The year 2020 was a difficult period for small business marketing. After the unforeseen economic halt in March, many SMBs have been functioning with tightened budgets and reduced staff.
SMB leaders have strived to use the limited resources in the best possible way to attract customers/clients as we all struggled to face the limitations generated by public health concerns along with the resulting financial effects.
Restricted resources do not have to mean scrapping strategies — it’s all about modifying. Small businesses usually have a compact marketing budget to work along, which often makes promoting the business a challenge.
Here’s how you need to strategize about marketing your business in the year 2021 without putting a dent in the wallet.
1. First, have a look at your last year’s marketing plan
A lot of things changed last year, and your initial step must be to throwback and review. Was any of your contenders forced to close, temporarily or permanently? Did other businesses expand or shrink? Collect information and analyze how your business, and the possibilities for a different small business marketing plan, stack up with your companions.
2. Conduct some research and evaluate the market
Conduct some market research to analyze where you can improve or shift to accommodate fresh business streams. Amidst business closures and new client habits and demands, chances may prevail to launch new services or products. Keep in mind, while the coronavirus pandemic has disorganized the small business economy in big ways, many of the changes which occurred in 2020 were already occurring pre-COVID-19. Big trends such as consumers accepting eCommerce and businesses bending towards digital transformation have been stimulated by the present public health situation, however, they are unlikely to undo course once things become safer.
3. Know your customers and try to get online customer feedback
Try and do some localized market investigation by taking your own clients’ pulse. Discover what your customers want and understand how your business is supplying against their expectations. Just like your business was disrupted the previous year, so were the lives of your customers. Now, it’s a proper time for you to get in touch with them and understand what they prefer, their likes and dislikes, and what they expect from you. You might get inspired – either to attempt something different or to double-down on what has already been working. Also, collecting reviews is equally important.
Word of mouth is among the most powerful ways of advancing your business to prospective customers. References on your website are important, but feedbacks on official platforms like Yelp, Google, Facebook, are even better.
4. Keep records and prioritize your marketing goals
Step by step, get super-specific about your business marketing goals. They say that editing is the toughest part of writing; discipline and economy of thought of the same sort are required for a small business marketing strategy on a budget.
Restricted resources need ruthless prioritization of things that matters the most to your business plan. Work on that first, and then get ready with your business goals and priorities. Also, have a look at your returns on investment. Examine all your present marketing ventures to know where you are currently investing the available resources and what return you are getting on every activity.
5. Start Investing in budget-friendly marketing schemes
There is an old proverb that says, “To make money, you have to spend money.” Having a well-defined marketing plan in hand, you need not spend much to gather a marketing boost. Here are six plans to guide your marketing efforts on a dime:
a. Analyse and optimize how clients would reach you online
The continuous advancement of digitization puts before us one question: How accessible are you online? There are few simple things that you can do to strengthen your online accessibility. Try to add a contact form software, and if possible connect a web form to conduct routing for your deals. You can also design a free Google My Business account.
For local businesses, a Google Business Profile is now one of the most fruitful free marketing plans available. Along with this LinkedIn has emerged as more than just a location for posting your online resume; it is also a site to connect with probable customers, join in on group discussions, form new partnerships, and so. You may also indirectly promote your business on LinkedIn by furnishing perspectives in group discussions or/and by supplying links to applicable content on your website.
b. Launch an email marketing scheme
Collect your clients’ emails and send them emails from the email marketing platform of your choice regularly to keep your business on top of their minds. Email marketing is currently a great way to invite new visitors and get them engaged with your business, as well as it aids in maintaining relationships with the existing customers. Here’s how to ensure that:
- Put creativity and thought within your subject lines.
- Make sure that each email has an offer that encourages the readers to take a step further.
- Keep tracking your actions and run A/B tests to check what offers resonate with the list yours.
c. Take a deep dive into social media marketing
If you are aware of where the maximum number of your clients are online, move forward and invest in those channels to continue the conversation. Building a community online and increasing engagement on social media continues to be a freeway to multiply your small business while conveying your brand’s personality as well as building trust with the audience. You must create business accounts and engage yourself in some of the big social media sites—Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and so.
This is something which can be done by you whenever you have some time to spare.
- Directly communicate with followers to put forth your brand voice and assemble more engagement.
- Run polls and request reviews.
- Create rapid and informational posts that are easier to digest.
- Whatever your motivation, ensure that you are active regularly and provident on the social media accounts created by you.
d. Review your SEO
This needs the investment of time, nevertheless, it is well worth it. If you are having a blog, make the content more calculated and bring in extra online traffic via SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Learn the ins-and-outs of SEO, along with how to merge SEO with tools such as marketing and analytics automation. Local SEO is free, however, as mentioned earlier, it can consume some time, so give it a start now and keep working as the gains over time can be great. Here is a list of some local SEO must-dos:
- Add location-based keywords to the headings, titles, and body content of your chief website pages.
- Get it listed in online directories, making sure that your information is uniform across platforms.
- Publish blog posts or pages specific to the neighborhoods you serve.
e. Start hosting some web events
From Instagram Live to Google Meet, broadcasting has never been simpler and more mainstream. Host a digital event (maybe for free) to invite new clients and celebrate the existing ones. Make it fun and interactive! Webinars have been a free way to promote businesses by giving helpful information to interested customers. If you are not in a position to host an event you can attend any local event which you can find and that might aid your business.
f. Create data-rich infographics
Infographics are insanely strong as marketing tools. They are easy to digest, visual eye candy, and people love sharing them, so they are an excellent way to drive up referral links.
If you are still unclear about creating a marketing plan or unable to understand where to begin in your online marketing trip, don’t worry, follow these ideas to get started, and with few disciplined editing, careful thought, and getting speed up on some digital marketing abilities, you will have a wallet-friendly marketing strategy at the ready. Be sure to remain organized, do plenty of research, and never forget that your online presence must be at the core of your 2021 marketing plan.