How to create a small business content marketing strategy

How to create a small business content marketing strategy

Suzanne Wentley

  • January 2, 2018
  • Content Creation

How to create a small business content marketing strategy

How to create a small business content marketing strategy

If you’ve been researching new trends in marketing, you’ve likely come across the effective and popular concept of content strategy. Content marketing, also known as inbound marketing, is a method that uses useful and unique articles and other editorial pieces as a means of organically funneling traffic to your small business. By creating a content strategy for your business, you are able to position yourself as an expert, as well as naturally bring attention to your services and goods. With all the information available these days, customers scroll right past regular advertisements. Here’s how to get their attention.

Ask Your Clients

What types of articles are your clients and potential clients interested in? Ask them! A foolproof way to brainstorm an effective editorial calendar is to start by giving your demographic exactly what they need. What are some of the concerns they have that you may be able to address? What problem can you solve for them? When you discuss topics that interest your current clients, chances are good that others will find your inbound marketing to be attractive as well. Sending email surveys, creating polls through social media, checking your website analytics, or simply stopping and engaging people in conversation, are all essential content marketing tips according to Zerys.

Make a Schedule

Once you have ideas about the types of topics your clients are interested in, you’ll need to create an editorial calendar for production. It is vital to be consistent, so be realistic about the frequency of your content strategy and the resources you can commit. Whether you are going to publish weekly or monthly, spend time planning out the topics and assigning work so that you won’t be scrambling. Using software like HubSpot will make it easier to manage your content for the year.

Mix It Up

Bite-size copy that is broken up with bullet points and other means of making it more skimmable is the most popular kind of content for inbound marketing. But get creative to keep potential clients interested. Keval Padia, co-founder and CEO at Nimblechapps, recommends adding graphs, videos, podcasts, images, charts, and more to your plan to keep it exciting. Overall, strive for these multi-media blogs to be evergreen, which means they are relevant throughout the year. Make sure it all points back to your online presence.

Go Social

Of course, every marketer and startup executive these days understands the power of social media. Content marketing is designed to maximize the benefits of each platform, so get a team of professionals to help craft the highest-quality work, suggests Adweek. Mobile-ready content is extremely important, including easy-to-load videos. Make sure that your content is going to solve problems for your clients, not create more! One way to really get clients engaged is to offer the opportunity for user-generated content on your site. Offering customers the opportunity to share opinions is an organic way to gain trust within your industry.

Be Flexible with Your Content Strategy

Always understand that your content strategy can and should be dynamic. When current events can tie into your work, it’ll be that much more effective, and potentially viral. Take time to analyze the interaction with and reaction to your blogs and outreach techniques so you can make changes throughout the year to improve your results. Keep an eye on the competition to stay ahead and be prepared to always build on your successes.
With each element of your content marketing strategy, ask yourself if you are helping your clients. It’s important to offer a soft sell for your business. The more you pitch in content, the less likely the readers will become customers. But if you solve their problems and present yourself as the expert you are, you’ll gain their trust…and their business.

What inbound marketing tactics does your small business incorporate into its larger content strategy? Let us know!

If you’re looking to:

  • Establish a brand identity.
  • Build trust among existing and potential customers.

Then you’re going to need a content strategy.

I know what you’re thinking though. Isn’t content marketing reserved just for larger businesses?

Absolutely not.

Research has proven time and time again that no matter the size of your business you need to have a documented research strategy.

In fact, businesses that have a documented content marketing strategy are:

  • More likely to consider themselves effective at content marketing.
  • Less challenged with every aspect of content marketing.
  • More effective in using content marketing tactics and social media channels.
  • Able to justify spending a higher percentage of their marketing budget on content marketing.

What Exactly is a Content Strategy?

Make no mistake about. There’s a lot of value in having a content strategy. It guides you in setting audience expectations and determining the type of content to create, as well as the amount of resources that you’re going to devote to content.

Additionally, a content strategy can help you improve or grow your business since it may help you uncover new business ideas.

For example, if you run a lumber yard and made DIY project videos, you may notice that your most popular videos are the ones that instruct viewers on how to build a treehouse. Because of that, you could start a company that sells pre-assemble tree-houses.

But, what is a content strategy?

