Marketing for small businesses is a unique niche that requires the company to be diverse in their knowledge and know how each segment of marketing affects the entire marketing ecosystem. And, it is an ecosystem. Each part is important for the whole. Putting too much energy into one thing, as with all things, can leave you high and dry if that medium becomes out of favor.
Marketing for Small Businesses: What Should You Be Doing?
As a small business, there are a few routes to go depending on your product or service. Here are the various areas that you should audit your business and see which one(s) makes the most sense.
In most cases, you will need a website. That playing field is changing though now and there are many businesses that operate from a social media profile alone. However, for most businesses that are more than apps, for example, you’ll want a website. This is a place that you can educate your audience about your service or product, advertise for a promotion, gain email addresses for your email outreach list and provide any products or services for purchase.
Lots of small business owners complain that “social media doesn’t bring any customers.” Okay, well how do you know? Marketing is an art and science. Most people aren’t looking at their numbers. Google Analytics and each social media’s insights reports will give you clues on how well your social media efforts are doing. Don’t just guess because no one says, “Oh, I saw your Facebook post and decided to call.” No.
They have heard about you from their friend, who you saw liked their page online, Facebook recommended they like it, so they went to your page (and because you had it updated and posted a few cool/cute things, they followed it). Time passed, but you kept popping up in their feed. One day, they decide to call. You ask how they heard about you. They tell you the name of the original person, but it was the exposure that reminded them and warmed them to you. I hope you followed on this! 🙂
Public Exposure (aka Public Relations)
Get out there!! Go on now. Just as the way of the world, what you put into things is what you get back. So, networking, keeping up your blog, posting thoughtful personal posts on Facebook, staying in touch with people, sending notes of congratulations and hellos… it will come back to you. If you ever feel a slight lull in your biz, try reaching out to someone.
My favorite ways are reaching out to interview other business owners about cool stuff they do. They get a nice write-up and pics, you get content for your blog, and you get to know all about each other. And, if you need back links to your site, try signing up for HARO (just make sure you read allll the guidelines so that you don’t accidentally blacklist yourself).
AdWords & Advertising
Trust me, never in a million years did I think I would be recommending advertising. I used to think you could do literally everything grassroots. And, you could. But, it would be foolish to think that in the digital age, that marketing doesn’t change nearly daily. Things have changed in two ways in advertising (broadly).
Firstly, for social media, the people have spoken and platforms are listening (or pretending to publicly). Subsequently, Facebook’s announcement in January 2018 about their algorithm changes to favor users means that brands need to pay for their newsfeed space. The good news is that it is meant to protect the public. And, it also means that weeds out (some) robot accounts and oversaturation of business posts. So, that’s not a bad thing. Running a small budget Facebook ad can boost your likes now better than before and consistently with a customized audience.
For Adwords, this is tricky stuff. Don’t do it on your own, hire a professional. What we do first is set up your campaign and bidding strategy. Then we add relevant keywords using a very, very precise prescription involving research data and our own expertise from having attended the Academy of the Ads (aka “Google College”). Marketing for small businesses should always include a properly set up AdWords campaign.
Honestly, this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marketing for small businesses, but it all goes together. The better SEO-focused articles and webpages you have, the better your ads perform. The better your social media is, the better you can create a relevant audience for your product of service. And, realizing that this is far too much work for you as the business owner to take on, in addition to running your business… is a breakthrough.
If you need support, Faceted Media acts as your small business marketing, SEO, and technical support agency. We are designed for micro and small businesses. Experts in many facets of marketing, SEO and technology, we design our programs for smaller budgets and bigger results. We hope to hear from you!