Small businesses must be scrappy and smart with their marketing efforts, as they often don’t have the same budget as larger businesses. But that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve great results!
“Because it is its purpose to create a customer, any business enterprise has two – and only these two – basic functions: marketing and innovation.” ~ Peter Drucker
This post will discuss the top 10 marketing channels for small businesses. These channels will help you reach your target audience and generate more leads and sales. Let’s get started!
What is a marketing channel?
Before we dive in, it’s essential to know what a marketing channel is.
A marketing channel is a route to get your message, product, or service in front of your target market. There are a variety of marketing channels like social media marketing or organic search that you use, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
As a small business, your marketing budget is likely limited, so it’s essential to test and choose the correct type of marketing channel for your business, as they will determine how successful your marketing efforts will be.
A website is one of a small business’s most important digital marketing channels. Your online storefront provides a place for customers to learn more about your business, its products, and your services.
With a professional website, you can reach a larger audience than you would if you only relied on offline marketing methods.
If you don’t have a website, now is the time to create one. Some free and low-cost website builders are available, so there’s no excuse not to have one.
When building a website, it’s essential to keep these factors in mind:
- Obtain a good domain name
- Purchase quality hosting
- Use a content management system (i.e., WordPress)
- Make sure your site loads fast
- The site looks good on mobile devices
- Focus on high-quality content (Written, Images, and Videos)
- Have a clear call to action on your site
- Optimize for Search Engines (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In a report by Hubspot, 61% of B2B marketers stated that SEO and organic search traffic produce more leads than any other marketing initiative. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website and its content to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
SEO can be an excellent way for small businesses to get their website in front of more potential customers. Optimizing your website and its content can improve your ranking for relevant keywords. This can result in more website visitors, leading to more leads and sales.
Many factors go into SEO, including:
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- H1 and H2 headings
- Anchor text
- Internal links
- External links
- Robots.txt file
If you’re unsure where to start with SEO, many resources, such as this guide from Google, are available online. And remember, it’s important to continually test and tweak your SEO strategy to ensure you’re getting the best results.
One of the best ways for small businesses to generate revenue is through content marketing. Content marketing is the process of creating and publishing content that is relevant to your target market.
Content marketing aims to attract and retain customers by providing valuable information that helps them solve their problems. Content marketing can help small businesses increase website traffic, leads, and sales when done correctly.
There are many ways small businesses can produce valuable content, including:
- Blog posts
- Creating infographics
- Producing videos
- Creating e-books or whitepapers
- Guest blogging
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
When creating content, it’s essential to keep these tips in mind:
- Make sure your content is relevant to your target market
- Create valuable content that helps your audience solve their problems
- Include keywords in your content that people are likely to search for
- Use images and videos to break up your text and make your content more engaging
- Optimize your content for SEO
- Publish regularly
- Promote your content on social media channels
- Email it to your subscribers
When done correctly, content marketing can be an extremely effective way for small businesses to generate revenue. Small businesses can attract more website visitors, leads, and sales by producing high-quality content relevant to their target market.
Social Media Marketing
According to Datareportal, 58.4% world uses social media, and the average daily time spent on social media is 2.5 hrs. These numbers show how social media marketing is a great way to reach many people quickly. Social media is one of the most effective channels for small businesses when it comes to marketing.
Some of the most popular social media accounts include:
- Google My Business
What type of social media posts should you share?
There are countless ideas, but here are a few to get your brainstorming started:
- Create a how-to or tutorial
- Run a contest
- Relevant content
- Share a quote
- Create a weekly series
- Celebrate holidays and significant events
- Behind-the-scenes pictures
- Customer Spotlights
- Customer Reviews
- Share videos of your product or service
When choosing which social media platforms to use for marketing, it’s essential to consider where your target audience hangs out. For example, if your target market is young adults, you may want to focus on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
If you’re unsure where to start, it’s a good idea to survey your customer base and ask which platforms they use most. You can also research online to find the most popular platforms among your target market.
It’s also important to consider your business goals and objectives when choosing social media platforms. For example, if you want to increase brand awareness, you may want to focus on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. If you generate leads, you may want to focus on LinkedIn.
Remember, it’s important to be realistic and focus on a few channels where you have the best chance of reaching your target audience.
Email marketing is an excellent way for small businesses to connect with customers and prospects.
Email marketing allows you to reach a large number of people quickly and inexpensively. And when done correctly, email marketing can be one of the most effective channels for small businesses.
There are many things you can do with email marketing, including:
- Send out regular newsletters or updates
- Promote new products or services
- Run contests or giveaways
- Announce sales or discounts
- Collect feedback from your customer base & more!
One major challenge we hear about is; How do you grow your email marketing list?
Here are some ideas on how you can get people to subscribe to your email list:
- Create unique content
- Encourage subscribers to share your email
- Create a special offer
- Online contest
- Encourage people on social media to join
- Collect email addresses at trade shows or in-person events
- Collect email in-store
Word of Mouth
Most small businesses don’t have the budget to invest in traditional marketing channels, such as TV or radio advertising. This leaves word-of-mouth marketing as one of the most cost-effective ways to reach new customers.
