Running a small business is demanding on multiple fronts.
There are many aspects that you have to manage, and one of the important things that must be prioritized is your advertising and marketing efforts. Here are some innovative ideas and solutions for small businesses to explore and consider.
For many small businesses, organic growth is important. If you cannot develop a community of long term customers that will support you, you will struggle to expand and see continued success. One of the ways to help increase organic growth is through search engine optimization. Search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, is a marketing strategy that incorporates the use of search engines and search queries to determine if websites are providing useful information to users. With the use of algorithms, the companies and businesses that are able to answer such online questions will be brought to the top. Being on the front of any search page will definitely help your business grow and does so in a way that will not appear invasive to most consumers as many advertising strategies do.
Building upon the idea of practices tied with search engine optimization, affiliate marketing is a great way to increase your online presence in a more natural way. Of course, this won’t be user driven, but be through people that already have established an online presence. These users will use these ads to drive traffic from their readers, viewers, and community in general to your websites, ultimately with the goal of increasing sales of products and services. Affiliate marketing helps increase your visibility in a way that is a middle ground between more natural search engine marketing and traditional advertising because of the level of engagement of these users that they have with their community.
Similarly tied with SEO, location based advertising will utilize searches made for what is nearby or around a searchers area. This looks like searches for, “best restaurants near me.” Even if a user is not using location based terms, when they key in searches, their built in GPS will automatically populate the areas around them. If your business has good SEO practices, engages with their community, and receives good reviews, you will more likely be featured more in such location based searches. This is key because a lot of success for small business comes from those within the area, community and neighborhood.
For small businesses, especially those that are part of larger chains and franchises, having specific promotions and discounts associated with your specific location means you can bring people out to your location that would otherwise visit another branch. Even if you are a small independent business that is not part of a larger chain, you can still host promotions or sales that differentiate you from local competition in the area. Of course, certain discounts may not be financially viable so you have to get creative. You could carry a limited time quantity of certain items to draw people to your business, or even host events that promote you around your neighborhood and raise awareness within your community to your brand.
Your advertising should involve some level of online marketing, regardless of how small you are. In fact, small businesses should prioritize online platforms and social media marketing as it is one of the most cost effective ways to promote to a wide audience. This can provide expansion and growth opportunities to reach people that are outside your community that you would otherwise not be able to reach. It is important to understand your target audience and utilize the specific platforms that cater to them, as spreading yourself, your finances and efforts too thin over all platforms will be too time and money consuming. Focus your energy, time and funds in certain platforms and channels to maximize your efficiency and results.
As a growing small business, your mindset should be to find ways to grow. One of the best ways is to collaborate and utilize bigger companies. Working with others provides you access to an audience and attention that a bigger company can bring in, while cutting down your marketing efforts. Collaborations also provide opportunity to work together on future projects and grow together with a wider, joined reach.
Growth should always be the key focus of any small business. There are many ways to prioritize this, but keep in mind that you don’t just want to increase your reach and awareness, but ensure that the people you are connecting with are quality users that will help build customer relationships down the road.