Marketing, to some entrepreneurs, can feel like traversing through foreign waters. To some people, it just doesn’t come naturally, and that is A-okay. We have cleared away some of the fuss and outlined 5 tried and true marketing practices that any small business owner can do to help drum up new business.
Claim your business listing on Google
For small businesses that have a brick and mortar location, this step is likely going to make the most impact on increasing foot traffic to your business. Google still rules the road when it comes to search engines, and this is one easy and free way to get Google on your side. To list your business you simply go here, click start now, and follow the easy instructions to sign up. You will need a Google account set up. If you have a personal Google account you use for business you can use that account, or you can set up a new one specifically for this.
Once you have completed all of the information about your business, such as the name, address, phone number, and type of business, you will prompt for them to mail you your postcard. Within 2 weeks you will receive a postcard in the mail with a code on it to verify that your business does indeed exist at that address. Visit the website listed, verify your account, and your business is now officially listed on Google. Another huge benefit of doing this is your business will also show up on the mobile app Google map when someone searches for a business in your category.
As of 2016, 78 percent of U.S. Americans have a social media profile. (Statista) Out of the almost 319 million people living in America, that means nearly 249 million Americans are tweeting, facebooking, instagramming, or utilizing some other form of social media. With that far of a reach, it is preposterous to not jump on these free outlets to reach your target market. Regardless of what product you are trying to sell, there is a way to create a buzz about it using social media.
Do you sell food? Instagram LOVES to see your delicious sweets, snacks, and refreshing drinks. Are you a small clothing boutique? Tweet out a giveaway offer with a special hashtag so you can measure your reach and make it a requirement to follow your account in order to enter the giveaway. Are you the owner of a family-run pawn shop? Post a video of some of the awesome new product you have just put out on the shelf and request for your followers to share your post in exchange for a 10% discount on their next purchase.
These are just a few examples of the many ways you can utilize social media at no cost! If you have a small budget, you can reach even more people by putting a few dollars behind your post to “boost” them.
Optimizing your Website
Your website will, in many cases, be an individual’s first impression of your company. With all of the new and easy content management systems that are readily available, making a presentable website is within your reach. You can choose to create your own site with a little bit of practice and some help from YouTube, or you can hire a developer to create an editable website for you using WordPress. Sites like Fiverr, Elance, and Upwork make finding an affordable WordPress developer a breeze.
Once your site is up and running, do some research on SEO and optimize the pages on your site in order to increase your organic search reach.
One well-known marketing tactic that can increase your reach is blogging. You can use your blog as the landing point for any of your online marketing efforts. Do you have a new product you would like to educate consumers about? Write a post describing how great your item is and how it can benefit your reader. What tips or tricks can you offer your readers to promote them to become brand ambassadors? An example of this would be a clothing store writing a post about how to style your boots this fall. For a restaurant, you could post a unique drink recipe that your bartenders concoct. Whatever your field, use your blog to show your expertise and in turn increase traffic to your website.
Remember the blog mentioned above? Use your resources to generate leads. At the end of each blog, ask readers to sign up for your email list in order for them to receive special offers and future articles. Place banners throughout your store or restaurant with a QR code that takes patrons to your email list sign-up. This is the best way to generate repeat customers and create brand loyalty. The more chances they have to interact with your location, website, social media, and emails, the more opportunity they have to fall in love with your business.
These 5 practices can help you grow your small business exponentially. Have you found success in trying one of these? Let us know by sharing this post and tagging us. We love to hear about your success.
Written by: Heather Haney