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Marketing Strategy For Small Scale Business
As a small business owner, I have spent years looking for fresh and authentic ways to bring what I offer to those who need it.
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I’ve tried many small business marketing ideas and learned from countless mistakes. And what I’ve found is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have an effective marketing strategy.
There are many free and inexpensive ways to market your small business. The key is to try different things to see what works best for you.
When you think of digital marketing, you might immediately think of running paid ads on Google or Facebook. But when you change your mindset about online advertising, you’ll find that there are countless ways to sell your services online that don’t cost nearly as much as paid advertising.
As a digital marketer puts it, online marketing is simply customer value that aims to build relationships with new prospects and turn them into loyal, repeat customers. That means digital marketing is simply finding ways to really connect with 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 consider 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 reader.
As with all free marketing tools, there are plenty of people trying to execute this strategy. So you need to learn some search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to stand out among the search results.
SEO is not as scary as it sounds. It’s simply looking at the question you’re answering, getting inside the head of who’s asking it, and including as much useful information as possible to answer the question.
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The key to building trust on social media is to provide authentic content and to appear consistently. If your content is only promotional or if you only post when you have a sale, potential customers won’t just trust you or follow you, the platform algorithm may hide your content. This can prevent you from even reaching your current followers.
Instead, choose one social media platform to invest your time in and post content that is educational, desirable, or entertaining in addition to your promotional content. It is important to know where your potential customers spend their time as well.
For example, Instagram and Facebook are currently the most sold platforms in the US, and Instagram has more users under the age of 30, while Facebook users have a higher average income.
Some small business social media marketing ideas include posting product comparisons to show how your product is unique, inspirational quotes that your ideal customers might like, or sharing a meme that trivializes the problem your product is trying to solve solve You can also use direct messaging 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 offer a Welcome discount code on their first order. This has worked quite well for me and led to many changes,” said Gui.
You can be as creative as you want with social media content. Remember, the more creative you are, the more engaged your audience will be. And it can lead to more profit for you.
Ninety-four percent of US users between the ages of 18 and 44 access YouTube at least once a month, making it a great place to connect with potential customers.
YouTube is owned by Google, so you can take many of the SEO principles you use for written content and apply them to your videos.
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If your ideal customer has questions that can be more easily answered with a demonstration or other visuals, then YouTube is the best platform to do so. You can even repurpose YouTube videos on your favorite social media and embed them in blog posts.
Don’t stop publishing your video. Be sure to include links in the video description or comments to your products or services. You can also link to your other YouTube videos to continue building your relationship with your audience. And once you build a following on the platform, you can earn money on YouTube through advertising and sponsorship.
Self-publishing a book on Amazon is a great way to establish authority in your field and get in front of people who are willing to buy to help solve their problems.
It is extremely cost effective to write and publish a professional looking ebook at 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 on forums and in Facebook groups does just that.
When answering a question in a forum or group, always aim to be helpful first and serve your company as a solution second. If you have an online course and come across a question that you teach the answer to, don’t answer it with a link to your course. Answer questions as you would in your course. Then, after you talk to the person who asked the question, you create a course that covers this in more detail.
This helps build trust and credibility within the group and therefore makes people more likely to buy your products.
An email list is the backbone of many successful online businesses. While other platforms control 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 company 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 cheats, PDF guides, templates, etc. You can use your blog, social media account, e-book or a simple landing page to promote your digital site. product and send it to their email address using a service such as Constant Contact or ConvertKit.
Once you’ve collected their email address, stay in touch at least every other week with valuable and relevant trust-building resources.
Facebook groups are a great place to build a community of people with similar interests or problems they need to solve. Creating your own group can bring potential customers to you and position you as an expert in whatever the group is about.
Jacob Bouvier runs a boudoir photography studio. His Facebook group has gotten more customers than any other channel. He says it’s because they get to know him as a person before they decide to become a customer.
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“Nine-tenths of what I post here is related to my mission of body acceptance, self-love, and being your authentic self, but not directly related to my photography.” About 1/10 of the content has to do with my photography,” said Bouvier.
It will take time to build a group, but you can speed up the process by posting relevant questions and opportunities for engagement every day thanks to the Facebook post schedule feature and replying to all members. This will help make 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 marketing methods for online businesses is to teach a free online course or workshop. Think of a problem your ideal friend is facing that you can help them solve in an hour or less. It can be as simple as turning a blog post or video into slides and presenting it, then answering questions at the end.
You can easily do this for free by going directly to Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. If you want something more personal, Zoom lets you hold classes for up to 100 people for 45 minutes at a time at no cost.
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Challenges are a great way to take your offline business online. A personal trainer can host a fitness challenge, a cleaning service can host a 7-day declutter challenge, or a pet groomer can host a “sit, be” challenge for people with hyperactive dogs. All that will take a potential customer from being aware of a problem to being aware that they need help solving it.
Submit your challenge via Facebook group or email. You can make it last anywhere from 5 to
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