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marketing tips for small businesses

As a small business owner, effective marketing is vital in order to stay competitive and grow, but that can be difficult for small businesses and start-ups to take on while still handling daily operations. Having a well-designed and managed website is key, and getting your name out there is crucial, but what’s the best way to elevate your company profile and enhance your brand? All businesses need a bit of help sometimes to kick their digital marketing strategy into high gear.

Creative Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

You are probably invested in outbound online and social media advertising already. So, what’s next? Here are some creative marketing tips to get your marketing plan back on track, generate more convertible leads and increase your online presence and sales.

1. Upgrade Your Website

You may have a perfectly acceptable basic website, but does it attract the traffic you want? Make sure your site is up-to-date, optimized to be mobile-friendly across all devices, and has a sleek, easy-to-navigate design. But, don’t stop there.

That’s expecting that people will either be looking for you, or stumble across your brand by accident. Make it happen on purpose by committing to a content marketing plan that includes frequent blog posts that people love.

Search engine optimization is important, but how interesting or relevant the content is will determine how it affects your traffic as well. A great article can go viral and draw a surprising amount of traffic to your site, so get to know your customers and produce great content directed to your target audience. Hire a local photographer to contribute photographs and feature bios of community members or staff members, as they’ll likely share your site, too.

2. Think Local

Get found locally by claiming your listing on local search directories, such as Google My Business. The services are free and can ensure that nearby prospects can find you when searching online for products or services you offer. Get involved with your community by hosting a local event, providing promotional material for a fundraising walk, or becoming a sponsor for your local shelter. Consider sponsoring a special segment on your local news station to promote an “adopt-a-pet” segment each week on air. Join your local Chamber of Commerce – you may be an online business, but you’re also a local business.

3. Get Social

They call it “social media” for a reason. Get social on it! Research shows that consumers are turned off by companies that only use social media as an advertising tool to blast promotions constantly. Let your clients, customers, and community see that you are engaged, involved, and entertaining.

Give a face to your company. Create and promote hashtags. Post pictures of you and your staff doing what you do best. Document your commitment to a social cause and ask others to join in. By staying communicative and social and providing valuable content your target audience is interested in, they’ll be a lot more receptive to the few promotions and special offers that you mix in there.

As part of your email marketing strategy, make sure your email newsletter is full of interesting, entertaining information that reinforces your brand. Establish your newsletter as a friend just getting in touch through email instead of it being a pushy marketing tool. If you’re busy, hire a web presence expert like Cloud Friday to maintain your online presence and post to social media for you.

4. Ask for Engagement

Use your website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts with other social media to offer fun contests that engage and make an impression. For example, post a photo and offer a reward for the funniest caption. Add a unique and relevant hashtag to keep track of entries, and offer bonus points for sharing on social media. Tools like Rafflecopter make it easy to offer multiple entries for sharing or joining your mailing list.

Interview an industry leader and share their answers to set questions followers have submitted previously. You’ll draw people interested in the topic and the expert. A perk is that the folks you interview will likely share your content with their followers. Find experts with a large social following for the biggest impact. Don’t forget about local celebrities – they often have more followers than you think.

5. Ask for Reviews

Claim your business listings on review and rating sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List. If someone leaves a less-than-flattering review, address it positively both online and off. Addressing people’s complaints promptly and without antagonism will make a favorable impression. Aim to maintain a four-star status. Other review sites can create an online presence as well.

Are you a great place to work? When a great employee moves on, let them know you’d love to be rated on Glassdoor. Believe it or not, good reviews as an employer make a strong positive impact on future customers. Also, offer clients in-store cards to mail in with comments or complaints. Always reply personally whether their comments are positive or negative. Every contact you have with them is an opportunity to turn them into a loyal customer.

Following these digital marketing ideas can help your small business sales, profits, and visibility grow, but like most small business owners, you may find it daunting to manage the free time to do the marketing you need while also running your business. At Cloud Friday, we’re here to help. We can keep you on top of your social media marketing strategy or give you time to manage it yourself by reducing your accounting and administrative tasks.