Starting a small business is no small feat! From dealing with taxes to ordering inventory to managing employees and helping customers, there’s so much that goes into starting and running a small business each and every day. Of course, you can also get a lot out of running a small business, including financial success and a sense of pride in watching your passion build something that helps others.
Unfortunately, many business owners find it easy to overlook small business marketing. With all you have to do daily, finding the time to sit down and create a marketing plan for small business success can seem impossible. To make matters more complicated, business owners often find that they aren’t even sure where to begin with their marketing plans.
Online? Offline? A website? Social media? Billboards? Flyers? What works in today’s digital economy? What the heck is an influencer?! Can a digital marketing company show me how to increase sales, or should I try to do things independently?
Don’t Panic - We’ve Got You Covered
We know it can be tough for busy professionals, so we’ve put together some tips for creating a marketing plan for small business success. Below, you’ll learn strategies for getting the most out of your marketing plan, and you’ll also discover some strategies for increasing sales while building relationships with customers at the same time.
Start With the Basics
Before you can even begin to create a marketing plan for your business, you need to start from the beginning and identify target markets. Identifying your target audience will give you an outline of the marketing strategies to pursue and which marketing channels to use.
When identifying and analyzing your target market and customers, it’s a good idea to consider your customers' interests outside of those related to your type of product or service. For instance, if you sell tennis shoes, it’s obvious that you want to target people who need tennis shoes; however, what else are those people into? Sporting events? Health and fitness? Knowing this information can help you find places to market your shoes where your targets can be found spending time.
Get to Know Digital Marketing
There’s no getting around it – If you want to create a marketing plan for small business success in the Information Age, you need to use some form of digital marketing. If you’ve never considered digital marketing before or you’re unsure about what forms of digital marketing you should use, below are some options:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Employing SEO is a digital marketing tactic that gets your website found higher in search results for relevant search terms. The benefit of SEO is that potential customers are already searching online for your products and services. By getting in front of these people using SEO, your website gets more traffic and has more chances to convert prospects and leads into customers.
It’s important to note that SEO is an ongoing process that should develop and evolve with your business. Changes to search engine algorithms can also dictate the need for ongoing SEO services and strategies. Tactics often need to change with time, and new SEO content needs to be developed frequently to obtain and maintain a high search engine rank for specific keywords and topics.
Digital Marketing Channels
The marketing channels you use to implement a plan can influence your marketing objectives and campaigns. Social media platforms are an example of marketing channels you might use to implement strategies. After getting to know your target audience and what they like, you can engage potential customers on social media using content that speaks to what matters to these people.
Video streaming sites are another marketing channel to consider on the web. Video is a wonderful solution to your small business marketing strategy because it promotes authenticity and trust. When customers see and hear you or your team speaking directly to them, this helps to form a personal connection that advertisements alone can’t replicate.
Learn About Digital Advertising
Speaking of advertising, digital advertising is another possible route to consider when putting together marketing plans. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is one of the most common forms of digital advertising, but native advertising also works.
Use PPC Ads
With PPC advertising, you bid on a keyword and set a budget for your campaign. If you win the bid, your ad is displayed to the demographics you select, and you pay the winning bid price for each click your ad receives. Your ad campaign runs for the duration you set or until your pre-set budget is exhausted.
Rely on Social Media Ads
Social media advertising works similarly, but you usually don’t have to bid on keywords. Instead, your ads are shown to your selected demographics based on when these people log into their accounts, and you pay per click based on the price the platform sets. You may also pay per impression for some ad campaigns on social media, but once again, your ads will stop running when your budget has reached its maximum.
Consider Native Advertising
Native advertising is a type of advertising that involves creating content that includes information about your brand. This content is then published on websites as an editorial-style entry that resembles native content.
Native advertising may include a link to your brand, depending on the advertising structure of the publisher. The length of time your content is hosted on a site depends on the publisher, and costs may be insured monthly or as a one-time fee.
Don’t Neglect Offline Marketing
Although digital marketing provides huge potential for small business owners, you shouldn’t ignore offline marketing efforts. A lot can still be gained from marketing your business in person through sponsorships, live events, giveaways, appearances, public demonstrations, and other marketing activities.
To create a comprehensive marketing plan for small business success, it’s often a good idea to blend your online and offline marketing efforts. While you may have separate marketing goals for each approach, forming a hybrid model that capitalizes on the strengths of digital and in-person marketing can result in greater reach and better results.
Work With a Marketing Agency
Of course, you can always work with a marketing agency that can take care of your marketing efforts. The benefit of partnering with a marketing agency is that you save time and frustration, but you also receive guidance and advice from experienced professionals who have data on their side.
In addition, a marketing agency will work with professionals specializing in various marketing disciplines like graphic design, PPC ads, content development, SEO, and more. It’s like having your marketing department without the hassle of hiring!
Contact E-Marketing Associates to Learn How We Can Help
E-Marketing Associates is a marketing agency that specializes in providing guidance and solutions for small business owners. We help our clients with various digital services, including web design for small businesses. Let our team provide a no-obligation consultation to learn how we can make your life easier.