Besides a myriad of problems that came along with it, 2020 taught us that the line between online and brick-and-mortar business has become blurred. COVID-19 was the last drop in the cup that showed us the importance of a digital-first marketing strategy.
Zero events, zoom meetings, remote working, online shopping… Just some of the trends that will likely stay with us in the next two, three years. Those businesses that develop their online presence will keep their competitive edge, while others will fall into obscurity.
Business proposal ideas aside, starting your own company isn’t easy. Not at all. It requires a lot of time. Not to mention a lot of effort. You need to see whether you have product/market fit, develop a minimum viable product, select the right channels, research your audience, etc.
Even doing all of the above doesn’t guarantee success. Especially if people don’t know anything about your company. That’s why you need to market it online. Without further ado, here are some of the best ideas for marketing your small business in 2021 that will help you grow your company.
Learn and Invest in Web Analytics
To take the initiative and have a competitive edge, you need a data-driven marketing strategy. Otherwise, you’re just taking shots in the dark. A bad idea. Especially if you’re running a small company, which means every bad decision will multiply its negative effects as time passes. That’s why you need to understand web analytics and data.
Fortunately, you don’t have to buy expensive, sophisticated applications and solutions to do so. You’ll find plenty free or cheap solutions to use all around the Internet. For instance, all social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer free, built-in analytic software that will provide you with metrics such as:
- The amount of likes on your posts
- Reach: how many people saw your post
- Impression: how many times your posts appear on screens
- How many people visited your profile when they saw your post
On the other hand, Google Analytics is likely the best tool around for getting insights about how your website and its different pages perform. However, there is one tool that you should invest in: Social media monitoring tool. It will aid you in monitoring relevant conversations and responses to your branded posts. This is crucial when you’re running a small company since it allows you to respond to questions and concerns from customers quickly and efficiently.
A large corporation can handle multiple negative reviews. Your small business? Not as much. All in all, whatever kind of marketing strategy you employ, you need to ensure that you’re monitoring and measuring the right metrics.
Visit any social media, and you’ll be hard-pressed to miss brand ambassador programs from different companies. The reason for this lies in their capability to reach consumers beyond classic PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising strategies. As more and more companies pump out more and more content online, it’s no wonder that “everyday” influencers are what brands need to nurture relationships with their consumers. Basically, satisfied customers advertise on your behalf. Free of charge.
It is not that your consumers already know your brand in the best possible light. They will also spread that positivity about your business to your target audience. The only thing you need to achieve this is to create your own brand ambassador program.
Brand ambassadors help spread the word about your business on social media, showcase their latest buyings, and recommend your products or services to their friends, family, and followers. They’re your ultimate fans. They get your mission. And, they get your brand. However, instead of randomly waiting for them, you need to create a brand ambassador program. It will act as a business-wide initiative that will find people who meet the criteria above and help them promote your brand.
Likely the simplest way to find them is where your fans and followers already interact with your company. For instance, you can search for mentions and hashtags of your brand and view who is creating the most engagement around it. If you spot particular individuals who you either already recognize or who mention your brand all the time, you got your candidate.
Beside searching around social media, you may also try to cross-reference your consumer data invoice, or Customer Relationship Management software to find your largest spenders and most loyal consumers. Then, take a look at their social following to explore a potential for brand ambassadorship.
Having loyal customers is no piece of cake. They have their own agenda and will only give their loyalty to those businesses that fulfill it best. Nevermind they already have a successful history with your company — when your competition provides a better deal on the table, your previously loyal consumers will take it before you know. However, developing a customer loyalty program will allow you to keep them and negate competition efforts. Here’s how to go about it.
Firstly, you need to have a multi-channel customer support process. When you try to nurture consumers loyalty, you have to be in tune with their needs and wants. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is via a multi-channel service system. Particularly if they often need help during or after purchase.
This way, your consumers have an easier time accessing your customer support teams, leading to more consumer interactions. The more often your brand engages with your consumers, the more likely they will have a positive customer experience. Which in turn leads to customer retention, as 50% of customers do business with a brand more frequently after a positive customer experience.
Moreover, having several channels for customer support allows you to create an omni-channel customer experience. These happen when your customers’ experience with your company is consistent across various channels and devices. This facilitates improved consumer satisfaction since it allows a more user-friendly customer support. And this is precisely what you need if your consumers are frustrated and need your support.
Pro tip: You should try employing help desks and live chat solutions so that your customer support teams are able to cover several channels quickly and efficiently. If you’re running smaller teams, AI chatbots and the like can lower the workload for organization and distribution of incoming queries without you needing to hire more workers.
