The top 10 marketing strategies for making your small business thrive
How to grow your business fast
If you have a small business, you’d undoubtedly love to grow it into a big one. And the key to achieving that goal is spreading the word through marketing.
But not all marketing strategies are created equal. Established brands may be able to splash out huge sums on paid advertising campaigns, but startups need to be more cautious.
Fortunately, there are still many highly-effective methods any business can use to generate incremental revenue. In this article, I’ll discuss the top 10 options for generating real growth without busting your budget.
Before diving into marketing strategies, though, you need to ensure you have the basics right. That means understanding your audience and the competitive landscape. Once you know where you fit in, you can define the unique selling proposition that makes your business stand out.
With that in place, it’s time to go for growth. When you’re in the bootstrapping phase, you may wish to invest your own time and effort to keep overheads to a minimum.
However, it’s important to commit to a marketing budget as a long-term investment. Remember that good marketing can deliver an outstanding ROI, so an ongoing commitment makes perfect financial sense.
Here are some proven marketing strategies that allow you to start small and scale up as your success grows. You can start with the method that works best for you, then add extra components as your marketing gains traction.
1. Website development
In today’s business world, a website is no longer an optional extra; it’s a business requirement. Prospective customers will expect you to have a professional website that showcases your offer and inspires confidence.
So it’s vital to build a quality online presence before launching other marketing campaigns. As well as looking good, your website should be fast-loading and mobile responsive. It must reflect your branding and present your products or services in the most favorable way possible.
2. Funnel building
Once your website is in place, you need a marketing funnel to convert as many visitors as possible into leads, then customers. It’s a big mistake to hope people will find their way to your products and purchase. You need to guide them through a well-designed funnel to optimize conversions.
The nature of your funnel will depend very much on your offer. But it may involve offering a lead magnet or webinar to induce people to engage further. Once they have joined your funnel, you can nurture the leads and turn them into customers.
3. Search engine optimization
Search engines like Google have the power to bring you a steady stream of quality leads. Better still, these are buyers actively searching for the products or services you offer. And you get these leads for free. What’s not to like?
So it makes sense to capitalize on the opportunity by investing in search engine optimization (SEO). A few simple tweaks to your website may be enough to bring you an unstoppable stream of quality leads.
4. Content marketing
Creating and distributing content is another excellent way to attract interested prospects. Using blog posts, videos, reports, and other media, you can bring new people into your world and educate them on your solutions.
This kind of content can be used as link bait to help your SEO campaigns, generating links that help you rank in the search engines. It’s also perfect for sharing on social media and spreading the word on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and other social platforms.
5. PPC advertising
Without a doubt, the fastest way to generate quality leads is to launch a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. You can have a campaign live within hours, generating bottom-of-the-funnel leads from search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
This type of advertising isn’t cheap, but it can deliver a high return on investment. You get to place your ads at the top of the search results, ensuring you get the lion’s share of clicks.
6. Outreach marketing
If you are selling high-value services or products, direct outreach can be very effective. With this strategy, you can contact potential customers using cold email or by reaching out on social media.
If you’re bootstrapping, you can do this work yourself, potentially generating business worth tens of thousands a month. Alternatively, you can hire a fully-trained appointment setter to do the work for you at a very low cost.
7. Social media advertising
If you have a reasonable budget for marketing, running paid ads on social media is another excellent marketing choice. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram allow you to target your core audience very specifically.
One advantage of social media advertising is the ability to start small and grow. You can launch campaigns with a spend of just $10 a day, then scale up as you dial in your campaigns.
8. Influencer marketing
Another fantastic way to leverage the power of social media is to work with influencers. Today, thousands of online personalities have large followings across various platforms.
Start by shortlisting top influencers who are popular with your target audience. Then work out a deal where you compensate them for actively promoting your product. You gain not just from the exposure but also the endorsement of a social celebrity.
9. Local search
If your business has real-world operations, you will definitely want to prioritize local search. A listing in Google My Business will help you get found for local searches, literally putting your business on the map.
To get further exposure, ensure you are also listed in local directories such as Yelp and relevant niche sites like TripAdvisor. Once your listings are live, take time to update them as necessary and reply to any reviews you receive.
10. Email marketing
If you use strategies such as lead magnets or webinars to engage prospects, you will build an email list that grows over time. This is potentially your most valuable business asset, so make the most of its power.
Use email campaigns to follow up with leads and move them further down your funnel. Within a few days, you can convert a cold prospect into a warm, qualified lead—then transform that lead into a paying customer.
With a return of $44 for every dollar invested, email marketing is hard to beat in terms of value for money.
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Accelerate your success
Using any or all of the above strategies, you can grow your fledgling business into a thriving enterprise. But once you’ve built this strong foundation, it’s time to consider outsourcing your marketing.
That way, you can focus on running your business while experts concentrate on increasing sales and revenue. This is undoubtedly how small companies grow into business titans. But it also raises important questions.
When is the right time to bring in a marketing partner? And how do you select the agencies, freelancers, or consultants you need to succeed?
Great questions—and I have all the answers. As a professional marketing broker, I help growing businesses transition into the next growth stage. I can advise you on the best way forward, as well as recommending marketing partners who align perfectly with your business plan.
To find out more, just get in touch. I’ll be happy to discuss your options and show you the best way forward.
Be sure to check back here often, as I’m always adding articles highlighting marketing tips and tricks, together with updates on the hottest business marketing strategies.
For businesses today, the online world offers unlimited growth opportunities. Let’s work together to ensure you make the most of them.