Are you a business owner or planning to start a business and not have any strategy to market your small business?
So you’re at the right place, this blog is for you.
Before the Internet, being a small business owner you only had a few ways to market your products through printing out fliers or sponsoring little local events.
Now, the internet breaks the clutter, there are all kinds of opportunities to market a small business on a budget you just need to know about them.
I’m going to share the best way to market small businesses that can help your small business to compete in the big league of online business.
1. Use local listing service
Register your business on Google Places it allows your business to be found more easily on Google searches and it shows up on Google Maps.
It’s very simple, you just have to fill out the form and register, then get your business verified through their confirmation process, you will get mail from google. Yahoo!, Microsoft’s Bing also has a big database of businesses. It’s free, and is certainly worth the few minutes it takes to set up.
Google has captured 91.75% of the market share whereas Yahoo! has 1.7% and Bing has 2.75% of market share.
So it’s sufficient to get registered with Google places.
This will drive the traffic to your local store without spending a dime.
People will search for the services and google will show them your shop,if you provide that service.
You can see I searched for grocery stores near me, Google shows the stores near me and I will buy from their stores.
This will drive the customers automatically.
2. Make your Business website
Online businesses are increasing rapidly, every business wants to get more customers by using the power of the internet.
Your website itself is the way to market small business, and it helps your customers to get to know your business more easily.
Around 3.6 billion people are using the internet and that’s a huge number.
If your business is not available on the internet, you are losing customers and that means losing money.
You don’t need to be from a tech background for creating your website.
Believe me! You can create a website within an hour by using platforms like WordPress and Wix.
I have also used WordPress to create this website, it’s simple and time saving.
3. Join relevant community
Social media is the best way to reach your customers.
There are lots of communities or groups related to your business on Facebook, Reddit and Tumblr.
Join those communities and try to understand what issues people are facing and how your business can solve their problems.
As you see I have searched for jewelry groups, and there are lots of members in the following groups.
You can directly engage with the relevant people and also get to know about your competitors.
Proactively answer their issues, and remember never sell your service simply help them build trust, and later this will turn into your customer.
4. Use Quora
Every business owner needs to understand what people want.
Follow the topics that are relevant to your business. Post thought-provoking questions and valuable answers. Include links back to content on your website for more information, but don’t spam.
Suppose you run a bookstore then there are lots of communities as you see in the image, join them or create your own community and start marketing to more relevant people.
I don’t think there is a better platform than Quora to do the small business market research.
Quora is the best way to market for small businesses without spending a dime.
5. Ask your customers
Never let your happy customers go without asking for reviews or testimonials.
“Customers attract more customers”, yes it’s true for every business. People like to read your customer’s reviews before buying a service or product from you.
Good reviews build more trust and get you more customers.
Ask your customers to write about their experience with you on Google places, Facebook page and on your website also.
Google Reviews can improve your website search rankings and overall SEO efforts. While there are a lot of factors involved in search rankings, online customer reviews can be a strong signal to search engines that communicates trustworthiness and authority.
Maintain your rating and reviews, it’s work vice-versa. If a customer gives a bad review then you can lose customers.
Focus on providing the best service, rest leave on them.
6. Use Email marketing
One of the main reasons why Small Businesses fail is they don’t collect email of their customers.
From the beginning, start collecting the emails of your customers and use the email like a sales tool.
Send emails frequently, give special offers, coupons and never let your customer forget your business.
Make them feel that you care about them and you are there to help them.
If you do not have an email list there are lots of companies that provide you the email data of people related to your business. I don’t recommend this method, but yes sometimes it works.
7. Use Craigslist
Whether you need new customers or employees, Craigslist is a great place to search.
Around 600 million people visit Craigslist every month and that’s huge you can’t ignore that.
Craigslist offers free advertising to market small businesses by encouraging them to use specialized sections for small business ads. Users who are looking for local, small business services will browse in that section for companies such as your own.
I have discussed how to market your business online without spending money.
In the big league of online marketing companies are spending so much money to get the customers attention, still these market methods are effective.
It’s up to you how much time and patience you put in this. Nothing works for you if you do it just for the once, be consistent with your efforts.
Believe me! You will get more sales and your business will grow.
Which method works best for your business?