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10 Proven Ways to Market Your Business in 2021
2020 was a challenging year for businesses. As a result, many came into 2021 at a significant deficit. For a small business, marketing has never been more critical.
To reliably breathe life back into your bottom line, it’s best to focus your efforts on proven strategies. The ten tactics detailed here are time-tested and effective for almost any type of business. Choose one or two, or if you’re looking to be aggressive, attack all ten. But get moving. There are customers out there. You simply need to know how to find them.
BUILD A WEBSITE
This is the granddaddy of proven marketing tactics. If you don’t have a proper website, you need one. It’s the beating heart of your online SEO, content, and digital marketing efforts. It serves as a destination for all of your natural and paid search traffic, a hub for data collection and lead generation, and a resource for your customers.
What do we mean by “proper”? If a Facebook profile page serves as your company website, that’s not enough. You need a site on a unique domain that’s designed for speed, clarity, and brevity. It needs to be optimized for search engines and ideally hosts a blog for content marketing purposes.
AND SPEAKING OF CONTENT MARKETING...
Do you have a blog? A social media presence? Then whether you realize it or not, you’re already engaging in content marketing. The practice uses relevant, original content to establish your brand as an expert in its field and give search engines extra grist to boost you in search rankings. Publishing high-quality content regularly can, over time, dramatically increase your unpaid, natural search volumes, which means free advertising and loads of new customers.
SUPPLEMENT NATURAL LISTINGS WITH PPC ADS
SEO and content marketing will help to drive natural search rankings. The downside to these free exposures is that you can’t control them directly. That’s why you should fill in the gaps with pay-per-click ads. Potential platforms include Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. PPC ads are cost-effective because you pay only when someone clicks your ad (hence the name.)
Make sure to A/B test different offers, headlines, audiences, CTAs, and images. Minor tweaks can make a big difference. Keep what works, ditch what doesn’t, slowly refining your ad into a targeted money maker.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LOCAL SEARCH
If your business has a local storefront, office, warehouse, or similar location, you need to be optimizing your web presence for local search. According to Hubspot, 72% of local Google searches result in a visit to a business location without five miles of the searcher.
To get started, claim your Google My Business profile. Fill it out completely, adding as much detail as possible. The more you give Google’s algorithms, the better. For detailed information on taking full advantage of Google’s local search, check the Google My Business FAQ.
RUN EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS
Email marketing isn’t quite as effective as it was ten or fifteen years ago, but because it’s so inexpensive, your ROI can still be quite high. The most cost-effective way to use email is to send it to warm leads and existing customers. These are addresses you already have or that you acquired through other marketing channels. Then you can use email automation software to create custom small business marketing workflows customized to each of your demographics.
SEE ALSO: How to Build a Targeted Mailing List
HARNESS THE POWER OF HANDWRITTEN DIRECT MAIL
If you like email marketing, you’ll love handwritten direct mail. Email enjoys a 15-25% open rate. Respectable to be sure, but it comes nowhere near handwritten direct mail’s staggering 99% open rate. By harness handwritten notes with your small business marketing tactics nearly everyone you target will open your message.
But how do you find the time to handwrite hundreds or thousands of mailers? You don’t. Simply Noted has perfected the science of automated handwriting. Our robots use real ballpoint pens and sophisticated font technology to replicate the look of real handwriting perfectly.
You can even automate your notes as if they were emails using our provided integrations. By linking your CRM to our servers, you could have beautiful handwritten cards mailed out whenever you add a new customer. The possibilities are endless. Simply Noted brings you the benefits of handwritten marketing without the time investment.
LEVERAGE EXISTING CUSTOMERS FOR REFERRALS
According to eMarketer, employee and customer referrals offer the best conversion rate of any marketing tactic. The reason isn’t mysterious. People trust their friends’ and colleagues’ opinions. Referrals are about as warm a lead as you could want to find.
Consider asking for referrals on all of your collateral material and in person at the completion of a successful project. You might also offer rewards, like discounts for future purchases, in exchange for referrals. If you want higher-quality referrals, increase the rewards if the referral turns into a sale. You can make that more likely by offering a reward to the referred party, too.
SEE ALSO: How to Get More Referrals
CREATE PARTNERSHIPS WITH RELATED INDUSTRIES
Imagine you’re an insurance agent, and a client asks you for help finding legal representation. You plumb your network and pass on one or two names. Now consider that your lawyer friends can do the same thing for you. That’s the power of networking partnerships. You can create a tight-knit group of related professionals that share leads. This practice dramatically increases your reach.
USE THE MEDIA TO GENERATE LOCAL BUZZ
Newspapers and other local print and online publications are always on the hunt for new stories. On slow news days, they have to fill their space with something. Anytime something notable happens with your business it’s a good idea to send press releases out to every major (and minor) local publication. If your timing is good, your story will get picked up and distributed to subscribers all over your region, creating substantial free buzz.
ATTEND TRADE SHOWS
Tradeshows either shuttered operations or went virtual in 2020, but as the pandemic is winding down, they’re beginning to reemerge. Before the pandemic, many industries found the lion’s share of new prospects at trade shows. They bring thousands of eager customers together in one place, all ready to make a deal. Consider hosting a booth, sponsoring events, participating in Q&As and panel discussions, and attend networking events. Get out in front of as many people as possible and watch your fortunes soar!