Community Marketing Strategies
Fashion communities got one thing right: marketing to digital communities is one of the most efficient ways to foster brand loyalty. However, before you even try this strategy, let’s get one thing straight. You must approach communities in a proper way. If you’re too aggressive in your selling, you risk alienating precisely the people you’re trying to attract. Ignore creating content that provides relevant value to the community and its members will evaporate.
The first rule of communities is that you don’t pitch. You participate. Individuals join online communities to network, share insights, research, and find something interesting. Most of them go into online communities precisely because they’re passionate about particular areas of life. Here, no one wants to receive hard sales when they’re going through their community. Hence, ignore your selling instincts and actually participate in the conversations that are occurring.
The second rule of communities is that you contribute like a professional. This starts with publishing entertaining or educational posts. For instance, by giving tips, tactics, and how-to articles which only showcase your business’ expertise but also let you reach your target market in their native environment. Hence, you need to create educational posts that are actionable and practical. Instead of just hard selling with buzzwords.
The third rule of online communities is that you’re accessible. This means participating, which in turn gives you the chance to interact with your consumers on platforms designed for sparking conversations. Concentrate on your customers and their needs. How? The easiest way is to communicate with authenticity. Show your human side and don’t just be a sales bot. Help them find solutions to their problems.
The last rule is that you keep doing this over a long period of time. Participate and publish frequently. Also, make it about content, not sales.
B2B Marketing Strategies
Business to business (B2B) marketing is nothing else than creating marketing strategies that are directed toward selling to other companies. Best B2B marketing strategies almost always include content marketing. And content marketing is nothing else than marketing strategy focusing on the creation and distribution of content that is:
Such content marketing will enable you to attract and retain clearly defined target audiences. And, in the end, drive revenue for your company. Consumers are increasingly becoming immune to ads. Especially online advertising. As a matter of fact, around 26% of internet users use ad blockers these days. And that number will only increase.
This is especially true for the B2B environment, where the buying journey is way more complex and longer when compared to B2C. Not to mention high-average order value and long-term relationships. These customers require increased confidence that they’re using adequate providers or suppliers.That’s why you need content marketing. If you don’t currently have the time to produce content yourself, you might consider hiring a freelancer who’s an expert in your industry to create the content for you. This can save you a significant amount of time and begin generating leads for your business on autopilot.
It will help you attract, interact, and delight the right audience. Before, during, and after they buy from you. Such enormous opportunity allows your brand to position itself as a thorough leader. An expert at the highest level of your field and a key player in your niche.
To do this, you’ll need to break down your B2B content marketing strategy in the following steps:
- You research your audience and create a content strategy.
- You identify and comprehend your ideal customer profile.
- You develop your sales funnel.
- You set up objectives for your content marketing strategy.
- You use proven content formats that are efficient in B2B
- You distribute your content in the right way.
Content Promotion Strategy
Now that you understand the power of content marketing, you need to understand the power of content promotion as well. Why create content if no one will be able to view it? If you only end up with several people reading your blog?
A lot of content professionals spend as much time in promoting their content as they spend on creating it. You need to put what you’ve written in front of as many people as possible. Otherwise, there’s value in creating it.
One of the best ways of promoting your blog or brand is by building an email list. In fact, email is still one of the best channels for reaching the largest number of your audience. With email, people have already selected to hear from you. They’re primed. They will likely open the content. Moreover, they will click and engage with what you’ve created. The next way to promote your content is through social media channels:
Of course, you don’t have to use all of them. Find those where your target audience mostly hangs and solely focus on them. Otherwise, you’ll just over expand and ruin your initial efforts. Such social media channels allow you to promote your content to your followers, who can later share it with hundreds of their followers. Also, use a password manager if you’re having trouble remembering them.
The last, but not the least way of promoting content is syndication. Content syndication is pitching your best-performing content, blogs posts for instance, to other blogs in case they could be interested in publishing it. This is a useful strategy for a number of reasons:
- New audience will view your content.
- You will provide enormous value and quick content for other websites.
- It becomes like a minting device for your content.
In other words, instead of you spending days on creating a new guest post that will likely get published only a single time, you spend some time on writing a great blog post for your blog, and a couple of hours on helping that same article get published on various other websites.
Pro tip: when writing content, try to incorporate user feedback.This is will help you enhance its quality in the future.
Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay
SEO and Link Building
The environment of SEO and link building may change, but creating high-quality hyperlinks has never been more important. This is essential if you’re looking to create high-quality content marketing strategy. Especially if you’re trying to compete and grow your business online.
