5 Ways Small Businesses Can Improve Marketing Results
by Amanda Green
Small businesses don't have the luxury of being able to test numerous marketing campaigns since they are usually working with a very tight budget. Here are several ways small businesses can improve their marketing techniques without spending a lot of money.
Small businesses face many challenges that larger enterprises do not share. They have smaller scales of production, which can serve to drive up costs. They likely don’t have in-house financial or legal teams, meaning that there is no contract law attorney to examine every detail of every deal. And, even though they have smaller amounts of resources, small businesses often face the same advertising climate – not to mention the same advertising costs – as that experienced by larger firms. The result is that the uphill battle to gain name recognition can become an even more difficult one.
Consequently, having the right kind of advertising approach can be crucial to a small business’ success. If you are a small business manager or owner, there are numerous steps you can take to improve your marketing approach. Here are a few ideas:
Always Think Locally
A small business’ marketing campaign should always have a local focus in mind. Even if you sell products or services in multiple cities, you’re best suited to conduct localized ad campaigns in each. This avoids the costs and the dilution of a more national approach.
Take Advantage of Free Marketing
A good advertising campaign is probably going to cost you some money, but this does not mean that every component of this campaign needs to behave similarly. When it comes to free marketing, you have nothing to lose except for an hour or two of your time. These days, social media sites present the most lucrative free marketing opportunities. Make a Facebook page and start a Twitter account – you’ll be surprised how much exposure you can quickly gain.
Keep Consumer Data
Many small businesses use consumer-provided data to send offers and promotions via email or postal mail. Larger businesses often take this a step further by hiring consultants and marketers to analyze the demographics behind this data. You may not be able to afford a consultant, but you can still keep a close eye on consumer data for any target audience indicators. Such indicators may inform the placement or content of your next advertising campaign.
These are just a few ideas for improving your marketing approach. While small businesses may lack the resources needed for a full-scale ad campaign, this does not mean that they cannot compete on the advertising front, so long as some focus and ingenuity are involved.
One of the best places to advertise one’s business is on the first page of a Google search result, and the best way to insure such a position is through SEO. By working to create quality content and inbound links, a business – especially one that is more locally-focused – can move up rapidly in the results.
Have A Diversified Offline Mix
Even though online marketing may be cheaper, it’s important for most businesses to have a concerted offline approach. Moreover, make sure that this approach is a diversified one. Since a couple radio or newspaper ads can quickly add up in cost, try simply to get your name out there through several different media and insure that you can hit a baseline level of consumer awareness in your local area.
Amanda Green is a guest blogger who writes on many business and finance topics.