Every time you turn around, it seems like there is another great marketing opportunity. Some may be wonderful, and some not so much, but how can you really tell the difference? Although it is sometimes good to be on the cutting edge of innovation, sometimes it is helpful to let others go first and test things out for you. That way, they can deal with the ups and downs of a new opportunity, and you get the benefit of their experience.
That is how it is with these small business marketing opportunities. Most are relatively new to the marketing landscape, but not so new that we don’t understand their ability to help you grow your business. Some cost a little money, which may be appropriate if your small business is a little older and ready to move to the next level. Others take time and planning. But all help you connect with today’s customers in newer and more effective ways, taking advantage of today’s new age digital marketing opportunities:
• Facebook Ads: According to Facebook’s own statement, “You don’t have to be an expert to start advertising on Facebook.” They are vested in helping your business achieve success using their platform, so they make it astonishingly easy to create and run highly-targeted Facebook Ad Hootsuite has also compiled a great guide about Facebook advertising.
• Google My Business: Tremendously important for small businesses, a free business profile on Google My Business will “help drive customer engagement with local customers across Google Search and Maps.” You can also post photos and offers to your profile to show what differentiates your business from the competition. This could even help your business rank higher in organic Google business search results if you have great reviews and citations.
• Content Marketing: Although I have covered this marketing opportunity before, I do think it bears repeating because of its ability to share your knowledge and attract attention. This is the long, steady marketing approach that can pay off in big dividends. It consists of finding ways to share information with prospects and customers through blog posts, online videos, podcasts and other optimized formats which help educate your target demographic about your products and services.
• Coupon Deals: If you have a small business that can benefit from coupon activity, it is important to be aware of coupon deal sites that can help amplify your ROI. Sites like Groupon help get your coupon in front of more interested consumers than you could possibly achieve on your own. The Groupon Merchant Center offers a variety of insights and resources to track Groupon redemptions, read customer comments, and view customer demographic information.
• Email Marketing: Maybe not so “new age” as other opportunities, there are still new ways to use this tried and true marketing medium to connect and communicate. If you can use your website to capture email addresses, then you can build a steady stream of email messages to nurture your prospect to the next interest level. Costs are low, and you have the ability to personalize and automate the entire process.
• Social Media Marketing: It is important to maintain a regular presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and relevant social media sites to better align with your target audience’s media consumption preferences, but you can also put these channels to work for your small business. LinkedIn, for example, has transformed itself from a resume posting site to a full-fledged marketing opportunity. From networking and sharing information to garnering recommendations and taking advantage of video communications through LinkedIn Live, this channel serves as the perfect outlet to communicate to and educate your target audience, and motivate them to try your business.
This does not mean that you have to turn away completely from other marketing efforts that are working efficiently for you. If you find that speaking to local groups or offering a free consultation helps to build awareness in your local community, there is no need to give that up completely. Just take time to study some of these new opportunities, and gradually blend them into your marketing mix to achieve maximum efficiency and productivity.