So you’ve poured your heart and soul into setting up your own business, finally accomplishing a long-cherished dream. However, getting it up and running is only half the battle won. To climb up the ladder of success, you need to market your products or services well enough so you attract relevant buyers to your business.
That said, it’s not uncommon to see small business owners shy away from putting in dedicated efforts into marketing their business right. It’s most commonly because they either lack sustainable and impactful marketing ideas or feel that they are too expensive to execute. The latter could not be further away from the truth, and coming to generating ideas, we’ve got you covered.
In this guide, we discuss a bunch of small business marketing ideas that are easy to execute, and also won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
1. Create a website
A website lays the foundation of your business’ digital presence. To ensure you are able to convince your prospective buyer, design a website that answers all queries they might have.
Your site should clearly define who you are, the products and services you offer, how customers can get in touch with you, how they can order your products or book your services, and the kinds of solutions you provide. This will ensure that if any potential customer is looking for a similar solution online, they are introduced to your business and are one step closer to reaching out to you or making a purchase.
2. Boost your SERP ranking
Make sure to invest in a basic level of SEO so that your site ranks well on Google and other search engines for all relevant keywords and search queries. By ranking higher in organic search results, you can be assured of your visibility among users actively searching for services you offer.
3. Get listed on online directories
Online web directories help you get found by searchers looking for solutions that you provide. These directories improve your web presence by making your contact information readily available and accessible to your target audience that is actively looking for solutions you offer. Some of the most trustworthy web directories include Yelp, Google My Business, Foursquare, and Yahoo Local.
4. Define your ideal buyer persona
Before beginning any marketing activities, it is essential to have a clear understanding of who the ideal buyer is for your business. To that end, craft a persona that mentions each and every known detail about this prototypical customer including his geographic and demographic attributes, likes and dislikes, motivation and aspirations, and so on. This will help you tailor your marketing strategies for such buyers, and you will have an easier time attracting them.
5. Advertise on the radio
Radio advertising is far less expensive than TV advertising but has the same (if not more) reach and is, therefore, a preferred marketing channel among small business owners. You can target your ads as per the local audience for each region for maximum impact and even run multiple ads at different times of the day (given its low cost) or the same ad multiple times to reach out to a wider audience base as repetition is key in radio advertising.
6. Try billboard advertising
Billboards can offer great exposure to your business among local customers, increase your brand awareness and recall, and drive higher footfall. Billboard ads are easy to understand, quick to spot, and memorable, thereby offering immense value for businesses that are just starting out. You can even target your ads as per your customers who live in proximity to a particular billboard.
7. Invest in local search marketing
To establish a name among locals of the region you are based out of and operate in and to be known as a local speciality business in a particular area, you need a dedicated and targeted marketing strategy.
You can start by networking with other local businesses, partnering with them for events, asking them to share your business cards and fliers, and so on. Make sure you target all relevant location-based keywords in your search engine marketing strategy so you can attract locals searching for similar solutions.
You can also use local lingo and phrases native to the particular region on your website so that users searching with those terms are immediately directed to your website.
8. Volunteer at a local charity event
To get acquainted with the locals, you could sponsor, promote, or volunteer at a local event where all prominent folks from the city are present. Little things such as sponsoring volunteers’ t-shirts with your business’ logo or distributing free goodies to all attendees can go a long way in getting familiar with the local crowd. You could also use this time to network with other business owners in the city to be a part of their community.
9. Increase presence on question and answer sites
Platforms such as WikiAnswers, Quora, and Yahoo! Answers can be used to get answers to almost anything in the world, including those related to the solutions you provide. Leverage these sites to answer questions around your products/services, problems that you solve for, and direct people to your site. Since people with these search queries are already actively looking for such solutions, they are highly likely to turn into a customer if nudged the right way.
10. Invest in content marketing
Creating valuable, impactful, informative, and interesting content on your blog, social media channels, and knowledge sharing platforms will help you attract prospects by engaging and educating them. Be sure to create content that interests your target audience and post consistently to stay relevant and increase top of mind awareness.
11. Run targeted search ads
Perform keyword research so you can run ads that target relevant local phrases, particularly those with high intent to drive traffic to your site. For instance, if you offer home renovation services, you could run ads for the phrase ‘cheapest home renovation services in Boston’, etc. Remember to target these basis your customers’ demographic attributes and geography.
12. Nurture leads using SMS and email marketing
Consistently and strategically reach out to prospects who have expressed interest in your business by filling up a form or reaching out to you with timely updates, offers, and other soft nudges that would persuade them to shop from you. Use SMS for sharing offers and deals, and emails for longer communication.
13. Leverage word of mouth marketing
Offer referral discounts to your existing loyal customer base so they help you by spreading the word among their friends and family and driving referral customers. This technique works wonders in helping you build credibility among your target audience as people tend to trust businesses that their friends and family recommends.
14. Partner with other local business owners
Leverage credibility of already successful businesses in the area by partnering with them and exchanging email lists, offering discounts to each others’ customers, recommending each others’ services to your customers, and so on. You can even co-market deals, offers and contests with them to complement your offerings or services.
15. Offer freebies or complimentary consultation
Get prospects to try out your products and services by offering an incentive in the form of a free item, coupon, deal, or simply a consultation depending on the nature of your business. As an example, if you’re into home makeovers, giving your prospects a tour of one of the homes you helped revamp could be a great way to get them to think about doing the same. Once in love with your products, you can rest assured that your customers will return for more.
16. Send out coupons in local newspapers
Create buzz and hype around your business by sending coupons of your products or services in the local newspapers to attract more prospects. Be sure to introduce your business, mention your value proposition, and the enticing deals on the coupons to grab readers’ attention and get them excited.
17. Run exiting contests
You could run a contest on your social media channels, wherein you ask people to submit their entries which you post publicly and offer free products or coupons to the winners. For example, if you offer home improvement services, you could ask users to share their favorite smart household hack and plug in your product. This will also help you boost engagement with some user-generated content on your pages.
18. Run customer satisfaction surveys
Ask customers what they like and dislike about your products or customer service and use it to make strategic improvements to the experiences you offer. By doubling down on what your customers appreciate, you can expect them to return, turn into loyalists, and even refer your business to others. You can also think of rewarding them for their time by offering a 10% discount on their next billing with you.
19. Visit local events
Be a part of local events to better understand your target prospects, their interests, and preferences so you can tailor your products/services to align with their taste. This will help you localize your offerings to be better catered to the demands and requirements of the locals.
20. Use social media for better engagement
Be consistent on social media to create a strong community of prospects, customers, loyalists, and evangelists with whom you share interesting and engaging content, updates, deals, and much more. Create a buzz around your business by announcing all major updates on social media and constantly reward followers for sticking around and supporting you.
Take your small business to the next level
With the above ideas, you are all set to increase your business’ reach, introduce your brand to the masses, improve your revenue by driving in more customers, and finally get your business the recognition it deserves. So, don’t hold back any further, go ahead and make these ideas work their magic for your business.