How to Market Your Small Business: 9 Easy Steps
Chasing a passion and starting a small business is no small feat. Running a successful small business requires you to manage each aspect of your business effectively.
From daily operations to accounting tasks, marketing often slips through the cracks. Yet marketing is a necessary skill set for the long-term success of your company.
A potent small business market strategy can help your small business generate sales and remain profitable.
1. Establish a Brand Voice and Image
The first step is to establish a brand voice and image. After all, before you can market your small business, you need to determine what your small business is and what you represent.
Your brand voice is the recognizable personality your brand takes on in its communications.
For example, let’s say you attend a party and speak with all the guests.
One person stands out because they’re excellent at storytelling in a compelling way. The way their words flow gracefully, the language they use, and their charisma all combine to forge an unforgettable experience.
This is what you should strive for with your brand voice and image — something unique, memorable, and captivating.
So, Who Is Your Brand Online?
If your small business is a person, what personality traits would they take on, and which would they avoid? What stylistic choices and phrases does your brand use consistently?
Establishing clear branding guidelines lets small business owners zero in on the most important thing of all:
Its target demographic and customer base.
It also helps you remain consistent in your brand image and voice in all future marketing creations.
Establish Your USP
First things first, establish your unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP is what differentiates you from your competitors.
If there’s no difference between you and the competition, there’s no rhyme or reason a buyer would choose your business.
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2. Research Your Target Audience
To optimize your small business marketing budget, start by learning where your target audience lives online and who they are. This information allows you to cater your brand to these people and run targeted advertisements.
You’ll also know which social media platforms to focus on and what content style they might enjoy.
What Makes Small Business Marketing Different
A common mistake small businesses make is thinking anyone is a buyer.
While larger enterprises can appeal to a broad market, small businesses must hone in on specific niches or sectors of people.
Now, a niche is where you have the most leverage as a small business. But to develop a niche and appeal to buyers, you also need to understand your customers.
For example, you should know their problems, pains, triggering events, and priorities.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What’s pushing them to make a purchasing decision?
- What does it look like if these individuals succeed?
- How do they interact with brands?
- Who do they look to when they’re making decisions?
- What type of language do they use?
Knowing these answers will help you develop brand messaging that relates and makes a compelling case for your solution.
Choose Your Target Market
Start by thinking about your current customers and who they are. Who is most likely to buy your products or hire you?
With these details, you can build a customer avatar or ideal customer. Your target market should have an inherent need for your products and be willing to pay for your offers.
3. Create a Website
Creating a website for your small business is a necessity. Without a fully-fledged website, your customers can’t find you and learn about your small business.
You’re essentially invisible.
Your website should outline your services, benefits, and pricing if you have a service-based business. On the other hand, small eCommerce businesses should list all their products and offers.
Here’s what small business owners like you need to know about establishing a website:
Hire a Professional Designer
Now more than ever, the quality of your website plays a big role in how well your small business performs digitally. But, of course, well-made websites are much more effective than sloppy sites.
So, no matter what type of small business you run, hiring a professional designer is a solid start to your marketing strategy.
A professional web designer can build your business a website from scratch that matches your brand and appeals to your customers.
What Should Be On Your Website?
Your business’s website should focus on simplicity, high-quality images, transparency, and speed. (Speed is vital because slow-loading websites cause users to leave before it has a moment to load.)
Website visitors should also learn what your business does and why your products and services benefit them. Your website should also have a section where potential customers can contact you.
Track Your Website’s Data
Think of your website as a 24/7 salesperson instead of a simple brochure.
It’s the most powerful marketing tool you can rely on because it never shuts down or closes shop for lunch. So, it’s essential to understand how to convert traffic and turn them into leads or sales.
This tactic involves viewing your website traffic data in Google Analytics. It also includes key metrics like session duration, bounce rate, and top pages. Then, once your website is fully designed and built, you can shift your focus to conversion rate optimization.
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4. Claim Your Business Online
Another successful marketing strategy to boost your small business’s visibility is to claim your business online.
Doing so involves setting up and claiming a business profile on Google. Then, your customers can easily find you when they Google search for your business through Google’s search engine.
A Google Business Profile allows you to set your small business’s name, address, and phone number.
With a Google Business Profile, local customers can visit your business’s physical location or call for more information. That’s right, your small business’s physical location will appear on Google Maps.
Other perks include allowing customers to leave reviews and interacting with former clients on a public forum.
Best of all, creating a Google Business Profile is free.
All you have to do is verify ownership of your listing through your free Google Business Profile account. Once verified, you can optimize your business listing to show more helpful information to your customers.
