- The logo representing the brand should be easily recognizable, convey a message to the individual about what your brand stands for, and be simple enough to stick in the customer’s mind.
- For Search Engine Optimization to be most effective, blog frequently and publish the best content possible for your potential customers to interact with on your site.
- Sponsor a local event. Make sure the community knows you support them. Cover the event in a blog post and on social media and reiterate how important the cause is.
If you own a small business, you can compete with much larger competitors with these strategies. You won’t need a massive marketing budget to make your business stand out from the competition.
Your Brand and Logo
All of your marketing materials, from your website to your direct mail postcards, should reflect your brand. Your brand isn’t your logo; it is the colors, font and tone of your content you choose to represent your brand’s personality. Branding also positions your small business in the industry among all the other brands that may provide a similar service or product. The logo representing the brand should be easily recognizable, convey a message to the individual about what your brand stands for, and be simple enough to stick in the customer’s mind. How you represent yourself to the world both visually and through customer service speaks volumes for who you are. Many people make the decision to go to one company or another based off the reputation of the brand, or the first impression the brand gives them. A strong logo and brand can be the best forms of marketing you could hope to have.
A website is almost necessary in this digital age. Potential customers will want to learn more about your products or services before contacting you, and will expect you have a place online to research what you offer. Since your website is a person’s first impression of your brand, it should inspire trust and make it easy for visitors to find what they want, in addition to being visually appealing. Everything should function quickly, including links, contact forms and the click-to-call feature for mobile visitors. Make important information easy to find. If you’ve ever been on a website where you spend over a minute or two looking around and still have no clue what the company offers, this is a good example of a poor website. Sites like that end up not retaining customers who may have otherwise been impressed with their products and become loyal customers! If people are taking the time to look at what you sell, make their experience an easy one.
The importance of being seen online for a small company is unmistakable. By appearing higher up than your competitor on search engines such as Google, you will quickly start discovering more customers online. For Search Engine Optimization to be most effective, blog frequently and publish the best content possible for your potential customers to interact with on your site. If you’re a local small business, you can get found in the local three pack by building citations, optimizing your Google and Bing business listing and ensuring your site is mobile-friendly.
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Establish a Social Media Presence
Choose several social media platforms to promote your business. Nearly everyone uses Facebook, so post there regularly without promoting your business in every post. Some businesses use Twitter to address customer concerns. Use Pinterest if your business sells products with visual appeal. Creating YouTube videos is another way to drive traffic to your website. Create how-to videos, product demonstrations or whatever topic is appropriate for your small business.
Build an opt-in email list. Many leads don’t buy right away, and keeping your name in front of them with a newsletter once a week or a special offer can be important. If you are having trouble building an email list, give away a whitepaper, WordPress template or whatever might interest your target audience. If you are just getting started, MailChimp offers a free service if you have 2,000 or fewer subscribers. The success rate of email marketing is competitive to most other forms of marketing is not only effective, but free to use – two qualities of great importance to small companies.
Answer Questions Online
Go on question-and-answer sites like Quora and Yahoo Answers and find questions related to your business. Answer questions with detailed, helpful answers, and include a link to your website. Don’t spam; never mention your business name except for your link. People will visit your site if they see you as an authority.
Direct Mail and Merchandise
If you’re a local business, direct mail is an affordable way to reach potential customers in your community. Small businesses use direct mail because it has an excellent return on your investment compared to other forms of marketing. Postcards are the most effective, especially when they don’t arrive on Monday, the day people get the most mail. Merchandise with your brand’s logo and colors on it are a great way to get your customers to publicize your brand on their own by wearing it around. This strategy has been around for a long time but is still effective, especially if the person wearing the merchandise approves highly of your brand. Encouraging word of mouth among loyal customers can be an extremely effective form of marketing.
Other Offline Marketing Strategies
Join your local Chamber of Commerce and take advantage of events they sponsor for local businesses. Even if you’re strictly an online business, you can still encourage people in the local community to visit your website.
Sponsor a local event. Make sure the community knows you support them. Cover the event in a blog post and on social media and reiterate how important the cause is. Try to find an event related to your business for the most impact.