Marketing Strategies will vary greatly from company to company. There are a million factors to consider when formulating a plan such as audience, business size, budget availability, location, etc. As a relatively small local marketing firm, we have in depth insight into what works for small business marketing. Here, we’ll run you through the key first few steps in getting your business marketing up and running and a few tips that worked for us.
As we stated above, defining the big factors for your business such as business size, target audience, spend capabilities and goals are essential to an effective local business marketing strategy. Get organized and begin thinking about the big picture. Who are you, what are you trying to accomplish and who cares to hear what you have to say? Once these items are well defined, you can move on to building your business’s foundation.
Buy a domain name. A domain name is everything that goes in between www. and .com.
This is the URL people use when trying to navigate directly to your website. (www.YourDomainName.com) With millions of websites on the internet, it can be difficult to find an available domain name that fits your brand and that is easy for users to type into their browser. People often use sites such as GoDaddy or Google Domains to hunt for available domain names. Take time to think about what name will make sense for your brand and then verify that it is available. You may have to get creative with the spelling or format of your domain but this will be different for everyone.
Build a website. An online presence is key in any form of business and marketing success. If you’re budget is tight, you can get started with a template heavy Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress, Wix or Squarespace (or Webflow, wink wink). If you’ve got a bit of a budget and really want to kick start your business, we suggest a custom website (shameless plug). Doing this will help your business stand out from the thousands of other cookie cutter websites and will truly assist your customers in navigating quickly from the home page to the action item.
Possibly the most important factor in designing a custom website for your brand is creating a brand experience rather than a digital brochure. Customers are coming to your site to learn who you are, not browse through content they could find in a flyer.
Define what social channels will work best for your business and create a business page. We’ve found that facebook is the most beneficial for us and many of our clients, but you may find that your audience tends to flock to Twitter or Instagram most often. There are many different ways to test out the effectiveness of all of these social platforms, but you may simply begin by opening accounts on all three and gauging audience interaction from there.
Be sure to post regularly and keep an eye out on how active your customers are with your posts. Each platform has their own scheduling tools but we suggest using something like Buffer or Hootsuite for posting to multiple social channels at one time. These tools allow you to schedule out posts months in advance. This means all social posts can be strategically timed for special events and campaigns.
Once you’ve devised what social channels gain the most interaction, you can begin to put some money behind your efforts. We often utilize Facebook Ads to promote client products, special events, etc.
Strategize how to get your audience engaged and do that. This is another arena that will depend on the company and audience. If you’re audience responds more to old school marketing methods such as giveaways, merchandise, handwritten notes, physical mail, etc. DO THAT! If you feel your audience may be more online, put money behind your online social and advertising campaigns. Google Adwords and Google Analytics are the small business owner’s best friend in terms on online advertisements. Study up and find what works best for you.
If you’d like more in detail information on formulating a solid marketing strategy, feel free to take a look at our services here. We’d love to help you form a killer strategy and talk you through small business advertising.