Guide to Marketing Your New Small Business

The Small Business Startup Guide

Congratulations on starting your own business (or at least thinking about starting your own business)! One of the biggest challenges that come with owning a new business if knowing the most effective ways to market it. You’ll need to figure out which marketing tactics are going to give you the biggest bang for your buck. A lot of small business startups waste money on ineffective tactics. What may be right for one type of business may be completely wrong for your type of business.

In this marketing guide for small businesses, we’ll provide you with a quick overview of some of the various marketing tactics that are available and hopefully provide you with some directional focus. Given that you are most likely a small business startup, we’ll forgo any big budget tactics that are probably out of your reach.

Guide to Marketing Your New Small Business

Local Search Marketing

If you have a physical brick and mortar store location or engage with customers from a central location or service area (including your home), then local search marketing will likely be one of your most important customer acquisition strategies. Whether you operate a single store or run a national chain of stores or services, understanding local search marketing is critical to any business trying to attract local traffic. The growth of mobile and digital assistants is shining new light on the importance of this rapidly-growing marketing channel. Almost 50% of all Google searches are people looking for local information. If you’ve ever asked Siri, Google or Alexa to find something “near me”, then you are part of the local search revolution. Think of local search as like the Yellow Pages on steroids.

Some local search tactics include:

Create a Google business profile: Having your business listed with Google along with a physical business address means that your business is searchable on Google Maps, which will display in Google search listings when someone is searching for a specific type of local business near them. The more details and images you can provide in your listing, the better. If you do nothing else to market your business, do this. The listing is free and it will bring you business!

Publish localized content on your website: If you have a website or plan on building one, include as much local information as possible without being spammy about it. Add any cities and zip codes that you serve, nearby landmarks, hours of operation, and anything else you can think of. Your website content serves as keywords and phrases that Google uses to serve up search results.

Get listed in popular business directories and review sites like Yelp, DexKnows, Angi (Angie’s List), TripAdvisor, Nextdoor APP, etc. Even if it costs you a small fee, these sites can bring you business. Just be mindful of your business rating and reviews. Be sure to keep your listings updated.

Google Ads – PPC or Pay Per Click Advertising: Pay Per Click or PPC marketing is the process of purchasing ads on various search engines and social media platforms which allow for bidding on a cost per click model. Generally, the higher you bid, the higher your ad will be positioned in the search results. There are many factors that go into the bidding process and costs can vary dramatically depending on the popularity of keywords being targeted or how competitive the geographical region is that you are targeting. Pay per click advertising allows businesses large and small to effectively target prospective customers with less waste, meaning that you only pay when someone is interested enough in your message to click through vs. paying for impressions.

For small business startups, if you are going to invest in pay per click ads, we recommend you start with Google ads. Once your business grows and you have a larger marketing budget, you can venture into more pay per click ad spaces such as Facebook, Instagram, Bing, and others.

Online Reviews: As a new business startup, you’re probably not going to have a lot of reviews yet, however, we highly recommend that you put a plan in place right away to start collecting (positive reviews). If great customer service is one of your business priorities, then you should have no trouble getting your customers to write positive reviews about your business.

According to Trustpilot, nearly nine out of ten consumers across the globe read reviews before buying products or services. Having positive reviews can make or break a small business. Positive reviews help build consumer trust and can lead to a higher search engine ranking in Google.

Collecting positive reviews is as simple as asking your customers to review your business following the sale. You can do this at the point of sale, or through a follow up email.

Email Marketing for Small Business

Depending on your type of business, email marketing can be a one of your most important marketing tactics, and the good news is that it’s not going to cost you a lot of money. If your business caters to repeat customers, then you should be maintaining regular communication to those customers via email at least once a month (once a week at the most).

There is no shortage of options when it comes to choosing an email marketing services provider and most platforms offer similar bells and whistles to help get the job done. Pricing is typically based on list size. The bigger the list, the more you pay. However, in some cases, costs are based on the number of emails you send each month vs. the total number of contacts you have. Expect to pay around $25 to $30 per month for a list size up to 2,500. Some things to look for when selecting an email marketing company in addition to price include customer service support, basic email performance analytics, A/B testing, list segmentation, ecommerce integration, subscription forms, quality of ready-made templates, drag and drop design interface, and access to a photo library (not necessary, but nice to have).

Popular Email Marketing Software Services (Platforms)

Constant Contact

Powerful email marketing made easy. Awe-inspiring templates. Easy-to-use editor. Powerful list-building tools. Expert advice and live support.

sendinblue

Email, SMS, Facebook, Chat, CRM, and more, all-in-one platform to help you grow your business through building stronger customer relationships.

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign combines all aspects of email marketing into a single & easy to use platform. Seamlessly create beautiful & engaging emails, send them to your segmented subscribers, and see what interactions & reactions occur in real time! Email marketing remains one of the best marketing options for positive returns on your investment.

MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the leading email marketing providers in the world. It relatively inexpensive but can be difficult to navigate.

Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor, a CM Group brand, is a world-class email marketing platform trusted by 250,000 companies globally. We provide easy-to-use tools that put marketers in control of their email program so they can deliver results.

