Marketing is a daunting task. There is no magic formula that leads to instant success. Like most things in life, marketing is a marathon. A slow jog that ends at a predetermined goal. But most runners can’t just start a marathon without training beforehand — it ends in them most often not reaching the finish line. So to bring this analogy full circle, testing and implementing various marketing strategies is the business equivalent to training for the (marketing) marathon.
But when it comes to small businesses, marketing isn’t always an area they are able to allocate a lot of resources. Small business marketing is concerned with effectiveness and budget control. Therefore, when business owners weigh their marketing efforts, they are cognizant of what type of return they will see in both the short and long-term.
We’ve broken down this blog into two segments: essential and experimental.
Our essential category entails marketing avenues and strategies that we believe are mandatory to the marketing and financial success of a small business in 2020. The experimental group showcases ideas and methods that small businesses may be hesitant to try due to budget concerns, ROI questions, and overall effectiveness. However, some of these strategies are producing the best results within the marketing space.
Essential Marketing Strategies
Without question, your small business needs to implement these strategies in your everyday marketing in order to build, grow, and retain a positive lead flow. Ignoring these strategies will most likely further delay or complicate the scaling and selling of your products and/or services.
While a website isn’t a marketing strategy, it does serve as the central hub of your business. Your website is the equivalent to a 21st-century business card — plus a lot more. To provide the best consumer experience, a well-designed, functioning website is necessary. Additionally, almost all other marketing strategies need to be intertwined with a website in order to funnel your leads.
Google My Business
While also not necessarily a marketing strategy, setting up and maintaining a Google My Business profile is critical to establishing your online presence. Google is the largest search engine in the world, and every second, billions of searches are conducted on the platform for things like restaurants, hardware stores, beauty salons, doctor offices, and more. Building your Google My Business profile helps customers find your website, physical store location, contact information, customer reviews, and more. Without this setup, you’re going to struggle to catch potential customers looking for a business like yours.
Search engine optimization is a low-budget, high return marketing strategy. An SEO marketing strategy helps build elevate your website and online authority. Through optimizing the technical and content side of your website, you provide a better consumer experience and also cater to search engine preferences — helping improve your ranking position.
Organic Social Media
Social media has quickly transformed from a fun networking space for friends and family — now into a serious advertising environment for businesses. Organic social media requires little financial investment but can render a large and steady following. Organic social media continues to prove how there are fewer better brand awareness tactics than itself.
Experimental Marketing Strategies
These marketing tactics provide small businesses with the possibility of fast rewards and bigger direct reach. However, they present a large upfront cost and are more experimental in their method compared to previously listed strategies.
Take the power of social media and then double it. Influencer marketing has just caught on in the last few years but quickly has become a fan favorite for many advertisers and businesses. This marketing strategy leverages the popularity of individuals on various social platforms and compensates them for promoting your product or service to their audience. This enables businesses to speak directly to large audiences that they believe align with their target audience description.
In just a year or two, programmatic advertising might be the only way we advertise. Of course, that is hyperbole, but the upcoming paid tactic is producing some of the best ROI seen — and with increased hyper-targeting possibilities. Through real-time bidding, you can place paid ads where you believe your target audience lives — from streaming services like Hulu to private websites like The New York Times. The beauty with programmatic is that almost nothing is off-limits. If ad space exists, you can probably place an ad.
It feels unfair to call video marketing experimental because it’s not. The method has been tried and tested — and video ads produce the highest rate of engagement of any ad type. However, video can be hard to perfect based on a company’s product or service, therefore proper storytelling needs to be thought out. Additionally, video production can be pricy, but it often yields evergreen content that will be valuable for years to come.