Consider this – you’ve created the most incredible array of pastries. The colors of each mini tart pop as they sit next to each other, the air is filled with the scent of sugar, and the crusts are perfectly golden – every time. You absolutely must share these amazing sweets with the world, so you package them into beautifully wrapped boxes and sit back, waiting for the sales to pour in.

There’s one big flaw here. Nobody knows you’re waiting. You may have one or two people that stumble across you accidentally or family and friends that promise to place their order soon, but your kitchen is still filled to the brim with boxes.

This is why marketing is so essential to a successful business. And when you’re a small business, it becomes paramount to compete against the big players of your industry. Without proper marketing, your business can’t hold its own, develop an industry-leading reputation or attract customers currently buying their pastries at the chain bakery down the road. Without proper marketing, your business can’t have a lasting impact.

While the world of marketing can feel like an overwhelming, complex and ever-changing space to dive into, there are a few simple steps that you can take to boost your small business marketing. With these tips, you’ll create the foundation for a business that connects with potential customers, clearly expresses your competitive advantages and continually increases your market share.

Here’s how you can get started.

3 small business marketing tips to apply now:

1. Set up and manage Google My Business

One of the easiest and most effective local marketing strategies that you can do straight away is create your Google My Business listing. This provides those searching on Google with information like your location, store hours, directions, and contact information. Some other places online that you may consider listing your business include Bing Places and Yellow Pages directories.

Once you’ve claimed your listing and uploaded all of the correct information, it’s important to keep your details up-to-date. Any changes to your normal routine, such as reduced hours for public holidays, should be reflected on your listing ahead of time. Ensuring your listing reflects the most recent changes to your business will reduce the likelihood of consumers attempting to contact your brand outside of your hours and being disappointed by your unexpected closure. By taking steps to ensure a streamlined and challenge-free customer experience, you’ll increase the likelihood of a positive interaction with potential customers and consequentially boost conversions.

2. Launch targeted ads

Google and social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook offer a variety of ways to target customers locally. You can use these channels to build advertising funnels that are restricted to the region surrounding your store or focused on a particular region that you’re trying to attract. Beyond geographic considerations, you can also tailor these ads based on factors such as age, gender, related interests or previous engagement with your brand.

Showing up in the feeds of those most likely to be interested in your brand sounds pretty great, right? Well, it gets even better! The real beauty of targeted ads is that you’re in complete control of how much you spend. When setting up your campaign, you can choose a minimum or maximum spend for the ad to ensure you’re only ever spending as much as you’ve budgeted for. While spending more will typically boost your results, you can still achieve impressive outcomes on a tight budget.

3. Monitor your results

Whether it’s a global campaign or a local effort, the key to successful marketing is to monitor your results. Digital marketing efforts such as targeted ads are easy to track, as the results are all presented to you at the end of the campaign and status updates are available throughout.

It’s important to take the time to review and understand how your marketing strategies are performing, so that you can focus more time on efforts that resonate with your audience and less on ones that aren’t quite hitting the mark. Monitoring the sales generated directly from ads will also allow you to gradually increase your marketing budget without making a dent in your bottom line. For example, you can use the funds generated from a Facebook ad campaign to run an email marketing campaign. With more money to spend and the insights from your social ads, you’ll be well placed to execute a well-performing strategy to boost your business success even more.

Local Small Business Marketing Tips to Apply Now

As a small business owner, Google My Business, targeted ads and analytic reviews are the key to understanding the success of your marketing strategies, increasing revenue opportunities and boosting sales. To help you stay on top of everything and streamline the process for everyone involved, our final tip is to invest in a lead generation system that brings it all into one place. A platform like Lead Owl will allow you to see exactly how your business’ marketing strategies are performing in just a glance, so that you can continually refine and improve your approach.

For more helpful tips on small business marketing and streamlining your processes, sign up for the Lead Owl newsletter below. As part of our exclusive community, you’ll be the first to know about industry trends, hot tips and the latest features you need to be implementing in your business.