The Best Marketing Channels For Small Business

small business person marketing company on laptop looking for the best channels for the greatest reach online

You may be wondering what marketing channels are best for your small business. Luckily, there are many ways to market your small business and it is important to understand which ones will work the best for you. In this blog post, we’ll discuss a number of digital marketing channels that can help you grow your company!

let’s get into it…

Leverage Google’s Tools for Businesses

Use the tools google provide which are in many cases free to use. Here are a few suggestions.

The first couple in the list below are more to do with carrying out some marketing intelligence, as you probably what to start with finding out what people are interested in?

Google search engine:

Sometimes business owners or agencies think you have to buy expensive tools to be effective or to understand your market and retrieve data, but that is not the case.

By using your brain you can simply use Google’s free search engine to simply research for Keywords you might want to use for your small business marketing or for what your competitors are up to.

But don’t just aimlessly browse around, have an idea of what you’re looking for before you start with any search engine intelligence gathering, such as searching for popular terms In your industry and seeing what Google returns.

Make notes of what you see and identify patterns or competitors who keep on showing up in the results. This is important, as these results are what Google think are relevant enough to position on page one for your query.

Google Analytics:

Track your site’s traffic to find out which pages are most successful on your site, who is visiting it etc. You can also set goals so you know when they’ve been reached

Google Sites:

This is a free tool that allows you to create a basic website, but if you use it strategically you can use it as another layer to your marketing on top of your main website. The great thing about a google site is that it automatically updates itself with any posts you create on your Google my business account, so if you do this regularly it keeps that google site up to date and represents a further layer of content that is getting published regularly on the web.

Google Trends:

This is such a great tool for analysing your market and is an amazing tool to explore what is trending in your industry. It’s especially useful for businesses who are trying to figure out what is popular in their market and the trends over time.

It provides trending data directly from Google search data so you know it’s accurate and based on actual data of what people are searching. You can see trends for any given topic or search term, not only on a global level but also in your country and even down to a regional level.

Google Alerts:

This is another tool we use every day, it’s simple yet can be invaluable.

If you want to monitor a brand or a competitor, google alerts is an easy way to make sure you’re updated on what’s going on in your industry. You can also set alerts for new online content so that when a blog post or article is published or someone mentions your company, you’ll be notified!

It’s really easy to set up in three simple steps…

  1. Go to Google alerts
  2. create an alert by entering the search term and email
  3. Google will send updates to your inbox based on keywords

Google My Business:

Google My Business is an important tool for small businesses, especially if your audience is local and based in close proximity to your business.

It’s like a social network but based around googles own search engine, but with a local bias. It displays local results of a query relevant to the location within which it’s searched, which according to Google’s own research, accounts for over 50% of all searches carried out across the internet as a whole.

Anyone who uses Google will have noticed these locally based search results which normally appear as three business listing along with a local map at top of a relevant search results page. A lot of the time it will be accompanied by a knowledge panel with details of the business google thinks is the most relevant to that query.

This is an incredibly powerful way to marketing your locally based business and is essential to being found in your immediate area by people looking for your product/services

local SEO listing in Google maps that shows up when you type in  a query which has local intent

Use social media effectively

You don’t need me to tell you that you need to market your business through social, buy just pick the ones that make sense for your industry and don’t worry too much about the others.

Depending on where your audience is, consider the most popular ones from the list below.

Facebook:

This is one of the biggest social networks in the world with over a billion monthly active users, so it makes sense for small businesses to consider setting up ads and pages here. That being said, be aware of your audience and if they are going to present on there, which may not be the case if your industry is more b2b than b2c?

Twitter:

A microblogging site that’s been around since 2006 but is not focussed on one type of audience or demographic so it’s considered to be the most impartial social network.

LinkedIn:

The social network for the business world. This is where professionals go to find jobs, meet other people in their industry or field and can be a valuable tool for small businesses looking to build relationships with other companies and as one would imagine is best for b-to-b clients.

YouTube:

The second most visited website after Google, youtube is great for marketing because you can upload videos which will allow people to go back through them later and they’re also searchable meaning you’ll get traffic from those searches too! And as a video has a huge share of traffic on the internet, this is a great way to reach your target audience.

Instagram:

is part of Facebook, and is a photosharing social media platform popular with millennial’s, with over 600 million active monthly users. It is also a good way to get people to share your content and you can build brand awareness by using filters which means that the photos look more attractive.

Tik Tok:

Tik tok is an app. It is really popular with 12-18-year-olds, but it has become popular with people who are older and businesses trying to promote their products through video. It has become one of the fastest-growing apps in recent years and a lot of businesses are starting to adopt the platform for marketing their products.

However, as the demographic is of a particular type, you need to be sure that your audience before jumping headlong into it…

if you own a business that provides Emergency plumbing or roof replacements perhaps think twice before spending a lot of time and effort marketing your services on this platform.

Use your own Business Blog

Spend time blogging on your own website blog is a great way for you to talk about the business, keep people up to date with what’s going on and attract new clients.

Its also been shown that you get more traffic to your website and more engagement if you can provide high-quality content which can provide value to your audience.

Things you can cover on your blog are things like:

tips for running a small business in your industry and for your audience
news within your business
Behind the scenes in your business to give people a sneak peek behind the curtain where most customers never get to see.

