When it comes to small business, marketing tags many questions along with what marketing to do, how to do. But the most important question lies in the ways to market small business more effectively, aligned with the constraint budget. The options are endless. You just have to know which one fits your business most. It is in the determination of which ways of marketing to adopt, lies the effectiveness of your marketing.
The digital era made it much easier to determine marketing effectiveness. It is not only about efforts and investment, but also about smart marketing tactics. Whether your small business is newly launched or at sturdy growth, be sure to checklist these ways to grow your small business effectively.
18 Ways to Market Small Business More Effectively
Table of Contents
- 1. Research Your Target Market
- 2. Little Branding Things
- 3. Invest in Social Media Marketing
- 4. Embrace the Right Pricing Strategy
- 5. Build Your Website
- 6. Keep Brochure/ Booklet
- 7. Distribute Leaflet/ Flyer
- 8. Develop In-store Branding
- 9. Go for Guerilla Marketing
- 10. Initiate Limited Offers
- 11. Generate a Hype
- 12. Acquire Customers by Reference
- 13. Partake in Event
- 14. Mobile Billboards
- 15. Packaging
- 16. SMS Marketing
- 17. Email Marketing
- 18. Content Marketing
- Wrapping Up
1. Research Your Target Market
This step requires zero cost and 100% time investment. Just before you start to formulate your marketing strategies, study about your potential customers. Who is your target audience? What are their age and income range? In which locations do they live or visit most? What is their common interest? Which social sites they have profile most? What is their perception of your product or service?
And do not base your studies on secondary research from the internet. Focus on your primary research more. One inexpensive way of doing this is online. Do an online survey using Google forms or survey monkey. For that, initiate questions that are both easy for you and your respondents. It is better if the questionnaire is measurable for you. Keep some open-ended questions too. This helps you get the insight of perceptions of the respondents.
The results or records you collect in this research will help in every marketing steps, no matter which type you choose.
Recommended Reading: 12 Ways to Reach Target Audience
2. Little Branding Things
The logo of your business, the tagline, the signature at the end of your mail, the design of letterhead pad of documents, every single thing carries awareness and marketing in them. Even your business card is a source of networking.
Provide your business card to whoever you meet. Particularly in terms of service, handing your business card to customers is a type of marketing too. There is a chance they might recall your business name whenever they have need of that service.
While planning the name, logo, tagline of your business, take into account the profile of your target audience. Can they understand complex, sophisticated design? Are they able to relate your tagline to your business? Can the image of the logo make a memorable impression in mind?
The name, logo, tagline are the first impression of your business. Spend a good quality of time planning it. Sometimes, you might even consider revising them. People’s preference changes, trend changes, so can your brand. But do not change it several times with less interval of time. Your target market won’t be able to grasp the perception about you that you want to create.
Your branding will shape the customer’s perception of your business. Hence, strategize it carefully, giving attention to details.
3. Invest in Social Media Marketing
Among all the Effective Small Business Marketing steps, this definitely ranks first. The social media is the world itself where almost every of your target market lives. You just have to figure out which country of the social media they reside most. The countries of social media maybe Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc. And if you are wondering why to invest in social media and thinking about ROI, read these 9 Solid Reasons To Invest in Social Media
You might target multiple social sites too since they are cost-effective. A small part of your marketing budget must include provision for social media investment. With little cost, you can reach a greater number of your audience.
Facebook is the most renowned and effective ground for social media promotion. And building a business profile is easier too. Facebook itself will guide you to develop your page.
Besides, just opening up a social media business profile will not be effective. You have to actively keep the profile updated and running for customer acquisition and revenue generation. To follow tips and tactics, be sure to read 27 Social Media Marketing Tips Every Marketer Should Know.
4. Embrace the Right Pricing Strategy
Price is the significant factor of your business. Before you set the price, keep these three things in mind.
First, determine your target market’s perception towards price. Are they more price-sensitive? Or they prefer quality first?
