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Marketing Ideas For A Small Business
As a small business owner, I have spent years looking for fresh and authentic ways to bring what I have to offer to those who need it.
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I’ve tried many small business marketing ideas and learned from countless mistakes. And I found that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a successful marketing strategy.
There are many free and inexpensive ways to market your small business. The key is to try a variety to see what works best for you.
When you think of digital marketing, you may immediately think of running paid ads on Google or Facebook. But once you change your mind about online advertising, you’ll realize that there are countless ways to sell your services online that don’t cost nearly as much as paid ads.
According to Digital Marketer, online marketing is simply a customer value journey that aims to strategically build relationships with new prospects and turn them into loyal, repeat customers. This means that digital marketing is simply finding ways to truly connect and help people online.
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One of the best ways to help people is to answer their questions, and nowhere do people ask more questions than on Google.
Think about what you sell and what questions your ideal customer would have when searching for your product. You can start a blog and write articles to solve these problems while gaining the respect and trust of your readers.
As with any free marketing tool, there are tons of people trying to implement this strategy. Therefore, you will need to learn some search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to stand out in the search results.
SEO is not as scary as it sounds. You simply look at the question you’re answering, get inside the mind of the person asking it, and include as much useful information as possible to answer the question.
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The key to building trust on social media is offering authentic content and showing up consistently. If your content is only promotional or if you only post when you have a sale, not only will potential customers not trust you or follow you, the platform’s algorithm can hide your content. This can prevent you from reaching even your current followers.
Instead, choose one social media platform to invest your time in and post content that is educational, aspirational or entertaining in addition to content that is promotional. It is also important to know where your potential customers spend their time.
For example, Instagram and Facebook are currently the most visited platforms in the US, and Instagram has more users under the age of 30, while Facebook users have higher average incomes.
Some small business social media marketing ideas include posting product comparisons to show how unique your product is, inspirational quotes that your ideal customer might like, or sharing a meme that sheds light on the problem your product is trying to solve. You can also use direct messages to connect with your followers, like Mary Gui, founder and CEO of Sock Candy.
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“When I get a new follower on the @sockcandyofficial IG account, I send them a DM thanking them for following Sock Candy and offering a welcome discount code on their first order. This worked very well for me and resulted in multiple conversions,” said Gui.
You can be as creative as you want with your social media content. Remember, the more creative you are, the more engaged your audience will be. And it can bring you more profit.
Ninety-four percent of US users aged 18-44 access YouTube at least once a month, making it a great place to connect with potential customers.
YouTube is owned by Google, so many of the SEO principles you use for written content can be applied to your videos.
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If your ideal customer has questions that are easier to answer with a presentation or another image, YouTube is the best platform for that. You can even reuse YouTube videos on your favorite social media platform and embed them in blog posts.
Don’t stop at posting your video. Don’t forget to include links in your video description or notes to your products or services. You can also link to other YouTube videos to further build a relationship with your viewers. And once you build a following on the platform, you can earn money on YouTube through ads and sponsorships.
Self-publishing a book on Amazon is a great way to establish yourself as an authority in your field and get in front of people who are willing to buy a book and help them solve a problem.
Writing and publishing a professional looking eBook is extremely affordable with minimal cost. Be sure to use the book as a way to teach the solution to the problem and wait until the end to mention your company as a way to more effectively achieve the solution.
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The best low-cost marketing ideas for small business owners are those that allow them to connect directly with potential customers. Answering questions in forums and Facebook groups does just that.
When answering a question in a forum or group, always aim to be helpful first, then serve your company as a solution. If you have an online course and come across a question that you are teaching the answer to, don’t answer it with a link to your course. Answer the questions as you would in your course. Then, when you talk to the person who asked the question, offer a course that covers it in more depth.
This helps build trust and credibility within the group and in turn makes it more likely that people will buy your products.
An email list is the backbone of many successful online businesses. While every other platform controls your access to their users, you always have your email list and can take it with you wherever you go, even if you change your business name or set up a new website.
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One of the easiest ways to collect email addresses is to give away a free digital product like a cheat sheet, PDF guide, template, etc. You can use your blog, social media account, e-book, or a simple landing page to pitch your digital product and send it to their email address with a service like Constant Contact or ConvertKit.
Once you collect their email address, stay in touch at least every other week with valuable and relevant resources to build trust.
Facebook groups are a great place to create a community of people with similar interests or problems to solve. Creating your own group can bring potential clients to you and position you as an expert in whatever the group is about.
Jacob Bouvier runs a boudoir photography studio. His Facebook group brought in more customers than any other channel. He says it’s because they get to know him as a person before they even decide to become a customer.
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“Nine-tenths of what I post there is about my mission of body acceptance, self-love, and being my authentic self, but it’s not directly related to my photography. About 1/10 of the content is related to my photography,” said Bouvier.
Creating a group will take some time, but you can speed up the process by posting relevant questions and opportunities for engagement each day thanks to Facebook’s post scheduling feature and responding to each member. This will help them feel like they are part of the community and that you really care about them.
One of the most popular and effective small business online marketing strategies is to teach a free online course or workshop. Think of a problem your ideal customer is facing that you can help solve in an hour or less. It can be as simple as turning a blog post or video into slides and presenting them and answering questions at the end.
You can easily do this for free by going live on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. If you want something a little more private, Zoom lets you host classes for up to 100 people for 45 minutes at a time for free.
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Challenges are a great way to take your offline business online. A personal trainer might host a fitness challenge, a cleaning service might host a 7-day decluttering challenge, or a pet groomer might host a “sit, stay” challenge for people with hyperactive dogs. Anything that will take a potential customer from being aware of a problem to realizing that they need help solving it.
Host your challenge via a Facebook group or email. It can take from 5 to
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