Think about this: Some businesses will pay an average of $115,000 for a 30-second ad on national television. And although there are a few brands who could pay that amount without batting an eye, most startups and small companies can’t shell out that much for a 30-second ad which may or may not be effective in promoting their brand. The good news is that marketing for small business is that you don’t have to spend a large sum to promote your brand. There are ways to increase recognition and boost conversions without breaking the bank, even if you’re not a large company. Let’s go over 11 small business marketing tips to help you grow your brand.

There were over 2.62 billion social media users in 2018, and that number is expected to increase over the years. This means that if your business is on social media, there’s great potential to tap into that market. Furthermore, since social media is free, you don’t need to allocate a large budget for it — although you should definitely put money toward paid ads.

While we will discuss more marketing ideas for business another day, here are some effective small business marketing tips to utilize social media and boost your conversions.

11 Small Business Marketing Tips for Better Engagement and Conversions

1. Build the Foundation With the Right Platforms — And Be Thorough

Competition is tight on social media. Every business is trying out different business promotion ideas. If you want to stand out, you have to put time and effort into building your brand and messaging. It’s not a “set it and forget it,” one-time thing. It’s something you build on a daily basis.

Here are a few things you have to keep in mind.

Carefully Choose the Platforms That Can Help You Shine

You don’t have to be on every social media platform — just those where the audience truly connects with your brand. Managing too many accounts at once could distract you from your goal. Instead of jumping from one network to another, why not concentrate on a select few that can help you reach your target audience better?

For instance, if you’re selling products like pastries or fitness gear, showcasing them on platforms that are more into visual content, such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook is highly recommended. Don’t get much action from Twitter? Consider putting it on the back burner for now.

More isn’t always better.

woman on instagram

Fill Out Your Profile in Its Entirety

Never underestimate the benefits of a well-crafted profile page. People check your profile to determine the authenticity of your business account, as well as to get to know you better.

When you’re creating a profile, remember to check spelling and grammar, add keywords subtly, and choose an appropriate profile picture (in the right dimensions!). You should also fill out every field the platform offers, even if it seems tedious.

These details make a huge difference and can even make it easier for people to find you online.

Be Consistent in Your Branding and Themes

Your voice in captions, the way your images are designed, and the colors you use matter. Being consistent makes it easier for people to identify you. It helps increase brand recognition.

Post Consistently and Regularly

Creating high-quality and relevant content and setting a particular time for when to post them can help improve your social media presence and audience engagement.

2. Encourage and Share User-Generated Content

User-generated content is like free advertising from people saying good things about your brand. They are honest testimonials that can help in promoting you. In fact, many people take this content more seriously than paid ads and product descriptions and often check them out before they make a purchasing decision.

When you’re sharing user-generated content (UGC), remember to tag the person who originally shared it, if possible. Doing this gives credit to the person who created the material. This can also help expose your brand to the user’s friends and followers. Furthermore, it can make a valued customer happy.

3. Share Online Reviews, Testimonials, and Case Studies

If you happen upon any of these and think it can help improve your brand’s image, then share it with your followers. Just remember to add the appropriate credits. It’s also good to show your gratitude with a simple post saying thank you.

Remember, what other people are saying about you is much more powerful than what you’re saying about yourself.

4. Advertise on Social Media

This is one of the best small business marketing tips we can give you. Before you say, “But that’s expensive,” hear us out. Advertising on social media offers a lot of benefits, especially to small businesses. It’s typically cheaper than traditional advertising mediums. And the best part about it is that you can view its progress day to day and make modifications if it’s not working the way it should.

Plus, it can help you compete with bigger brands, effectively leveling the playing field.

Instead of looking at the price tag on advertising itself, look at the return you get on your investment. If you spend $50 on a Facebook ad and make $100, isn’t that a pretty good ROI? Definitely! This is the power of paid advertising on social media. It truly can work wonders.

facebook on smartphone

5. Leverage Email Marketing to Nourish Relationships With Warm Leads

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate leads. Partly thanks to its low costs, email marketing offers other benefits like a high return on investment.

And just to clarify: email marketing is not spam. Spam is when a person sends out a generic email to a bunch of people (often from a purchased email list) who haven’t signed up for any newsletter and who probably aren’t interested in the product offered. In case you aren’t aware yet, spam is, more often than not, a waste of time and effort. Your email provider already filters it out, which means there’s a very low chance of it ever getting seen.

Now, email marketing, on the other hand, is targeted marketing. It’s done by acquiring warm leads – people who subscribe to your email list all on their own.