There are numerous definitions, but I’ve found that Moz has a pretty clear description:

“Content strategy concerns itself with the vision—the ins and outs of how and why your content will be created, managed, and eventually archived or updated. It looks at all of the content your customers ever encounter” and “overlaps with content marketing.”

Ultimately, when you have a content strategy, it will simplify your business since it lets you know how to improve your business since you have to review your goals and know who your audience is and what they’re interested in.

What Should a Content Marketing Strategy Include?

A content strategy is an outline or vision that explains the reason why you’re producing content. You will decide who you’re producing this content for.

You will choose in what format you’re going to be producing this content. Best of all, you will determine how you’re going to create this content.

It’s important to determine how you’re going to promote your content. And finally, you’ll conclude how you’re going to measure your efforts.

While there is no one-size-fits-all template, effective content strategies typically contain the following components:

  • Communicating your reasons for creating content, the risks involved, and what your vision of success will look like. This will help you gain the support of stakeholders since this is going to be a long-term strategy.
  • The goals that you hope to achieve for your content program, the unique value you’re looking to provide, and the details of your business model.
  • Understanding your audience, such as who your ideal prospects are, how they make buying decisions, what their pain points are, and they’re preferred methods of communication.
  • Your brand’s story. What differentiates you from the competition? What makes your brand unique?
  • What platforms are you going to use to tell your brand’s story?
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that measure the effectiveness of your strategy. This could include traffic volume, engagement, popular onsite content, goal completions, and onsite search queries.

Steps to Create a Killer Small Business Content Marketing Strategy

If you’re new to content marketing, then it’s understandable to believe that it’s inventive and intimidating.

Fortunately for small businesses, content marketing is approachable, affordable, and easy to kick start by following these three easy steps:

  • Do your homework. Research your audience, competition, industry trends, and platforms where your audience hangs out. You won’t be able to launch an effective strategy with this information.
  • Set goals. Develop a specific list of goals for your content strategy, such as your main objective, deadlines, and how much time and money you’re going to invest.
  • Draft. After you know what you want to achieve, it’s time to start producing your content in different phrases. Also think about who will take over these responsibilities down the road. And, leave some wiggle room in case you have to adjust your strategy.

How Often Should You Update Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Once you’ve created your content strategy, it should remain the same for the foreseeable future – even as your marketing program continues to grow and evolve.

However, you should review your strategy annually by going over your KPIs to make sure that your content strategy remains on target and make the appropriate updates if needed.

Conclusion

Marketing is one of the biggest challenges that small businesses must overcome. While it is an investment, having a documented content strategy will not only simplify your content marketing efforts, it will also help grow and improve your business.

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The more information you provide, the better we’ll understand your project and find the right solutions for you. Or if you’d like to talk to a live person give us a call at 888.217.9502. Talk to you soon!

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  • The Best Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
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Every business has to start somewhere, and often that somewhere is a scrappy team pulling late nights trying to make a dream into a reality. You know that leveraging marketing strategies for small businesses is crucial to your success, but where to start? There are a million things to do and you have to remain cognizant of your limited budget.

While you (probably) won’t transform into the next Amazon overnight, with a clear plan and targeted marketing efforts, you can build a solid foundation that will set your business up for long-term growth. Let’s take a look at how.

8 Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Define Clear Goals

As a small business, your resources, time, and personnel are limited. That means you need to make every move count; don’t just take random shots in the dark hoping your marketing strategy will hit the target. Instead, really hash it all out before you launch any marketing initiatives. Define your target audience. Figure out what channels appeal to them most. Think about what pain points your product or service solves for them and what makes your company unique. Determine what markers will determine success and identify both long and short-term goals. Then, work to create an attainable roadmap for how to reach those goals and set up the appropriate tracking. This way, you won’t waste time and money going down the wrong path.

Take Care of Your Customers

When you’re a small business whose audience may be confined to a narrow geographic area, word-of-mouth can make a big difference. Now, I’m not saying to start spreading rumors about the wonders of your company on the street. But making sure customers feel satisfied and appreciated can go a long way. This can be as simple as sending thank you emails, gathering feedback (and using that feedback to make improvements), responding to negative reviews with solutions, or providing coupons or other promotional materials. Every customer counts, so don’t burn any bridges.

