Back in the good old pre-internet days, costly traditional marketing tactics dominated the way small business advertised and sold their products and services.
Then along came digital and social media marketing, changing the way people shop and buy dramatically. Rather than take their cues from TV advertising, people now use search engines and browse social media to see what their friends are buying.
The good news for small business is there are now loads of low-cost marketing tactics you can do yourself to help grow your business. And you don’t need to be a marketing guru.
Here are my ‘Top 5 Do-It-Yourself’ marketing tips for small business.
Tip #1 – Use Online Local Directories
If you’ve already got yourself a nice website up and running, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) should be one of your top priorities. The secret to good ranking for local search engine visibility is getting yourself on as many relevant local directories as you can.
Your online business listing should contain your business name, address, phone number and any other relevant information about your business. There are plenty of these directories out there but get started with a Google My Business account.
As Google continues to personalise their search results, you will notice more local businesses showing up in the results. A consistent local business listing for your business will help you achieve this.
Create a social media account for your business and engage with your local community. A good way to build your brand awareness is to support local events, run competitions and then promote these on your social media channels.
If you’re running a business that is visually compelling try Instagram. It works wonders for local restaurants, cafes and even tradies looking to show off their newly completed house or reno. Social media platforms also give you the ability to run sponsored ads targeted very specifically to your customers at a very low cost.
Social media analytics are also very powerful. When you have a business page you can get insights into the demographics of people who follow your page. This can help you better understand your customers offline too!
Try these useful business guides from leading social media platforms:
Tip #3 – Start a blog for your business
It may have taken some small businesses awhile to even understand what a blog is, but no doubt it is super powerful for small business allowing you to provide useful information to your target audience. It can also bring new customers to your website that may have never discovered you otherwise.
When writing blogs it is best practice to write non-promotional articles that will help your target audience (like this one!). If your content is too sales-oriented or promotional people will just ignore it. You can use your blog articles to share across your social media channels as well to amplify your reach.
Blogging is also great for SEO, when writing articles be sure to contain keywords that a relevant to your business in the title of your blog, in subheadings and throughout the body. But be sure not to stuff in the keywords, only use them if it feels natural.
Tip #4 – Write Case Studies
If you’re a business at the top of your game, you’re sure to have plenty of happy customers! So give them a chance to sing your praises. Nothing is more powerful than third-party reviews. Ask your best customers if they would be willing to be featured in a case study.
You can conduct an interview and write a blog style case study or create a video case study. Either way, you should promote it heavily through your website and social media channels. A good structure to follow when designing your case study includes:
- Who is the person or business in the case study
- What was the problem they had (if relevant)
- What was your solution to their problem or why they love your business
- Finish with the results you had or what keeps them coming back
Tip #5 – Create a product or service explainer video
Last but not least, create a video that explains your product or service. One of the best ways to do this is with an animated video and a voice over. These videos are super affordable and many online freelancers can create them for a couple of hundred dollars or even less!
These videos are really powerful and work great on your website or social media. Best practice is to keep them short and sweet, no longer than a minute or so. Aim to get across the message of what you do, who for and why you do it. And include your value proposition and a call to action at the end.
Bonus Tip – Speak at a local networking or community event
As a small business, you want to entrench yourself in your local community. And a big opportunity to build your awareness is often overlooked. Many organisations have networking or community events that have speaking spots available to talk about what you do. Take advantage of these opportunities as often as possible.
So there you go 5 low-cost small business marketing tips (and a bonus tip) for you to try today!
See marketing doesn’t have to be costly; it just requires you to invest some of your time.
Do you have any great marketing tips for other small business owners? Please leave them in the comments!
“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."