Boosting your small business marketing is something that all business owners want to do. It’s not always easy, and definitely not always cheap to build your marketing up. There are things that all small businesses can, and should, be doing to ensure they’re getting the most out of their marketing. Part of a business owner’s job is to stay up on the latest marketing trends, and to utilize free/cheap marketing methods just as much as the expensive, more proven, methods. You never know what will work for your business until you try, so why not save money while you experiment?
Watch Your Competitors
One of the best methods of starting your marketing strategy is to notice what your competitors are doing. Likely, your competitors have already been spending their time and money on marketing and trying to determine what works best for their business. Since you are in the same industry as your competitors, what works for them will commonly work for you, too. Be sure you’re noticing your competitors’ online presence, ads (meaning billboards, pay-per-click, etc), loyalty programs, referral incentives and all other marketing methods that you could implement into your business.
Entrepreneur.com has some great advice on the topic, “Make sure to document your findings; you can create a chart to show your strengths and weaknesses alongside your competitors. For instance, you might find that you are the only restaurant in the area who isn’t offering a loyalty program to attract customers, it is time to jump on that bandwagon.”
Gain Online Reviews
Online reviews cannot be stressed enough. 84% of people trust online reviews just as much as they do a referral from a friend or family member. With that being the case, online reviews mean everything to a business. There are so many ways to gain reviews online and build those testimonials, and we have a whole list of reasons why people leave reviews here. Some of the easiest and most effective ways to gain reviews online include:
Just Ask: If you have a satisfied customer, don’t be afraid to just ask them to leave you a review. Most people are happy to help out and would be willing to leave you a review about their positive experience.
Send a Reminder: Follow up with your happy customers after a service is completed, and include links to your Google and Facebook profiles. Reminding your customer is a great way to be sure they leave you a review.
Build a Strong Social Presence
Did you know that 78% of local mobile searches result in an offline purchase? Building a strong social presence is free and necessary in today’s world. You can build up your social presence by creating profiles on all major social media platforms for your business (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google), posting regularly on your social media pages, responding to customers online, and engaging with your followers on social media. Building up your social presence doesn’t have to be very time-consuming either. Once you have your social profiles set up, you can spend minimal time during the week keeping them up by responding and posting updates. Be sure you are posting content that is relevant to your industry and engaging. Nobody wants to read boring posts on social media. Keep it short and include photos to get more people to engage with your business online.
There are many ways to boost your small business marketing, and these are all great places to start.
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!