When you’re a small business, it feels like there are endless articles and advice columns all about how to market your business but very few tell you what to actually focus on or even just how to start!
Step one should really say DON’T PANIC!
These days marketing your small business has more resources available than at any other time before. Today we’ll explore some of the most powerful tools you have at your fingertips. Let’s start general.
The internet is possibly the best thing to ever happen to small businesses. Nowadays, many businesses have never had a physical location because their entire business can function over the internet. That being said, you can also do most of your marketing over the internet. Gone are the days of having to place ads in newspapers or posting flyers on community boards. We are getting to the point where most prospects have gone digital.
This is why it is so important that you set up, improve and polish your pixel estate - your internet presence. The general public uses the internet to research and assess which businesses they would like to support and if that business is credible. It is so vitally important that you have a website, your Google My Business set up, and at least one social media presence. Most people will take one look at a poorly created website (or lack thereof), and immediately move on to the next business. Your website does not need to be complicated, but it does need to be professional. When a potential client looks at your website, they are looking for more information about your business. Having a clear, well constructed website that provides all the vital information a client would want to know and how to contact you is perfect. You can create a website yourself through a variety of different website builders, such as WIX, Shopify, and SquareSpace, or you can hire a company to build and maintain one. This information is readily available on Google. There are even courses offered by social media marketing companies or the website builder companies themselves, to help small businesses set up professional websites.
Be searchable! Just having a website may not be enough. As mentioned before, Google My Business is a surprisingly powerful tool small businesses can use for no fees! Google loves to verify businesses in your area to provide the most accurate information. If you have ever googled for a certain business or even a kind of food, you can see through Google Maps the top three businesses in your area. Your business can be on that list too! You can set up your Google My Business for free, and from there you want to make sure Google has all the information it needs, and that it is consistent. There are plenty of articles and courses you can take on search engine optimization and how to market your business just on Google.
Social media can be the most powerful tool in your arsenal as a small business. Sometimes people will check out your social media before your website, so you need to be present. Social media, like Instagram and Facebook, make it easy for businesses to advertise themselves. They offer plenty of information on how it works with posts, ads, and your own marketing campaigns on their platform. One key element that many businesses forget about social media is that it is a social experience. Potential customers will look for regular, consistent, posts, interesting captions, and relatability. They want to see the people that make your business, not a nameless-faceless company! Thankfully, there are plenty of courses and videos you can use to help you grow your social media platforms. Social media is an investment that is an absolute must.
Hopefully,this has given you some good ideas on how to market your small business. The internet is a powerful resource for you to learn more about marketing and how social media, websites, and Google are excellent places to start.
As always, if you need help, please feel free to reach out.