Optimize Your Website

If your small business doesn’t have a website yet, get one. It doesn’t matter if your customers are entirely local; you need a website. If you have a website, it’s time to make sure it’s in good shape. A well designed, easy to navigate website is well worth the investment. A technical site audit is a good idea too. Issues such as slow site speed, broken links, or a site that isn’t mobile friendly can quickly deter would-be customers.

Local SEO

SEO in general is a critical pillar of digital marketing, but local SEO is particularly important for small business, especially those with a primarily local audience. Make sure your Google My Business profile is set up, that NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) info is correct across platforms, that phone numbers are clickable, and that titles/metas are optimized for your business. You’ll also want to add geo-targeted keywords to your site to make sure local customers are directed to your business.

Paid Ads

Ads are a great option for small businesses since they typically provide a faster return on investment compared to organic strategies. This will help you reap some short-term rewards while you are waiting for your more long-term strategies to show results. Just make sure that these ads are still done in a thoughtful way. Always keep in mind your audience and the unique angle that your business offers.

Social Media

Modern consumers expect businesses to be on social media. And it’s not enough to just make a profile and hope people will find you, either. You need to post engaging content consistently, have your business’ info displayed prominently, respond to customer communications via social media platforms, and use these platforms to define your brand. Think about what platform is most likely to appeal to your audience, too. If you are a B2B company, LinkedIn will be more important than if you are a B2C company. If you sell something highly visual (for example, an art gallery), Instagram is your best friend. If you’re targeting a young, hip demographic, it may be time to dive into the world of TikTok. You’ll also want to consider Facebook and Instagram ads as a powerful tool to target the people most likely to become customers.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a tried and true digital marketing strategy that you shouldn’t forget about. Create a personalized feel by refining your emails according to your unique audience. Try to create real value for your readers rather than simply bombarding them with fluff.

Content Marketing

Initially, content marketing may seem like a less effective strategy for small businesses. After all, consistently posting quality content can take a lot of time and effort, especially if you do not have in-house writers/editors, and is not the fastest way to boost ROI. However, content marketing is an excellent strategy for long-term growth, which is something small businesses need. Content marketing can encompass many different types of content, from a blog to whitepapers to a newsletter to video content. Focus your efforts on the types of content most likely to appeal to your desired audience and use it as an opportunity to target the keywords potential customers are typing into Google.

Setting Your Business Up For Long-Term Growth

There is no marketing strategy that can magically make your business blow up. Every technique will take some trial and error and time before you can truly reap the rewards. But with steady, intentional marketing initiatives—whether these are done in-house or by a digital marketing agency—your small business will begin to flourish. Keep your business goals at the core of every marketing move and soon you will find yourself looking back and marveling at how different your business looked when it all began.

Project Inquiry

The more information you provide, the better we’ll understand your project and find the right solutions for you. Or if you’d like to talk to a live person give us a call at 888.217.9502. Talk to you soon!

  • Home
  • Knowledge
  • The Best Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
  • Share:

Every business has to start somewhere, and often that somewhere is a scrappy team pulling late nights trying to make a dream into a reality. You know that leveraging marketing strategies for small businesses is crucial to your success, but where to start? There are a million things to do and you have to remain cognizant of your limited budget.

While you (probably) won’t transform into the next Amazon overnight, with a clear plan and targeted marketing efforts, you can build a solid foundation that will set your business up for long-term growth. Let’s take a look at how.

8 Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Define Clear Goals

As a small business, your resources, time, and personnel are limited. That means you need to make every move count; don’t just take random shots in the dark hoping your marketing strategy will hit the target. Instead, really hash it all out before you launch any marketing initiatives. Define your target audience. Figure out what channels appeal to them most. Think about what pain points your product or service solves for them and what makes your company unique. Determine what markers will determine success and identify both long and short-term goals. Then, work to create an attainable roadmap for how to reach those goals and set up the appropriate tracking. This way, you won’t waste time and money going down the wrong path.

Take Care of Your Customers

When you’re a small business whose audience may be confined to a narrow geographic area, word-of-mouth can make a big difference. Now, I’m not saying to start spreading rumors about the wonders of your company on the street. But making sure customers feel satisfied and appreciated can go a long way. This can be as simple as sending thank you emails, gathering feedback (and using that feedback to make improvements), responding to negative reviews with solutions, or providing coupons or other promotional materials. Every customer counts, so don’t burn any bridges.

