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Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

Many small businesses struggle with identifying effective marketing techniques that actually work and provide excellent returns on investment. This is particularly common with older small business owners.

I recently met with an elderly gentleman whose entire marketing strategy was getting listed in the phonebook –yes, I was just as shocked as you are now-, occasionally distributing flyers and referrals. Naturally, his business was failing.

Yet, he had this idea that consistently plonking down almost a thousand dollars a month for ads in various Yellowpages categories still worked. Many small business owners are in this situation and have no idea what to do to start making their marketing work for them.

If you are in a similar situation, are just starting a new business or are about to have a grand opening, the following marketing tips will help you get better results and decent ROI.

Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

Mobile Marketing

Stop reading and look around you right now… what do you see? Chances are that if you’re surrounded by people, they are glued to their phones. And for those who aren’t, watch for when they receive a notification on their phones.

My point is that mobile marketing works if your mobile marketing medium of choice is well targeted and timed for maximum impact. For instance, instead of just doing an SMS blast to thousands of people who don’t know you or your business, how about you create a special coupon, offer… something to entice them and have them check out your website.

You could also create a mobile app and push special offers to people who have those apps installed on their mobile devices. There’s really no limit to mobile marketing if you do it right.

Direct Mail Marketing

Every day, people are making a killing with direct mail marketing. Even though this is considered an “old school” marketing technique and now looked down on, the reality is that it works if you do it right.

NEVER create a direct mail campaign with the singular intention of selling. I know this is counterintuitive seeing as it used to work, but hear me out first. You need to find a way to get them to come to you first and then warm them up to the sale.

What do you typically do to snail mails from unknown entities that just sell and sell? Throw them in the trash, isn’t it? If you do that, what makes you think the average American isn’t doing the same? Instead, create a highly informative package with a call-to-action at the end.

The call-to-action could be in the form of a landing page, a toll-free number they can call for more information or a printed response device. The website option is better though as they can quickly visit your website, and requires little or no commitment/effort on their part. However, you should provide multiple options for contact as certain demographics have their preferred response options.

Sponsored Events and Promotional Items

You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to sponsor events in your locality. Neither do you have to sponsor every event. Pick the events that your target audience will most likely attend.

If you own a plumbing business for instance, you can’t go sponsoring student events if their parents wouldn’t be there. Pick local fundraising events, picnics, concerts, and conferences with your target audience and sponsor the event.

Even if you are unable to give cash gifts, you can always provide branded shades, chairs and even banners. Then distribute some promotional materials at the events.

Customized Flags and Signage

Customized flags and signage are very effective at driving foot traffic and creating awareness. If you want to have a grand opening or an event, create catchy and compelling custom flags and post them in prominent can’t-miss areas around town.

People tend to notice flags as they are a unique and unusual marketing medium –read: most aren’t used to them being used for advertising. They can also be effectively used for special promotions, offers, and clearance sales.

While awesome customized flags will drive the traffic, your signage will tell people where your store is and how to get there. Combined together, these very affordable marketing techniques can help you get great results.

Retarget Your Ads Fiercely

Have you ever clicked an ad only to find it “following you around”, and showing up on every website you visit? That’s retargeting at play. It is potent and has a conversion rate of at least 40 percent if done correctly.

It works that well because it creates an opportunity for repeat exposure to the prospect who clicked on it in the first place. Many small business owners are leaving a lot of money on the table by not retargeting their ads.

So, while this may not be a standalone marketing technique –as there must be a lead-in strategy like Facebook Ads, Youtube Ads and so on-, this component can do wonders for your conversion rates.