8 Small Business Marketing Ideas
Inherently, small businesses are on a tight marketing budget, which can make the out laying cash to promote your brand a scary prospect.
The good news?
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on marketing your small business. With a little creativity and know-how, you can quickly reach new customers and effectively grow your business, even on a tight budget.
Simply by following these 8 small business marketing ideas.
8 Small Business Marketing Ideas
Starting from the basics and working up to more complicated strategies, here are cost-effective small business marketing ideas that are sure to make your company stand out from the crowd.
1. Build a Conversion-Friendly Website
Your small business’s own website is one of the most important marketing tools available to you. The thing is, not all websites are created equal. While some websites have nailed the art of conversion rate optimization (CRO), others could certainly use a touch up.
For those that don’t know, CRO is the practice of increasing the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as signing up for a mailing list or making a purchase. This can be done through various methods, such as testing different versions of webpages to see which produce the best results, or by using tools like heat maps to track which elements of a page are most interacted with by users.
Why is this important?
Well, it’s one thing to have a website that produces a steady flow of traffic, but it’s another to have a website that converts traffic into sales.
It’s estimated that some 68% of small businesses don’t employ any form of CRO strategies. This is great news for you. Why? Even if you employ the most basic CRO principles, you’re already way ahead of the competition.
So what makes the difference between the websites that are optimized for conversions and those that are not?
There are three key factors that influence whether a website is built for CRO:
- the design,
- the on-page copy, and
- the user experience (UX).
If you want your website to convert more visitors into customers, it’s imperative that you prioritize these three factors. In fact, the last factor – user experience – is so important Google has started heavily prioritizing UX as a ranking factor through the platform’s roll-out of Core Web Vitals.
Google Core Web Vitals are a set of performance metrics that Google uses to measure the health of a website. The metrics include page loading time, interactivity, and visual stability.
This further emphasizes the requirement of a website’s design to be both responsive on all devices. There are a few free tools that Google offers website owners to determine how their website is performing. These include:
- Google Search Console,
- PageSpeed Insights,
- Chrome DevTools,
- Google Analytics,
- and Google’s Web Vitals Extension.
Beyond Google’s requirements, to meet CRO best practices, experts will tell you your website should possess clear calls to action (CTAs) and must be easy-to-use navigation. Further, the copy should be concise and persuasive, and the UX should be smooth and glitch-free.
For specifics, let’s turn to Marketing Sherpa’s survey where 935 B2B organization participants shared insights into which they felt were the most effective at generating leads and securing conversions. This is the result:
As you can see, tactics as simple as leveraging op-page video content, adding a live chat feature, and implementing unique landing pages were all viewed as effective methods for boosting conversions and improving user experience.
All budget-friendly ways to turn your small business’ website into a conversion powerhouse.
2. Bolster Your SEO Efforts
Now that we have your website optimized for UX and conversions, let’s see how we can get it ranking on the first page of the SERPs.
How? Search engine optimization (SEO), of course.
But isn’t SEO expensive? It doesn’t have to be.
In fact, Backlinko recently found that the average small business shelled out on average of just under $500 on SEO monthly retainers. Although it should be noted that clients that spent over $500/month were 53% more likely to be “extremely satisfied” with a SEO provider’s services than those that spent less than $500.
As the age-old adage goes, you get what you pay for.
Still, SEO doesn’t have to be an unsustainable expense. But there are always going to be businesses who have more money than others. This is especially true for online and digital marketing. For small businesses with limited budgets, competing against large businesses with unlimited funds can seem impossible.
However, this is the beautiful thing about SEO. With the right provider or in-house approach, it can seriously level the playing field.
You see, SEO is an effective way to improve a website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). By following the basics of SEO best practices, small businesses can improve their visibility and attract more visitors. And because SEO is a long-term strategy that requires ongoing effort, it doesn’t have to be a huge upfront cost. Instead, small businesses can slowly direct money into SEO as it becomes available to them.
To highlight the effectiveness of SEO for small businesses, BrightEdge Research found that 53% of all web traffic originated from organic search. Additionally, BrightEdge’s findings go on to show that organic traffic outpaces all other forms of traffic sources, including paid search and traffic generated from various social media channels.
With this knowledge, where should you start?
In order to improve your website’s visibility and ranking on the SERPs, small businesses need to employ some effective SEO strategies. Here are a few to get you started:
- Make sure your website is properly optimized for search engines using best on-page SEO practices.
- Publish high-quality, link-worthy content regularly.
- Perform keyword research that will help to encourage engagement and conversions from your target audience.
- Increase the number of backlinks to your website from reputable websites.
Nail down these basics, and you will boost your site’s rankings and increase site traffic in no time at all.
3. Leverage Local SEO
For businesses that operate in a local market, you can take your SEO efforts even further. Local SEO is one of the most cost-effective ways to eliminate competing too frequently with the big guys and, instead, get your small business before the eyes of a local audience.
