Just like businesses and brands, marketing comes in all different shapes and sizes. And thanks to the massive power, reach, and growth of the internet, marketing, and branding opportunities are expanding and changing all of the time.
However, just because big brands can spend millions of dollars on pay per click advertising, banner ads and media buying –– one size doesn’t fit all. Your approach is unique to your business needs. This is especially true for startups and SMBs (i.e., small to medium-sized businesses) with tight budgets who need financial returns at a much faster pace.
With all of this in mind, it’s important to look at your small business and the numerous business marketing and branding opportunities available, while understanding how each tactic works and why it makes sense for your stage of growth.
That’s exactly what we are going to do today. Let’s get started.
Take advantage of what the internet has to offer
Nearly every business is online these days, and when they are, it makes the process of marketing and connecting with new and existing customers a whole lot easier.
However, “being online” isn’t enough. Instead, a business needs to take advantage of various low-cost and effective online marketing methods, while knowing how to stand out from the crowd and optimize ad performance as well.
To best accomplish this, consider common strategies on how to grow your small business. Here’s a look at five methods you can try asap.
- Build a website or blog
- Create call to actions within your content
- Grow a following on social media
- Use SEO to drive traffic and gather leads
- Build a mailing list and deploy push notifications
If you take a look at successful businesses on the internet today, you will likely see each of these methods already in place. Now, it’s time to look at each strategy, learn how easy each one is to implement and consider them for your SMB growth plans.
1. Build a website or blog
With the number of free and paid cloud-based website builder tools on the market today, launching a website or blog is extremely easy, fast, and cost-effective. Thanks to content management solutions like WordPress, and website builder platforms like Wix, or Shopify, anyone can go live with a site or e-commerce shop of their own in a matter of hours (no coding required). Most website platforms include “one-click” install options for blogging, while WordPress can easily be set up and used for both.
2. Create ‘call to action’ content
If you create a website or blog, the determining success factor of your site will be the value provided to your audience. When someone visits your website, they are looking to fulfill a need (e.g., information, products, services, etc.). In either case, you will want to offer valuable content with the right call to actions throughout the site to convert new visitors into mailing list subscribers, customers, or returning visitors.
3. Grow a social media following
With more than three billion users spread across all of the major social platforms, it would be a huge mistake to overlook their potential to deliver on your business goals. Each platform is unique in its own way and provides a unique and effective way to engage with new and like-minded audiences. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram offer organic and paid advertising options. It’s ideal for SMBs looking to grow brand awareness, acquire new customers, and maximize ROI through the use of remarketing and demographic targeting tactics.
4. Use SEO to drive traffic and gather leads
Of the numerous ways to grow and market a business online, search engine optimization, a.k.a., SEO, is still one of the most sought after and effective ways to get the job done. For brands that have high quality and established online content, the dream of ranking on page one of Google for relevant search terms can result in hundreds or even thousands of new clicks daily. However, as wonderful as SEO might seem, it’s also extremely competitive. Big brands can easily outspend smaller businesses to improve and keep their existing Google rankings.
5. Launch a mailing list and leverage push notifications
For businesses with an online presence, the goal is to attract new site visitors and keep them coming back for and take a specific action. One of the best ways to keep your audience on your site and encourage repeat visits is to offer a mailing list.
Mailing lists are quick and easy to set up and work best when there is some type of incentive in place (e.g., a freebie, coupon code, content upgrade, etc.). The goal is to offer something of value in exchange for contact information. In exchange for the incentive, a visitor would submit their email address and join your mailing list.
In addition to a mailing list, push notification lists are quickly growing in demand. Push notifications act as direct notifications that can be sent to desktop and mobile devices. If you’ve ever used Uber and received a notification that your driver is just a few minutes away, this is a perfect example of what a push notification can do for your business –– while providing value to the end-user.
The best marketing methods for SMBs in 2020 and beyond
Over the past several years, the internet has ushered in plenty of new and exciting ways for SMBs to grow their reach and ROI. Each of these methods are useful and effective in their own way, but even more powerful when used together.
Take a look at the list above and see what tactics you could be missing out on, and consider how you can implement them into your marketing plans.
Zac Johnson is an entrepreneur who blogs at ZacJohnson.com. Follow his journey as he documents more than 20 years of experience and success in the world of online marketing and branding. Connect with @zacjohnson on Twitter.
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