It’s one thing to have a great business idea, but knowing how to market your products and services is ultimately what could help generate hype (and revenue) for your business. Scroll down to see our verdict on some of the best ways to market a new or existing small business.
What is marketing?
If you’re looking for a snazzy dictionary definition, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) defines marketing as “the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably”. On a more basic level, small business marketing refers to the processes we use to get customers interested in our products and services, and to retain their interest. As we’ll explore, this can involve all sorts of marketing assets – such as websites, blogs and brochures – and particular techniques, such as SEO and email marketing, that can help you drive awareness of your business and keep your customers’ attention.
Why should small businesses develop marketing strategies?
There are many potential benefits when businesses apply marketing strategies, such as:
- Increased brand awareness. Every business needs to be visible – whether online or offline – to attract customers. Getting serious name recognition doesn’t happen overnight, but a small business marketing plan could potentially help you build some word-of-mouth referrals.
- Customer loyalty. Your marketing strategies aren’t just about attracting customers, but retaining them. For example, you can create your own loyalty schemes with Tyl Rewards (fees and eligibility criteria apply) so your customers can earn points with each pound they spend.
- Increased cash flow. Nothing is guaranteed in life, but by building awareness, attention and affinity through effective marketing techniques, you could attract more customers and ultimately drive sales.
- Reputation management. Marketing campaigns may also help shape your business’s image in the public eye. There may be positive and negative preconceptions about different sectors, so your marketing plan is an opportunity to communicate your company’s values and earn trust and with your customer base.
5 digital marketing ideas for small businesses
In a world of mobile payments and contactless cards, it’s clear that technology has transformed the way businesses get paid and interact with their customers. To help you use technology to your advantage, here are some tried-and-tested digital marketing ideas for small businesses.
- Social ads
Using social media could help your business be visible and responsive to customers’ needs. And by advertising on social media platforms like Facebook – which has 48.5 million UK users, according to Statista – you could reach your selected target audiences and test the effectiveness of different types of messages. Discover how Ads Manager works on Facebook and Instagram, although there are other social media channels out there so you should always do your research to find the best channel for your business.
- Online business profiles
Many of us use search engines to look for local businesses, so registering on a platform like Google My Business might be a no-brainer. It gives you the opportunity to add images, your location and to respond to reviews – among other benefits. Again, you should always do your research to find the best platform for your business.
- Google Ads
You may come across the terms ‘organic’ and ‘paid’ marketing. Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) is an example of the latter, although there are other platforms out there so you should research which is best for your business. These platforms give you the opportunity to place paid advertisements on search engine results, videos and apps. You can tailor these ads to specific target audiences, and measure the results, which could help you attract and retain the customers who are most likely to value your products or services.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Tools like Google Keyword Planner , SEMrush and Moz can help you choose the right keywords to select as part of your SEO strategy. Again, there are other platforms available so make sure you do your research to find what works best for your business. SEO refers to the process of helping your website rank higher in search engine results which may mean you generate more visitors to your website and hopefully more leads or sales as a result.
- Content marketing
Writing a business blog could help you reach new customers, connect with others and establish you or your team as respected thought leaders. But for small businesses, digital content marketing doesn’t end there – podcasts, webinars and videos are other ways to market your business through quality content which may help with brand awareness and loyalty.
Other ways to market a new small business
There are lots of more traditional ways to market a business that may not require you to stare at a screen.
Direct mail might seem like a blast from the past, but some argue that sending sales material in the post is highly targeted, can generate leads, and produces a great return on investment.
Alternatively, attending industry events can be a promising networking opportunity, and if you get invited onto a panel, it’s a chance to raise the profile of your business.
Finally, good old referrals – where you remind customers to spread the word if they liked your products or service – could generate some extra buzz.
This has been prepared by Tyl by NatWest for informational purposes only and should not be treated as advice or a recommendation. There may be other considerations relevant to you and your business so you should undertake your own independent research.
Tyl by NatWest makes no representation, warranty, undertaking or assurance (express or implied) with respect to the adequacy, accuracy, completeness, or reasonableness of the information provided.
Tyl by NatWest accepts no liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential losses (in contract, tort or otherwise) arising from the use of the information contained herein. However, this shall not restrict, exclude, or limit any duty or liability to any person under any applicable laws or regulations of any jurisdiction which may not be lawfully disclaimed.