In past years during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many small businesses around the world suffered losses, with some even ended up closing their business operations. The pandemic caused a temporal shut down of nearly all types of businesses, but the most affected ones were the small businesses across the globe. When business operations gradually began to improve, most small businesses had already seen challenges that they were not prepared for. One of the major reasons for the decline in their growth during the pandemic was the lack of digital marketing plans or strategies, which had left them in a challenging situation due to the catastrophic changes in the consumer mindsets and their shopping habits caused by the pandemic. However, for every disadvantage, there is an advantage. Small businesses have now become more conscious of implementing the right marketing ideas that are sustainable through good and tough times.
It’s 2022, and if you’re a small business owner looking to grow your company and achieve success in an increasingly competitive marketplace, then we have the roadmap for you. You might not have the budget of a multinational corporation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay on top of trends and innovate with cutting-edge marketing campaigns and make the best use of the marketing mix.
Let’s list down some creative ways to market your company on a shoe-string budget in 2022: from newsletters to social media campaigns to SEO, these six ideas will get you thinking creatively about how far creativity can take you! Too much of “creativity”, already? Let’s say we are just getting started!
Social Media Campaigns:
Social media is an excellent way to get the word out there about your company without having to spend a lot of money. One simple way to give your social media presence a boost is by updating your profile details on popular channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter with the necessary and apt details that might help your potential customers to find you or connect with you. This will give your social media page a more professional look that is also great for brand awareness.
While Facebook and Twitter are the most popular platforms, they may not be the best places for marketing your company. If your target audience is generally on Instagram or Pinterest, perhaps investing your time and energy there will be more worthwhile than posting content on Twitter and Facebook. A study conducted by HubSpot found that Instagram and Facebook were ranked as the most effective platforms for B2C businesses based on how likely people were to share their posts. So understanding where your potential customers are most active on, is the biggest step in ensuring the best results from your social media marketing strategy. And the best way to do it is by getting feedback from your existing customers on their online activity and also exploring your competitor’s social media strategy. Don’t get me wrong, but there is no harm in learning from all the available sources and that includes competitive research too.
While speaking of sharing your posts, one great way to get social media attention is through hashtags. Hashtags allow users searching a topic to browse and find the right ones containing similar keywords rather than having to search through each post one by one. This makes it easier for potential customers to find your company. For example, a search for “#smallbusiness” on Instagram will return over 265+ million posts while the same search on Twitter only returns 2+ million posts.
In order to make the most of hashtags, be sure to use them sparingly and appropriately. Don’t overload your posts with hashtags or they’ll lose their impact. Also, make sure that you’re using hashtags that are relevant to your business. Using popular hashtags such as #MondayMotivation and #TGIF which are not relevant to your company could actually hurt your marketing efforts rather than help them.
The best way to go about creating an effective social media strategy is by planning, and planning well! So, start with the pen and paper, chalk out a plan and a social media calendar, and think of ways of ensuring that your posts become engaging and follow-worthy for your potential audience. And don’t forget to be active on your social channels, reply to your audience and interact with them, they will love it and it will boost your brand awareness too.
Blogging is still and will always remain a great way to connect with customers and potential leads. If you can find interesting topics to write about that are relevant to your industry, you’ll be able to attract organic traffic to your site and make them coming back for more! Blogging is one of the most effective tools for digital marketing that small businesses can use. Blogs provide content that people are craving and it’s an easy way to stand out in your industry. You should develop a blogging strategy ahead of time so you can publish regularly and keep your content fresh.
You should also make sure you title your blog posts correctly so they show up on search engines. If you’re not able to come up with titles, start by creating a list of keywords related to the topic of your blog post before naming it. The more descriptive, exciting, and targeted your blog post titles are, the more likely readers will share your content with their followers!
Also, make sure you’re using relevant and high-quality images and videos on the blog posts to capture attention and stand out from the competition. You can also use social media to boost the visibility of your blogs, which can help generate more effective interest.
Optimize Your Site For Search Engines:
While optimizing your site for search engines may not be as exciting as hosting an onsite event, it’s one of the most important aspects of digital marketing you can do. This will ensure that potential leads are actually able to navigate their way through your site to the information they are after. In this day and age, no business can afford to ignore SEO as a marketing tactic!
To put it simply, SEO is just how well you rank on search engines like Google when someone types in keywords relevant to your business. This means that potential leads are not only seeing your site (and social profiles) but also easily finding what they need within it. The better optimized your site is in search engines, the higher the ranking you’ll get, and the more likely leads are to convert into customers.
Creating high-quality content is one of the most effective ways to improve your SEO ranking while also attracting new leads. This type of marketing involves creating blog articles, videos, infographics, and other types of content that are interesting and useful to your target audience. When done correctly, this content will help you establish yourself as an authority in your industry while also getting leads interested in what you have to offer.
