5 Effective Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses

As per Investopedia, a marketing strategy refers to a business’s overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services. A marketing strategy contains the company’s value proposition, key brand messaging, data on target customer demographics and other high-level elements.

Hence, marketing strategies play a critical role in establishing a product – market fit and also establishes a narrative of the business in terms of its key value proposition.

It’s not what you sell that matters as much as how you sell it!” — Brian Halligan, CEO & Co-Founder, HubSpot

Once you’ve achieved a product – market fit, your growth is simply a matter of smart marketing on the front end and a good customer retention on the backend. It’s also advisable that if someone is new to the field of marketing should hire a marketing consultant.

There is no specific mantra in a Marketing Strategy

There is no magic stick neither in the hand of the businesses or marketing consultants. The goal of marketing head or a marketing consultant is to connect your business’ value to the right customer base. It’s a very simple concept which can be used in a million different ways.

  • Your business and customers below to what demographics?
  • Where do they live?
  • Where do your prospective customers hang out online?
  • How do they search for products or services within your industry?
  • Who do they listen when making decisions relative to your products or services?
  • What and how many steps they follow before finally heading for a purchase? etc.

The answers to all of these above questions determine which marketing strategies will be viable and which will be a waste of time.

In other words, the key to success for your business may not be social media ads, Google AdWords, SEO, networking, hiring a marketing consultant etc.

As mentioned earlier, there is no magic stick or an universal strategy either in the hands of the businesses or a hired marketing consultant that will revolutionise your business. I do not have a clue as to what will work for you, because I don’t know you neither your business nor your customers.

But I believe that you have a profound knowledge about your business! And it’s quite obvious that you know your customer base as well! If not please ensure while hiring a marketing consultant, as to whether he or she has a profound understanding.

I am putting across five such highly effective marketing / digital marketing strategies which can be of great help and use for a relatively small business to scale up within a very short span.

Let’s get started!

  1. Social Media Advertising (Facebook + Instagram + LinkedIn):
  2. Millions of small and medium size businesses advertise on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, as a part of their digital marketing strategy, in order to acquire customers for their services and products. As we all know that billions on people across the globe live, engage, persuade, sell, suggest, provides opinions on the above mentioned platforms on a daily basis. Hence every marketing consultants recommend advertising an promoting one’s products and services on these platforms, as it becomes imperative to gain visibility, reach, sales and finally advocacy.

    As marketers and marketing consultants we are in the business of day trading attention hence, I would strongly suggest the following types of advertising on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

    In Facebook a small business can start with boosting a post, which includes certain attributes of the businesses products or services with a call to action on the respective product or service page on the corporate website.

    One can also explore Facebook’s Carousel Ads and Lead Generation Ads to drive conversion on the respective platforms.

    Similarly on Instagram you can run Video Ads, Carousel Ads, Story Ads, Shopping Ads, IGTV Ads etc. All these Ads can be mapped towards conversion / sales from a specific landing page or website.

    In the social platforms like FB and Instagram, Ads can be targeted based on customer attributes like demographics, psychographics, preferences, likes, opt in’s, age, income, gender and many more, at a cost which is quite affordable for small businesses and start up’s. Hence you can be rest assured of reach and engagement if your products and services have the right value proposition.

    LinkedIn on the contrary is the largest professional network alongside a very strong digital marketing platform on the planet having an user base of more than 750 million. If it is used most effectively, it can reach out to key customers of specific industries. The targeting options on LinkedIn are so narrow that specific designated individuals of specific organisations can be targeted with a product of LinkedIn known as the “Sales Navigator” (offered on an individual and corporate subscription models). LinkedIn can also be used for boosting posts, targeting relevant industries, demographics, type of businesses and many more.

    Though LinkedIn is a bit more expensive in terms of advertisement, but still is suggested by most marketing consultants, as in the long run it can provide magical results for a small business in terms of scaling.

  3. Google My Business  – Listing
  4. Ranking on Google My Business, popularly abbreviated as – GMB listing is one of the most powerful things you can do for your business, as most marketing consultants would suggest it.

    If you are running a local business, then GMB listing is one of the most effective digital marketing tools which can work wonders for you in the short – term.

    GMB rankings are usually shown before organic search results and if you can rank your GMB listing in the first three, you can acquire highly qualified leads without spending a penny on ads.

    If you have an unique brand name, you can even get a large display with all your company details like address, contact details, location etc.

    GMB immediately gives your business credibility and visibility, and if you run a local business, it should be the number one on your priority list alongside other digital marketing initiatives.

  5. Content Marketing & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  6. To begin with let’s start with some facts as derived from neilpatel.com, and which are as follows:

    • 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing as a part of digital marketing strategy.
    • 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day.
    • Content marketing as a digital marketing strategy costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.
    • 78% of CMO’s believe that custom content is the future of marketing.