Optimize Your Website

If your small business doesn’t have a website yet, get one. It doesn’t matter if your customers are entirely local; you need a website. If you have a website, it’s time to make sure it’s in good shape. A well designed, easy to navigate website is well worth the investment. A technical site audit is a good idea too. Issues such as slow site speed, broken links, or a site that isn’t mobile friendly can quickly deter would-be customers.

Local SEO

SEO in general is a critical pillar of digital marketing, but local SEO is particularly important for small business, especially those with a primarily local audience. Make sure your Google My Business profile is set up, that NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) info is correct across platforms, that phone numbers are clickable, and that titles/metas are optimized for your business. You’ll also want to add geo-targeted keywords to your site to make sure local customers are directed to your business.

Paid Ads

Ads are a great option for small businesses since they typically provide a faster return on investment compared to organic strategies. This will help you reap some short-term rewards while you are waiting for your more long-term strategies to show results. Just make sure that these ads are still done in a thoughtful way. Always keep in mind your audience and the unique angle that your business offers.

Social Media

Modern consumers expect businesses to be on social media. And it’s not enough to just make a profile and hope people will find you, either. You need to post engaging content consistently, have your business’ info displayed prominently, respond to customer communications via social media platforms, and use these platforms to define your brand. Think about what platform is most likely to appeal to your audience, too. If you are a B2B company, LinkedIn will be more important than if you are a B2C company. If you sell something highly visual (for example, an art gallery), Instagram is your best friend. If you’re targeting a young, hip demographic, it may be time to dive into the world of TikTok. You’ll also want to consider Facebook and Instagram ads as a powerful tool to target the people most likely to become customers.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a tried and true digital marketing strategy that you shouldn’t forget about. Create a personalized feel by refining your emails according to your unique audience. Try to create real value for your readers rather than simply bombarding them with fluff.

Content Marketing

Initially, content marketing may seem like a less effective strategy for small businesses. After all, consistently posting quality content can take a lot of time and effort, especially if you do not have in-house writers/editors, and is not the fastest way to boost ROI. However, content marketing is an excellent strategy for long-term growth, which is something small businesses need. Content marketing can encompass many different types of content, from a blog to whitepapers to a newsletter to video content. Focus your efforts on the types of content most likely to appeal to your desired audience and use it as an opportunity to target the keywords potential customers are typing into Google.

Setting Your Business Up For Long-Term Growth

There is no marketing strategy that can magically make your business blow up. Every technique will take some trial and error and time before you can truly reap the rewards. But with steady, intentional marketing initiatives—whether these are done in-house or by a digital marketing agency—your small business will begin to flourish. Keep your business goals at the core of every marketing move and soon you will find yourself looking back and marveling at how different your business looked when it all began.

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Content marketing is a powerful way to help small businesses gain more customers and grow. Though for content marketing to be successfully executed it needs to have a strategic approach, which is focused on creating and distributing valuable, unique, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain audiences.

To help your small business get the most out of the content marketing efforts on your website, take a look at the following five best content marketing strategies for your website.

5 Content Marketing Strategies to Consider

Identify Your Target Audience

Content works best when its targeted for a specific audience. Rather than blindly creating website content without considering who your business’s target audience is, spending time identifying your target audience and thinking who will benefit most from your products or services and therefore whom you are creating the content for, will ensure the content you create on your site is more engaging and relatable for your target audience.

As Jennifer Yesbeck, marketing manager at Alexa writes in a blog about targeting in marketing:

“Speak directly to a defined audience. Marketing messages resonate more deeply with audiences when readers can relate directly to the information. Brands that have a large, varied market of customers often struggle with creating marketing campaigns that speak directly to their audience.”

Make Good Use of Visuals

The age-old saying “a picture tells 1000 words” bears truth today, and none more so than in the world of content marketing. Accompanying great visuals, whether it’s pictures, videos or infographics, with quality and engaging text, is one content marketing strategy for your small business’s website that should not be overlooked.

That said, one image stuck at the top of a blog won’t suffice and the content on your website should be regularly frequented with stimulating imagery.

As Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics, informs in an article about Content marketing:

“Throwing a stock image at the top of a blog doesn’t cut it. You should add relevant images throughout the article. Try to keep the user’s engagement high through the whole piece of content, not just the introduction.

