Your business is up and running—in part, thanks to your thorough knowledge of first two (of four!) ps of marketing:
What are you selling? This can be a physical product (flowers) or a service (drum lessons).
What are you charging for the item or service you have for sale?
On the other hand, growing your business hasn’t come quite so easily.
You’ve maybe heard that marketing your small or mid-size business well has a lot to do with its success…but you’re feeling stuck on how to do it. You’ve got questions, like:
What is marketing for small business?
How do I use business marketing to grow?
What is the right order to do my marketing in?
All the answers—and a whole lot more—are coming your way.
Opportunities for marketing your business
Marketing, in its simplest definition, refers to the ways in which a business will try to advertise and sell its products or services. Businesses choose to market in different ways because there are a variety of ways to find and reach potential leads.
As of 2020, the number of global email users numbered four billion—with that number only expected to rise! That is why so many small and mid-size businesses turn to email marketing to help them grow their business. Making it easy to connect with hundreds or even thousands of customers at once, regular email campaigns containing thoughtful, educational, or even sales-related content allow you to stay in touch with leads and address potential pain points.
You know the ones! Though this marketing method is sometimes scoffed at or seen as “outdated” the numbers don’t lie. It’s estimated that 29% of direct mail leads to a return on investment, ensuring it’s still an excellent way to connect with leads. The flexibility of direct mail marketing is also unbeatable as you can use postcards, well-designed envelopes containing beautiful letters, or even a brochure or flyer to gain the attention and interest of leads.
Shorthand for “search engine marketing” it’s a newer way to make connections with leads—and full of possibility! Giving you the opportunity to stand out to leads in the online space when they’re in “buy” mode, an effective campaign can help you quickly grow your business. There are many ways you can measure the results of SEM campaigns, too, so you can clearly see if your investments are paying off.
Online Display Ads
Your behavior online—from the websites you scroll to the advertising you click—drives future ads that appear in your next foray online. This is a form of marketing for small business called online advertising and it gives you the power to put your product or service in front of potential leads who may already be searching for it.
Social Media Adverting
Did you know that there are 2 billion active users on Facebook™, 800 million users on Instagram™, and 500 million members on LinkedIn®? Only a small handful of those potential leads can do wonders in helping you grow your business through social media marketing.
When small and mid-sized businesses want to grow, they know more customers are the answer. But where do you find the leads that you can turn into customers? Turns out, this isn’t as difficult or as daunting as it sounds! You can build the perfect list of leads for your small business narrowed down by strict search selects that apply to your ideal customer.
If you don’t already consider your website to be a form of marketing, you should! Websites can be used to tell potential leads all about your business and what it offers. Moreover, businesses that have a website are seen as more credible, inspiring trust in potential buyers, increasing customer loyalty, and ultimately, inspiring more clicks.
Hitting growth goals
Now that you are more familiar with the idea of what marketing for small and mid-size businesses is, let’s talk about how using that marketing may help you grow your business.
Growth for your small or mid-sized business begins with an understanding of the 4 ps of marketing. The first two, expounded on above, are something you may already have in hand. But marketing for small business in order to achieve growth also takes into consideration the second half of the 4 ps:
Do you make it easy for potential leads to find you by appearing where they already browse?
How are you telling potential customers about your product or service?
Impact of “place” in marketing for small business
Businesses are either in the online space or have a brick-and-mortar store—with some offering both.
Either way, it isn’t uncommon for a business to perform marketing and advertising in all the wrong places. This is especially true from small and mid-sized businesses who have leaner staff and therefore often have less time to dedicate to deciding on the best means of connecting with potential leads about their products and services.
Effective marketing for your small business—and growth—really begins when you learn how to appear where your customer is—as opposed to making them come to you. Consider the marketing opportunities above and decide how you might use one or two of them to your “place” advantage as you seek to hit your sales and marketing goals.
Impact of “promotion” in marketing for small business
How do you intend to reach your target audience? Don’t mistake this for “place” even though it seems similar! Promotion has to do with the way in which you advertise whereas place is more about the where you advertise.
Not only must this be done in the right way, but timing is also critical to your success.
There are many social media management, email campaign, and even design tools to help make promotion easy for your small or mid-size businesses. This is especially true if you have a lean staff and precious little time to dedicate to marketing.
Combine your efforts for marketing growth success
When you combine various marketing and advertising efforts, you are creating what is called a marketing strategy. In addition to supporting the overall goals of your business, a marketing strategy should also lean into what makes sense for the size of your staff.
Small and mid-size businesses may feel overwhelmed with marketing and growth because they feel like they need to have a hand in ALL the marketing tools. But nothing could be further from the truth.
If you’re just getting started with ramping up your marketing efforts toward business growth, it’s a good idea to research the types of marketing your competition is using. This can be an excellent starting point for forming your own marketing plans. Here are some ideas for how to research your competitors:
Sign up for their email list and get fresh content ideas.
Follow their social media channels and watch what social media ads pop into your feed.
Review their website—what language do they use? Colors? How many pages does it have?
Do they have a blog? If so, is it active?
What search terms in Google bring up their online advertisements?
A marketing strategy that will promote growth for your business comes down to adding marketing pieces in a reasonable order as you get the hang of each one individually.
A website or an online presence is the perfect starting point. If you don’t already have one, a variety of online builders like Data Axle™ Local Results exist that can help you.
Next, work to create an email list as well as social media channels where leads can follow you and get to know you better.
From there, a blog or some other form of regular, ongoing and fresh content is important to show customers your business remains active.
At that point, look into additional forms of marketing for small business that can help promote the growth of your business including advertising.