It’s natural to feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get all your work done. This is especially true if you own or work for a small business – working long hours and wearing multiple hats comes with the territory.
If this is you, marketing might be the last thing on your mind. But it shouldn’t.
Embracing marketing and getting your brand out there is essential to the success of your small business. It doesn’t have to be as costly, challenging, or time-consuming as you might think.
TOP MARKETING TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IN 2024
HAVE A WEBSITE
It may sound like a no-brainer, but nearly one-third of small businesses don’t have a website. Not having a website is the digital equivalent of adding the last coat of paint, hiring your staff, turning the lights on, then keeping the doors locked. Building a website for your small business is crucial to attracting customers and bringing visibility to your products and services.
It doesn’t have to be complicated – start with your logo, brand tagline, and a few simple pages (you can always add more down the road). As a small business, make sure one of those pages is a staff bios page. People connect and engage with content that contains a human element. They’ll feel a closer connection with you when they learn more about you, increasing the odds they’ll email, call, or visit your business.
While your website doesn’t need to be complex, it needs to look professional. Prospective clients and customers use the internet to screen businesses before committing to them. If your website is incomplete, non-functional, or looks unprofessional, prospects won’t take you seriously and they’ll likely move on.
Contrary to what you might think, getting started can be easy and inexpensive. Website builders like WordPress, WIX, and Squarespace make it easy with drag and drop functionality. According to websitebuilderexpert.com, these builders cost as little as $16 per month while also offering limited free plans.
COMMIT TO CONTENT MARKETING
One of the most effective marketing strategies you can implement is content marketing. What is content marketing, you might wonder?
It’s the practice of supplying FREE information to prospective customers while giving them the chance to buy products and services related to the information you’re sharing. Here are some examples of content marketing channels many small businesses will be using in 2024.
- Short videos
These vehicles give you an opportunity to show your knowledge and build trust, allowing you to convert prospects and leads into customers. And yes, the blog you’re reading is an example of content marketing! See more in our Learning Center.
ENGAGE IN SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
If you were given the chance to promote your small business multiple ways for free, would you? If you answered yes, then you should add social media to your marketing plan.
The most popular social media platforms for small business marketing are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and X (formerly Twitter). TikTok is also rapidly gaining popularity. You might be overwhelmed thinking you have to post on each platform. Each has a unique demographic audience so pick the one that aligns with your target audience. Are you marketing to other business professionals? Give LinkedIn a try. Is your product visually compelling and targeted to young adults and millennials? Instagram is for you.
The most engaging social media posts are visual, relevant, and relatable. An example of a social post meeting these criteria would be the owner of a Tow Truck company posting a 90-second video showing how to safely get your car unstuck during heavy snow. A post like this would satisfy the visual element while also highlighting the owner’s expertise and personality.
Another key part to social media marketing is consistency. Don’t let your platforms go dark if you aren’t seeing the likes, follows, and shares you were expecting. Building an audience takes time.
And while you don’t have to spend a dime on social media marketing, at times it might be wise to use a cost-efficient paid ad option to target a specific demographic.
DON’T PASS ON A SLAM DUNK – EMAIL MARKETING
As with social media, email marketing is another low-cost approach for small businesses. It has been around for nearly three decades and continues to be incredibly effective. According to HubSpot, email ROI is an exceptional $36 for every $1 spent!
Here are some more stats that further support email marketing as a can’t-miss for small businesses:
- There are 4 billion daily email users. This number is expected to increase to 4.6 billion by 2025.
- 77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months.
- 64% of small businesses are already using email to reach customers.
LET AI DO THE MARKETING FOR YOU
Advancements in technology equal advancements in marketing channels. Figuring out where to start might feel overwhelming. And while the very idea of AI might add another layer of anxiety for some, it can help streamline and automate the marketing strategies outlined above, saving you time.
According to Constant Contact, 26% of small businesses are already using AI or automation as a time-saving tool for social media posting, generative content creation, and email marketing. This is a good place to start if you’re new to AI.
DIRECT MAIL STILL MATTERS
It’s not often ‘AI’ and ‘Direct Mail’ appear back-to-back, let alone in the same blog. While they’re on opposite ends of the marketing spectrum, the latter still has value as a marketing tool. As more small businesses lean on digital marketing solutions, there’s not as much competition inside your physical mailbox, making your postcards, brochures, and flyers stand out more than they did five to 10 years ago. Holding a tangible item in the digital age is a novelty, a strategy you can use to leave a lasting physical impression on future customers.
As you guide your small business through 2024, using a blend of digital marketing with a touch of traditional methods will help you generate leads and convert them into new customers.
In addition to a smart marketing strategy, your small business needs smart protection. Learn more about business coverage by reaching out to your local Rural Mutual agent.
The information provided in external website links is for general informational purposes only and does not form any recommendation or warranty by Rural Mutual Insurance Company or its affiliates.