Create Content that is Sharable

Another vital content marketing strategy is to make the content you create on your small business’s website shareable, with the aim to make it go viral. Generating content that encourages others to share it will inevitable drive higher volumes of traffic to your website. And higher percentages of traffic means greater leads and sales.

In a post on the official SEMRush Blog, David Leonhardt of The Happy Guy Writing Services rightly states:

“Increasing your content’s social media reach can be done in many ways. In fact, it should be done in many ways.”

Create a Content Marketing Plan

Every effective and successful content marketing campaign should start with a content marketing plan. This vital content marketing strategy for your small business should ideally include mapping out potential blog titles and topics for the forthcoming weeks and months.

Include any guest blogging targets, where your content gets posted on external website to help your small business reach a wider audience, on your content marketing plan. A content marketing plan might also include the writing and distribution of press releases that focus on any news your business might have, such as launching a new product or taking on a new employee.

Such content can be an effective way to enhance your online presence and generate greater traffic to your website.

As Boney Pandya, a passionate online marketer who heads up the marketing efforts for WebNet Hosting, notes in an article on Small Business Trends:

“Press releases are a great venue for creating quality online content and developing links and avenues of sharing information.”

“Press releases not only give you quality content for Google to pick up on, they give you back links and the chance to fit in keywords related to your business venture within the text of the press release.”

Use Social Media to Share Your Website Content

Rather than merely writing a new blog and publishing it on your website or creating a new landing page and forgetting about it, share your fresh and engaging content to as many followers, fans and friends on all your social media channels. As well as using the more obvious social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, post regular content on as many social avenues as possible including LinkedIn and Google+.

As SEO and digital marketing expert Jonny Ross of Fleek Marketing advises in a blog titled ’30 Places to Share Your Website Content for Maximum Impact’:

“Like every social media channel going, Google+ is at its most effective and influential when you’re actively using it. Posting regularly is the key to the Google+ castle and, as ever, interesting content is the king. Continuously creating appealing, shareable images, posts and videos is vital to interacting with and growing your target audience.”

In the era of the current digital revolution, any marketing strategy is incomplete without a content marketing strategy. The evolution of the audience has reached digital devices. Content has made it possible for even small businesses to reach a wide audience.

| Are you a small business? Looking to step in content marketing? To excel the content marketing, you need a plan. Right?

So, here are 5 ways to create a content marketing strategy for small businesses

1. Keep Clear Goals

Content marketing strategy for any business is not a trivial task. Before creating the content, it is worthwhile to have its “why it is being created” answered. The needs of content keep changing with time. What you want your audience to do after they engage?

Today, the interest might be in spreading awareness about the brand. Tomorrow this could take the road of getting their audiences emotionally attached. Another day, it might be about taking leads.

Content curation becomes more impactful when the “why” is strategized.

2. Identify the Target Audience

The internet (especially social media) has made it possible to tap the target audience. It has made marketing cost-effective too. Small businesses with the niche should have their customer persona cleared.

A defined target audience aids in creating relevant content. Creating relevant content saves time, money, and develops expertise. The relevant content made is value-adding and engaging for the target audience. It creates a brand image and boosts credibility in the customer’s mind.

A defined target audience leads to a better-channelized content marketing strategy.

3. Consistent Creation

“Content is the king” this is said enough. The presence of content is everywhere. But consistency is seen seldom. Consistency does not only mean to be regular. It is the virtue of maintaining the quality that counts along.

As the online audience is on the rise, so are the ways to present content. To keep up the superior standard and regular content, it is better to diversify the ways to present it.

Videos, infographics, articles and blogs, case studies, gifs, images, podcasts are different ways to put out content. Creating varied content would hold the audience interest and also attract new ones.

Consistent Content is instrumental in having the brand name retain in the customer’s mind.

4. Understand the Algorithms

Content marketing strategy is incomplete without a plan to cope with the algorithms. An online platform may not own the content but it owns the algorithm.

Understanding and harmonizing with the algorithm get the content to the wider and suitable audience. This is the reason the “SEO” is talked about a lot. It is the way to rank better in the search engines organically.

The game of algorithm is a must-play. That too with a competent strategy.

5. Track the analytics

Get the feedback and improve. Analyzing the performance of the content is the initial step. The data and statistics generated is an asset in content marketing. This serves us to measure the influence of content on the audience. Analysis of that data directs the changes in the strategy.

