Wouldn’t it be great if the law required all business owners to take a class on business marketing before getting started? Turns out, no formal training is required to own and run a business. We believe it would be helpful to so many business owners if they just took the time to understand basic small business marketing to help jumpstart their business and get it up and off the ground.
Unfortunately, we can’t enforce this idea, but we sure can provide this helpful and concise guide to any current or future small business owners! If you are one or know of one, take a minute to read through these tips or forward them on. It could just be the difference between a business taking off or one that never quite makes it.
5 Essential Steps to Small Business Marketing
1. Know your target demographic
Kicking things off with probably the BIGGEST piece of information you need to have before starting a business and marketing it. It is essential to know, understand, relate to, and communicate with your target demographic regularly in order for your marketing tactics to be successful. Why is this? Because THEY are your people.
Your target demographic are the people you are marketing your product or service to. They should mean everything to you because you depend on them for your business to succeed!
Knowing your target demographic looks like knowing this information about them:
Where they live
Their spending habits
Their buying preferences
Their limitations when it comes to spending
To know your target demographic best, you need to study them, survey them, and even ask them direct questions to best understand how you can meet their needs. When you do understand them, your marketing tactics will better serve them and your business will be more successful.
2. Have a clearly defined brand
BRANDING IS EVERYTHING! This might be our favorite topic, but nonetheless is one of the biggest tips for small business marketing. A clearly defined brand is the difference between being seen and recognized and being easily forgotten. We believe in the power of a brand that sticks in people’s memories, delivers clear messaging, embodies the vision, and stands out. Without a clearly defined brand, your target demographic will be confused, uncertain, and ultimately, lack desire to trust you.
Branding is a key component to small business marketing because it sets the stage for everything you create moving forward. With a brand that is established, your name, logo, website, marketing materials, social media content, emails, and more will be cohesive and clear. Clarity brings trust to your customers and ultimately creates comfort and predictability.
If you haven’t started your business OR think your branding could use some help, connect with us! We’d love to help guide you on your journey to establishing the best and most effective branding for your business.
3. Map out your channels
Gone are the days where you only had the option of placing a radio or newspaper ad to market your business. Today, there are countless channels to get your business name out there. Where to begin?
First off, know that it’s perfectly acceptable to expand your efforts over time. At minimum, you should consider the FREE (or mostly free) resources for marketing that your target demographic uses most. These are typically email and social media (Instagram, Facebook, blogs, etc.) as well as potential local pages for business advertising.
When you are ready to expand your marketing channels, consider the more advanced approach of Google Ads, paid directories online (Angie’s list, Yelp, etc.) and even through direct marketing agencies.
While each of these avenues come with multiple steps and goals, keep in mind that it’s helpful to have more than one channel for reaching your audience. You will see a higher reach when you market to multiple channels and utilize the systems they each have.
4. Create and Repurpose Content
While the term “content creation” can be seen as scary, don’t be afraid of it! This simply refers to creating the message you want your target demographic to learn from you and to build trust with them. In order to turn them into customers or clients, you will need to establish trust.
Content can come in many forms, from social media posts to blog articles, videos or even podcasts. Wherever you choose to create content, know that it can always be repurposed to another platform. It simply takes a bit of tweaking to make it work but will reach more people when repurposed.
Lastly, consider content creation as the cornerstone for marketing your business. You have to convince your target demographic to purchase or sign up, right? Ideally, you don’t want to simply scream “BUY ME” because it can come across as pushy or salesy. Instead, let content demonstrate your integrity as a business, your mission to help others, or even your goal of spreading awareness and let THAT influence their decision to buy or sign up. This will resonate deeper and have a more lasting impact.
5. Invest in your business
One of the biggest mistakes we see in new small business owners is their lack of willingness to invest in their business. It seems daunting to want to pour money into a business that is trying to make money, right? Wrong! The money and growth will come when you invest into your business through strategic marketing techniques that are successful in reaching your target demographic quicker and with the right messaging.
This might look like hiring a company to build you a professional, well-branded website so that customers will see it and find it legitimate. Or, it could mean paying for advertising (through a trusted and reputable source) to help get your name out there while you wait for your organic traffic to grow. Additionally, this could look like buying additional marketing materials, equipment, or even growing your staff so that you can be equipped to service your target market AND demonstrate that you have sufficient resources for your customers. All of these are ways to invest that should be considered as part of your marketing efforts.
Do all marketing efforts work for every business? Definitely not. But we have seen time and time again the above methods work for the small businesses we work with. With proper execution, the ability to research and study your options, and a clearly defined brand, we can guarantee you will see the growth you are looking for!
We absolutely LOVE working with new or existing small businesses! Our years of experience have taught us so much that we will happily share. If marketing is something you want advice, guidance, or ideas about, book a call for us to learn more about you and your business!