It’s tough out there for small businesses, no matter what the industry. Competition and rising operating costs leave many startups, wishing they had thought twice about their venture. Large companies, with big budgets, have the capacity to splash the cash on elaborate marketing campaigns. They also can afford to take greater risks with their capital. However, small businesses usually have limited funds to invest in marketing and must zero in quickly. Though not a complete list by any means, these 5 marketing musts for small businesses are worth your time and investment.
Marketing Musts for Small Businesses #1: First Class Website
I recommend that small businesses invest in a quality website that is easy to navigate. It can mean the difference between getting customers and clients or not. A slobby, ill-maintained site can turn off anyone who comes looking for more information about your products and services. Think about how you feel when searching for something and land on an old site that lacks what you need.
An effective website consists of details that come together to create a pleasant and efficient experience for visitors. Navigation must be on point, usability excellent, as well as load time minimal. Make sure to hire a quality hosting provider and web developer for your new site. A dedicated server is one way to boost website performance and security.
Marketing Musts for Small Businesses #2: Social Media Optimization
It doesn’t cost anything to use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media platforms to gain followers and to create a buzz. Utilizing your personal page, business pages and groups is a great way of building up a strong relationship with your customers and potential ones. People really buy from people, not businesses. After all, you are your business and can make or break it with your attention to your audience. The key is to be consistent and post a variety of things about you, interesting things, and your business.
Marketing Musts for Small Businesses #3: Video Marketing
The use of YouTube, Vimeo, and even other social media live video streams is a solid way to promote your skills and products. With video, it’s easier for people to really see who you are and what you and your business are about. You can do a series of videos about a particular topic or whatever you’re thinking about at the moment. It doesn’t take much technical skill to record a video on your phone or in a live video app. If you really want to get more professional with video, you can always use better quality lighting and camera. You can also edit your work right on YouTube before you post it.
Marketing Musts for Small Businesses #4: Build an E-Mail List
Email marketing is still one of the most effective advertising avenues for small businesses. You can easily include an opt-in box on your website to collect email contact information. However, do keep in mind that there are new laws in place about using these applications.
E-mail campaigns can have many purposes. Make sure you know what your goals are and construct your emails accordingly. More importantly, make sure your readers understand what they are supposed to do or take away from the contact. Call to actions must be clear and concise in order to get a quality response. You have to grab attention from the get-go. And, don’t make people go vertically strolling – it’s extremely off-putting.
Marketing Musts for Small Businesses #5: Guest Posting
Find high-quality blogs, relevant to your industry, and ask if you can write a guest post for them. Make sure the post is informative, creative and well-written. You can then add a call to action at the bottom of the content. It may also help to have other business owners post on your site to add interest. This also helps bring new traffic to your site, as they will likely advertise to their community that they have written a guest post.