Small Business Marketing can be overwhelming. Marketing includes branding, services, promotions, products, pricing, prints, blogs, advertising, research, and social media. Small businesses may struggle to choose the right marketing approach from the variety of options available.
Marketing is an intentional action focused on promoting your brand through multiple channels with the goal of reaching your customers. Since customers need to hear a message multiple times, it is important to emphasize your brand. Here are some straightforward steps to help you market your small business from the start.
1. Get organized.
To begin your marketing effort, start by creating an organized plan. Begin with brainstorming and developing concrete actions, then transfer all action items to a calendar or to-do list. Remember to start small and aim for a good ROI with every task. Additionally, create an elevator pitch that can tell people about your business, products, and services within 30 seconds or less, leaving them interested and wanting to know more. This will be useful for you to have throughout your small business marketing efforts.
To ensure a good first impression, consider hosting a soft opening or invitation-only event for your storefront or restaurant to receive customer feedback and iron out any kinks or mistakes. It’s crucial to prioritize customer input early on in the process as it can help you improve your business from the start.
2. Get a website.
Having a website is crucial for your business in this tech-savvy era. This is because most customers search for your business online before taking any further actions. Your website serves as evidence of your existence and provides potential customers with important details about your business. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile devices and is search engine-friendly. L8P Tip: Add a profile picture to your website to show the passionate person behind your project. Nothing works more when it comes to sales than knowing the business owner’s story. Explain your WHY.
Use Google Analytics to track the traffic to your website, as it will be key to knowing how people are using your website. It’s not because you launch your website that you’ll instantly have some visibility. Research SEO and how search engines work. You can also read another article here about SEO and how to improve your website rankings.
It’s important to keep in mind that the quality of a website usually reflects the amount of money invested in creating it. While do-it-yourself website services are plentiful, certain features may require the expertise of professionals.
3. Leverage social media.
In today’s world, social media, like Facebook & Instagram, attracts the majority of online traffic. Yes, you do have to be on social media, and NO, you don’t have to be on all social media platforms. Find the one where your audience is and where you are most comfortable sharing updates from your business.
Social Media has to work for you, not against you. It’s essential to have as a small business since it will help you build trust and confidence with current and future customers.
4. Set up and claim your Google My Business Listing.
Having a Google My Business listing is completely free, and allows you to show for search results using your business name instantly. It’s crucial to have it as soon as you launch your new website to increase your visibility and chances of people finding you online. DO NOT SKIP this step.
5. Use Google AdWords.
When you are ready, which means when your website is filled with relevant information and has as solid content plan/structure, it may be time to invest in some paid advertising. We highly suggest reaching out to professionals to launch such campaigns, as most platforms are built to make you spend more money without necessarily providing you with more results. Google AdWords can be a great tool for targeting specific neighbourhoods where you want more visibility. It’s a great asset to have as part of your small business marketing plan.
6. Create local awareness and establish a network.
Getting involved in chambers, business associations, and community groups is a great way to network and generate business leads. However, it’s important to be cautious not to be too aggressive. Networking will introduce you to new contacts and increase your brand awareness and referrals. Consider sponsoring non-profit or sports events to support a good cause.
One way to promote your business and also be a positive member of the community is by distributing SWAG. These are promotional items that showcase your business name, logo, and contact information. T-shirts are an excellent example of SWAG since they can serve as free advertisements for your business as people wear them around.
7. Offer coupons or free products/services.
Establish customer loyalty from the start by ensuring customer satisfaction. This will encourage them to return and recommend your products or services to others. Generate excitement by enlisting brand ambassadors, such as family and friends, to aid in promoting your brand. You can also provide referral codes or discounts in exchange for leaving a Google My Business Review.
8. Be Consistent, Small Growth is Still Growth.
You heard it. Small growth is still growth. If you’ve done all the right steps and are following a solid small business marketing strategy, you will see growth.
If you have questions on how to start a small business marketing strategy for your Vancouver business or are curious to learn more about our digital marketing services, book a free call with us. We love helping small business owners find the best way to spend their marketing dollars and grow their businesses!