When the budget is tight, there only so much you can do to promote a business. These online marketing tactics for small businesses are here to help.
High Budget vs. Low Budget Approach
Let’s try to imagine an ideal marketing campaign environment we’d all love to be in.
Stage 1. When you have a considerable amount of money to spend on your Internet marketing campaign, you probably look (and feel) like this.
Stage 2. However, as the time goes on and you see your budget fading slowly while your profits are still far from perfect. Then, you start questioning yourself and your tactics – maybe there is something wrong. Maybe, it would be good to do an experiment or two, try various approaches.
Your face is going…
Stage 3. Finally, right around the time when your budget is almost depleted, you start cutting all the unnecessary costs, abandoning all the fruitless experiments, and sticking to the methods that really work.
Your face might be going…
Now, here’s the moral of the story – you should have skipped straight to step 3 no matter how much money you have because this is how a business survives in the modern ever-competitive world.
Starting Out Is the Most Difficult Part
Not many businesses have the privilege of starting out in a clean, sterile environment where everything depends on how good your product and your service are.
In reality, the main problem isn’t coming up with THE great idea for a product/service – there are plenty of those nowadays. The main problem for starting businesses is getting heard, seen, and, generally, noticed out there.
Customers of today are smart and lazy at the same time. They want their something fresh, flash, and useful – something that is worth their money. And they want it right now. They will immediately dismiss anything that is not original or cheap-ish.
What they DON’T want is to spend hours or even minutes searching for that something on the Internet or elsewhere. Ideally, something worthy should pop up in their live feed while they’re on their social networks.
This puts enormous pressure on the marketers as they’re struggling to come up with an idea that would allow them to stand out from the crowd. It’s especially hard for up and coming businesses as they have even fewer tools to choose from, not mention experience.
In this environment, the fittest wins – not the fattest. You don’t need a huge budget to make a difference and put your brand name out there.
All you need is a smart approach, patience, and hard work. These tips below will help you focus on what’s really important, achieve meaningful results, and save a lot of money along the way.
11 Smart Online Marketing Tactics for Small Businesses
Not a complete list by any means, this is more of an attempt at tackling the most difficult question of all time – how to make something out of nothing. Laws of physics say we cannot.
Marketing practices over the past 30 years say we can but with great care and patience. So, how do we do it?
Here are the tips to help you out with this task. If you are or have already been doing some of the things I describe below, don’t be too quick to skip them – it’s always useful to revise your activities once in a while.
Take a small step back and try to look at the situation differently. Who knows what you might learn? For the rest of the tips, it’s all pretty obvious – do try them at home:).
1. Perform More Keyword Research
Even if you’ve just had a best-in-the-world SEO specialist finish working on your website, it would still need attention after some time.
Trends change, so do search engine algorithms. Make it a habit – to research keywords using Google’s standard tools like Keyword Planner or some custom software at least once a month.
I do it even more frequently – once in two weeks or so. These mere minutes that you will spend doing this are worth a lot, trust me.
If there are keywords that are performing worse than usual, change them or get rid of them. See what else is trendy right now and how you can use it for your SEO.
2. Start a Blog
People don’t like to read advertisements. In fact, they hate. However, the need for quality content is ever relevant as there are still more questions than answers.
Your online business can benefit greatly from having a blog, especially if you will update it regularly with relevant and interesting content that your potential buyers might find worth reading.
Don’t put too much emphasis on sales and “infomercial” aspect of your blog. Just share good stuff with people – they will surely dig it, and, as a result of this, your brand too.
3. Create a Facebook Business Page
A lot of companies are conducting their business via Facebook – it’s a really great platform for many online businesses.
What you need to do is set up a business page (select the page type during the creation process) and fill it with the proper content – images, product descriptions, tutorials, demonstration videos, etc.
4. Comment and Post on Relevant Content on the Internet
Get yourself noticed – as a person or as a brand. If there’s a forum for smoothie lovers and your business if making smoothies, it will be a natural thing for you to join it and start up a discussion, or maybe join an existing one.
Websites like Quora are always in the search for experts in various fields – don’t be shy and reply to questions and comments while keeping your business identity visible. A simple phrase “I’ve got a website where you can get…”) can make a difference for your business.
5. Build an Email List
Never underestimate the power of the Dark Force email marketing. By simply collecting emails from your site visitors in a natural, non-intrusive, and opt-in manner, you can have yourself a great place to start doing marketing with little to no costs.
Using a popular email marketing service like MailChimp can help.
6. Post Craigslist Ads
Simple, primitive at times but it works! You have a product/service to offer, thousands of people would not mind buying it – Craigslist is right there in between.
Try not to “overmarket” your message though if you don’t want to alienate potential buyers.
7. Register on Freelancing Platforms
Resources like Fiverr provide an excellent opportunity to connect with the audience seeking for certain services. If your business is graphic design, web development, music/video editing, then it’s definitely up your alley.
8. Host Your Video Content on YouTube
Reading is OK but it gets boring at times. What if you found a way to represent your brand and products in a video format? That would be certainly great!
Having product demos, promotional videos, interviews, how-tos, or simply entertaining content related to your brand on YouTube is a great opportunity for your business.
9. Maintain an Active Profile on Social Media
Never get off social media. Update your accounts regularly and always keep an eye on trends – it’s a great way to cash in on the currently hot memes and topics.
10. Respond to Online Reviews
Well, not to only online ones – to ANY reviews. But online matter the most in our case. Engaging in a conversation with your customers, no matter on what platform, shows your responsibility and care, which is always a sign of a great business.
11. Find Social Influencers
Social influencers are the future of marketing. Getting one for your business might be the best thing you’ll ever do. To learn more about this rather interesting phenomenon of our times, check out this recent article of mine “Influencer Marketing in 2017: Will It Finally Explode?”.
That’s the end of our article – I hope these tips will prove helpful to you and your online business.
The right thing to do would be share this article with your friends on the social networks – just click on one of the icons of social media, it’s that easy.
If you have further questions on the subject, please write them in comments – I’ll be glad to answer.
If you would like to read more about digital marketing and branding, be sure to check out these articles on my blog: