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Unbeatable marketing strategies for small businesses

Marketing has always been a buzz word. It is an industry that is highly dynamic and ever-changing. All the new trends and technologies shape the ecosystem of marketing. Therefore, one must be aware of the latest trends of the year or the season in order to make the most of it.

Today, we are here to help you with the same. If you own a small business and you are looking for ways to market your start-up, you have landed at the right place. We will be sharing a comprehensive list of the trending marketing techniques for small businesses. So, stay tuned and learn all that you need to know.

Overview

  1. What does marketing look like in 2022?
  2. How much should you spend on marketing?
  3. What to do before you start marketing?
  4. Best marketing strategies that suit small scale businesses
  1. Frequently asked questions

What does marketing look like in 2022?

Google the term marketing, and you will get around 6,18,00,00,000 (more than six billion) results. If you look for the term ‘marketing’ on Google Trends, the chart that appears for the last five years is quite consistent with regular highs and dips.

Marketing has emerged as a universe of its own that is now made up of several components. The term now has several connotations and definitions, all depending upon how and where it is applied. Confused? Don’t be.

In simple words, marketing today is what you want it to be. With the rise in the number of social media channels, web-based platforms, etc., several new and advanced methods of marketing have opened up. In fact, the lines between advertisement, promotion, publicity, etc., have blurred over the years and all these methods can now be coupled with marketing endeavors.

You can go for traditional ads on print or broadcast mediums or invest in social media and Google ads. You can hire influencers to promote your brand or pitch your brand to your customers directly. Basically, there are numerous methods of marketing that have emerged in recent years, and you can go with one or more methods of marketing for your business.

How much should you spend on marketing?

“How much should small businesses spend on marketing?”

There is no standard answer to this question. While there are a few studies and reports that can give you an “ideal number”, the ultimate decision should largely depend upon factors, needs and goals that are unique to you and your business. However, just to give you a better idea we will definitely tell you what the ideal numbers are.

As per the U.S. Small Business Administration, companies with less than USD 5 million in revenue and with profit margins of 10-12% should ideally invest 7-8% of their revenue in marketing. For mid-sized businesses it should be 10% and for enterprises the ideal amount should be 15% of their revenue.

In fact, a survey by Gartner shows that average marketing budgets were 6.4% in 2021 and have increased to 9.5% of total company revenue in 2022. However, this number can vary based on your industry, the scale and scope of your businesses, market competition, where you are in terms of your growth, and more. For instance, new businesses may need to invest more as compared to established ones.

Suggested marketing budget for businesses

What to do before you start marketing?

Your returns will be as good as your marketing and your marketing will be as good as your research. The more you plan, strategize, and discuss, the better your marketing endeavors will be. You can execute the following steps before launching your marketing campaign:

Create a website and an app

Before you start full-fledged marketing, you can actually ensure that you have proper platforms to cater to the traffic that your campaigns attract. If you have a physical store or outlet, then you can start with creating a website. We recommend WordPress as it is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) that comes with tons of features.

Once your website is in place, go ahead and build an app for your business. You do not need to invest millions and get an app made by agencies. You can simply build your own Android and iOS apps with a code-free app builder. Go ahead and create social media channels and pages and start promoting your website and app.

Suggested Read: How small businesses can grow exponentially by launching an app

Conduct multi-level research

As stated above, research is highly important. Study the market that you are planning to enter into. Additionally, look out for the contemporary channels and marketing techniques, popular among your competitors.

Understanding your territory will help you in the long run. While you are at it, do not forget to identify your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you identify your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and you will be able to market the right elements.

Analyze your budget & resources

Understand your constraints. Even low-budget marketing can have great impact as long as you are utilizing your resources well. This will help you spend wisely and align the logistics and budget for other endeavors as well.

Also assess other factors like human capital (what will your marketing team look like in terms of strength and expertise), time frames (how long will a campaign run for), and other factors that will affect your campaigns scope and scale.

Outline your business goals

Marketing is an ongoing process. You cannot expect one campaign to fulfil all your business goals. Hence, you must list your immediate goals and segregate them based on priority, achievability, and other relevant parameters.

For instance, new businesses may have the goal of creating a demand or making a robust arrival. Established businesses may want a spike in revenue or attract attention to their new product. Whatever your goal is, break it down and list it.

List your marketing goals

Just like your business goals, your marketing goals must also be sorted and outlined. Every campaign should be focused on specific goals, and you must narrow them down based on your immediate targets. This will help you identify the right channels and focus group.

