Marketing can easily become very time-consuming and expensive especially if you're a small business, but it's absolutely necessary for every business to grow. In this article, I've written 5 marketing must-do's for all small businesses. This includes free tools that you can use to instantly boost your efficiency when marketing.
1. Establish your brand identity
One of the most important thing that you should do as small business is to develop a brand identity that people can associate your products/services with. Your brand is the face of your company, the first impression that people have your business. If you don't know what your brand represents, your customers would not either.
Now more than ever, people are invested in businesses that contribute to the greater good in the world. 8 in 10 Americans surveyed say that they are more loyal to purpose-based brands than traditional brands. My biggest advice for you is to utilize purpose-based branding to develop your brand.
Learn more about purpose-based branding and why it's important here.
2. Build a strong social media presence
This has become a mandatory for every business in the past decade as everyone is on social media! So unless your audience involves the older generation (70+), everyone and their moms are out there scrolling. Your business should be there to capture the eyeballs of your target audience when they're leisurely browsing through social.
One common question that startup owners ask is: How do I market my small business for free? Organic social media is a free and easy method to get in front of your customers, tell them about your new products/services, build your brand identity and loyalty, and tell your brand story.
With new and emerging social media platforms such as TikTok, it's getting easier to go viral without paying a DIME. If your audience falls within the range of 16 to 34, you should definitely consider using TikTok as a platform. Out of 80 million users in the US, 80% of these users are within 16 to 34 years old with the average user spending 52 minutes a day. That's a lot of time spent on a social media platform!
3. Set up a Google My Business account
Whether you're a product or service-based business, get yourself on Google My Business. Google My Business will create a business listing for you on Google, making it more likely that you'll show up when someone is searching for the type of business you're offering. This is great for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and it only takes less than 30 minutes for you to set it up. If you're working out of your home and don't want to share your address with the public, you don't have to! You can just set the areas that you provide services to.
What is SEO? It's a marketing practice to help increase the quality and quantity of your website traffic, in efforts to gain more exposure through search engine results (such as Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.). To learn more about SEO, check out Method and Metric's blog posts for great SEO tips.
4. Email Marketing
One of the best, most effective and free marketing practices that any business can utilize is email marketing. When a customer has given you their contact, don't just leave them in your inbox or give them a sales call (unless you've determined that they're a super hot lead that has actively shown that they want to convert). Engage and nurture your new contacts into qualified leads, deliver content that is relevant and useful for your customers so they can grow to see you as a thought leader in your area of specialty, and build that trust.
Just because someone gave you their email does not always mean that they're ready to make a purchase.
Educate your customers on information regarding your products or service and use it an opportunity to inform them about new updates and promotions. For example, if you own an Accounting firm, create a series of emails containing valuable information that users get after signing up. Your content should answer common questions or issues that they might have regarding Accounting. Inform them on how they can reduce their tax costs, how to do their own balance sheets etc.
Remember, it takes around 6-8 touch points before a lead makes a purchase so make sure you're engaging with your customers that many times!
5. Automate your marketing processes
One problem that a lot of entrepreneurs share is the need for more time to work on their internal processes, such as marketing.
Luckily for us, there are many tools out there that can make this process easier for us. If you are not using a social media scheduling tool, or an email automation tool, you need to get one now. And yes, there are free tools out there for small businesses! Let technology do the job for you and buy yourself more time.
Here are a couple that I would recommend:
Facebook Creator Studio - Great for basic scheduling of your posts so you can plan your content ahead of time and not worry about posting every week. There's no need to get on paid plans like Hootsuite or Buffer when you're just starting out.
HubSpot Free Tools - HubSpot is an all-in-one CRM system that can integrate your marketing and sales process all onto one platform. It's by the far the best one I've ever come across. The free plan comes with a lot of tools that can help you get started, and once your business grows bigger, you can consider getting the paid plan!
If you need marketing support or help developing the content itself, contact me here and let me help you out.