Gone are the days when limited budgets produced a limited scale of marketing. Why not dream big while having a small business? The COVID-19 era and rapid digitalization have changed the dynamics of businesses and 2020 is a year that saw small online businesses catapulting to great heights with correct marketing techniques.
What are these techniques? Will they work for your business as well? Can you learn them without too much expense? Can you apply them without burning a hole in your pocket?
Well, the answer is, yes, you can and we get you here some of the most fruit-bearing and inexpensive business marketing strategies that might work wonders even if you have a small purse.
15 Best Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
1. A Google Profile
This is a powerful strategy for small local businesses and the good news is that it is free. It shows your business on Google maps, the local section of Google Search, and the side knowledge panel of Google Search. You can gain immediate exposure to searches by local and nearby customers by filling out one Google profile completely and optimizing each section and highlighting the strength or USP of your products/services.
2. Promotion with Easy Hacks on Social Media
With some smart marketing hacks on social media, your small business can create a big buzz, and you can reach out to a large number of people at once. How to do it? Here you go:
- ‘Jo dikhta hai who bike hai’, is the business mantra of the day. So make sure that your posts are available on all the social media channels and include links to your profiles on your website.
- Tag users on Twitter and Facebook; it widens the organic reach of your business to a new potential audience.
- Incorporate hashtags into your social media and Twitter marketing strategy. Use hashtags like #marketing, #smallbiz, and seek relevant conversation about your business. It will not only improve your online networking but you will be receiving a lot of tips from like-minded small business owners.
- Hold a social media or Instagram contest or giveaway. You can do it with inexpensive prizes like T-shirts or wristbands.
3. Create a Website
A professional looking website is a must-have for any business, whether small or big. Tell your audience who you are, what you offer and how can a prospective customer get in touch with you. The more personalized your approach and response is, the more they like it. You can powerfully use your website like an owned channel and can turn it into a 24*7 salesperson by understanding the basics of converting traffic into leads.
4. Blogging for your Prospective and Existing Customers
Blogging, on one hand, generates organic traffic and on the other, catalyzes converting them into leads. Even if you publish once a week, it improves your website’s online visibility and helps in building trust in your potential customers. You can even add a call-to-action section for the visitors to subscribe to your blog and receive notifications. It is an effective tool to provide information to potential customers to make a purchasing decision.
5. Email Marketing
‘E-mail marketing ain’t dead’. People on your email list are more interested in your business than those on social media who do not give their email easily. They do it only when they start taking an interest in your products or services. So, what you do is:
- Create an email option on your website.
- Send regular emails to your list and add audio, video and social sharing functionality to it.
- Start a free monthly email newsletter.
6. Indulge in a Joint Venture
A small business can grow rapidly by getting into a joint venture with an organisation that has more financial resources.
- Set and develop a specific goal that you want from the joint venture.
- Look for like-minded people or firms who have the same goal as yours. After all, if you are looking to benefit from them, they do the same too.
- Study the business listings on websites and social media to find those people or firms and interact with them. Do your research well.
- Once all set, make a joint venture agreement by hiring a legal professional.
7. Create a YouTube Video
YouTube marketing is an increasingly popular trend that helps you reach out to more people and send your message across the world as:
- 1.3 billion people use YouTube
- 5 billion videos are watched every day
- 80% of the people aged between 14-49 watch YouTube
To create engaging content and go on air.
- Optimise your video to get views.
- Upload and schedule your videos.
- Make compelling titles by finding the right keywords.
- Make effective YouTube thumbnails by including short descriptions and relevant images to help people understand what your video is about.
- Limit your videos to under 5 minutes— it should be interesting, informative and short.
8. Content Marketing
As they say, content is king, or queen, for all businesses. The right content can get your business found online by increasing your local SEO and attracting people to your business.
- Create engaging content for your website.
- Include an About Us page, Products, and Services page, and Blog posts.
- Plan a free teleconference or webinar.
- Record a podcast.
- Repurpose your content from YouTube to social media.
9. Host an Event and attend a Conference
You can plan an event to attract new customers to your business and inform them about what you have to offer. You can print flyers and post them on community bulletin boards; you can also co-host a charity event which will improve your brand visibility and also helps the potential customers to associate with your business with a feel-good attitude.
Some local conferences can be pretty inexpensive and affordable. They help you to interact with other leaders in the industry and can also land you a joint venture in the future. You can get your brand in front of a large crowd of people. Slowly as your business gets a foothold in the industry, you are likely to be invited to such conferences to speak, which is a great free marketing idea.
Advertising and marketing are perceived to be the same but actually, advertising is a part of marketing which involves getting your message about your products or services to the market. You can adversely on:
- Billboards, newspapers, local cable TV station,
- Facebook and LinkedIn,
- A relevant website by buying ad space on it.
11. Network Expansion
You can save a lot of marketing expense and still garner good responses if you develop an effective referral program. Referral leads cost less to generate and convert to more sales.
- Ask a referral from a client.
- Discover the most likely places to find clients and visit there. You can find them anywhere from business organisations, family and friends to your gym, clubs and even your kids’ activity centre.
- Join a face-to-face networking group, as it is an easier and faster way to make contacts and get your brand more visibility in your local community.
Just as you check the rating of a product before buying online, your prospective customers also want to know what your existing customers think about your products or services.
So do not hesitate to request your customers for a testimonial, and most of the time they will oblige if you have a great working relationship with them. Always include their names(with their permission) and keep updating your testimonials.
A great testimonial can work for your business for years and will be like a story that makes your company look great.
13. Infographics and a Story with Data
Check your data— suppose you have come out with a good number of clients in your area or you have reached a certain benchmark in sales; you can post such data online with a headline like ‘2000 customers in our area are adoring us!’
Build data of your own and see if you find something significant, and chances are, you will.
Infographics also help in an easy, powerful and inexpensive manner. They provide important information are usually understood by everyone. And making infographics does not require any special skills either, you can do it in your browser, such as Visme.
14. Invest in SEO
‘70% of the links that search users click on are organic and not paid’— Imforza.
Some SEO strategies that will catapult your small business website or blog pages to the top of Google:
- It was found that targeting long-tail search queries perform 2.5 times better than their head keyword variations. For example, if you are in a small business that sells handmade costume jewellery, there are chances that your pages will never rank highly in Google top results for the keyword, ‘costume jewellery.’ So you can target queries like, ‘top-rated handmade costume jewellery.’
- Research your search queries and optimise your metadata with actionable key phrases.
- Make sure that all your pages on your website like About Us, Services, Products, FAQs and others are well categorised because search engines will not display a business that is not categorised.
- Spy on your competitors and identify profitable keywords.
15. Try Guerilla Marketing
Guerilla marketing consists of online and offline creative or rather unconventional methods to connect with people in a manner that will resonate in their heads for a longer time. The principal goal here is to get maximum effect with minimum expense. Using a knock-knock joke on your business cards, using powerful Facebook advertisement images or using catchy songs or rhyming slogans for marketing are some of the standout Guerilla marketing techniques.
Well, if you are not sure about how to get started with these strategies then the best thing to do is to enroll for a full-stack Digital Marketing Course. You don’t have to gain expertise in all the aspects of marketing. However, a holistic understanding of digital marketing will serve you well in drawing out an actionable plan for your business and collaborating with digital marketing experts. Moreover, with a strong foundation, you can become proficient in leveraging the above-mentioned tactics and expand your business.