The key to better ROI is KPIs(Key performance indicators). Though KPI might not be simple to understand for beginners. they are still the cornerstone for content marketing strategies.

KPIs like total views/visits notifies about the reach of the content, bounce rate is engagement measure, and conversion rate apprises about brand image and the efficacy of content to enhance it.

Content analytics is like a mirror to a brand. Use it to refine the looks.

That’s it. Helpful? Make your content marketing strategy now! If you need any assistance, feel free to contact Midriff Info Solution Pvt. Ltd.

We explore the key steps to follow when creating a competitive, well-informed marketing strategy for your business to help build a strong marketing plan

Building a strong marketing strategy lies at the foundation of any prospering, competitive business.

As terms can sometimes get mixed up, let’s firstly clarify what a marketing strategy is. It refers to an organization’s overall game plan for attracting customers by communicating the benefits of their business and key differentiators.

It’s the big picture of the company’s vision informing the marketing plan, which address the vital question: what tactics are you going to use to meet your goals and bring your strategy to life?

To help you build an excellent action plan, you firstly need to ensure you’ve ticked all boxes when devising the marketing strategy, so we’ve put together a list of seven handy action points to pay attention to when conducting your research.

Run a SWOT analysis

Start by running a SWOT analysis to identify your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

It’s actually a fun team exercise, vital to your planning process as it shall inform in one way or another all the following key steps outlined below. To avoid bias and cover different perspectives, get as many fellow colleagues to contribute as possible.

How to create a small business content marketing strategy

Having a clear view on what you’re best at, what areas you need to improve on, spotting the external factors that represent the motivation for your business to exist or, on the other hand, factors that have the potential to place your business at risk, will equip you with the right tools to build a well-informed marketing strategy.

Figure out the value proposition

A great marketing strategy derives from a company’s value proposition , which encapsulates its main strengths (identified in the SWOT analysis) and differentiators against competitors, as opposed to being created from scratch.

Determining your value proposition is probably the step you should invest most time and resources into, as it is one of the most important conversion factors and what could make the difference between closing a sale and losing it.

Get started by identifying the main customer benefits and what value your products/services bring to the customer, followed by outlining the key differentiators.

The best value propositions are clear, to the point, and they focus on solving customers’ problems.

Determine marketing strategy objectives

Organizations define and and communicate their goals using objectives.

Objectives specify measurable outcomes that will be achieved within a particular time frame and they help individuals evaluate the success and effectiveness of a particular marketing strategy.

They aid marketers to align expectations and plans, coordinate efforts, and hold teams accountable for achieving results.

When putting together your key objectives (aim for 3-5), ensure they meet the following criteria: they’re specific, measurable, and have a time frame.

Re-evaluate them every six months, make changes if necessary, and use them to measure success.

How to create a small business content marketing strategy

Understand your customers

In order to embed your customers’ needs and seek to solve their problems through your marketing strategy, you firstly need to fully understand them .

In the marketing space, there’s been lots of buzz on customer centricity, a strategy to fundamentally align a company’s products and services with the wants and needs of its most valuable customers.

In their quest of getting to know them, marketers have started to rely less on traditional market research methods such as surveys or focus groups and pay more attention to smart online platforms and tools that tell them everything about their customers’ demographics, online behaviors, and conversations.

Define your buyer personas

Buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. They help marketers better understand and get closer to customers, as real humans.

The process of creating buyer personas involves gathering insight from different platforms such as website analytics, social media channels, customer reviews as well as actual conversations with prospects and customers.

When researching and building personas, look into their background, preferences, demographics details, and based on that, determine what’s the most appropriate way to communicate with them, what channels they prefer, style and tone of voice, etc.

Analyze your market and competitors

We’ve established that a clever marketing strategy is a business’ game plan which helps them flourish and stand out from competition.

But to get to that level, you need to have expert knowledge into what’s happening in your market and how are you competitors doing: what are their struggles? What’s working for them? Which are their weak links?

Once again, information is power. Use intelligent platforms, like Brandwatch , to answer all questions above and learn about your competition.

Keeping your ears and eyes open for what’s happening in your industry is vital in helping you identify gaps in the market, needs that aren’t being fulfilled, common frustrations, or trends and innovative ideas.