Most business owners ignore this because they think it’s hard work coming up with content to write about, which to a certain degree is true, but it is so worth the effort.

But remember if you think it’s hard for yourself to blog regularly, if you have other members of staff, ask them if they would be interested in writing some posts too, you never know, someone may jump at the chance… if all else fails you can always rely on your friendly digital marketing company that will blog for you either as a stand-alone service or as part of a larger digital marketing strategy.

Email Marketing

Marketing your business through your email list is a great marketing channel that a lot of small business owners either don’t do or get so wrong, but doing it the right way is one of the most cost-efficient ways to market your business and to get new customers.

It can be really great for small businesses because they can integrate it with all of their other marketing channels such as social media, blogging and of course add it to their website.

The most important thing about email marketing is that you need a set schedule for when you are going to send out emails, how often the recipients will receive them, and what content they will contain so its not too much or too little information.

One way to make sure that people are kept interested and don’t unsubscribe from your mailing list is to offer them something of value in each one, This could be an article on running your business or simply some useful tips about how your reader can achieve some results either using your product or learning how your product can help them solve their problem!

The thing that most business owners do when applying email marketing is to just send emails about their business… and while that is ok to do occasionally, you really need to think about the customer more and what they want to know more about and why they have subscribed in the first place. If you can do that, there is huge value you can get from your email subscribers

The more value you can provide to your subscriber, the more likely they are to think about you and your brand as being an expert and more likely to consider buying from you when they are looking to purchase the service or product you offer.

Paid Ads

Using paid traffic is a great way to get new or existing customers to your site, and if done right can be very lucrative. The problem is that a lot of site owners think it’s simply a matter of pointing an ad to their site and that’s it.

That couldn’t be further from the truth and those who have done it wrong find that it can be very expensive with little reward. so you have to be clear about your objectives and outcomes and plan out the campaign before spending a cent.

The key to success with paid ads is how to use the traffic to achieve your goals that you should have arrived at in your planning. So if you want to sell a product for example, then the goal of your campaign is to get as many people who are looking for that product and show them your product. If you want to grow awareness, then it’s about getting visitors onto your site so they can learn more about what you offer and then perhaps get them to sign up as an email subscriber.

One other thing – in digital marketing timing matters a lot because each day or week will be different depending on how competitive things are at any given time. So if something works today but not tomorrow, don’t keep throwing money into doing the same old thing when there may be better opportunities out there waiting for you.

The best way to improve ROI from paid ads is by using conversion tracking software: this allows you to see every visitor you’re sending through to your ad campaigns and know exactly which is working until you’re in a position where you have an optimised campaign which is In profit.

SEO

Many of the suggestions made in this post can be regarded as constituents of SEO, but having an SEO strategy allows you to unify all of your efforts to result in a coordinated approach to your small business digital marketing to get the desired results.

Search engine optimisation is one of the most important digital marketing channels because it’s free and you can improve your rankings on Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc. by taking some of the actions described above and by doing some research to discover the best keywords for your industry and using that information to provide value-based content and posting it across the internet.

Many small businesses don’t use SEO because it can be regarded as too complicated and time-consuming, but there are many free tools you can use to simplify the process.

It all starts with a good digital marketing strategy! and it allows your business to reach out to and be seen by potential customers in order to increase sales or leads.

You never know which channels will work best for your particular target audience so trying things out and trying different types of channels should be considered as part of any solid digital marketing plan.

Digital and Traditional PR

This may be a surprise to include, as most small businesses think this is for larger businesses, but that is not the case. PR is becoming more important with the digital age, and traditional PR still works well for some small businesses.

At its simplest it’s just a matter of looking at what publications are out there, either locally or in your industry and then finding out the people who create the content or edit the publication.

This is probably the easiest thing for an individual to do as most can be found online with a little bit of thought and perseverance.

The key to this technique however is understanding what these people want. They are busy and they are typically under pressure to fill a blank page with something of interest for their audience.

This is where you come in by providing that interest on a silver platter. All you have to do is have something ready to offer them and make it as easy as possible for them, so this needs some planning.

All you need to do is to think about all the things they would want to run the story, images, a great tag line and some copy that is well written and a little different. When I say different, I don’t mean it has to be something that hasn’t been done before, most things are after all are recycled, I just mean you have to give your story or event a different angle, something which fires the imagination.

An example of this would be that one of our clients who does this very well have an annual charity walk to raise money for their favourite charity. This is for a great cause, and that is the main reason they do it, but by reaching out to editors and journalists, we know it will be picked up by some and will be featured in their publications.

By referring to our client and their company in the article, we know that this will be published and provide some additional free publicity for the business, as well as also doing some great work for charity.

As you can see, it’s pretty simple to achieve, and if done well, you can even become a go-to source for some journalist, which can become invaluable in differentiating your small business from that of your competition in the eyes of your potential customers.

To Round Off

So as you can see, digital marketing is a powerful tool for small businesses, but it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive.

With a little imagination, you can easily get some amazing traction for your business through using these digital marketing techniques.

Then again, if you would prefer an expert to this for your business, we can help you find the channels that are best suited to your industry and budget and do it all for you.

whether you want to do it yourself or for someone else to do it, you can achieve some amazing professional insights into which direction could yield the best results with our free digital marketing review. Schedule yours FREE today!

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