Regardless of the size of a business—from small, family-run restaurants to healthcare giants—the key to effective growth is a well-structured marketing strategy.
Your options range from SEM to blog articles, and everything in between. Every marketing strategy is unique and includes a mix of techniques that are like second-nature to some yet confusing to others. We’re here to discuss the 5 strategies that every small business should use to market and grow their business.
1.) Email Marketing
In an age where the world has gone digital, so should your business plan. Email marketing is preferred by both the customer and the company as it provides a professional, direct, and personalized platform on which the two can interact. Additionally, emails are mobile-friendly, allowing your business to reach your customer at home, in the office, or travelling on-the-go. As one of the cheaper forms of internet-based marketing, email campaigns are a cost-effective way to develop leads and establish connections with those potential customers in an individualized manner.
2.) SEM (or SEO)
When using the internet to market your business, capitalizing on search engine visibility is key. SEM—or search engine marketing—is the use of paid advertisements that appear on search engine result pages (SERPs) to bring traffic to your website. These advertisements give your business visibility and credibility by placing them alongside the results of search queries relevant to your business. Depending on your small business’s marketing budget, you may be looking for more affordable way to bring your website to the head of the SERP. If so, search engine optimization is your answer. SEO is the process of maximizing your sites visitors by organically growing the visibility of your site on SERPs. That visibility is grown—or optimized—primarily by producing relevant content, backlinking, and maintaining a website with high-speed and a mobile-friendly responsive design. As you follow the steps, your “ranking” (which determines your websites numerical placement on the SERPs) will either boast your name at the top of the page for all to see or bury you deep among an endless cluster of related sites.
3.) Social Media
There has been no cultural shift in the past 10 years more profound and widespread, then when Mark Zuckerberg introduced us to the concept of Facebook. Ever since, the craze for online connection has opened the door for other social media giants such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and countless others. With over 75% of the U.S population on social media, it provides businesses with the opportunity to market to the masses for cheap. Depending on both the size and the type of business, the platforms on which you market—as well as the way you do your marketing—will vary. For example, a local winery seeking young adults is more likely to choose Instagram to show off their selection, while a tech company that specializes in website development is more likely to make professional connections with potential clients via LinkedIn or Facebook. Regardless of your platform of choice, most sites offer the option to advertise organically, or purchase onsite services to reach a wider array of users that don’t necessarily follow (or Like, subscribe to, etc.) your page. Whether you choose to promote organically or paid, social media is a great way to communicate your company’s goals, interact with customers, and express your marketing creativity.
4.) Google My Business
Chances are, at some point in the past month, you’ve asked yourself “Where should we eat tonight?” and then proceeded to Google “restaurants near me” on your phone. The first thing you’ll see is a short list of relevant options deemed delicious by those who care to share their experience. You don’t have scroll far before you find the Irish pub down the street that your friend Ryan has been raving about, and bam- you’re done. GMB—or Google My Business—is a free and easy tool that displays your business’s information (name, hours, reviews, location, contact information, you name it.) among related businesses in relevant search results. GMB is an effective strategy because it gives the potential customer quick and convenient access to any relevant information about your business, while giving your business key exposure to locals in need of your service.
5.) Referral Program
Without the customer, there is no business. Lead generation—one of the first and most important steps in seeking out those potential customers—becomes a whole lot easier when your customers are doing the job for you. Establishing a referral rewards program for your business helps you do just that. Incentivizing your customers to bring in new prospective customers is a win-win; you’ve developed a consistent stream of new potential business, and the customer earns rewards and a sense of appreciation. Not only have you found an efficient and cost-effective form of advertising, but you’ve developed a group of loyal customers who now have a reason to come back.
Traktek Partners, a Boston website design and digital marketing agency, provides digital marketing strategies that help your business succeed. Whether it’s email marketing, social media marketing, SEM or SEO, our goal is to grow your brand and effectively expand your business. To see how else Traktek can help you, please contact us.