We get a lot of technical questions about marketing, but one of the things people ask most frequently really gets to the heart of the matter. When it comes to digital marketing, can my small business succeed? The short answer: yes.
How to Make Your Small Business Succeed
We believe it comes down to the mindset: knowing which marketing trends to focus on, and committing to taking action to make it happen.
So what should you keep in mind to help your small business succeed?
Know What You Know (And What You Don’t)
There are a lot of common mistakes small businesses make that shoot their marketing in the foot:
- Misunderstanding data and analytics
- Incorrect budgeting and spending (particularly on advertising)
- Lack of understanding of digital tools and platforms
- Neglecting content/low-quality copy
This “talent gap” is responsible for the wasted time— and wasted money—that tanks many a small business digital marketing strategy.
So: how do you avoid this pitfall?
- Take skills tests
- Get your team together and perform a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats)
- Hire a marketing team or consultant
As marketers, we’ve seen firsthand the benefits of having an expert on your side and knowing where you need support. Doing the legwork to find out what you need—and the best place to get support—is a necessary investment to ensure success in your marketing strategy. [You can certainly strike a balance between bringing in outside support and equipping your own team through training, certification, etc.]
Now that you know the right mindset, there are a couple specific tactics that can boost your small business marketing.
Optimize Social Media Platforms
When done correctly, social media marketing is both low cost and high-ROI. While you can do paid advertising on all platforms, you can promote your brand for free on all of them, too. Just be careful not to be overtly sales, or post explicitly sales-focused ads too often. Doing so will drive your search rankings down.
Video is a hugely popular way for brands to enrich and engage with their tribes. And with virtually every owner of a phone also owning a video camera, it’s easier than ever to take video (and even edit it) straight from your smartphone or similar device. Every big social media platform out there has video-upload capabilities, with many allowing for streaming video (think: Facebook Live). This is a great opportunity to add value and excitement to your customer experience.
Do an intro video for your website
Instead of uploading an interview transcript, interview someone on video
Video tutorials on how to use your product or service, or develop a related skill
When launching a new product, kick things off on FB Live
There are limitless possibilities. Just make sure that—if your brand has a professional, polished look-and-feel—that your video and audio equipment stack up.
In-store marketing combines analytics, brick-and-mortar promotions, mobile optimization, location technology and classic marketing. If your phone has ever been pinged to let you know something is on-sale when you’re connected to a store’s WiFi. A lot of stores use them, and the majority of customers are willing to receive them. So if in-store sales are important to your bottom line, this is definitely the technology to look into.
To sum things up, your small business can definitely have a successful marketing strategy this year (and every year). Trying our suggested tactics will keep you on the cutting edge, and keeping the mindset of adaptability and action will take you a long way. What has helped you successfully market your business? Share your wins in the comments!