Importance of On-Page SEO
When creating new pages for your site, it’s important to consider how they are optimized from a technical standpoint so that it is easier for search engines to index the pages and understand the context, relevance, and usability of your web pages. This is called on-page SEO. Factors that are taken into consideration for on-page SEO include implementing target keywords and optimizing important aspects of your page from headings to alt tags to page speed among others.
By implementing these factors early on in the website creation process, you will be able to streamline what you need to do by having a baseline of SEO-optimized content already created and ensuring that your website is considered as a great source of relevant information for your target audience and keywords.
Off-page optimization is also important because it includes all the aspects of being found outside of just your website. This would include social media profiles as well as guest blogging on other websites that are relevant to your industry. In order to rank well in search engines, you need to have a variety of sources linking back to your site.
Use Your Email Newsletter:
Email newsletters can be a very effective lead generation tool for small business. You can create new content on a regular basis, or simply put your best blog posts into an email and send it around every couple of months to keep your name out there. But the best way to ensure you have high conversion chances from this marketing tool is by creating an email marketing strategy that is relevant and valuable to your target audience. You don’t want to be lost in the pool of marketing emails that your potential customer receives on a daily basis, you have to stand out and make it count.
Your newsletter signup form should be placed on critical pages of your website to get maximum results from the subscribers you’re able to gain, and having a simple link will make it easy for visitors who want to receive updates from you in order to subscribe.
You don’t want them to have to search through all of your site’s pages looking for where they can sign up for more information, so make sure that the form is front and center on most critical pages.
Once the newsletter signup is in place, all you have to do is send out regular email campaigns to everyone who has subscribed. Once a week is a good frequency if you’re going weekly to start, and then changing it up later based on what your subscribers want from your company. You can get a lot of free feedback by simply asking them what type of topics they would like you to cover more often or less frequently in future newsletters. When done correctly, the email newsletter can be a very effective lead generation tool for small business. You can create new content on a regular basis, or simply put your best blog posts into an email and send it around every couple of months to keep your name out there.
As long as you have email addresses of people who are interested in what you have to offer, an email newsletter is a fantastic way of staying connected with current customers and potential leads alike. It’s also very easy these days to automate newsletters based on your customer’s behavior and there are lot of email marketing tools in the market with free versions which you can definitely utilize in the early days of your digital marketing journey like MailChimp, SendInBlue and Hubspot being the best of the lot.
Strategic Partnerships With Other Non-Competitive Small Businesses:
Leveraging the power of the small business community is the best way to not just have a collaborative growth structure but also create a valuable professional network. Thus, connecting with other businesses can help you promote each other on social media or via email newsletters, plus it can give your customers the chance to purchase more products/services from you both. A partnership is a great way to get more traffic to your site and increase brand awareness for your company, so be sure to reach out to others within your industry who have complementary services or products!
Utilizing Public Forums (Quora, Social Media Groups Etc.):
One of the most neglected yet quite high ROI based channels that most small businesses tend to neglect are online public forums! They are a goldmine when it comes to relevancy in the audience targeted there. Don’t believe me just think of the times when you visited an online public forum like Quora or a specialized Social Media group, and answer this simple question “Why did you visit the forum?”. You might have definitely visited them to “find an answer” to a query you had in mind. Now think of the situation when you can utilize these forums to reach out to the audience who are searching for answers to the burning problem/question that you are primarily targeting to solve through your business. Suppose you are an online yoga class academy and you come across users on quora, social media groups who are looking for such a service or asking queries related to your domain, wouldn’t that be the perfect medium to connect with them, establish your rapport and well there is no harm in ending that answer with “you know if you are interested to know more or have a free group yoga session with our experts, you can always visit us at: xyz.com and let’s connect”.
But remember the most important part of utilizing these forums as your lead generation activity: – Never try to be too pushy in your sales, always focus on answering the query in a professional way first! Remember you are there to boost your brand value first and then generate leads. No one likes a nosy salesman, but they always love answers to their queries. First make them fall in love with you, with the answers to their related queries and then connect with them to get the lead.
Quora and social media groups are invaluable, they are mostly the cheapest medium of getting your best leads. Everyone is searching for “answers” and these forums are the mediums.
So, start by searching for questions/queries related to your domain through the search bar of any forum, then select the ones you feel are potential leads or can be used to influence the readers for a potential lead. Then jot down your answers and follow-up on the answer with a slight push for connect or visiting your website.
Let’s make 2022 a year to remember for all small and medium businesses from across the globe! Disruption in the industry on how these businesses promote themselves is past its due date. It’s time to gear up and take control of the digital landscape and create an impactful presence online. If you are a small business owner, hope the tips given in this blog helps you in somewhat making the initial strides towards accelerated growth. But in case you want to be hassle-free and ensure a highly effective digital marketing framework for your business then our simplified subscription-based digital marketing services can help you achieve that!
Just drop an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can explore our wide range of turnkey marketing services here.