Vehicle Wraps

A vehicle wrap or decal can be a good way to promote your business if you’re into that sort of thing. If you go with a wrap you can count on spending $2,000 or more depending on your vehicle. There are some DIY options available. If you’re on a budget, you can opt for a large magnetic sign instead. You can get these printed for around $50 for a 24” x 18” sign.

https://www.uprinting.com/car-magnets-printing.html

Direct Mail for Small Business

Direct mail can be a very effective marketing tactic and it can also be a complete waste of money. Direct mail is most effective when you have a special offer or promotion associated with the mailer. It can also be good to reach people who are new to the neighborhood. If you’re just doing direct mail with no offer or impactful message then it’s probably not worth the cost and effort.

Depending on what type of direct mail piece you send, you can expect to pay between .75 cents and $1.50 per household reached. This includes production and design, printing, and postage. The higher the quantity, the lower the cost. Keep in mind that most of your mailers will go directly in the garbage, so make your design and messaging is as appealing as possible. If you’re selling big ticket items or services, then even getting a few eyeballs on your mailers may make the effort worthwhile.

Here are a few direct mail service providers that you can check out…

Cactus Mailing

We have helped over 17,000 Businesses Get New Customers and Increase Sales with our Postcard Campaign Service.

Mail Shark

Mail Shark is more than a direct mail company – we’re an extension of your marketing team. Over the past decade, we’ve helped countless businesses like yours to meet their marketing goals with custom direct mail solutions.

Modern Postcard

For 25 years, Modern Postcard has helped businesses of all types acquire and retain new customers with high quality printing and direct marketing solutions. Our team of dedicated, on-site Direct Marketing Specialists, customer service associates and creative professionals ensure seamless production, printing, mailing and shipping.

Print Label and Mail

We can handle your campaign from start to finish or provide only the services you need. Our services include Coaching, Design, Printing, Mailing Lists, and Bulk Mail Preparation with the Lowest Postage Rates.

USPS Direct Mail Services

Services to promote your small business in your local community. If you’re having a sale, opening a new location, or offering coupons, USPS can help you send postcards, menus, and flyers to the right customers.

SmartPress Direct Mail Services

Our expert team works with you from start to finish. We offer inserting, kitting, and stamp-affixing to do all of the hard work for you. Don’t already have a mailing list? No worries. We have those too.

Experian Small Business Mailing Lists

If you want your direct marketing strategy to drive more business, then quality data is your answer. From retailers to realtors, Experian’s data helps businesses of all sizes deliver data-driven marketing.

Brochures, Flyers and Other Promotional Materials

At some point, as a small business startup you are going to need to make some brochures, flyers, advertisements, and other promotional materials including creative for social media posts. If you’re the do-it-yourself type, we recommend you set up an account on Canva. Canva has numerous drag and drop design templates for just about everything you will need to promote your business. If you prefer to outsource your creative needs, you can find a freelancer on Fiverr or Upwork to do the job at an affordable rate.

Social Media for Small Business

No doubt you are already familiar with the power of social media. Some small business rely 100% on social media to connect with customers and prospects. Social media sites like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn can all be effective marketing tools, however if you plan to use any combination of these platforms as the only tactic for marketing your business, you need to be committed to posting on a regular basis and actively engaging with customers on your social media business pages. Social media helps connect brands to people and provides a level of interaction that no other form of media can achieve. But it takes time to build a social following and to earn trust as a brand worth paying attention to.

You can also leverage the power of social media through advertising with paid placement ads. Most platforms allow you to place ads to target specific customer groups in order to get website visits, post interaction, new followers and more. With the online social media advertising and marketing tools that are available, you can find solutions for advertising, gaining followers, creating content, retargeting, lead generation, budgeting, performance tracking and more for all the top social networks.

Below are some social media marketing platforms and services you may want to consider…

 

Buffer

Buffer is a suite of social media management products made for modern, online brands, providing them with the tools they need for visual marketing, audience engagement, and analytics.

 

Hootsuite

Hootsuite’s social media management platform and solutions help people and organizations succeed with social. We help social teams deliver value to their organizations through insights at a global scale. Our collaborative ecosystem of 150+ apps and integrations ensures our clients can adopt and adapt quickly to changes in social. 

 

Loomly

Loomly is the Brand Success Platform that empowers marketing teams to collaborate, publish and measure.

 

SproutSocial

Sprout Social enables brands to find, form, and deepen the connections with their social audience.

 

SocialBee

SocialBee offers all-in-one tools and services for content posting and recycling, follower growth, engagement, and more.

 

AdEspresso

AdEspresso makes Facebook advertising easy and profitable for small and medium businesses. Whether you want to sell more products, grow your fan base, or increase engagement with your community, AdEspresso can help.

 

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

Generate leads, drive website traffic, and build brand awareness. Marketing on LinkedIn helps you engage a community of professionals to drive actions that are relevant to your business.

 

Facebook Ads Manager

Ads Manager is your starting point for running ads on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or Audience Network. 

 

YouTube Ads

YouTube can help you connect with people who are interested in what you have to offer. Sports fans around the block. Fashionistas around the world. And everyone in between.

 

Pinterest Ads

Reach millions of people who use Pinterest every month to discover and buy your products.