Second, consider your product/service too. Does your product belong to a low-end or high-end category? Low-end products are more of price sensitive. People tend to look into the quality of high-end products before they judge the price.
Last but not the least, look at the market price. Is your price up to the standard? Will you enter the market through penetration (offering lower than competitors)? Or will you focus on the quality of the products and keep a premium price?
5. Build Your Website
No, it does not require a lot of costs. You can build basic websites with the help of Wix, Yola, Weebly, Squarespace etc. And those are not just normal websites. You can choose from many beautiful, striking, attractive free templates.
Building a website is like building your own home in the virtual world. It holds a separate address for your small business. Your target audience may like to know more about your products or services. You can even keep the option of online purchase open through your website.
Recommended Reading: How to Build a Small Business Website
6. Keep Brochure/ Booklet
Include this within your marketing budget too. A brochure including whereabouts your business should also contain answers to these four questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Why you? [USP of your business, unique features, why should customers choose you?]
- How will customers reach you? [Contact number, office address, web address, social site link, etc.]
Also, include company pictures, product pictures. A brochure is your complete business details for customers in brief. The main challenge here is making it short and informative at the same time. Know which details customers sought most and which details can be excluded from the content.
When a customer reaches out to you for information, hand them a brochure even if they don’t buy instantly. This helps them to consider your product/ service in future.
7. Distribute Leaflet/ Flyer
When you launch a new product or offer or when you have any modifications to spread among your customers, this is an easy option.
Distribute the leaflets mainly on the areas your target market visit or lives. This is effective, especially when you bring changes in your business and want your customers to know about it.
8. Develop In-store Branding
Formulate marketing strategies for your local store, no matter how small it is. Let the design of your store raise the curiosity of the customers about you.
The store decorations, settings help the sales too. Have you noticed many restaurants use yellow or orange color for painting walls or for decorations?
This is because yellow or orange tends to increase appetite. So yes, in-store branding has a good chance to draws your customers towards you.
It doesn’t take huge expense to decorate your store if you can apply the right creativity. Take the help of some crafts. There are cost-effective creative ways of design too.
If you are confused, just simply google, ‘creative inexpensive shops’. I’m sure you’ll get thousands of results.
9. Go for Guerilla Marketing
With a little amount of budget, you can easily grasp the attention of the public in an unconventional way. That is what Guerilla Marketing is. Even a graffiti on your store wall can act as your advertisement. Like I mentioned, creative ideas do not need to be expensive always.
In case of guerilla marketing, the message conveying to the audience must be clear, specific and aesthetic too. This strategy is effective for small business because this type of marketing is shocking which results in a memorable perception of the audience.
Do check out some of the successful guerrilla marketing ads. Special mention is the Dirty Water Guerilla Marketing of UNICEF for collecting donations.
10. Initiate Limited Offers
Offer discounts, bundled products/services, package set if you need an immediate sales boost. Be sure to keep the offerings limited. Too many offers will cause your customers seeking it more. Customers tend not to buy from you once they get used to discounts.
Another key point here is, reach out the offers to your customers. The offers won’t be effective unless your customers know about it.
11. Generate a Hype
This is a prodigious way to raise curiosity among your target market. When people have questions about you, they tend to look for answers too. They will keep following you to get an update. When you have a new product to launch or even when you launch your small business, start with an exciting marketing hype.
For instance, you’ll see lots of shop hanging banners even before the construction of the interior store. That covers two purposes:
(i) their construction work remains hidden
(ii) They are letting customers know they are coming soon.
Some ads simply put the name of a product or its slogan with a website address or social site link. This lets the curious audience to search for the hype. Often simple advertisements are the reflection of a brilliant marketing strategy.
12. Acquire Customers by Reference
Referral marketing is another effective way to build up customers for your small business. Although reference works best through natural word of mouth, you can at least initiate it.
