Innovative Small Business Marketing Strategies to Maximize ROI
Small Business Digital Marketing
A digital marketing strategy is vital to the overall marketing strategy of a small business. Though all businesses need a solid strategy to succeed, small businesses looking for a local market can maximize sales and awareness with competitive digital marketing strategies.
There are many types of digital marketing that are effective for local, offline small businesses and others that are effective for online small businesses, but most businesses engage a combination of strategies to boost results.
Types of Digital Marketing
There are numerous types of digital marketing that small businesses can use to their advantage, such as:
Local search is a strategy based on website optimization for search results, but it also integrates a search engine’s map function. Your business can be listed with mapping and location information, giving a prospective customer all the information they need to visit your brick-and-mortar business. You should also include a phone number and website address.
Content marketing is centered around giving a prospective customer information about your products or services, as well as general information about your niche. Modern customers are quite savvy and don’t want to be “sold” to, so content marketing aims to provide informative, valuable content that helps consumers solve problems.
In general, prospective customers will assign a certain level of trust and expertise to a company that provides high-quality content. While traditional marketing utilizes content in printed brochures and other physical marketing materials, modern content marketing is done with blog posts, articles, webinars, videos and other online content.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is highly valuable to businesses, but many struggle to integrate their business successfully. The type of social media channels your business should use, as well as how they should be used, depends on the type of business you have and the customers you’re looking to reach.
For some businesses, staying engaged with customers and providing industry news or developments is a vital part of success. For others, such as local restaurants and stores, social media is used to provide customers with information about specials, sales and new additions. Ideally, you’ll use social media to stay in touch with your customers and strengthen your customer base.
Email marketing is vital to online and offline businesses. Email marketing involves building a list of current and prospective customers who are interested in your business by providing a subscription they can opt into. This may include an offer for updates on products, current sales and coupons and other relevant “insider” information.
As your email list grows, it becomes more valuable to your business. In the long term, having a solid email list is a vital part of your small business digital marketing strategy.
Digital Marketing Tactics
Now that we’ve considered the different types of digital marketing you can use for your business, here are several effective tactics you can utilize in your small business digital marketing strategy:
Producing appropriate content is an important part of effective small business digital marketing. Churning out bad or low-quality content that isn’t relevant to your customers can harm your brand, but providing high-quality content helps you improve your brand image, connect with your target audience and boost your profits.
No matter how great your content is, however, it won’t deliver results if it’s not in front of the right audience. You want to create content that will:
- Help your business achieve marketing goals and improve reach.
- Help your audience with their questions and problems.
Finding this balance is challenging for many businesses. Here are some points to focus on:
- Produce content that elicits an emotional reaction from your audience, which encourages people to interact with your brand and share your content.
- Consider the content your competition is creating and see what’s getting the most attention from their customers. You don’t want to produce the same content, as you need to stand out, but it provides you with insight into content your customers may enjoy.
- Ensure your content is useful, practical and relevant to your audience. Customers are searching for content that solves their problems or that may help others, which encourages sharing.
- Create content that focuses on storytelling that’s entertaining and compelling, which helps your audience connect with your brand.
Mobile and Desktop Optimization
Though mobile and desktop marketing may seem similar, there are some important differences that can make or break your strategy. Launching a successful campaign requires understanding how both formats work and how customers use them to interact with your brand.
For desktop users, it’s all about creating a strong user experience. This will keep your visitors on your site longer and encourage them to take a desired action. User experience is about how easy it is to navigate your website and find the needed information, which determines how engaged and connected your target audience feels. Monitor how users are interacting with your site and which pages are the most popular so that you can slowly work on improving user experience.
On mobile, which accounts for the majority of users, you need to make sure that your site is mobile friendly. There’s a huge difference between how sites, images, links, articles and other features look on desktop versus mobile, so it’s vital to ensure your site’s usability is consistent and clear across all devices. Most importantly, check that your website is mobile-responsive and loads quickly, that the text isn’t too small to read easily and that links aren’t so close together that users accidentally click on the wrong ones. This will significantly impact how long users stay on your site, how much information they search for and how well it converts.
Organic Social Media
We’ve already covered the value of social media for your business, but there’s more to building a successful social media strategy.
If you want to leverage social media marketing and reap the most benefits from it, you’ll need to do some research. You should focus on the most popular social media channels that your customers currently use, which requires some background information about your customers. It’s a challenge to maintain consistent, engaging pages on all platforms, so it’s best to know where to focus your efforts.
Once you’ve established the ideal platforms and started your pages, it’s time to focus on content that allows you to create unpaid or organic growth to create long-term stability and trust with your followers. Organic growth has the following benefits for your business:
- Steadily increases your organic reach for free, which gives you more money to invest in your platforms’ paid options to improve your reach.
- Lowers the budget for promoting content on social media.
- Develops social proof to draw more followers and convert them into loyal customers — and a long list of followers helps people trust in your brand.
- Allows you to access the existing network of followers when their followers/friends see them engaging with your content.
Organic social media is a great help to your business, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Many businesses are using social media, and it takes time to build a list of followers who engage with your content regularly. Consistency is key since your followers know that they can count on you to produce quality content on a regular basis, which may give you an edge over competitors who aren’t.
Webinars are growing in popularity with small businesses. A webinar is an online seminar that’s focused on presentation, demonstration or discussion that’s relevant to your business or industry.
