There are 94 days left in 2020, which means there are 94 opportunities to try something new with your small business’s digital marketing strategy. We are strong promoters of Inbound Marketing and have plenty of resources to help you bring in leads with strong, relational content here 2020 has brought unique challenges for almost every industry and we have 10 small business marketing ideas to end this year on a positive note.
- Google My Business
- Social Media Cross-Promotion
- E-Mail Newsletters
- Digital Brochures
- Customer Referral Program
Google My Business
Google My Business is a great, free way to boost your business’s online presence. Why? Because customers are 70% more likely to visit a business that has completed their Google profile with updated hours and contacted information according to Hootsuite. To get your Google profile activated, go to www.google.com/business and click “Manage Now” to get started. You will be prompted to claim your business's name or create a new profile for it if it isn’t already active.
Social Media Cross-Promotion
In your bio pages for each of your business’s social media pages, you can promote your other social media pages and any business promotions that you may have going on. You’ll want to be strategic about the platforms you promote and the services you are posting on social media. Which of your social media pages is most engaged and active? Which is least active? Maybe try promoting the page that is struggling on the page that is active and see what happens. Do you have a product that can easily be shown off using video on Facebook or Instagram? Use social media as a free platform to promote your business and other social media pages to build brand awareness.
Hashtags are not as simple as just putting a # in front of target keywords. Many businesses have received success from using a branded hashtag. Many times, this can just be the name of your business and your customers may already be using something similar to promote your business on social media. According to Shortstack, using up to two Hashtags on Twitter and other platforms can actually double your engagement. Do a little research and see if your customers are already using a hashtag and if not create a branded hashtag. Simple Coffee Company’s hashtag could be #simplecoffeeco. Once you’ve decided on a hashtag, promote it on in-store materials so that your customers know how to promote your business!
Blogging is a great way to establish yourself as a reliable source. According to Lyfe Marketing, “55% out of the business leaders that blog, use it as their #1 inbound marketing strategy and say they have benefited from it.” One of the biggest advantages that you will gain when you start a blog is the ability to build trust with your customers. Companies like AirBnb have used blogs as a way to share positive customer experiences so that those who are new to short-term vacation rentals or renting a room in someone’s house feel more comfortable after hearing about other people’s experiences. Your business can also blog about your industry and educate potential customers about your products, services, or more about the problems they may be facing that your company can solve.
With the increase in businesses that have had to close their in-store services at some point this year, email newsletters have been a great way to update customers on store hours, new procedures and protocols, or just new products that are being released soon. Hubspot has a great blog that lays out an easy email marketing roadmap for you. The first step after determining that you need a newsletter is to create a resource that is 90% educational and 10% promotional. It is tempting to mention all of the information for your new services and products right off the bat, but similarly to blogging, newsletters need to help establish your presence as a credible business.
The point of a brochure is to inform your customers about the latest news your business has. A huge advantage that digital brochures have over paper brochures is that they can offer real-time updates that paper brochures simply can’t offer. Don’t have anyone with an eye for design on your team? No worries. Flipsnack, for example, is a cost-efficient program online that can design brochures for you. You simply choose the information that you want your readers to read about. Consider embedding calls-to-action in your brochure to see how effective your strategy is and promote your brochure on social media platforms.
Customer Referral Programs
Sometimes, your greatest marketing resource is the people already supporting your business. Word-of-mouth marketing happens without much effort from a business, so why not reward the individuals who bring in new customers? Many businesses have offered discounts or special offers for individuals that tell their friends. There may be a loss up front when you give away products or services, but this is an investment in your customers and marketing. Referred customers are more likely to stay according to a study by Wharton Business school.
If you haven’t already, sign up for a free Yelp business owner account to get the conversation going. Yelp makes it simple to sign up and start sharing information about your business. On your profile page, take time to share your business’s story. Where you all came from, what your mission is, and where you are going. On this page, you can also promote your business’s services and products. It also gives you the ability to acknowledge the positive reviews that people leave for your business and immediately address any concerns that customers may have. Check out Hubspot’s blog post 10 Easy Ways to Supercharge Your Small Business Yelp Presence and our download “Free Social Listening Workbook” to learn more about responding to and being aware of your presence online.
2020 has been a year full of opportunities to adapt your marketing strategy.
Any of these ideas will get your business one step closer to thriving in the digital marketing landscape.