5. Leverage Social Media
The modern way of growing a small business is by leveraging social media. As you may know, social media is the new gold rush because businesses that leverage it properly can grow into global brands.
A well-planned and well-executed social media marketing strategy can take your small business from 0 to 100.
Spend some time learning about social media and brainstorming marketing ideas on how you can grow your startup online.
For instance, you can research different platforms to decide which would work best within your niche and for your business, like:
Based on the target audience you determined earlier, you can decide which platform your audience lives on. You can also work with a freelance content strategist who can provide professional guidance.
Why Social Media?
There are over 4 billion active social media users around the world. And with the help of these platforms and the right content, you can drive a large amount of organic traffic to your website.
Social media apps are so powerful because you can reach an audience of thousands — or millions — in seconds.
Compare that to reaching an audience of that size with in-person marketing strategies.
It could take months to deliver millions of flyers to different homes around the country. But it can take less than a day to receive a million impressions on a video you post.
The key word here is “leverage.”
6. Create Content
To use social media to your benefit, you’ll need to create engaging content and excellent social media posts. After all, social media revolves around content in announcements, pictures, and videos.
Creating social media content requires creativity, determination, and trial and error. Yet, if you successfully create trending or viral content consistently, you’ve found the fastest path to rapid growth.
Some different types of content you can create are:
- Product demonstrations
- New product reveals
- Behind the scenes at the headquarters
- Niche guides
- Video marketing
- and much, much more
The opportunities for creativity are endless with social media. But the best advice we can give is to get started as soon as you can and create as much content as possible.
Be Open to New Types of Content
You never know what type of content will resonate best with your audience until you try it. So don’t be afraid to try everything — and then some.
Once you find a successful content style, continue building on that specific style and make it part of your brand.
Create an Email List
Here’s an extra marketing tip:
Build an email list and create an email marketing strategy. Email marketing is a low-cost way to drive traffic to your website and build a loyal fan base while generating a large return on investment.
7. Run Advertisements
Do you know the best part of creating all this content and finding your winning content style?
You can use it to run advertisements through digital marketing.
For example, if you have a product video your audience loves, you can use the same video and run ads on your chosen social media platforms.
The most popular social media platforms to run ads on are TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
Try to learn how these ad platforms work and get well-acquainted with them. You can then use marketing campaigns to grow brand awareness and increase sales online.
The Secret — Start Now
Social media ad platforms are highly advanced in finding the perfect customer. And, you don’t even need to enter your target demographic. That’s because platforms like TikTok and Facebook rely on user data to determine who would respond best to your ads.
That said, the key step is to get started as soon as possible.
You’ll need to spend time and money learning what’s best for you and your local business. But, advertising is also fundamental to running a successful small business.
Try Influencer Marketing
Besides running paid social media ads and Facebook ads, you can also try influencer marketing.
At its simplest, influencer marketing is a collaboration with a digital influencer on social media. With large followings, these users promote your products on their social media and marketing channels.
8. Create Blog Content
Beyond the social media content you create, writing in-depth blog content can also be an effective marketing strategy.
When done correctly, blogging can attract new customers and build a loyal fan base of regular readers.
Your digital content must:
- Be valuable to would-be customers
- Contain helpful images
- Lean on search engine optimization (SEO) strategies
- Use content marketing
The first step is your content. Next, you can create content related to your small business’s niche.
For example, say you sell organic skincare products or become a freelance hair stylist. In this case, blog content about skincare tips and beauty guides would relate to your ideal customers and provide helpful advice.
But you shouldn’t create just any type of content.
9. Offer an Unparalleled Customer Experience
There’s no denying it; there’s an overload of competition among small businesses in the digital age. In fact, dozens of small businesses will likely sell the same product or provide the same service as you.
So how do you stand out in these market conditions?
With one of the best small business marketing strategies that exists — offering an over-the-top customer experience.
That includes out-of-this-world customer support, product packaging, brand voice, and website optimization.
You can always improve some aspect of your small business, from your customer win-back emails and landing pages to your website’s offers and referral program.
By offering your customers an unparalleled customer experience, they will instinctively rank you above your competitors and come back to make repeat purchases.
So, think about the typical journey of one of your customers, from the advertisement to the sale. Then, think about their pain points and how you can improve each step of their journey.
This visualization and brainstorming process will help you create the best customer experience possible.
As with any business, marketing plays a big role in the success or failure of a small business.
But with these guidelines and marketing tactics from resources like Gigly, you can grow your own business and online presence in no time.