It’s not easy to grow a small business.
It takes work, dedication, and an understanding of what organic digital marketing can do for you.
And while it may seem like the only thing that marketers do is pay to promote products, there are actually many ways to market your company without spending money on ads or other promotions.
In this blog post, we’ll go over 11 small business marketing tips to help your small business with effective lead generation and awesome conversion rates.
These content marketing tips are easy to follow and don’t require a lot of money, so they’re perfect for small businesses on a budget.
But first, let’s go through how digital marketing works for small business owners.
What is the Average Return on Investment for Small Business Marketing?
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
The average return on investment (ROI) for small business marketing will vary depending on the industry, the products or services being offered, and the target market.
That said, there are some general things to keep in mind when it comes to calculating the marketing ROI for your small business.
First, it’s important to know that marketing ROI is a calculation of the returns you earn from a marketing campaign compared to the revenue your company was making before executing the said marketing campaign.
For this reason, it is always better to calculate the ROI for each marketing campaign separately.
That being said, here are some things to consider when determining your digital marketing ROI:
- How much did you spend on the marketing campaign?
- What was the marketing campaign’s goal?
- How much additional revenue did the campaign generate?
- What were the costs associated with generating that additional revenue (labor, tools, promotions)?
Once you have all of that information, you can calculate your small business marketing ROI easily.
How Do You Develop a Marketing Plan for a Small Business?
The first step to developing a marketing plan for your small business is defining the product or service.
What does it do?
How does it work?
Who can benefit from it?
As you develop and refine your product or service, also think about how you want to promote it.
What features make it stand out from the competition?
What benefits does it deliver?
Once you have your product or service firmly in mind, start thinking about how to promote it.
What kind of campaigns can you run?
How much money will each campaign cost?
When should each campaign begin and end?
When you have the answers to these questions, you will be confident in your journey to market your product or service.
11 Small Business Marketing Tips and How to Implement Them
As you decide which campaigns to run and how to balance your expenses and revenue, keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all marketing campaign.
There are many types of content you can create for your business, like blog posts, infographics, white papers, case studies, videos, and webinars.
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.
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 overarching social media marketing goals.
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.
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.
Creating high-quality and relevant content and setting a particular time for when to post them can help improve your social media marketing 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 in additional revenue, isn’t that a pretty good ROI?
Definitely! This is the power of paid advertising on social media. It truly can work wonders.
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 in 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.
Send Content They Really Care About
It can be tempting to go on and on promoting products in your content marketing campaigns. This can could push your subscribers 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
Presence 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 in social media marketing?
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.
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.
Do you have something specific you want to educate your followers on? Informational videos can be incredibly powerful.
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.
You can watch this video for some more ideas:
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.
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.
Follow these small business marketing tips to increase conversions and boost your ROI.
From developing a marketing plan to running digital ads, there’s always something you can do to improve the efficiency of your sales process and generate revenue for years to come.
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.