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  • Danni Oster

8 Essential Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

When marketing your small business, there are so many avenues you can take. But how do you know which ones are the most beneficial and cost-effective for your small business? The options are endless, and there are definitely some proven techniques you can use that are appropriate for your business size that won’t break the bank. Check out these eight essential marketing and advertising strategies that you can start using today to grow your business.


Promote your small business on social media—With over 8 billion people on social media (that’s roughly 42% of the world’s population! (Emarsys, 2019), your customer reach is limitless. And with 1.6 billion people worldwide connected to a small business on Facebook (Facebook, 2019), it’s a great and inexpensive place for small- to medium-sized businesses to promote and market themselves.


When you want to persuade and convert your followers using images, Instagram is your best bet.

80% of the 1 billion+ Instagram accounts follow a business on Instagram (Facebook, 2018).


What’s fantastic about Instagram is that you can build your list of followers organically without having to pay for it, versus Facebook where it’s more of a forced connection through the use of paid ads.


Both Facebook and Instagram have a dedicated section on their site for getting your business set up, and includes comprehensive info about the available advertising options for your small business.


Build relationships with email marketing—It’s no wonder that email marketing is becoming more popular with marketers—73% of millennials prefer their business communications to come via email and 99% of consumers check their email daily. More than 50% of U.S. respondents check their email account more than 10 times a day! (HubSpot, 2019)


For every $1 spent on email marketing, you’ll likely see an average $38 in return. For those doing the math, YES!—that’s a whopping 3,800% ROI.


Email marketing is beneficial for any type of business, especially small businesses. Not only will your emails establish your brand and allow you to continually enforce your brand’s values with every email you send, email marketing is great for building and nurturing your customer relationships with frequent emails consisting of time-sensitive promos, relevant company announcements or tutorials / tips.


Provide expert advice with blog posts—Blogging can really build trust among readers when you write content about topics related to your product, service or industry and provide valuable content your readers can use in their work or everyday life.


Businesses that blog attract 55% more visitors to their website and your website traffic will increase 6-fold! (SEO Tribunal, 2019).


Here are a few ideas you can blog about: topics you’re passionate about, offer solutions to problems or topics relevant and useful to your industry.


Become the “go to person” on LinkedIn—If your small business is not already on LinkedIn, create an account now! LinkedIn groups that your target customers are members of is another great avenue for building trust with those you want to do business with. Join these groups, and look for questions posted by group members where you could offer your two cents about your industry, product or service expertise. As you increase your engagement with group members, you’ll also grow your presence among that group. In time, you’ll have built trust with your target audience and will be considered a great resource if your product / service is needed.


Advertise your business on a flyer that includes a discount or freebie—Nothing gets customers coming through your doors faster than a free item or discount on a product / service you offer. Using flyers is an expensive way to advertise your small business, and can be passed around neighborhoods versus spending money on postage to send through the mail. Be sure though, to make your flyer colorful and use testimonials from happy customers to get them in your door.


Leverage your customers to get more customers—Use your existing customer base to start a customer referral program, and offer your customers an incentive for recommending your business. Depending on your budget, incentives could include a small gift card, free item, discounted service from your business or a contest entry for a weekend trip. You satisfy that “what’s in it for them” customer need, and you get more leads to grow your business. It’s a win-win for everyone!


Get leads with a business card raffle—You’ve seen them everywhere—the fishbowl filled with business cards promoting a free meal or service for the lucky one who gets their card pulled. Don’t underestimate the fishbowl--it’s a great technique for learning about who your customers are. Like the customer referral program, you may need to spend a little money upfront, but what you get in return is invaluable—several leads with their contact information displayed right on their business card, arming you with lead information you can use in email marketing, direct mail or social media advertising. Plus, you already know they’ve used your product / service before so you’re a step ahead of the game!


Host an event to create awareness—Offer your brick and mortar business up as a meeting place for events (e.g., meetup events, seminars, classes, etc.). It’s a free advertising technique for your business that also puts your business on the community map.


You can easily use any one of these techniques individually or combine techniques together for a one-two punch. Call me today to discover the best marketing technique for your business.


Cheers!

Danni