Small Business Marketing 101

Deciding on the right marketing plan for your small business is key.

All entrepreneurs understand that they need to do some sort of marketing to turn their company into a success, but many don’t understand the basics of how to do it. This article is titled Small Business Marketing 101 because it can be used as a crash course on what you should be doing to promote your business.

A Website Is Non-Negotiable

Some entrepreneurs think that they only need a website if they plan to sell their product or service online. The current business landscape demands that you have one even if you don’t plan on doing any e-commerce though. The modern consumer enjoys researching things online, so any company without a digital footprint seems sketchy.A website is an absolute must for your business.

Of course, having a website is pointless if potential customers can’t find it. That means that you need to engage in some rudimentary SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. SEO can be intimidating at first, but if you approach it as the science behind turning your site into a valuable marketing tool, it starts to feel more approachable.

You can spend a fortune on a professional SEO campaign, but you can handle the basics yourself and for free. First, place yourself in the shoes of your target audience. What terms do you use to search for a company like yours? These “keywords” should appear in as many titles, heading, and meta descriptions on your site as possible. Mention them in your content too, but don’t go overboard! Search engine algorithms will dock you for spamming.

Next, make sure that your site loads well on mobile devices. Consumers love searching for businesses on their phones, so you need to give them a good experience. Finally, try to secure backlinks to your site. Search engine rankings are determined in part by how much “authority” your site has on a given topic, and the best way to increase your authority is to get other sites to cite you as a reliable source.

Decide On Social Media

There are so many social media platforms out there that it can feel daunting, but you don’t need to be Social media is one of your business's biggest on all of them. Instead, identify the platforms that give you the best opportunity to show off what you’re all about. If your business is formal, a more formal platform such as LinkedIn suits you well. If you offer products with visual appeal, show them off on Instagram! If a product requires a demonstration to click with your audience, a video on Facebook or YouTube is a great investment.

You also need to go where your audience is. If your target demo is older, stick to the basics such as Facebook. If it skews younger, you need to be on hipper platforms such as SnapChat and Reddit. There is no wrong answer as long as your audience can see what you’re doing!

Consider Adwords

Google Adwords is the advertising program that determines what ads Google users see while browsing the web. Considering that Google encompasses a popular internet browser (Chrome), YouTube, the most popular search engine in the world, and other services, nearly everyone online is a Google user. Therefore, purchasing digital ads on Adwords can be a great way to get your name out there and drive revenues.

Of course, you can quickly spend all of your money on an advertising campaign that will take months to pay off if you’re not careful. Try to limit your spending in this arena early on and increase it as you become more established.

Don’t Wait For Customers To Come To YouYou can't wait for customers to come to you.

Finally, entrepreneurs need to understand that they will not come just because you have built it. You need to be generating brand loyalty, building beneficial relationships, and proactively reaching out to potential customers as soon as your doors open. Otherwise, a company that is doing all of those things will leave you in the dust. Good luck!

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