When it comes to getting your small business up and running, one of the most important things that you can do is establish your marketing plans. From branding to blogs, from digital advertising to social media, these are all aspects of marketing that you should be considering – and planning budgets for.
No matter what marketing you decide to do, you should be focusing on pushing your brand name across a variety of platforms to get it in front of as many eyes as possible. Most customers need to hear your name and messaging several times before they will remember it, which is what makes marketing such an important part of your success. Here are our top tips to help you effectively market your small business.
This should go without saying, as you probably aren’t just winging any other part of building up your small business, but being organized is a very important part of marketing. You should start with brainstorming on how much you are able to spend on marketing, as well as where you think you would like to focus your efforts. It’s fine to start small and experiment to see what ends up getting you the best return on investment (ROI). Don’t neglect customer input, especially in your early days, as it can be very valuable in helping you to really refine your brand messaging.
Build a Website
It’s no secret that most people today spend a lot of time on their smartphones – and that the first thing they usually do when they’re interested in a new business is scope them out on Google. If you don’t have a website, you aren’t making it easy for potential customers to learn more about you, or convincing them that they should spend their money at your establishment.
The best way to ensure that you get a professional-looking site that people can actually find is by hiring a web designer. They know all of the ins and outs about web design, as well as how to ensure that your site is optimized for search engines. This is what, over time, will help boost your rankings on Google so that you can appear on the first page of results, making it far more likely that leads will end up on your site.
Utilize Social Media
Over 70 percent of Americans have at least one social media account, and that number is only expected to rise in the next five years. With so many different social media platforms available for people to use, there is sure to be at least one that makes sense for your business to be active on. Avoiding social media leaves a great advertising opportunity on the table; taking advantage of it can mean a big boost in sales as well as consumer sentiment – if you utilize the platform correctly.
Claim your Business Online
Even if you decide against using digital advertising, at the very least, you need to ensure that you claim your business online, especially on Google. This ensures that people can at least get correct contact information for you, and that you have control over what information is posted there.
Use Google Ads
There is a reason why advertising on Google is so popular – because that is where the majority of Americans go to look for information and businesses. Google Ads are extremely versatile because they allow you to target specific keywords that users would search to find products or services like yours. It also has a very broad range of budget options, giving you control over exactly how much you spend. It’s best to focus on a few of the most relevant keywords in order to avoid spending money on users that aren’t likely to end up converting.
Offer Discounts, Coupons, or Freebies
One of the best ways to build brand loyalty, especially early on in your business’s life, is to incentivize people to try you. Create buzz with special discounts, coupons, freebies, etc. A happy customer isn’t just going to end up shopping with you again, they are also going to tell their friends and family about you – and word of mouth can be a very powerful tool in the success of a business.
Finding Success for Your Small Business
What’s most important is that, no matter what marketing route you decide to take, you are consistent with your efforts and your messaging. Most marketing experts will tell you that it takes people hearing or seeing your brand name seven times before they will take any action, like visiting your site or your store.
In today’s digital world, you need to have a solid marketing plan in order to get your name known and build customer loyalty. And if you aren’t sure where to start, or don’t have the time or expertise to tackle it yourself, Gulf Coast Web is here to help.
At Gulf Coast Web, we have over 25 years of experience in managing all types of digital design and marketing campaigns – even for companies outside of our immediate area. Our staff consists of highly-trained digital design advertising professionals who are both passionate about their jobs and excel at what they do. Contact us today to book a consultation with our team. We look forward to outlining exactly how we can help you grow your business with our digital media agency services.