Here are some of the important points you have to remember when doing email marketing.

Avoid Spammy Subject Lines

Gmail and other email service providers are advanced when it comes to identifying spammy messages. Just your subject line showing signs of spam could potentially transport your email to the dreaded spam folder.

In order to make sure that your message gets into your subscribers’ inbox, avoid using words and characters that scream spam to the email police, like “Free,” “Best Price,” and “Bonus.” Dollar signs and percentage signs can also be dangerous territory.

Make it Easy to Unsubscribe

People don’t want to feel like they’re trapped. Ease their worries by adding an unsubscribe link at the bottom of your emails.

person typing on keyboard

Send Content They Really Care About

It can be tempting to go on and on promoting products in your emails. This action, however, could push your subscriber to unsubscribe from your email list. Think about the recipients first when you’re creating the content for your emails. This is about them — not you.

People want substance that can add value to their lives. The content you deliver should entertain or educate them (or both!).

Include a Call-to-Action

You can ask your subscriber to follow your social media accounts, try out a product for free, or buy your products at a discount. Every email should include some sort of CTA, to try to keep recipients engaged longer.

6. Claim Your Yelp and Google My Business Pages

Online business directories are the best friends of small businesses. Why? Simple.

They Make Your Business More Searchable on Google

Yelp and Google My Business can help a lot with your SEO. They expose your business to people within your vicinity who are searching for things related to your brand. More people will become familiarized with you.

They Drive More Traffic to Your Website

If you have a website and you add it to your online directory listing, you’re making it more visible. This drives additional traffic to your website. More traffic = more recognition = a greater opportunity to convert visitors into customers.

Online Directories Make Your Business Look More Credible

Being present in online directories makes your business look more credible to users who are searching for information about you.

7. Create and Share Videos Regularly

Did you know that videos perform exceptionally well on social media? This is because our brains process videos better than text. There’s a reason we’re all so obsessed with YouTube.

Videos are skyrocketing on social media — this is no coincidence. They’re incredibly engaging and convert more people than any other type of creative. Also, it’s the best way to get an emotional reaction out of your followers. If you want to improve your conversion rate, creating good video content can help. Here are a few ideas.

Tutorial Videos

If you have hacks, how-to ideas, DIYs, and other related content on your social media feed and/or website, it can help you with your engagement and possibly with your conversion rates.

person holding video camera

Informational Videos

Do you have something specific you want to educate your followers on? Informational videos can be incredibly powerful.

Live Videos

If you’re launching a product or holding an event, live social media videos are an excellent way to share it with your followers. Both Instagram and Facebook are perfect for this.

8. Collaborate With Other Small/Medium Businesses and Brands

Eighth on our list of small business marketing tips is collaboration! Having a mutual marketing promotion agreement with other companies can become a powerful tool for improving engagement and conversions. This collaboration can help your business in a lot of ways.

It Reduces Expenses

The most obvious advantage of doing a collaboration is that it helps cut down on the cost of promotion since it will be shared by both parties. This allows you to allocate more funds elsewhere, as needed.

It Provides More Exposure

Having a partnership with another brand opens more opportunities for exposure to their respective audiences.

You Can Earn Prestige

If you’re collaborating with a bigger brand, you’ll be able to take advantage of their prestige. Furthermore, if that brand has a stellar reputation, your company will gain more credibility.

You Utilize Each Brand’s Strength

Two heads are better than one. Forming a partnership with another business will enable you to utilize each other’s strengths to produce a more powerful campaign.

9. Have a Referral Program

Another excellent way to boost sales conversion is through a referral program. You can offer this program to existing customers or even to your followers. Ask them to share a link to your product on their website, through email, or through social media platforms. If someone clicks on the link and successfully subscribes or purchases your product, then they receive an incentive — which can be in the form of a product, discount coupons, vouchers, and even monetary compensation.

women talking on swings

10. Offer Free Trials or Giveaways

Providing your prospects with a means to try out your product or service can also help convert them into paying customers.

Another option would be to offer an email-based giveaway in exchange for their basic information. This is a great segue into email marketing, and you’ll be able to nurture these prospects into customers.

11. If You Have A Brick-and-Mortar, Promote in Person

Finally, promoting your brand shouldn’t only be done online. Do you have a physical location? Hang signs asking people to “check in” there, as well as leave you reviews on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. You’d be surprised — sometimes, you can get people to do these things simply by asking.

You don’t need to be a huge business to reap the rewards from utilizing digital marketing. Try these 11 small business marketing tips to spruce up your marketing strategy and see which ones produce the best results for you.

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