The world of marketing can be tricky to say the least. But for many small businesses just starting out, there are quick, effective, and most importantly, actionable steps you can take that will make a real difference in your everyday operations.

From strategic planning to execution, we’ll discuss 8 marketing tips for small business start doing immediately that will instantly add value to your business and better prepare you for long term success.

These are:

  1. Strategy: Have a plan, and stick to it
  2. Know your customer
  3. Identify what’s working and keep at it
  4. Set Key Performance Indicators
  5. Have a digital-first approach
  6. Content is key
  7. Automate what you can
  8. Facebook Ads Marketing

The most important marketing tip for small business: have a plan, and stick to it

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day chaos of small business ownership. When there’s so much going on around you, taking a step back to think about the bigger picture is often the last thing on your mind.

However, the planning stage of a marketing strategy may be the most vital as it establishes the backbone and roadmap of how you will expand your business into the next stage of growth. After all, as the age old saying goes: “Failing to plan, is planning to fail.”

Your marketing strategy doesn’t need to be complex. In fact, starting simple with short term, achievable goals is the best way to ensure that your business actually sets out on a growth trajectory, instead of maintaining its current level or suffering loss.

Ask yourself where you are now and where you want to be in 6 months time. Then focus on the goals you need to achieve and the actions you need to take in order to get there - then stick to it.

Know your customer

This seems like a no brainer, doesn’t it? But knowing your audience isn’t as simple as observing the people who walk through your door or call in, it’s about researching all aspects of their life that are relevant to your business. What are their demographics? What are their goals and challenges? How do they shop? Where do they go? What do they pay attention to?

There are limitless questions you can ask, and each one will get you closer to knowing how you can effectively gain and retain new customers. Start a document, build your customer persona, and make sure you keep it front of mind whenever you begin a new marketing strategy.

Identify what’s working and keep at it

The saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is correct, but in the context of marketing, it doesn’t go far enough. If there are methods already in place that are driving success for your business, make sure they remain a key focus in your marketing plan. Double down on those methods if it makes sense for your business and is feasible.

Equally, if you’re continuing marketing methods that aren’t driving results and there isn’t an easy way to rectify the issue, focus your efforts elsewhere.

And that takes us to the next of our marketing tips for small business… How do you identify and track these methods?

Set Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are simple, measurable goals that you can set on an individual or business level. KPIs allow you to evaluate how well your business is performing, and if current behaviors should be continued or, if a change of strategy is needed. Each goal should have an achievable outcome as well as business-focused intent behind it.

For example, a goal to increase your email database by 10% by the end of the month can have the intent to scale up the reach of your marketing communications, not just increase leads.

Achieving these KPIs shows that your business is on the right path and that your small business marketing plan is a success!

Have a digital-first approach

‘Old media’ is all but dead thanks to the increasing prevalence of digital and social media. A vast majority of the population spends a great deal of time staring at a screen of some form, flooded with tons of information.

Customers will always search for your business online, whether that’s your website or social media, so make sure that both are engaging, informative and easy to understand. For more details on digital marketing, check out our blog Digital Marketing for a Small Business: An Overview to Get You Started.

Content is key

Now that we’ve established that you need to have a digital-first approach for your small business marketing, it’s important to discuss the content that you’re pushing out in these channels.

  • Website: Put simply, customers want information. They want to know what your business does and how it can help them. When writing content for your website you must consider your audience and shape it to fit their language and knowledge of your industry. If you’re not the most digitally savvy person, there are plenty of freelance organizations like Fiverr that can provide writers and web designers on short notice that can help elevate your content.
  • Social: These platforms reward activity. If you’re continually posting engaging, relevant content, platform algorithms will work in your favor to give you a greater reach. Using your social media platforms to engage with others through likes, comments, and follows will also put you ahead in the algorithm.

Digital marketing for small business

Automate what you can

Probably the easiest one of our marketing tips for small business to follow, because you don’t have to do the work! Review your marketing workflows and search for online products that can consolidate and automate certain workflows. With the time you save through automation, you can double down on your efforts in other areas of your business.

Let’s take email marketing as an example. In the infancy of your business you might have a spreadsheet of potential new business contacts that you update as you receive interest. This method may be simple, but it’s certainly not sustainable. Engaging a product like LeadOwl is an easy, user-friendly way to consolidate your lead marketing into one app. For simplicity, LeadOwl integrates with your favorite marketing and sales tools such as Lead Ads, ClickFunnels, Unbounce, Zapier, AWeber, Mailchimp, and many more.

Facebook Ads Marketing

If it’s your first swing at digital marketing, the quickest way to start is to boost your social content through Facebook Ads Manager. It’s straightforward, user friendly, and used by millions of businesses worldwide so there are plenty of online resources to help figure out the finer details. It’s also not as expensive as you might think and depending on the aim of your ads (engagements, click throughs, etc.), the effectiveness of your content can actually make your money go further.

Speaking of making your money go further, if you want more marketing tips for small business follow the LeadOwl Instagram profile for helpful advice you can apply to your business today.

These marketing tips for small business are a great starting point for every business, big or small. There’s still much more to learn but they’ll guide you towards taking the first steps in advancing your business marketing strategy into a new stage of growth.