For instance, if your aim of marketing is just announcement of a product arrival or launch, then you can go with email marketing and push notification. This is just one among many examples of different marketing methods aligning with varied goals.

Know & study your audience

This is one of the most significant factors to consider when planning a marketing campaign. Study and analyze the nature and distribution of your targeted audience to understand their psyche.

You can also create customer personas in order to understand your consumers better. For instance, audiences of different ages use different kinds of social media channels, various kinds of content, and so on.

Identify favorable channels

Once all other aspects of your marketing research and planning are done, you can go ahead and identify the channels and platforms for running your marketing campaigns. This will totally depend upon your target audience, goals, budget, etc.

You can also try to take cue from your competitors’ campaigns and identify channels where they are performing well. Some channels may take some time for the momentum to build up. Test the waters with patience and planned efforts and you will be able to ace it.

List of most popular social media platforms

Suggested Read: How to promote your business: Proven tips and strategies

Best marketing strategies that suit small scale businesses

Now that you are well versed with the research and planning part, it is now time for action. Discover the list of marketing tactics and strategies listed below and run productive and viable campaigns.

1. Tap into multiple channels  

Go for online as well as offline advertising if it suits you. You can run in-house marketing campaigns and reach people the traditional way. You can distribute brochures, hand out gift coupons and vouchers, sponsor events, run ads on broadcast platforms, and more.

Moreover, prioritize online marketing as the web has emerged as the most productive marketing platform over the years. Run ads and campaigns on your own website and app and grab the attention of your existing visitors, customers, app users, etc.

2. List yourself on Google My Business

List yourself on Google My Business and aim to rank on the searches. This is one of the most sure-shot methods of getting noticed by the people in your vicinity. In fact, you can get yourself listed even if you do not have an upfront store.

Optimize your profile and back it with valid details, images, etc. Also inspire your customers to drop reviews and ratings and cite your business on relevant platforms. This will help you rank better in the business listing section.

3. Leverage Facebook for free & paid campaigns

Around 90% of businesses use Facebook in some way or the other. It is one of the most popular social media platforms when it comes to running marketing and ad campaigns. You can join the league and run targeted Facebook ads that suit your goals.

Else, you can simply create a page for your brand and interact with your customers directly for free. You can then run giveaway contents, organize influencer sessions, interact with a live audience, and more, to market your brand. You can read our blog suggested below and learn more about Facebook marketing.

Suggested Read: Explore the wonders of Facebook marketing for your mobile app

4. Run social media campaigns & broadcasts

Social Media is so much more than just Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Today, there are all sorts of options out there. Besides creating accounts and pages and running ads on these traditional platforms, you can also harness the less cliched ones.

For example, when used in the right manner, you can get powerful results on channels like LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, etc. You can pick any one or more platforms of your choice and get started. Explore free and organic options first and then run ads based on your targeted audience and business goals.

5. Set up Google Adwords

Google Adwords is the ultimate marketing and advertising platform. Everybody, including you, your customers and us, go to Google for most of our daily needs. Form finding trivia facts to hiring people for handiwork in the garden, it is all out there.

Get an Adword expert on board if needed or scour the web for tutorials. Run ads on keywords that matter to you and get the visibility and attention you need. In fact Google presents you with multiple advertisement and promotion options and you can pick those that suit you best.

6. Befriend content marketing

There are many advantages to publishing blogs on your website. It helps your site rank for related keywords and keeps your consumers informed, engaged, and entertained. But there is so much more to content marketing these days.

Unlike paid and automated marketing efforts, content marketing is more about consistent and long-term results. Besides blogs, you can experiment with new forms of content marketing like videos, podcasts, webinars, and more, and drive the right kind of audience to your website and app.

7. Level up your SEO game

One of the biggest myths is that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is expensive and mind-boggling. Well, to some extent it is! But when you are a small business aiming at a targeted niche of audience, location, market, etc., the competition narrows down for you.

Therefore, look for the affordable SEO tools and experts and try to upgrade your game. Localize your efforts and create a multilingual website and app. Also amplify your link-building efforts and write articles and guest posts for relevant websites.

8. Use emails to reach customers

From email marketing to reminders, you can use emails for all kinds of marketing campaigns. Start building your subscriber list and communicate with your customers on a regular basis. Hire experts to run full-fledged email marketing campaigns or go organic.

Send interesting blog posts, trigger emails at various events in their purchase journey, broadcast new product arrivals or discount campaigns, send personalized offers and courtesy messages, and more.

