In this post we will look at 5 marketing strategies that will propel your small business to new heights in 2017. These strategies are taken from industry leading digital marketing influencers and adapted for local businesses.
You may have heard of these tactics in the past but we have provided new ways to implement them and how to execute them in a way that they relate and build upon each other.
1. Content Marketing – Most small businesses do not have a written content marketing strategy. The most common response when a content marketing strategy is proposed will be “I don’t have time”. This is very understandable but while you may not have time, do you have $30 a week to invest in marketing that could potentially bring in 2x, 3x, 4x or more in return?
$30 a week is all that it costs to get 1 well written article produced which you can post on your blog and share on social media. The key however is to be strategic with content creation. Simply publishing posts is not enough. You have to produce what potential customer will want to read. For that reason you will want to plan out your strategy on a quarterly basis.
If you were to publish 1 article a week for a fiscal quarter that would be 12 posts. You could create a series, answer industry related questions, talk about local events as they relate to your industry or any other number of content types which prospective customers will read. The key is to define your strategy, what you want to accomplish and what each post will be about. Always remember that the focal point of any successful content marketing strategy should be to build trust between you and your current, as well as prospective clients/customers.
2. Email Marketing – One of the digital marketing strategies that most small businesses do not do at all or do not do well is email marketing. Many think that the emails they collect are just another chance to sell those individuals more things through a once a month newsletter.
If you do this you are probably going to end up burning out you list and getting a high number of unsubscribes. Instead look at it as a way to stay fresh in your customers minds and generate referrals. If you are sending out a newsletter once a week with truly useful information to your existing customers they are much more likely to refer you to their friends and family when there is a need.
Use the blog posts you are producing on a weekly basis as content for your newsletter. See what kind of open and click through rates you get from these emails as opposed to the sales email blasts. If you currently do not have a email marketing platform we suggest MailChimp. It is free for the first 2,000 subscribers.
3. Marketing Automation – We wrote an in-depth post on marketing automation. This is the process of automating with computer software what you would otherwise do manually. Any part of your marketing strategy, anything you can do with software will free you up to do other things.
A good example would be your email list. Every time a user subscribes you can have their email address automatically added to your list. Another automation would be to then send them a welcome email with a special you are running, useful information about your industry or your latest blog post. For other ideas on how to implement this marketing tactic please see the blog post we linked to above.
4. Mobile Marketing – We all know how important mobile has become and will continue to be moving forward. This is perhaps one of the easier strategies to implement. Make sure that your website is optimized for mobile users. Google has a few different tools to help you test and make sure your website is optimized for mobile visitors which include the Mobile Friendly Test tool and the PageSpeed Insights tool.
a) Is your website mobile friendly?
b) Is you page loading speed below 2 seconds?
c) Are your images scaled correctly on mobile devices?
d) If you sell or book business online is the process as seamless on a mobile device as it is on a desktop computer?
If you can answer yes to these 4 questions you have done a good job with your mobile marketing strategy.
5. Social Media Marketing – Most businesses owners feel like they need to be everywhere on social media. They embark on the strategy of doing everything on social media but doing none of it very well. Our recommendation is to pick one social network. This will obviously depend on your industry.
For most SMBs the network of choice is Facebook. Focus on engaging you audience. Write down the attributes of your perfect customer including income, age, gender, buying habits, and net worth. Now start searching Facebook for these individuals. The best place to start is in Facebook Groups.
Join relevant groups and start sharing the content you are publishing to your blog which we outline in strategy #2. Find 10 or 15 minutes per day to answer relevant question members are posing. Develop trust within the community. You will be amazed at the amount of web traffic and new customers you can generate using this approach.
Try implementing these 5 strategies in 2017. They work in conjunction with each other and will generate a high number of new, loyal customers. Don’t rely on the same old business generation methods of the past. You can almost be assured that your competition is using some or all of the methods listed above. Don’t let them steal your potential clients and customers. Make 2017 a year of growth.