How to create a small business content marketing strategy

Establish your marketing methods

Depending on your target audience, you will need to pick the best marketing methods to explain, teach, and communicate your brand messaging.

Find out where your audience lives (which social channels they prefer, blogs, sites, forums, etc.) and use that information to your advantage to reach them.

It’s equally important to determine at an early stage which marketing areas you’ll focus on attention on and how much time and budget you’ll be spending on advertising, PR, content marketing , SEO, community management, events, etc. depending on the nature of your business and what would appeal most to your future customers.

The success of a small business has a lot to do with its marketing plan. Marketing is used to attract the customers needed to keep a business viable and operational. Marketing strategies are used to help a business achieve sales goals and branding initiatives. Through a variety of tactics, marketers work to attract the right customers to the business.

When business owners sit down to write their marketing plan, they need to consider what makes sense for their small business? What is working in the marketplace? And where should they start?

Here are 8 marketing strategies to set your small business up for success.

1. Establish A Brand

For a small business’s customers and potential customers to know what their company is, does and stands for, they need to have a clear brand identity. Once they have decided on their company’s identity they need to match it with a suitable name, logo, colors and imagery that conveys their brand to customers.

Small businesses owners might decide to establish a brand look with the help of a freelancer or by collaborating with an established agency. This process can be costly but in the end, it is worth it. Think about the recognition of established brands like McDonald’s or Starbucks and how that recognition is tied to their brands, logos and colors.

Once a company has their logo, they should put it on everything: advertising, business cards, website, envelopes and email signatures.

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2. Know Your Customer

There is no such thing as a one size fits all marketing strategy. Each business caters to a different niche in the market and therefore each company requires a marketing plan is specific to their goals and needs.

Before deciding on tactics and a strategy, small business owners need to better understand who

their target customer is by asking these questions:

  • What is their demographic?
  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • What online services do they use?
  • How do they look for products?

Knowing these things about their target customer will help a business develop a targeted and effective overall marketing strategy that will focus on the channels that will produce the best results.

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3. Create A Website

Websites are the modern-day business card. It is the first thing potential customers see when the Google company name and the first chance a company to make an impression. A website is the foundation of a marketing plan. Companies can use their website to provide their customers with more information, grab free traffic via search engines, drive people to their social media and establish themselves as an authority in the marketing through helpful content.

If your company doesn’t have a website yet, it is easy enough to get one.

Buy a domain name: Choose the name you want, see if it is available and pay a monthly or annual fee associated with owning that domain.

Sign up for web hosting: this is where another company hosts a company’s web page on their servers and manages serving it up to their customers. This is often available through the same company where the domain name was bought from.

Get a content management software (CMS): This is used to both create and update the website over time. There are a number of free templates but if a company wants something more unique or customized, they can $50-100 for premium themes.

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4. Use the Power of SEO

The most prevalent way traffic is directed to a website is through Google searches. As Google algorithms change, a company needs to make sure to keep their page keywords optimized to make sure they are ranking high on searches.

Having a site show up on the first page of results hugely increases the chances of that website getting clicked on, so a company should do everything in their power to make sure that’s where they are in a Google search.

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5. Get Listed on Google

A useful tool for local businesses with local customer bases is Google My Business. When people in the same area as a company search on Google for a product or service the company provides, the company will appear in the top searches.

When potential customers see a business’s profile and it is accompanied with a good review or finds the listing at the top of their list, the business gains credibility and people will be more willing to trust the business.

6. advertiseonfacebook”> 6. Advertise on Facebook

One of the best ways to target a specific group is using Facebook Ads. A business can focus their adverting on demographics such as age, sex, location, interests, online habits and more.

Setting up advertising on Facebook is easy and relatively inexpensive. It is a great way for a business to reach a maximum number of potential customers in a short amount of time.

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7. Email Customers and Potential Customers

There are many advantages of using email as a marketing strategy. It is easy to do, can be automated, provides instantaneous communication, costs very little and can reach a large number of potential customers.

Once email addresses are added to an email list, it is important that a business provides interesting, valuable and relevant content to their list so the emails get opened and not just merely diverted to spam mail.

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8. Use Google AdWords

Remember, the key is for people to find you when they search on Google, and by using Google AdWords, you can greatly increase your chances of people seeing your name.

