A New Year brings new opportunities, but if you are a small business owner, you probably have limited time when it comes to marketing your business. So, it’s vital that you know where to target your efforts to be the most effective. In this article we cover the 10 best small business marketing ideas in 2019.
1. Create a marketing plan for your business
If you think of small business marketing as the cake, your marketing plan is the recipe. And as any chef knows, without a recipe to guide you, your cake could end up a bit soggy in the middle! A marketing plan should include setting your goals for the year, and this should be targeted to focus your promotions. Ask yourself, which services do you want to promote? Which marketing channels do you want to try? If you are feeling stuck at setting your strategy or coming up with ideas, invest in professional help. Maybe all you’ll need is a video or marketing agency (even a copywriter). Make sure you start the year with a solid plan for the direction you want to take your business marketing.
2. Make sure your business cards, brochures, and other promotional products are up to date
If your logo is dated, and your point-of-sale material looks like it could do with some help, it’s time for a revamp. Most businesses need to look at their marketing materials every 3 to 5 years, as brochures and logos can become dated very quickly. Always hire professionals for this – your son, niece, or well-intentioned neighbour is not the designer you want (unless they’re certified professionals with raving reviews on their portfolios). Remember your business card or brochure is designed to reflect people of your services. If you want your business brand to stand out and look professional, it’s imperative that your marketing collateral does the same.
3. Refresh your website
Keeping your website fresh is critical if you want to be found in 2019. Does your website look like a myspace site? Is it mobile responsive? Or, even worse, do you not even have a website? Unless you are so hipster it hurts, it’s time to hit refresh! As with your marketing collateral, your website is an investment, and you should only hire a pro. The website needs to be fully functional on all devices and user-friendly. Aim for a website that’s easily navigated, quick to load, and quick to inform your audience about your business. If you have too much content, or your site is slow to load and hard for users to navigate, it’s likely your customers will drop off your site and switch to the competition.
4. Be active on social media
If you’re marketing your small business on a smaller budget, social media is your best friend. While it’s no longer a free advertising tool, it’s still a lot cheaper than most other options. Its ability to convey targeted messages in real-time to a targeted audience also means way more bang for your buck. But user beware: due to social media’s popularity and constantly evolving nature, keeping informed and avoiding out-dated advice or “myths” can be a bit of a pickle. It’s highly recommended that you budget for professional help with your social media – even just to get you started.
5. Give free samples or trial periods of your product
Could you talk about your product on a Facebook Live stream or a webinar, or live stream your workplace activities? Or could you organise a Meetup event, perhaps hosted at your workplace, to talk about what you do? These are inexpensive activities that can create buzz around your brand, get people of your community together, and get the ball rolling about you and what you do at your small business.
6. Look into video marketing
Video marketing is what’s trending right now. People are reading less and prefer to consume content in video format. Fortunately, good video marketing can be done on a budget. You can even use your phone (assuming it’s somewhat modern) propped up on a coffee-cup tripod to start practicing your video skills. If you’re too shy to appear in the video, you can use software like Loom to do a voiceover presentation, or to make animated explainer videos. Then upload the result to your preferred social media channel (don’t forget YouTube) with a title and good description. Simple as that!
7. Get your small business on directories and social services such as Google My Business, Groupon, Yellow, and Yelp
Thousands of people use these platforms to rate, ask questions, and discover new businesses every day. Registering for an account is free (you just need a Gmail address to access the Google My Business platform). These platforms make it easy to share information about your business and promote products and services through pictures and video.
8. Up your content marketing game
Content marketing is still strong in 2019. Love to write? Update your small business’ blog at least twice a month with useful information for your customers or think pieces about topics relevant to your industry. You could even write your own e-book about your personal business experiences, your industry, or your market niche. If you’re more of a talker (and don’t sound like Fran Drescher), you could launch your own podcast. A nifty app called Anchor is a brilliant tool for DIY podcasting.
9. Invest in SEO
Long term, being in first position on Google is going to bring you your ideal clients. But as a small business, how do you get there? Being on the first page of Google can be near impossible – especially if you are operating in a highly competitive market. But it’s not all doom and gloom. The easiest strategy is to try to rank for unique services (which will have less competition) or what is called “Long Tail Key Words”. This is definitely an area where you need to call in the experts. Ideally, pick a marketing agency that can see the big picture and help you achieve great search results in the long term, while maximising any marketing activities in the short term for more instant wins.
10. Do some good
Do something really out of the box and good for your community, like volunteering or sponsoring a local event. Organise free workshops or classes related to your craft to the kids from local schools and universities. Giving is not only good in itself, but is good for the image of your business, and also gives you some extra promotion. Alternatively, go without your company name and just ride off the positive vibes, man…
Start 2019 with your right foot forward and market your small business in the right way. You’ll improve not only your cash flow but also your community. If you need help, give the marketing team at Creative Content a call to see how you can kickstart your marketing this year.