Marketing is integral for the success of any business. However, small businesses encounter various difficulties when it comes to marketing products and services. One of the primary factors that contribute to this is the limited budget and lack of sufficient resources. Thus, a large portion of small business owners fails to leverage their business to its full potential.
Furthermore, the pandemic has made matters even more challenging for small business owners. From difficulty adjusting to the unprecedented economic disruptions, problems with the supply chain, social restrictions and reduced revenue, small businesses are facing a higher risk of permanent closure. Therefore, small business owners must create and implement a viable marketing plan and optimize the best marketing channels to drive growth and build revenue. But with today's overly saturated market and an abundance of marketing channels, how are you supposed to pick the best options to market, promote and run your business?
In this article, we will share with you some of the best marketing channels that we've handpicked to help you stay afloat while also navigating the challenge of an ever-expanding to-do list.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is without a doubt one of the most powerful and effective methods of marketing today. It has an immense potential to nudge your business forward by channeling the information you share to a wide audience within the online community. Social media makes it easier to utilize content to foster strong brand-consumer relationships and instill fierce loyalty. From spreading awareness about the business to even making sales directly on the platform, social media is used for various purposes today. It is also easy to get started on social media marketing because it doesn't cost anything to make an account, start posting and build an online presence.
Thus, it is one of the most cost-effective marketing channels for small businesses. Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter are some of the most common platforms widely used today. You can post videos, stories, links, and updates, run contests, connect with fans and potential customers and grow your clientele which will help keep your brand relevant.
Email marketing refers to a business strategy that involves delivering commercial messages via email and driving sales. It is one of the oldest e-commerce marketing tactics utilized by businesses around the world. Since it can be automated and systematized, it is easy to practice and ensures a sustainable stream of income. It can help small businesses provide information about an upcoming sale, a new product release or updates to a specific product. Furthermore, email is mobile-friendly, has a huge reach and has a high conversion rate. This makes it a highly sought after marketing channel.
Influencer marketing is on the rise recently. Due to its effectiveness, influencer marketing makes sense for small businesses. According to the 2016 TapInfluence study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions, a purchase-based ad targeting and ROAS measurement firm, influencer marketing content deliver eleven times higher return on investment (ROI) than traditional digital marketing methods. Thus, small business owners could hire a suitable influencer to spread the word about their products and service instead of resorting to other marketing methods that target the audience directly.
While we cannot deny the impact of digital marketing, the use of offline marketing channels is still a fundamental aspect of many marketing strategies. Offline marketing is a brilliant strategy that has been proven to increase customer loyalty, establish good relationships with the customer base and help the local community avail services and products. Offline marketing typically includes leaflets, banners, posters, booklets, brochures, business cards, business stationery and many more. Offline marketing offers authentic value, an opportunity to interact with your buyers face to face and ensure faster feedback. However, offline marketing is not easy to implement and manage due to a multitude of factors such as high costs, a whole lot of time and effort. Regardless, its benefits remain.
Content marketing is a non-traditional marketing technique that uses curated content to attract and acquire a specific target audience to drive profitable customer action. Creating content that stands out is the notion upon which content marketing functions. According to a well-known report by the renowned Aberdeen Group, a market research firm, content marketing results in conversion rates that are six times higher compared to non-users. Today, content marketing is widely used in blogs, articles, podcasts, videos, social media and an array of other communication tools. It enables business owners to create and engage in conversations that would contribute to building their brand. For small business owners, this is the perfect method to let potential customers learn about their company, products and services. If you're a small business owner, one of the best ways you can use content marketing is by providing content that would draw people to your business such as information that your customers can use to improve their lives and so on. But make sure you don't come out as overly self-promoting. Moreover, incorporate words and phrases that connect with your audience . These are known as 'keywords' in marketing. So always be sure to do keyword research before creating content.
A website is a must for every business - regardless of whether or not it's a small business. Having a website allows you to market to your target audience online. With almost everyone having easy access to smartphones, a mobile-responsive website is bound to attract potential customers. A well-designed, informative and data-driven website provides a sense of professionalism and credibility while also ensuring your customers can find your products and services online easily. Furthermore, a website is a cost-effective advertising strategy that is guaranteed to increase your customer reach and allow your business to globally grow and target your demographic beyond your location. If your small business doesn't have a big budget, then it is wise to invest in an affordable but good host depending on your small business's needs and requirements.
Here are a few key steps that will help you launch your small business’ online presence
- Choose your platform
- Pick a domain name
- Find your hosting provider
- Select a theme/template
- Add your content
- Optimize your website for search engine
- Publish your website
It’s never been easier or more affordable to start a small business website. However, in a time when it is more important than ever for small businesses to start their websites and boost their online presence, you need to make your business website stand out and bring your business to life.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is one of the most lucrative channels of digital marketing that focuses on implementing various techniques to improve the company's website's ranking on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.
This ensures more clicks, higher exposure and organic traffic which in turn increases conversion rates. It is also known to enhance brand awareness and brand authority. Therefore, it is widely pursued by all sorts of businesses. Furthermore, many users rely on the internet to obtain information in today's data-driven world. Therefore, the optimization of online visibility enables small business owners to reach more people in the target market and obtain more valuable leads. As a small business owner, there are several reasons why you should invest in SEO marketing apart from the ones listed above. This includes optimal user experience, optimal reach, the optimal potential for conversion, and so much more. Furthermore, the covid-19 has resulted in a global financial crisis and the practice of social restrictions. Therefore, people are seeking out services and products within proximity that are of prominence and relevance. This means that if your business offers the products and services that whoever is conducting their online search is looking for, is within proximity to their geographical location and has optimized local business listings, your likelihood of being found by potential customers online is relatively high.
Elaborated above are just a few marketing channels you can use to drive your small business towards success. However, you don’t have to adopt every single marketing channel we've listed. Instead, make sure you adapt the marketing channel that best fits your objectives. In the end, we simply want to guide you so that you could reap the best return on investment. Be smart and stay safe everyone!