The Nine Essential Marketing Techniques for Every Small Business
Marketing a small business can be exhausting. Most small business owners do not have the time or money to do marketing, often they don’t know what marketing techniques to focus on.
This month The Clever Robot will review the essential marketing channels for every business. You should try to incorporate as many of these as possible into your marketing plan. We will also estimate the minimum number of hours required per month that you should expect to commit to each.
< 2 hours – Search Engines are the first stop when users need information for research, shopping, and entertainment. And 98% will click one of the results on the first page. Business owners know that getting your website in the page one results is critical.
The way to succeed with organic search is to set up your website well the first time. Make sure you have all the right keywords, the layout is conducive to using the site, lots of high quality backlinks, and you keep it up-to-date as your business changes.
Once you are ranking you would use your monthly time to review your ranking stats and make sure you are maintaining your positions and always looking for new opportunities.
< 1.5 hours – – Mobile use has steadily been on the rise for years now. 50%+ of all website traffic was on mobile devices last year. This has resulted in a huge opportunity for business owners.
SMS Messaging: Many consumers like getting SMS/text messages from businesses about sales, special offers, and more. The beauty is that an SMS message takes only a few minutes to create. There are many platforms online that will send your message out to everyone at once.
Optimize Google Maps: Catch users when they are out shopping by making sure your contact information is available online. There are programs available to enhance your listings and placements that you can benefit from. For example, adding visual icons to your listing on Google Maps is a great way to attract mobile users.
Ongoing – Sounds obvious, but treating your customers well, thanking them when they send someone to you, and being someone people want to do business with will create word-of-mouth marketing. This is the single most powerful form of marketing. A much higher percentage of people who are told about your business from a friend or family member will come and do business with you.
Each of your customers can be a brand ambassador for your business. Happy customers are excited to share their “rare find” of your goods and services to their group of friends and family. And a referral from a close friend or family member is one of the most powerful incentives to try a product or service.
There are no shortcuts, you really have to put in the time to make sure you are delivering the best service or products possible but it will pay off in positive feedback, more referrals and more business.
< 1-2.5 hours – Email marketing might seem like an enormous commitment, but this is one of the best ways to market your business. If your customers sign up for your email communications, this can be the best way to keep them coming back. Most people open emails from people they know. They like when businesses send them information they can’t get any other way. You can reduce the stress by hiring someone to write the emails for you and do the design work. It’s easy to find people who will do everything. All you need to do is profit from their efforts.
2-6 hours – Everyone is on social media. From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to TikTok, billions of people every day go onto social media to see what’s happening in their worlds. Social media is free to use, so the price is right. You don’t need to invest hours and hours making fancy posts. Just write or film something about your business or whatever might interest your customers. The goal is to communicate.
< 3 – 10 hours – A business blog is an excellent way to create long form content that will be available on the internet for a long time. The beauty of a blog is that it allows you to write complete thoughts and guides. Blogs are the ideal place to give away information that your potential customers might need or want. Since there’s nothing new under the sun and there are no more secrets, you can share even your most profound insights. People will find your blogs and see you as an expert. Once they consider you the expert, it will be you they do business with!
< 1-15+ hours – Video marketing can include everything from posting long videos on YouTube to creating short videos and putting them on TikTok. You can also post videos on your website. Video is the number one way to communicate information. Even in a 6-second video, you can convey a lot of wisdom, information, and guidance. The best part is you can commit as much or as little time as you want to video marketing. Many successful video marketers make short videos in their cars. Others do massive productions with a camera crew, actors, and detailed scripts. It’s up to you. Educate or entertain and you will succeed.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
< 4-8 hours – You can set up search ads in just a few minutes or purchase links in a popular newsletter. Even though we think Google Adwords, pay-per-click or “PPC” refers to any time that you purchase traffic to your website. In the case of search engine advertising, they run by themselves using the AI created by Google, Bing, and other search engine platforms. PPC can be expensive, and we always recommend hiring a professional to manage your account.
This is the Big League and someone should understand before committing. Dollar for dollar we believe it is the most effective channel to market simply because you can track returns and make changes on the fly. Properly managed – your PPC campaign can sing!
< 1-2 hours – Google and other companies contract with website owners to put up display ads on their sites. These ads are large, dramatic images and/or video that promote direct action. They find a specific audience, but they aren’t as targeted as a pay-per-click ad. Display ads can be very effective if you have something that looks professionally designed and is inspiring. Doing display ads well might require an expert to design it for you, but it’s worth it. It’s not too expensive, and it can help build your brand quickly. And don’t forget to always offer something and ask for the sale!
Just do it.
If you’re looking at all this estimated time required and saying, “I have a business to run. I don’t have time for all of this.”
Don’t do all of it. Choose one and work on that for three months until it’s a routine and you’re comfortable with it.
For example, it will probably take you about 5 hours to write your first blog. After you’ve been doing it a while, you can get that down to 45 minutes or fewer.
Advertising will take even less time. All you have to do there is set it and forget it (for a while). Go in every three months and update it and check performance, but there’s not too much for you to do.
Here’s a simple thing that almost everyone can do. Start collecting the mobile phone numbers of your visitors. Put it into a service that allows you to send a lot of messages all at once. Once you have even 20 phone numbers, write an SMS message telling them about something you have going on in your business. It should take you only 15 minutes.
Start some place
The key to success with small business marketing is to start somewhere. Once you’ve done it, you’ll see the rewards. Then it’s even easier to do marketing. And remember The Clever Robot is always here to help!