Google AdWords is more expensive than other marketing tactics we have discussed here but should still be considered as it is a powerful marketing tool. The key is for people to find you when they search on Google and by using Google AdWords, a business can greatly increase the chance of people seeing their name.

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Every business has to start somewhere, and often that somewhere is a scrappy team pulling late nights trying to make a dream into a reality. You know that leveraging marketing strategies for small businesses is crucial to your success, but where to start? There are a million things to do and you have to remain cognizant of your limited budget.

While you (probably) won’t transform into the next Amazon overnight, with a clear plan and targeted marketing efforts, you can build a solid foundation that will set your business up for long-term growth. Let’s take a look at how.

8 Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Define Clear Goals

As a small business, your resources, time, and personnel are limited. That means you need to make every move count; don’t just take random shots in the dark hoping your marketing strategy will hit the target. Instead, really hash it all out before you launch any marketing initiatives. Define your target audience. Figure out what channels appeal to them most. Think about what pain points your product or service solves for them and what makes your company unique. Determine what markers will determine success and identify both long and short-term goals. Then, work to create an attainable roadmap for how to reach those goals and set up the appropriate tracking. This way, you won’t waste time and money going down the wrong path.

Take Care of Your Customers

When you’re a small business whose audience may be confined to a narrow geographic area, word-of-mouth can make a big difference. Now, I’m not saying to start spreading rumors about the wonders of your company on the street. But making sure customers feel satisfied and appreciated can go a long way. This can be as simple as sending thank you emails, gathering feedback (and using that feedback to make improvements), responding to negative reviews with solutions, or providing coupons or other promotional materials. Every customer counts, so don’t burn any bridges.

Optimize Your Website

If your small business doesn’t have a website yet, get one. It doesn’t matter if your customers are entirely local; you need a website. If you have a website, it’s time to make sure it’s in good shape. A well designed, easy to navigate website is well worth the investment. A technical site audit is a good idea too. Issues such as slow site speed, broken links, or a site that isn’t mobile friendly can quickly deter would-be customers.

Local SEO

SEO in general is a critical pillar of digital marketing, but local SEO is particularly important for small business, especially those with a primarily local audience. Make sure your Google My Business profile is set up, that NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) info is correct across platforms, that phone numbers are clickable, and that titles/metas are optimized for your business. You’ll also want to add geo-targeted keywords to your site to make sure local customers are directed to your business.

Paid Ads

Ads are a great option for small businesses since they typically provide a faster return on investment compared to organic strategies. This will help you reap some short-term rewards while you are waiting for your more long-term strategies to show results. Just make sure that these ads are still done in a thoughtful way. Always keep in mind your audience and the unique angle that your business offers.

Social Media

Modern consumers expect businesses to be on social media. And it’s not enough to just make a profile and hope people will find you, either. You need to post engaging content consistently, have your business’ info displayed prominently, respond to customer communications via social media platforms, and use these platforms to define your brand. Think about what platform is most likely to appeal to your audience, too. If you are a B2B company, LinkedIn will be more important than if you are a B2C company. If you sell something highly visual (for example, an art gallery), Instagram is your best friend. If you’re targeting a young, hip demographic, it may be time to dive into the world of TikTok. You’ll also want to consider Facebook and Instagram ads as a powerful tool to target the people most likely to become customers.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a tried and true digital marketing strategy that you shouldn’t forget about. Create a personalized feel by refining your emails according to your unique audience. Try to create real value for your readers rather than simply bombarding them with fluff.

Content Marketing

Initially, content marketing may seem like a less effective strategy for small businesses. After all, consistently posting quality content can take a lot of time and effort, especially if you do not have in-house writers/editors, and is not the fastest way to boost ROI. However, content marketing is an excellent strategy for long-term growth, which is something small businesses need. Content marketing can encompass many different types of content, from a blog to whitepapers to a newsletter to video content. Focus your efforts on the types of content most likely to appeal to your desired audience and use it as an opportunity to target the keywords potential customers are typing into Google.

Setting Your Business Up For Long-Term Growth

There is no marketing strategy that can magically make your business blow up. Every technique will take some trial and error and time before you can truly reap the rewards. But with steady, intentional marketing initiatives—whether these are done in-house or by a digital marketing agency—your small business will begin to flourish. Keep your business goals at the core of every marketing move and soon you will find yourself looking back and marveling at how different your business looked when it all began.