There are so many online marketing options out there and it can be difficult and overwhelming for small businesses to know what to do and what their best options are. Luckily, we have collected some simple and effective steps to help you market your micro business.
Develop a Clear Marketing Plan
Before you start putting anything into practice, it is crucial to develop a clear marketing plan. This will allow you to pinpoint the prospective customers your business may attract, and start marketing the business to them.
Different customers all have different needs, so, what is it you can offer them? For example, if you’re looking to buy a convenience store, you will attract a large demographic, from elderly customers to teenagers. Putting yourself in the shoes of your buyers will be helpful here.
Identify your Unique Selling Point and use it in your marketing plan
Beginning to develop a plan will give you an idea of your unique selling point. Every business is different, and there are many reasons why buyers will choose yours over another business. Identify the businesses unique selling point and shout about them loud and clear.
Testimonials are powerful too. Start by thinking, why would they want to choose your business compared to others? You can then add these to your plan and strategy.
Set up Google My Business
The first step to implement is to register and set up Google My Business. Google My Business is a free service designed to promote local businesses online. It’s a tool which enables business owners to manage how they appear online across Google and make their business appear as a credible business. The other benefits include:
- Allows you to appear on maps and local listings.
- Allows customers to leave reviews about your business and services.
- Allows you to add posts and images relating to your business.
A verified Google My Business profile enables a business to appear more credible and trustworthy online. Therefore, it increases the likelihood of attracting a potential buyer.
Gain customer reviews
Ask your customers to leave reviews: this could be on Facebook, Google, Trustpilot or even your website. A review is like a recommendation for other potential buyers and will likely influence their decision to use your business. Perhaps you could give anyone who left a review a discount the next time they drop by to say thank you.
Use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is one of the most popular marketing strategies out there because it is extremely effective at increasing the popularity of your website. The results of SEO take quite a long time to take effect, but it is worth the wait.
In short, SEO is the process of improving your website and online presence, both on-page and off-page to improve its rankings in search engines like Google. If your website appears on the first page of Google Search results, it is likely to be seen as an authoritative and credible website. Local SEO will be especially important for small businesses. So giving signals to Google based on your location will be crucial.
Create a mobile friendly site
In today’s world, most people use their mobile devices to browse websites. If your site isn’t optimised for mobile then customers will simply drop off your website and find a competitor to shop with. As a result, it is important to create a mobile friendly site which customers can easily navigate.
Creating engaging and informative content
People love stories so creating emotionally driven content that taps into emotions and resonates with your target buyers is so important. A helpful tip is to create a content calendar to help you post regular and relevant content. This will allow you to keep on top of your blog posts and web content.
You can also research calendar days relevant to your business or industry and create content that speaks to that. For example, if you own a food shop you might like to create a Veganuary campaign across your website and social media.
Network on social media
A massive benefit of having a small business is that you can get to know your customers on an individual basis, and this is where social media comes in. Every business needs a social media presence, particularly as the digital world is constantly growing. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can help you connect with your customers and increase awareness about your brand, and in turn, boost your popularity.
The type of business you are, as well as your target audience, will determine what platforms you should be active on. For example, brands looking to target Gen Z would do well to be present on TikTok and Instagram, whereas those targeting an older audience might find greater success through Facebook.
Social media is also great for sharing and nurturing authentic conversations. These conversations create business awareness and can lead to strong relationships if developed over time. Furthermore, if customers have any quick questions, they can ask on social media for a quickfire response.
Email marketing for personalised communication
Email marketing is so good because it is low cost and extremely effective. It helps nurture a sense of community amongst your buyers and increases the likelihood of them sticking with your business.
Like always, the key to success is creating personalised communications based on buyers interests; a tip would be to use click throughs on emails based on key interest areas to segment the database for deeper targeting. This will allow recipients to feel like the communication is targeted and not general. MailChimp is a good choice for businesses starting out.
Staying on top of online marketing
Put simply, the most important steps to take away from this includes: creating engaging content and focusing on your brand. Any business should focus on the strategies that are most important and valuable to them.
A long term approach is crucial to any marketing strategy. This will focus on making improvement and changes when necessary. A small business owner must stay on top of industry trends and changes in order to continue marketing a business successfully.