Starting a small business can mean wearing a lot of hats. There’s always a ton of items on your to-do list and unfortunately, marketing often is at the bottom of the list. Some entrepreneurs enjoy marketing their own business while some tend to push it off until the absolute last minute. No matter what type of business owner you are, there are some marketing essentials you should consider when you’re developing your overall strategy.
You may think your business is too small to have a website but think again. 83% of small businesses feel that having a website gives them a competitive advantage over those without. If you plan to sell a product or service online, then having an online presence can act as an extension of your sales forces driving inbound leads straight to your desktop.
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, having a website allows you to sell your products/services 24/7 outside of your normal business hours. This allows an open window for you to literally be making money while you sleep. And who doesn’t like that?
If you’re sure you want a website but not sure where to start, visit our blog post, 3 Reasons You Need A Website to figure out if a website is the right thing for you and your business. Over time, your business needs will evolve so it’s nice to know your options and have a plan for the future.
Social Media may seem intimidating to some. After all, there are so many platforms and how do you know which ones are appropriate for your business? We are not saying that you should go out and create business pages on all social platforms, but most businesses focus on the big four: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Depending on your goals and what you’d like to achieve, these can be a good start.
Having a presence on social media can open the door to many competitive advantages. It provides an open forum for you to build relationships with your audience and form partnerships with other businesses that can help elevate your brand. However, the days of organic reach on most platforms have diminished and if you’re really serious about advertising on social, you should know it’s a pay to play game.
Another way to really engage and earn your customer’s trust is with email marketing. By soliciting emails or purchasing a list, you have a captive audience who have signed up to hear what you have to say – no pressure! Most businesses underestimate the power of email marketing but if done correctly, it can be a solid tool for growth in your marketing toolbox. The key is to hone into your target audience and communicate with them in a way that provides useful and relevant information that makes them want to engage with your brand.
Managing business reviews can be tricky and sometimes, downright uncomfortable for a small business owner. While you may feel it’s best to leave a negative review unanswered, that’s not best practice. Addressing reviews, especially bad ones, with couth and sophistication can often turn a disgruntled customer into a returning customer if handled properly.
Reviews can come from multiple sites. Depending on your business and the level of customer engagement, review management may be a full-time job. Some business owners do not like managing reviews because they take them too personal which is why there are firms that handle that sort of thing as a neutral party (ahem, call us!). You can read more about the power of reviews and the value they add to your business here.
Keeping your business directory up-to-date and active can be a huge task, but can come with even bigger benefits like attracting more customers, boosting brand awareness, and driving foot traffic. If you’re a small business, hiring someone to do this can help free up your time and give you peace of mind that your listings are being taken care of.
At ARK, we can provide one interface to control your business information on over 100 search engines, maps, and more. We offer services such as listings management, data cleansing, duplicate suppression, and local page management. Contact us to learn more!
Investing in Marketing
It may seem easy to take on these things yourself but by hiring a seasoned expert (like us) you can rest easy knowing you will receive state of the art marketing management every month while freeing up time for you to do other things you enjoy more. Not to mention the stress and learning curves that come into play when taking on something new. We know that funds are tight and so is your free time, so that’s why we developed our Small Business Starter Package. It’s an extremely affordable way, regularly valued at over $725 for these items individually priced, to get up and running by putting your best foot forward. Contact us to learn more!
We hope we’ve provided you with a few basic but powerful strategies for promoting your new business. Check back soon for more useful tips on how to leverage your small business in a big world of competition. If you need help managing certain aspects of your small business or you’d like to know more about the services ARK Marketing has to offer, email us or comment below! Also, follow us on Facebook and Instagram for industry news, inspiration, and helpful tidbits for finding small business success.