Webinars are successful because they are more engaging to customers than normal video content. Webinars begin and end at a specific time, so they create urgency naturally and compel customers to attend. They also end with a question-and-answer session, which serves to increase their perceived value for customers and creates a conversation.
Hosting webinars provides many benefits, such as:
- Connecting and interacting with your customers in real time.
- Answering important questions your audience has.
- Providing value and information to your audience.
- Positioning yourself as a credible industry expert your customers can count on.
- Enhancing sales without a sales pitch.
- Generating high-quality leads that convert.
- Qualifying leads and building lasting business relationships.
- Improving the sales process to get a return on investment.
- Gaining exposure for your brand.
A/B Split Tests
No matter how hard you work on your strategy and campaigns, you won’t know what’s working without testing. If you want your small business marketing efforts to succeed, you should test every aspect of your campaigns, from the smallest details to the larger variables. Knowing what’s working and what’s not will give you a competitive edge over businesses that don’t spend time measuring their success.
For example, you may want to make minor changes to the size or color of your call-to-action buttons, tweak your headlines, test a product with different audiences or on different platforms, and other side-by-side testing.
To determine what changes to make, you’ll need to isolate each variable and test it, then record the results. Be sure to focus on one change at a time so that you can be sure what specific aspects of your campaign need work. Though it’s time-consuming, putting this work in early and getting used to it will help you run more successful campaigns in the future.
Conversion-Focused Web Design
Small business marketing can be used for a variety of purposes, such as boosting brand awareness, increasing engagement, generating leads and more. Regardless of your goals, however, it’s vital to have a high conversion rate. This both helps you in the short term and creates a strong foundation for growth in the future.
You want not only your ads and emails to convert, but also your website. Your site should be designed to convert visitors into leads, which can then become customers. You also want your site to attract existing customers and encourage them to use your products or services again.
Creating a high-converting website is simple, but not always easy. The aesthetics of your site should provide a pleasant atmosphere for your customers, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of usability. Here are some aspects to focus on:
- Consider where to place your call-to-action button. This is a good time for some testing to find the best place. It’s also important to avoid having too many call-to-action buttons, which can be confusing for visitors. Instead, focus on one large, bold, easy-to-read button.
- Ensure your website is as user-friendly as possible to encourage visitors to stay on your site longer and explore all that you have to offer.
- Focus on a clean, simple design that is pleasant to look at but not overwhelming to your visitors. A visually cluttered design may divert visitors from your site, making them less likely to visit again and buy from you.
- Consider color psychology in your design, which plays a vital role in customer behavior, branding and conversions. Specific colors and contrast evoke different emotions, so it’s important to understand how you want your brand perceived, what colors work best on your audience, and how you can use this information to design a visually pleasing site that inspires actions from your visitors.
Having a great product or service is an excellent start to a successful business, but it’s not all. Competition is fierce in the business world, so it can be difficult to attract attention from customers faced with a lot of options.
Marketing and beautifully designed websites can do wonders for attracting customers, but earning their trust and turning them into loyal customers comes from social proof. Savvy customers look for validation from other customers before they purchase a product or service because they want to know that they’re getting their money’s worth. They also want to know if the experience with the business itself has been positive so that they can be assured that any problem they may encounter will be addressed quickly and professionally.
If a customer sees that a high percentage of current customers have positive experiences with your products, services or business, it will make them more confident in their decision to buy. Social proof is not only valuable for large corporations, but also for small businesses.
Social proof has many benefits, such as:
- Making your product and services appear more trustworthy.
- Helping prospective customers with their research process.
- Enhancing SEO efforts.
- Showing customers that you care about their satisfaction.
Digital Marketing Trends
All of these small business digital marketing strategies build a strong foundation for current and future success, but you can also utilize trends to boost your efforts.
Here are the biggest digital marketing trends to consider for your next campaign:
- Omnichannel marketing: Omnichannel marketing is a strategy that involves various marketing touchpoints on every available channel customers through the buying journey. Many businesses use social media to attract visitors to the website, then email as a channel to nurture leads.
- Artificial intelligence: Artificial intelligence (AI) is the cutting edge of technology, but it’s becoming more standard and accessible. AI is a computer that can gather information through sensors or human input that’s then used to solve problems or perform tasks that typically require humans. Currently, AI is used to identify trends, access data and conduct competitor research, giving you the information you need to develop campaigns.
- Chatbots: Chatbots are showing up everywhere, from business websites to mobile apps. They can be used for many purposes, but they’re usually used to answer customer service questions or help a user accomplish a task. This can help you ensure that you maintain a high response rate on social media and that you’re always engaging with your customers, freeing up your employees to handle the interactions that require humans.
- Personalization: Personalization is more valuable to customers than ever. It can improve customer experience, increase brand loyalty, boost revenue and establish brand consistency. Personalization doesn’t need to be complicated, it’s just about knowing your customers and delivering helpful information like personalized product recommendations, social media messages, video messages and triggered emails.
With all these small business digital marketing tactics at your disposal, you can get started with targeted, relevant campaigns that boost your brand awareness and drive your business forward.
If you need help getting started with digital marketing for your business, M16 Marketing is here for you. We have an experienced group of digital marketing strategists, developers, web designers, content creators and search engine optimization consultants to tailor every aspect of your small business digital marketing strategy and put your business in a position for success. Contact us today to see how we can help you!