For those readers that are not quite up to speed, local SEO is the practice of optimizing a website for Google search results that are specific to a geographic location.
How is this achieved?
Small businesses can leverage local SEO in a few key ways.
One is to make sure a website is optimized for local search results. This includes including keywords and phrases related to the business’ location, as well as ensuring that the website’s Google My Business (GMB) page is accurate and up-to-date.
What is GMB?
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses to manage their online presence. With GMB, businesses can create a free business listing on Google, which will appear on Google Maps and Google search results. GMB also allows businesses to add photos, videos, and business information like hours of operation, contact information, and a link to their website.
The best part, GMB is free to use, and it only takes a few minutes to set up a Google business profile. But perhaps even more noteworthy, as reported by Social Media Today, 72% of customers that search for a local business will visit that store if it’s within 5 miles of their location. Additionally, 78% of local searches via mobile device result in an in-store purchase.
So, as you can see, GMB is a serious resource for local businesses targeting local people.
Another way small businesses can use local SEO is by creating and distributing unique local content, such as blog posts, news articles, and event listings. This will help to increase the business’ visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) for local queries.
Finally, small businesses can take part in local directories and online communities, where potential customers will be looking for information about businesses in their area.
By adopting these localized approaches, you will negate any competition from nationwide or global entities and begin to hone in on people in your local area.
4. Become an Authoritative Source of Information
The creation of high-quality content is one of the many ways businesses can up their SEO game. Google loves highly informative, well-curated content. So much so, it’s one of the key metrics it used to measure the quality of your business’s website.
But understand that content isn’t simply to please Google and other search engine’s on-page SEO preferences. Just as importantly, high-quality content is one of the most effective ways of proving your business’ expertise and credibility within your targeted niche.
So what defines “high-quality” content?
There is no single answer to this question. It’s very subjective, as what might be considered high-quality content for one person might not be considered as such by someone else. However, there are some general factors that can contribute to the overall quality of content.
One important factor is the level of expertise and knowledge displayed by the author. The content should be well researched and factually accurate, with no errors or misleading information. The writing should also be clear and concise, easy to read, and simple to understand.
The content should also be relevant to the audience it is intended for. It should provide them with useful information or insights that they can use in their own lives or work. Further, these insights must be original and unique. Ideally, thoughts and ideas that are not found elsewhere.
What if writing isn’t your thing, though?
The good news is, reputable content doesn’t have to just be in written form.
Videos are another popular type of high-quality content. Videos can be short or long form, and they can be used to explain a topic in depth or to entertain viewers.
Infographics are another type of high-quality content that is growing in popularity. They are visual representations of data that can quickly and easily communicate a message or idea. Notably, infographics are great for grabbing an online audience’s attention. This makes them share-worthy and viral in nature – perfect for securing backlinks or posting to socials.
Don’t just take our word for it, though.
HubSpot reports that the top 7 channels that marketers utilize are social media, website/blog, email marketing, content marketing, influencer marketing, SEO marketing, and virtual events. This trend looks like it will continue through 2022, with short-form video content, live streaming video, and influencer marketing all voiced as strategies that marketers are planning to leverage.
So why is all this so important to a small business?
For a website’s credibility and reputation, the quality of its content is one of the most important factors. High-quality content is essential for establishing trust with potential and current customers. It shows that a business is knowledgeable about its products and services and is committed to providing valuable information.
Quality content can also help to build brand awareness and create an effective social media presence. By producing quality content, businesses can build a strong online presence that will help them achieve their marketing goals.
5. Repurpose Your Successful Content
Okay. So now you’ve got a steady stream of content being published on your blog, why create new content when instead you could simply repurpose it for your video marketing and social media efforts?
Seems simple enough. But what approach should you take? Here are a few tips:
- Start by creating a video outline and script based upon your most popular blog posts.
- Choose the most notable points from each post to highlight in your video.
- Talk to the key points, or create a simple slideshow presentation to accompany your narration.
- Upload the video to popular video streaming platforms like YouTube and Vimeo (VMEO) and include a link to the original blog post in the description.
- Share the video on social media and embed the video within the replicated blog post.
This last step is vital. Why?
The embedment of videos into blog content can help to keep people on the page longer. In fact, a case study by 39 Celsius found that including a video in a blog post can result in an increase of average time on site – by 22% percent to be exact.
Further, this same study showed that embedded videos doubled the amount of keywords a post ranks for, and increased clicks, impressions, and average position.
Additionally, a separate study by Sumo found that only 20% of visitors will read an article from start to finish. Not only that, they found that the average visitor will read only about 25% of the written copy.
With this in mind, if you can convey your points in a relatively short, concise video, you are more likely to capture the attention of your audience long enough to make your voice heard. That way, you can not only boost your chances of conversions but also please Google’s algorithm all in one go.
