In today’s world, having a healthy social media presence is essential for any business. If you aren’t using social media to promote your business, you’re potentially wasting valuable marketing dollars.
While you should always be thinking about ways to grow your business, sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start. That’s why we’ve gone ahead and curated this comprehensive list of the most effective and affordable marketing strategies for small businesses. You’ll find a combination of tactics and tools from the digital marketing world that can help you market your business for less money, or even for free.
1. Create multiple streams of income
Income diversity is essential when you’re starting a business. You never know what could happen, so it is best to be prepared. Sometimes your business will do very well, while other times it can be challenging to find customers. Having multiple streams of income allows you to continue operating even when the economy takes a downturn and your sales are lower.
2. Optimize your social media accounts
There are many reasons why optimizing your social media accounts is important, but here are a few of the most prominent ones:
- People love seeing their friends on social media.
- It’s the perfect place for you to connect with existing and potential customers.
- It’s the perfect place to grow your business acumen.
- The statistics show that 68% of people on social media are more likely to purchase a product or service after viewing it on social media.
To optimize your social media accounts, you need to do the following:
- Set your profile pictures on social media accounts to be a high-quality version of yourself.
- Use your social media accounts to speak to your ideal customer, and establish yourself as an expert in your industry.
- Monitor your social media accounts to ensure the content you post is engaging and draws in more people.
- Measure the success of your efforts on social media using analytics tools.
3. Conduct market research
You need to know what your target audience is thinking, feeling, and doing, and the best way to find out is through market research. The key is to find a way to get your target audience to tell you what they’re thinking and doing, and you can do this through market research. There are different types of market research, but each type has its perks. For example, you can ask customers to take a survey to find out what they think about your product or service, or you can observe them in real life to find out what they’re doing. In either case, you need to know what your audience is thinking and doing, so you can properly engage with them using strategy number two.
4. Build and maintain a brand voice
Having a brand voice is extremely important, and this applies whether you have a one-or-two-word brand name or a complete logo and color scheme. Essentially, having a brand voice is about choosing words that will make customers understand and believe in what you offer, without using marketing language or overly technical terms. For example, “customer-focused” instead of “focus on customers,” or “strategic partnerships” instead of “partnerships.”
To create a brand voice, start by brainstorming with your brand ambassadors (employees, family members, etc.) who have an affinity for your brand and can speak to its personality. It’s also important to conduct this brainstorming session using the language and values of your brand.
Once you have a clear picture in mind of the kind of voice you want to use, take some time to research terminology that’s relevant to your industry. For example, if you’re in the restaurant business, you might want to look into how to describe a specific type of food or meal or a particular restaurant style. When choosing words, it’s important to think about how someone in your target audience would describe the product or service you offer. This way, when a customer hears or reads about your brand, they’ll immediately understand what you’re offering and will feel connected to your brand.
5. Measure the ROI of your marketing efforts
The last thing you need as a small business is to waste your time and effort on marketing activities that aren’t bringing in the results you’re looking for. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you need to measure the ROI of your marketing efforts. You can do this using a variety of techniques, but the most effective way is through the use of analytics. Fortunately for you, we’re going to tell you exactly how to do this.
6. Integrate your marketing efforts
You need to have a clear understanding of every aspect of your marketing plan to ensure it all ties together nicely. To do this, it’s important to integrate your various digital marketing efforts. This means having a single, cohesive voice and brand identity across all platforms, and ensuring you have the tools and resources available to successfully market your product or service on social media.
To begin, create a marketing plan and populate it with all the major players involved in the plan. From here, you can organize and schedule your efforts using the tools available to you. Integrating your efforts means having a single communication channel available to everyone involved in the planning process, which helps eliminate any unnecessary duplications and potential errors.
7. Post regularly on social media
If you want to see your social media accounts perform at their highest potential, you need to post frequently and ensure your posts are engaging and interesting.
Posting frequently doesn’t mean you need to always post about your product or service. In fact, you can use social media to establish yourself as an expert in your industry, share educational content, or even conduct marketing research. When it comes to attracting potential customers to your account, the more you post, the more your followers will see.
To establish yourself as an authority in your industry, you are going to need to show expertise in the following areas:
- Knowledge – Display your expertise in your industry by sharing content about the newest trends, changes, or developments.
- Research – Conducting research to provide value and depth to your industry information.
- Expertise – Using your expertise to provide practical advice or steer others towards a better understanding of your industry.
When you post frequently and engage with your followers, you are going to build credibility and grow your account. To continue establishing yourself as an expert, conduct regular interviews with industry insiders or prominent people in your niche, as well as follow or contact other experts in your field. Doing this can help you become a go-to source for your industry, increase clicks to your website, and grow your account.
8. Use keywords in your content
To ensure your content reaches your target audience, you need to incorporate keywords into your content. When creating content for social media, it is important to keep in mind the specific platforms you are posting to. For example, if you are posting to Instagram, you’ll want to make sure your content includes the appropriate keywords. If you want to do this manually, use a free tool like Google Keyword Planner, which can be accessed from your Google Ads dashboard. Alternatively, you can use a specialized tool like Hummingbird to gain traction on social media and gain exposure to the right audience.
While keywords aren’t magic, they can help get your content in front of the right audience and make it more discoverable. To incorporate keywords into your content, decide on a content schedule and stick to it. For example, if you know you’ll need to produce five pieces of content to meet your monthly objectives, set a schedule and write one each month.
9. Build a community
Last but not least, we have community building. Building a community around your brand means creating dedicated channels where people with shared interests can interact with each other. To do this, you need to participate in relevant communities on social media, and make sure you engage with your followers in a way that feels natural and comes without any awkwardness. You can also use these platforms to establish yourself as an expert in your industry and to conduct marketing research.