Oct 12, 2022

The ins and outs of crafting marketing strategies for small businesses

Every business has its advantages; why not make marketing one of yours?

Madison @CAKE
Madison @CAKE

As a small business owner, more often than not, you’ll likely find yourself struggling to keep up with all the tasks that come with running your own business. 

However, regardless of how little or how much you know about marketing strategies, it’s going to be the most important part of your business, apart from customers, of course. The point of marketing? To get said customers interested in the products and services you offer. And because marketing is an ever-evolving function, it’s crucial that business owners are able to stay on top of trends as best as possible, especially since smaller businesses don’t have the same kind of leverage that larger firms do when it comes to marketing. 

Inbound Marketing and why it works 

Firstly, we’ll discuss the strategy of “inbound marketing.” Inbound marketing is defined as “pull” marketing, and is used to attract consumers via valuable content that will help them to accomplish their goals. The three steps of inbound marketing are:

  • Attract
  • Attracting prospective customers to your website through resourceful and relevant content 
  • Engage
  • Engage using conversational tools 
  • Delight
  • Delight them by continuing to act empathetic, and offering your services 

Inbound marketing strategies differ from outbound marketing strategies because they promise valuable experiences crafted specifically to the consumer. Outbound, on the other hand, has the goal of interrupting consumers with content they don’t always want, which can often be more detrimental to one's marketing success. Inbound marketing typically turns into brand preference, establishing loyalty within the company, and generates revenue in the long run.

Knowing your audience

 When marketing a business of any size, it’s important to know your audience. By figuring out your targeted niche, you’ll have the most leverage as a small business. Once you’re able to get into the head of your ideal client, you’ll be able to understand what works and what doesn’t work. Because advertising is not a “one size fits all” solution, once you’ve established your audience, you must focus on consistent and repetitive branding. Some companies choose to focus on the “rule of seven”, which means that people need to hear or see your message or post several times before taking any action. Make yourself stand out amongst your audience, as your company will resonate more with them than someone outside of your target demographic. Because knowing your audience provides insight into unmet needs, you’ll be able to quickly adapt to their changing lifestyles with a product that they’ll hopefully desire long term. 

Use your website and social media to your advantage 

A social media strategy is a great way to generate organic traffic. Crafting social media posts allows marketers to connect and engage potential customers through different platforms. Not only is it a great cost-effective strategy, but advertising through social media is becoming one of the most important aspects of digital marketing to date.

You can choose whichever site(s) you prefer, but building a strong social media presence makes it easier to upsurge customer retention and strong communication skills. Good social media skills include:

  • Videos and live streaming to interact with your audience through a more immersive experience
  • Produce diversified content types (infographics, threads, videos) to break up the monotony and engage your audience members long-term
  • Leveraging privacy and exclusivity (with a social climate shifting towards private interaction, creating intimate stories or exchanging DMs with your followers might be the way to go) 
  • Get inspired (Take inspiration from the success of other small businesses and consider what they do, and how you can do it differently. Think about the following: What makes you want to click on that ad? Are you interested in their product? Why/Why not?) 

With simple tips and tricks like these, you’ll be able to better build your brand and keep your consumers engaged and happy at all times.

Invest in search engine optimization (SEO)

If you’re not yet familiar with SEO, don’t worry! SEO is  defined as the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. The goal? To get searchers to click on your website from a search engine results page (SERP). 

When you type a query into the search bar, the search engine goes through pages in its index, identifies any relevat, related ones and ranks them. In short, SEO requires you to understand what your audience is searching for and create content that satisfies their needs. By implementing a carefully-designed SEO strategy, your content will rank higher on the web and ultimately become more visible to those that are searching for a business like yours. Putting all of a companies’ information in the hands of the consumer when they need it most can shorten the buying cycle, leading to increased revenue and greater ROI. SEO works to build long-term equity for your brand, so why not, right? Unfortunately, however, there is no clear-cut answer to the question of cost. However, like winter tires and appliances, you get what you pay for, so depending on how large of a budget you’re willing to have, you can completely transform your business just by investing in SEO. 

While there are plenty of other marketing solutions out there, these are the four that will likely create the biggest impact on your business. Regardless of which strategies you choose to dip your toes in, remember that everything you do leaves an impact on your platform. While some of these tips take longer to see results than others, it’s important to give what you hope to get out of them. Meaning that the more you do to market your small business, the more success you’ll likely see. 

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