    Hence it’s a no brainer that content marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies available to marketers in terms of generating the highest ROI among all marketing initiatives, and are on the top priority list of all marketing consultants. We can simply say this, as small businesses have budget restrictions, in that case content marketing becomes one of the most effective ploy withing the digital marketing space to generate leads and sales. Contents can be in the form of blogs, small product or service related videos, podcasts etc.

    Search Engine Optimisation or commonly known as (SEO), on the other hand can be another handy tool which enables organic relevant traffic on a website. Content marketing and SEO often go hand – in – hand as relevant content with contextual keywords becomes the back bone of Off Page optimisation – one of the techniques used by SEO experts to rank webpages higher on SERP’s (Search Engine Result Pages), and it’s also a number one strategy recommended by major marketing consultants within digital marketing strategies.

    Hence we can simply conclude that a good combination of Content Marketing and SEO is a formula for success among the digital marketing strategies deployed by small businesses, if adopted in the right way and with proper tactics.

  7. Google AdWords:
  8. As per hubspot.com, it is estimated that Google processes 63,000 searches every second, translating to 5.6 billion searches per day and approximately 2 trillion global searches per year.

    It is quite evident that majority of the products or services are searched on Google search across the globe. Hence Google AdWords become one of the most effective platforms / channels and most recommended by marketing consultants, whereby small and medium businesses can put their bets alongside other digital marketing strategies and get phenomenal results in a very short time as the whole engine / ecosystem is driven by the process of CPC (Cost Per Click) and a bidding model, which is real time.

    Ten years back the platform was one of the most budget friendly one’s and it was the first choice for all digital marketing consultants but over time it gained popularity among all other digital marketing strategies and now it is competitively prices with seasonal fluctuations, as bid rates vary for certain range of products or services based on the seasonality factors and specific demands.

    There are modalities as defined by Google in terms of keyword bid price fluctuations, which are based on multiple factors like Quality Score, continuity of a campaign / campaigns, amount spent on the platform, relevancy of the keywords searched as compared to the keywords present on the website etc.

    To conclude in simple terms it can be narrated that Google AdWords works as it’s based on users intent of acquiring certain products and services online and hence the rate of conversion is much higher and faster than the normal vanilla advertising. Hence every marketing consultant along and myself included would recommend every small or medium businesses to explore Google AdWords as it is the most effective digital marketing strategy available to gain customers within  a very short time.

  9. Email Marketing:
  10. As per Wikipedia, Email Marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered as email marketing. It involves using emails to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donation.

    Let’s explore some facts about Email Marketing!

    • In 2019, global email users amounted to approximately 3.9 billion.
    • The figure is set to grow to 4.3 billion users by 2023 with the growth of digital marketing.
    • It is estimated that over 347.3 billion emails would be sent daily in 2022.
    • More than 85% of marketers use email marketing to disseminate their content.

    Therefore it become a no – brainer that email marketing was effective in the past and will continue to be better as more and more people would adopt the same for content dissemination, and creating a pull for their respective products or services. Email marketing is the most cost effective digital marketing  tool as most marketing consultants would recommend for small and medium size businesses, as it provides them the opportunity to target individuals by various types of mails like company / business introduction, providing product or service information, providing relevant product or service features and advantages, making sales pitches, nurture leads over a period of time and many more.

    Though email marketing has its advantages as most marketing consultants would state as a digital marketing tool, but there are a few drawbacks as well.

    In email marketing you must have a proper database of email id’s of individuals, whom you would send emails as often times this data collection becomes a pain and often we are faced with invalid email id’s, as they are often acquired by third party agencies or digital marketing campaigns, which fails to provide a hundred percent full authentic data.

    As promotional emails are usually sent out in bulk as part of a digital marketing strategy, hence you need a white listed mail server as there is a strong possibility to get blacklisted if you use your own company servers.

    Finally, all web based email services like Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo Mail etc., have customised parameters to allow emails into users inbox, as it’s often found that promotional or sales driven emails land in junk folders, which makes the whole email campaign process a waste of money, time and energy. To conclude, though email marketing may have a few downsides, but still it remains the first choice for all marketing consultants as an integral part of a digital marketing strategy.

    Key Takeaways

    1. A marketing strategy is a business game plan for reaching out to prospective consumers and consumers who are sitting on the fence and turning them into paying customers.
    2. As per majority of the marketing consultants marketing strategies should revolve around company’s value proposition.
    3. The ultimate goal of a marketing strategy is to achieve and communicate a sustainable competitive advantage over rival companies.

    Therefore to conclude, there are many more marketing strategies which can be applied and are also cost effective in the digital marketing space and offline space, which can be used by marketers and marketing consultants for product and service marketing. All marketing strategies has its own advantages and disadvantages, as it is up to the respective businesses to deploy the one which suits them best, based on the budgets, immediate business requirements and long – term business goals.

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