How do I Choose the Best Small Business Marketing Strategies?

Erin J. Hill

To choose the best small business marketing strategies, you should determine what your long-term and short-term goals are so you are working toward something in particular. Then, you need to educate yourself on marketing concepts and strategies. This is true even if you decide to hire outside help, because you will want to know that the person or company you choose is making smart choices. The exact strategy you choose will likely depend on the type of business you have.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

Most of the best small business marketing strategies will involve the use of a website and the proper Internet marketing techniques. Whether you sell a tangible item or not, having an online presence will allow clients to view your information more easily, and you will be able to reach people across the globe rather than just in your own location. Web hosting companies may help you get started with search engine optimization, but you will likely also need to develop your own ideas for creating a buzz on the web. Common advertising strategies used on the Internet include social networking with potential clients, writing articles that can be viewed on other sites with a link back to your homepage, and writing blogs to offer helpful information to customers.

You may also decide to advertise in your local phone directory or business publication, but choosing the best small business marketing strategies may involve thinking a bit more creatively. To gain more clients, you should discover what makes your small business different than your competitors. Do you have a product that no one else currently has? Are you the first, best, brightest, or fastest at what you do? Your trademark, or “unique selling point,” in marketing lingo, should be your main focal point in any ad campaigns you do.

Discovering this focal point is not always easy, but there is a trick that marketing experts use to highlight a company with no noticeable unique qualities. If you do not have a unique selling point, then choose something good that you have to offer that other companies are not showcasing. For example, if you sell food in a restaurant, you may choose to highlight the fact that your dishes do not contain certain harmful additives or that you use only fresh ingredients. This doesn’t mean the diner next door doesn’t also use quality ingredients, just that they didn’t mention it in heir ads.

Once you have your unique selling points, you can choose the best small business marketing strategies by using those things to attract the customers who care about them. You can do this using advertising in magazines or websites that potential customers visit. Consider your audience in everything that you do. Your line of cosmetics may be the best of the best, but you will not be likely to sell any of it if you advertise in a sports magazine read primarily by men.

If you are still in doubt about your abilities to choose a marketing strategy, you can hire outside help to give you a hand. Many small businesses cannot afford the expense of hiring an ad agency or marketing firm, but you may team up with other small business professionals to swap services and trade ideas. For example, if you own a construction company, you may trade your home improvement skills for someone else’s web design, writing, or marketing skills. You can also trade ideas on marketing to find out what has worked for others.

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