6. Embrace the New Age of Social Media
Staying on the trend of videos, the social media world is seriously swinging toward video marketing as well. As an example of this, not only is the rise of TikTok taking the social media world by storm, but it has also forced Meta’s Instagram platform to follow suit.
To align with this new and arising social media engagement trend, Instagram introduced reels back in August 2020. As The New York Times puts it: the introduction of reels was “an obvious reaction to TikTok’s success.” Perhaps more interesting, if you’ve jumped on your IG account recently, you’ll have noticed that your feed is almost entirely made up of reels with just a few photos sprinkled through.
As The New York Times alludes to, probably orchestrated deliberately to align with the rising demand for more video-based content.
So is the platform’s newfound love for video content unjustified?
Well, as much as it has the potential to hurt users that have based their entire content strategy around images, a survey by Instagram revealed that 91% of its active Instagram users say they watch videos on the platform weekly.
A signal of the change to come.
So how can you jump on this bandwagon and stay ahead of the inevitable tsunami of other users that are sure to jump on this trend?
By embracing it, of course.
Small businesses can use TikTok (and IG reels) to create short video ads, or to promote their products and services in creative and attention-grabbing ways. And with over one billion users and counting, over 80 million of these users are in the US, TikTok has now gained more users than LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
And how can your small business take advantage of the platform’s growth?
TikTok can promote your products or services, or to give a behind-the-scenes look at your company. You can also use TikTok to engage with your customers and followers. For example, you can ask them for their thoughts on your products or services, or run contests and giveaways.
TikTok can also be a great way to reach a new audience. The app is popular among young people, with around 25% of its users aged between 10-19 and 22.4% of the platform’s users aged between 20-29. This gives small businesses an effective way of marketing to this demographic.
And to further highlight just how important TikTok is to small business, behind YouTube, amongst Gen Zers, TikTok has now established itself as the most preferred platform used for product research.
All good reasons to kick-start your TikTok marketing campaign ASAP.
7. Dive Into Email Marketing
Email marketing is a powerful online marketing tool for small businesses to connect with their customers and keep them updated on new products, services, and promotions. Email allows businesses to reach a large number of customers with minimal effort, and it’s a cost-effective way to stay in touch. Additionally, email marketing can help businesses build relationships with customers and create loyalty among their customer base.
To give you an idea of just how powerful, looking at projections from Statista, the generated revenue from email marketing is set to hit $9.62 by the end of 2022. While HubSpot reports that 59% of consumers claim that marketing emails influenced their purchasing decision.
Perhaps even more interesting, the team over at Momentum Marketing found that email marketing is the most powerful method generating both inbound and outbound leads.
So what’s the best way for small business owners to incorporate email marketing into their current marketing plan?
With the right set of tools.
Email management platforms like MailChimp and Omnisend make curating, sending, and collecting analytical data from your email campaigns a breeze. While DojoMojo and ViralSweep use branding partnerships that leverage online promotions like sweepstakes and giveaways to incentivize users to sign up for your email marketing list.
But before you kick start your new email campaign, there are a few things small businesses should keep in mind when implementing email marketing:
- Write with relevance. Don’t send generic messages that could apply to anyone; target your content to the interests of your subscribers.
- Keep it short. Numerous emails bombard your customer’s inboxes daily, so your audience is more likely to read shorter emails and better remember your message if it’s concise, catchy, and to the point.
- A/B test. Test different subject lines and send times to see what works best for your audience.
By using email marketing, small businesses can connect with more customers, learn what content interests them, and grow their business.
8. Focus on Retaining Existing customers
The creation of new leads can be exciting. However, far too often, small business owners focus their marketing efforts on acquiring new customers, and neglect to maintain relationships they’ve built with their existing customers.
As a small business owner, it’s important you don’t fall victim to this. Instead, be sure to reward your current paying customers just as much as your new customers.
Customer retention is far more affordable than acquiring new customers. In fact, it can be up to 5 times more expensive to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. Further, existing customers on average spend 67% more than those that are new to your business.
There are many ways small businesses can retain customers.
To offer a touch of insight into what drives customer loyalty, check out these insights from Deloitte’s customer retention case study. Their survey reveals the marketing tactics that participants say influence their loyalty to a brand. Value for money, brand trust, and the quality of product and services amongst the most important factors business should focus on to retain their existing customers.
Ultimately, small businesses should remember that retaining customers is about building relationships. By taking the time to understand what customers want and need, small businesses can create a loyal base of customers who will continue to do business with them long into the future.
There are many low-cost marketing ideas that can help you reach your target audience and grow your small business. However, it is important to tailor your marketing strategy to your specific business and target market. So don’t be afraid to experiment with a few different ideas to establish what works best for you and the niche your business resides within.
So where from here?
Here at Loganix, we provide cutting edge SEO, PPC, and link building services. Our team is constantly testing new techniques to stay ahead of the curve and provide your small business with the best possible results. Our team of experts have years of experience in the content marketing industry and are dedicated to helping your business reach its full potential.
Contact us for a consultation today.