What is link building? It is a process of receiving links from sites other than your own. A link, or hyperlink, to be more technical, is a way Internet users travel between different web pages. Moreover, search engine crawlers utilize hyperlinks to crawl the Internet. They can crawl through hyperlinks between different web pages on the Internet, and even between entire sites.
Search engines utilize hyperlinks in two distinct ways:
- To find new Internet pages
- To decide how good a page should rank in their search result
There are many different benefits of building them. First off, link building allows you to build relationships with other websites. This is because link building often involves you reaching out to other relevant sites or blogs in your niche. Sometimes, such outreach will involve promotion of content you’ve just developed. For instance, blog posts or infographics. And getting a link isn’t the only thing you’ll gain: Outreach aids you in developing long-term relationships with crucial influencers in your industry, leading to a company that people trust in.
Link building will also impact your referral traffic. A high-quality link from a site a lot of people visit leads to increased traffic. If the site is relevant in your niche, you’ll likely get relevant traffic which can lead to increased sales as well. Again, this isn’t only about SEO — it’s about consumers also.
While website migration, such as magento migration, isn’t a marketing strategy per se, it complements and secures other marketing efforts. For instance, it keeps your search engine ranking and organic traffic unaffected from changes on your website.
Now comes the question: Do you need site migration? It may seem simple to just switch your content from your site to another, and continue working like nothing important occurred. However, it isn’t. You definitely wouldn’t like to erase your traffic and visibility during the process. You need to set up a detailed website migration strategy. This is the only approach that ensures you’re securing your existing situation.
When it comes to advantages for your business from website migration, these include:
- Better provider service
- Improved e-commerce process
- Better design across all browsers and devices
If you do website migration properly, you’ll be able to overhaul your online presence in a way that can give a boost to your company. However, site migration does entail particular risks if you don’t create a detailed migration plan beforehand:
- You could breach webmaster policies and produce penalties
- You may lose ranking in search results
- You can reduce engagement metrics on your site
- You may create technical problems
- You could lose authority online
Social Media Marketing Strategy
For any SMB entrepreneur, the best, and likely the most affordable way to market is doing it on social media. Of course, you’ll still need to invest your time and energy. However, you may do this completely in-house without any big budgets. Then, as your company expands, you can begin using social media marketing solutions for managing your accounts. Here are some of the tactics for this:
- Identify and keep consistent with your brand voice
- Choose only social media channels where your audience is
- Keep posting frequently and consistently
- Employ high-quality visuals to engage the audience
- Use relevant hashtags (those with 10-50k posts per day)
- Use your own brand hashtag for campaign tracking
- Attach a link to your site on your social media profile
Of course, this isn’t the end of your social media strategy. Basically, these tips will just get you started. Once you get a grasp of these, you’ll need to research more, upgrade your social media game, and employ other, more advanced tactics.
Building an Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing has a two-fold purpose: It finds you new users to engage with your company and maintains current relationships with existing ones. While this is nothing new, email marketing is still one of the most efficient ways for fostering powerful ROI (Return On Investment) for your marketing efforts. Here are some tips that will help you achieve this:
- Make your emails personal
- Use great headlines
- Ensure each and every email offers something valuable for your customers
- A/B tests whole emails, subject lines and see what resonates best
Some of the best ways to nurture your email list include getting new site users to register for your newsletter through offering bonuses for it: coupons, discounts, free products, extra content, etc. You can also slowly forster your email subscribers until they become ready for sale. Ultimately, you can use free email marketing solutions such as MailChimp.
Before making any purchase, a lot of consumers first check out testimonials for that product or services. Like, a lot. That’s why it’s crucial that you collect many positive reviews for your business. Particularly from individuals who live in the same neighborhood or location as those who’re buying. This will add authenticity and localization, beside building trust for your brand.
If those writing testimonials include their town or other location-based term in it, this will also aid you in increasing your SERP results. Later, you can develop a follow-up strategy in order to develop your online testimonials. Even encourage their creation across multiple platforms — Facebook, Google, Instagram, and others.
Develop Local Business Listing
More than 50% of SMBs still don’t have Google My Business listings, experts say. This means they’re ignoring valuable local marketing real estate. When you create your Google My Business listing, you can add in it your company name, phone number, physical address, postal code, direction, work hours, and even a link to your site. If you’re smart enough, you’ll also include your own content such as high-quality visuals. In essence, you get free traffic and visibility in the globe’s strongest search engine.
Firsty, you’ll need to claim your Google My Business listing. Then, directly manage that. Moreover, you’ll get your company location placed on Google Maps. You can also claim similar listings on Bing Places and Apple maps.
Interesting Related Article: “Top 4 Best B2B Marketing Strategies To Try This Year“