Whether you’re a seasoned small business owner or a novice, marketing should be at the top of your priority list in 2021—and every year for that matter. Marketing, especially online marketing, is crucial to increasing awareness of your business and attracting new customers. Since consumers learn about local businesses online more than anywhere else, it’s critical to make sure your business has an online presence.
As a small business owner, we get that finding time for marketing might seem like a nuisance. From late night deliveries to processing payroll—not to mention dedicating hours to perfecting your business strategy—finding time to grow your marketing efforts might seem impossible.
But local brand awareness and marketing are important for businesses of any size. Did you know 14 percent of small businesses fail due to poor marketing? Marketing is one of the easiest ways to get new customers through your doors, so don’t overlook it. You don’t have to be a marketing connoisseur either, just a few small marketing hacks can help you attract new customers and keep your current customers coming back.
2020 was an especially tough year for small businesses, so we’re outlining a few marketing tips you can implement in 2021 to help your business grow its profits and reach new customers.
Grow Your Audience Online
97 percent of people learn about local businesses online more than anywhere else. Your customers expect that your business will have a website—and if they can’t find one, digitally savvy consumers will take their business elsewhere. Your website allows customers to reach your business 24/7, giving them helpful info on hours of operations, your menu or product offerings, and what COVID-19 precautions they can expect when they visit your business.
Your website serves as a touchpoint that gives you the opportunity to offer your customers something of value. Leverage visuals to show your customers your business, and if you’re an expert in something—whether that’s pizza or fashion—tell your audience about it. You can even do a little digging into Google keywords that are relevant to your business and can increase your search engine rankings too.
Building a website might seem like a daunting task, but it can be simpler than you think, and there’s immense value in growing your business’s digital footprint. You can also simply set up an online storefront that serves as a website. Beyond Storefront is a very easy way to sell your products or take online orders without building a full website. After most businesses were forced to close their brick-and-mortar locations for at least some time period during the pandemic, the necessity of online selling has never been so evident.
Don’t Overlook Social Media Marketing
If you’re not ready to take the plunge on an all-new website, at least make sure your small business is on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are effective, not to mention free, marketing tools that will help you connect with your current customers and attract new ones. Don’t forget the basics, like updating your social pages with accurate business hours and contact information. Customers are likely to use them as the go-to source of information on your business, so take advantage of sharing updates like menu changes, upcoming events, and changes you’ve made since the beginning of the pandemic.
Set specific goals and objectives for your social media pages and do some research on what your competitors are doing online. A recent survey showed that 93 percent of people who follow small and medium-sized businesses on Twitter plan to purchase from them—so it’s important to build relationships and keep your followers informed. Engage your audience with both relevant stories about your community involvement and links to your next online sale.
Not sure what to post on social media? Or, simply don’t have time to create new content? Download our complimentary small business marketing toolkit focused on growing your business while navigating a new normal.
Stay Connected with Customers via Email
One of the easiest ways to keep your customers coming back is by making sure your business is always top of mind. When it comes time to decide where to eat dinner or where to shop for a spring outfit, make sure your business is the first place they think of. Email marketing is a simple way to keep your business’s name on your customer’s mind. From news and updates on your business to promotions and specials, email marketing gives your customers an additional way to engage with your business.
Email marketing will increase loyalty and keep your current customers coming back. Consumers like to feel like they are part of an exclusive club, so consider a rewards program exclusive to those who provide their email address or run a promotion that only those who subscribe to emails will know about. These little things will not only increase your sales, but it will make your customers feel like they are a part of a special community.
At Beyond, we’re committed to giving business owners all the resources they need to run their business successfully. Stay up to speed on all things small business by subscribing to our blog—and get in touch if you have questions about taking your business online.