Word-of-mouth marketing is getting people to talk about your business to their friends, family, and colleagues. You can start your word-of-mouth campaign through a number of methods, such as:
- Having a great product or service
- Providing excellent customer service
- Running promotional campaigns
- Participating in online and offline communities
- Creating social media content that’s worth sharing
When done correctly, word-of-mouth marketing can be highly effective in helping a small business grow. It can help you reach new customers who may not have been aware of your business. And it can also help you build trust and credibility with potential customers.
So how do you get started with word-of-mouth marketing? Here are a few tips:
- Make sure your product or service is top-notch
- Make it easy for people to share your content
- Encourage people to leave feedback
- Participate in online and offline communities
- Make yourself available for interviews
- Create helpful resources
Video marketing is a powerful tool to help small businesses reach new customers and grow their businesses.
Video marketing can be used in many ways, including:
- Uploading short videos to social platforms
- Creating longer-form videos for YouTube or other video hosting sites
- Using videos as part of a content marketing strategy
- Including videos on your website or blog
- Using video in email marketing campaigns
Regarding video marketing, it’s important to remember that the key is to create exciting and valuable content for your target audience. If you produce quality content, people will watch it and share it with others.
Here are a few ideas of the type of video content you can create:
- Interviews or Q&A sessions
- Product videos
- Promos and deals
- Giveaways and contest
- Time-lapse videos of your work
- User-generated videos
Paid Online Advertising
Paid advertising can be an excellent way for small businesses to reach new customers and grow their business.
There are a number of different types of paid advertising, including:
- Google AdWords
- Facebook Ads
- Twitter Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- TikTok Ads
When it comes to paid online advertising like Google AdWords, you must set a budget you’re comfortable with. It’s also essential to ensure your budget is aligned with your marketing goals.
Here are a few tips for setting your advertising budget:
- Make sure your budget is realistic and achievable. Don’t set unrealistic goals that you can’t afford to achieve.
- Make sure your budget is in line with your marketing goals. If your goal is to generate more leads, then you’ll need to invest more money into advertising than if your goal is brand awareness.
- Decide how much you’re willing to spend on each lead. This will help you determine how much you can afford to spend on advertising overall.
- Try not to overspend on advertising. This can be a waste of money and may not produce the desired results.
- Compare different advertising platforms and find the one best suits your needs and budget.
Print advertising is a great marketing option for small businesses because it allows them to reach new customers and build brand awareness. Additionally, print advertising can generate leads and drive traffic to your website or physical location.
There are a number of different types of print advertising, including:
- Newspaper Advertising
- Magazine Advertising
- Trade Show Advertising
- Direct Mail Advertising
It’s important to know that print advertising is not always the most affordable marketing channel, but it can be an excellent way for small businesses to reach new customers.
One of the cheapest and most effective ways for small businesses to market themselves is through cross-promotion. This involves working with other companies to promote each other’s products and services.
There are some critical benefits to cross-promotion:
- Increased exposure for both businesses
- Generate leads for both businesses
- Establish brand awareness for both businesses
- Create partnerships with like-minded businesses
There are a number of ways small businesses can participate in cross-promotion:
- Partner with another company to offer a joint promotion
- Promote each other on social media
- Share each other’s content on your website or blog
- Participate in trade shows together
Local events are an excellent opportunity for businesses to connect with potential customers in a face-to-face setting. By participating in local events, companies can connect with potential customers and establish relationships that could lead to future sales.
What types of events can you attend? Here are a few ideas:
- Local business expos
- Car shows
- Food festivals
- Craft fairs
- Art shows
- Industry events
When participating in a local event, making the most of your time is essential. Here are a few tips for making the most of your time at a local event:
- Plan Ahead
Before attending the event, take some time to plan out who you want to meet and what you want to accomplish. This will help you make the most of your time at the event.
- Bring Business Cards
Be sure to bring plenty of business cards to exchange information with potential customers easily.
- Have a Pitch Ready
When meeting potential customers, be prepared to pitch your product or service. A well-prepared pitch will help you make the most of your time at the event.
- Follow Up After the Event
Once the event is over, follow up with prospective customers that you met at the event. This will help keep the momentum going and could lead to future sales.
How do I choose a marketing channel for my small business?
When marketing your small business, choosing the proper channels to allocate your budget is essential.
With so many options available, how do you decide which ones are right for you?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the type of marketing channel for your business:
- What is your goal? What are you trying to achieve with your marketing efforts? Knowing this will help you narrow down your options.
- Who is your target audience? Tailoring your marketing messages and strategies to reach your target audience is essential.
- What is your budget? Not all marketing channels are created equal – some are more expensive than others. You’ll need to balance what you can afford and what will be most effective for reaching your target market.
- How much time do you have? Some traditional or digital marketing channels require more time and effort than others. If you’re short on time, consider focusing on those that require less work but still have a significant impact.
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Small businesses have a lot of options when it comes to marketing their company. There is no lack of affordable and effective marketing channels to help small businesses reach new customers and grow their business. Whichever marketing channel you choose, it’s recommended to measure the success of your campaign and ensure you are receiving a positive return on investment (ROI).
If you are unsure where to start or need help developing a strategy for your business, contact us today for a free consultation. Our team would be happy to discuss how we can help you reach your goals.