With technology advancing it’s vital for businesses to be online to ensure survival and growth, we are now living in a mobile-first world and as a business, you must keep up with the consumers. As of the recent pandemic, a lot of the bigger giants such as Microsoft and other retail stores have realised the higher demand for online purchases, therefore closing stores and adapting their online activity, demonstrating the importance of evolving with consumer behaviour.
A website or a landing page is a key factor for your business to be online, having a website makes your business more reputable and provides a space to direct customers to. It can be difficult to know which website platform to go for, many have different features, different price points and the practicality for maybe the less tech-savvy of small businesses.
If you do have a website already, great start! Now try and focus on its performance, is the loading speed of the page under 3 seconds? Is it mobile optimised? Have you got tracking in place?
Google My Business (GMB) is a great tool, especially if you are trying to reach customers locally. We’ve all done a ‘near me’ search right? Your business can appear on the top of the page with other similar businesses in the area, where potential customers can get directions, see opening hours, contact your business or see your reviews.
Even if you are an online business and are not interested in gaining people locally, it's still a great tool for your business to include important information and be seen as reputable by searchers.
Before you jump on every channel of social media, you have to look at how appropriate each channel is for your business, each has a different type of audience and content style so it’s always best to do some research. If you’re a small law firm, you wouldn’t want your business to appear on Instagram, however, if you’re running a small jewellery business, Instagram is the best place to present your products.
Another factor to take into account is how much time do you have to be active and present? How much time do you have to create content to publish? If you don’t have time to be on four platforms, start off with one and like your business, grow it. Social media is the best place to engage and connect with your audience, which leads me to my next point.
Your customers are your new best friends! Connecting with your audience and having business-to-consumer rapport is one of the most important factors of growth, you’ll be surprised at how effective word-of-mouth is.
To connect with your consumers, engage in messages, encourage and optimise your reviews, create engaging content for your social media such as polls, take note of customer feedback as criticism is usually the best feedback you can receive (although it may not feel like it at the time of receiving).
Reflect, listen and build.
45% of small businesses are participating in paid advertising on social and pay-per-click platforms. However, we know that there is a lot of hesitancy with small businesses starting to advertise, reasons may include lack of budget, lack of knowledge or lack of support. Our advice is to do your research, spend some time looking at the platforms that could be most effective for you whether it be Facebook, Google, Microsoft etc.
Each channel has different methods of reaching your audience, begin with a small budget and analyse all incoming data to see where it can be optimised. You can also reach out to us via the CampaignHero app, where we are more than happy to give you the best steer of direction and get you started.
Respond to negative feedback, host live videos on social media, share behind the scenes images, prioritise your authenticity as a business, you’ll be surprised at customers brand loyalty.
Personalise and add character to your business, make the service you provide almost a personal encounter, as small businesses are competing with bigger brands its important to personalise all online and offline activity. Here are some ideas:
Online: Add character to your social media- use customer testimonials, add customer content, stream live videos, show how-tos and step-by-steps behind the scenes footage.
Offline: Add personalised business cards, more of a focus on packaging, loyalty cards.
Try and collaborate with strong influencers in your industry, a good recommendation from someone knowledgeable in the industry can generate new business as well as gain some social proof and authenticity of your business.
Creating these brand advocates and reaching out to potential partnerships can really build your brand quickly, just make sure you really refine your proposal and your approach.
Data and having analytics in place is one of the most important things to have as part of your marketing strategy for both small and large businesses. With the correct conversion tracking put in place on your website, it enables you to see audience behaviour and where customers are getting stuck in your marketing funnel.
This is one thing small businesses struggle with as it can be quite a complicated thing to set-up if you aren't to tech-smart, that’s why we’ve set up a free service to help assist you set-up tracking for your website.
So there you have it, nine (hopefully) helpful tips to better your small business marketing strategy, there is a lot more depth to be explored in regard to digital marketing, as technology seems to be continuously growing.
Head over to our social media channels for more tips and tricks in the small business marketing world.