9. Send customized push notifications

Email marketing has its limits, but the scope of push notifications seems unlimited. It is one of the most loved and popular forms of communication and marketing in the age where customers have a concise attention span and look at things with sweeping interests.

You can create a web or mobile based push notification campaign and pique your customer’s interest. While there are dedicated services for creating push notification campaigns, AppMySite’s app builder offers this feature for free to its customers. For more information, you can also refer to our detailed guide on push notifications.

10. Offer freebies, coupons & vouchers

Running a sales campaign or offering free gifts, discounts, etc., are some tricks of the trade that will never go out of fashion. You can implement the same and attract new customers. Additionally, you can also grab the interest of lapsed or inactive buyers and lure them back with the right offer.

Run a generic and upfront discount campaign or send personalized offers to customers. Market these ongoing sales and discount campaign across multiple channels and deal websites and get the desired attention, traffic, and revenue. Be strategic when you plan the offers and play your cards right.

11. Run loyalty & rewards campaign

Have you heard of the term “retention marketing”? Retention marketing is all about getting your customers to stay or return for more. Moreover, studies show that retention can be more rewarding than acquisition hence you should focus on building a loyal customer base.

Customer loyalty can be achieved with the right service and experience. However, when it gets combined with a loyalty program, the results can spike up. Therefore, implement a reward and referral program on your platform and avail its benefits. Make each customer feel rewarded and inspire them to refer you to their friends and families.

12. Optimize your product packaging

Have you come across reels and videos of small businesses packaging their products with love on various social media platforms? Well, this is one aspect of business that people often overlook. However, learning the art of packaging products can add to your selling and reselling potential.

Besides packaging your products aesthetically, also add your personalized brand labels and messaging on the box. Include freebies, discount coupons for further purchases, and other gifts that tempt your users to stay engaged to your brand.

13. Unleash the powers of networking

Networking is significant for all, including individuals, businesses, and organizations. However, it is essential for small businesses as it can fetch you the desired exposure in targeted circles. You can try different methods to expand your circle and make your brand more visible.

You can write a column for local news portals or newspapers and magazines. Join local business groups and advertise with your local chamber of commerce. Partner with other brands and try co-marketing for related products or with brands that share your belief. You can also attend or sponsor local events, concerts, etc.

14. Try unconventional methods of marketing

Besides trying the traditional route, also aim for the new and quirky routes to marketing. You can try moment marketing, empathy marketing, conversational marketing, and other unique methods that are prevalent and popular these days.

The idea is to go above and beyond and find new ways of connecting with your audience and getting their attention. The possibilities are endless. Just put your thinking caps on and surprise your customers with your creativity.

15. Rebrand to create buzz

Believe it or not, rebranding is also a marketing strategy and is certainly a good one. If you feel that your efforts are going in vain and your brand is going through a stagnation, rebranding can be a great strategy.

You can go through total or partial rebranding, depending upon your branding goals. This will help you attract the attention of existing and new customers and also give you an opportunity to rethink your strategy and goals.

Suggested Read: Popular mobile app marketing techniques – The complete guide to success

Frequently asked questions

What is a great marketing strategy for small businesses?

Small businesses can focus on localization in their marketing and SEO efforts. Even Google rewards it. Additionally, you should identify your audience and their needs and demands. Create an awareness about your product and then select marketing methods and channels that suit your budget and goals.

How much should small businesses spend on marketing?

New businesses can spend around 10 to 15 percent of their budget on marketing to get the buzz going. Once established, the expenditure can be cut down to 5 to 10 percent. However, the final marketing budget allocation should depend upon the personalized risk appetite, budget, and goals of a business.

How can I promote my small business in 2022?

There are endless ways to promote your business in 2022. You can market your small business using Google or social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and more. Read above in detail and learn about some amazing marketing and promotion tactics for small businesses.

How can I market my business for free?

Partner with other businesses and cross-promote your brands for free. This will give you exposure to a new audience base. Additionally, you can also list your business on free business listing sites and promote your business organically on social media channels.

What are the top marketing channels in 2022?

Google, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are some of the most popular marketing channels in 2022. You can aim to earn organic reach on these platforms or run ads and marketing campaigns as well.

Wrapping up

Overwhelmed? Well, don’t be. You do not have to run a marketing campaign on all the platforms mentioned above. Just pick the ones that suit your goals and align with your budget and resources and go ahead.

While you are at it, you can also checkout our other blogs that discuss website development and maintenance, WordPress and WooCommerce app development, marketing, and promotion, and more.

If you want further guidance and information regarding marketing and promoting your small business, then let us know in the comment section below. We would love to address it and help you the best we can.

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