Keep contests of reference, make requests to regular customers to make a referral. Reference coupled with contests works most effectively, especially in case of online these days.
13. Partake in Event
Sponsoring an event might be too much for your budget. Instead, participate in an event related to your industry or your customer’s interest. Know where your target audience crowds the most. Even a little stall with your products and brochures can raise awareness after you start a small business.
Sometimes you’ll see gift shop or stationary shop putting up stalls on university campuses. This is not only for sales but also about awareness. Maybe the students won’t buy from them immediately but they’ll at least know where to find the shop next time they want to buy something.
14. Mobile Billboards
Outdoor advertisements are way too expensive in the context of small business to reach awareness. What you can try are mobile billboards. A small banner covering a vehicle may act as your mobile billboard. Similarly, there are lots of mobile billboard examples. These can be well adjusted to your budget too.
Your packaging does not have to be extraordinary. Just a simple, sophisticated design with logo can be a great form of packaging for effective brand awareness.
Packaging attracts customers too. Sometimes simple, the inexpensive packaging is praised among customers more than complex packaging. Be sure to include instructions if relevant.
Therefore, focus a little part of your strategy on packaging too.
16. SMS Marketing
Yet, another effective way to build up relation with your customers is this. When you start to have regular customers, take records of their basic background information [location they live in, contact number]. This helps to convey your necessary messages to them.
You may provide special offers to your loyal or regular customers. This helps in retention of customers too. As a matter of fact, retention is much less expensive than the acquisition of customers.
It is important to realize that customers may be reluctant to provide you necessary information as it is personal. The best way to deal with this is to inform them the motive behind taking their information.
For example, when you ask them to give their contact number, tell them that why are you taking it- so that you can message them any offers exclusively for them.
17. Email Marketing
Even in the days of social sites, email has yet not lost its value. So do not undermine email at any chance. Most of the people have their email active on their phones. They are more likely to check emails. All you have to do is make them open your mail.
So make sure to keep the content interesting and attention-grabbing. The most important is the subject line. Recipients decide which mail to open by reading the subject. So, make the subject interesting enough to make them open and read your mail.
Related Reading: Best Email Marketing Courses To Generate Leads
18. Content Marketing
Perhaps, the most essential marketing strategy lies in the content marketing. All the above-mentioned marketing strategies need contents to be implemented. With this in mind, the contents should be careful, creative and capturing attention.
The contents should be designed keeping in mind the preference of your target market. If your target market is men, floral design on your contents might be a bad idea to capture the attention of the right audience.
Proof-read your contents before finally assigning them for implementation. Mistakes in content are something audience does not accept at any cost. If you are claiming anything, make sure of the validity and reliability of your information. Do not go for too complex ideas.
Recommended Reading: 9 Best Content Marketing Online Courses and Programs
Small business marketing may adopt all these ways and still miss out being effective. The effectiveness of marketing depends on how you implement these ways. Pay attention to small details, keep track of your target market’s choices, trends, and demands.
Synchronize the changes in your target market choices with the changes in your strategy. Keep a look at the market price. Is your pricing strategy effective or does it need change? Furthermore, track what your competitors do. Sometimes you may adopt their strategies too.
So, the next time you are planning your small business marketing, consider these Ways to Market Small Business More Effectively.
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Jamil Ahmed is the CEO of “Reinforce Lab”. He is a Pharmacist with experience of working in several pharmaceutical companies for over 5 years in International Business. Jamil Ahmed (@ahmedjr_16) is a Digital innovator, Personal Branding, Small Business, and Marketing consultant. He was named as the Top 3 Business Intelligence Marketing Influencer in 2018 by Onalytica. He was also Top 20 eCommerce Online Seller & Influencer by SaleHoo and Top 8 eCommerce Influencer by FitSmallBusiness. He regularly shares his tips and tricks for effective Personal Branding, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Small Business, Entrepreneurship, and Latest Technology Integration in Business by building relationships, and by telling stories. Read more about him.