accessible, has an exponential prospective audience and is highly cost effective.
Your first step should be to set up a dedicated website or blog for your company. This should be seen as a step in building your brand identity, and also offers a great opportunity to promote your products and attract loyal customers through tactics such as email newsletters. Free analytic tools will also allow you to track the effects of some of your marketing efforts, as a rise in new or repeat customers will be reflected in your website’s statistics.
The greatest challenge in setting up a website is that it is only effective if your potential customers know it exists. If you update it regularly with new and interesting content your visitors will start building organic back links, and the search engines will reward you with greater prominence in the search results. But however good you are at search engine optimization, it is unlikely that you will see much traffic at the outset without a small financial outlay.
For that reason, many small business owners start out by using pay per click campaigns (PPC). PPC will give you above the fold listings in the search engines if you successfully bid for relevant keywords. If a user then clicks on your link, they will be taken to either your homepage or a landing page. Provided you are not bidding for highly competitive keywords, your PPC outlay should be well worth the increase in sales.
Social media use is another popular strategy when it comes to contemporary marketing. Whereas PPC is more targeted on attracting new customers, social media is often about fostering brand loyalty and promoting new products and services. The key to success is making your business’ social media profiles dynamic and interesting enough to encourage your audience to interact with you. Interesting content will also raise the chances of your content going viral, which can create a lot of free exposure for your company.
Although marketing a small business is difficult, the Internet means that there has never been a better time to do it. There are many ways to market your business. The key is to start with simple strategies and focus your efforts on the techniques which are bringing you the greatest success.