For most small businesses, Google likely accounts for a large portion of their customers – possibly even the vast majority. I don’t have to tell you how critical Google has become in the last 10 years, or that millions of people are searching in Google right now as you read this article. So if Google continues to be a powerful source for online visitors and customers and they are growing in popularity every day, then why should small businesses even bother to look elsewhere?
Because chances are your competitors aren’t looking elsewhere! So many small business owners are spending most or all of their marketing budget trying to rank #1 in Google for their most important keywords. They are bound and determined to climb to the top of the almighty Google mountaintop – even when it’s not realistic for every brand - and some will even spend every last penny of their marketing budget to do so.
Optimizing your brand for maximum visibility in search engines is important, but is Google really the only place your customers will look for your products or services? If you are looking for smart ways to drive more customers to your business that don’t depend on Google, consider giving these three marketing tactics a try!
Facebook Ads & Boosted Posts
Facebook ads have come a long way and now it’s one of my favorite digital platforms to lean on when clients are looking to attract new clients. Facebook is still an extremely popular social network – there are 1.65 billion monthly active Facebook users and it grew 15% last year - that has some of the best the demographic targeting that I have seen – including basics like location, age, gender, and language, and more advanced options like interests, behaviors on Facebook, connections to pages, apps or events, and even custom audiences based on email addresses or phone numbers. With these Facebook targeting options, even if your business has an extremely small budget you can attract quality, highly targeted attention for your brand.
You have the option of running a traditional Facebook ad and setting a daily or monthly budget cap, or you can utilize what is called a Boosted Post to achieve more visibility for the posts you share. The Boosted Post is quick and easy to implement, and still yields positive results like an ad. You simply post great content to your business Facebook page and select “boost post” in the bottom right corner of the post. Once you select the demographics and the location you’d like to target, add your budget in increments as small as $5. (Need help targeting your social media marketing? Just let us know.)
Now you have a new source of brand awareness up and running for only a fraction of your marketing budget! The Facebook Boost Post also provides quality reporting on how your post performed, including views, clicks and engagements so you can learn and improve your posting strategy over time.
Building Relationships with Other Businesses
No matter whether your business is brick-and-mortar or online only, this often neglected marketing technique can be especially valuable for small businesses. This is one of the easiest ways to attract new customers and business owners simply don’t do it! Get out there and meet the owners and managers of the businesses that are within a mile of your business, or if you are online only, try to network with other related but non-competitive businesses for online deals or partnerships. Pop in to other businesses and introduce yourself and ask them if they would like to offer their customers a free sample, a 10% off coupon, or whatever you are willing to share for mutual benefit.
For example, if your primary target audience for your jewelry small business is professional women aged 45 and older who have disposable income and like one-of-a-kind artwork, and you suspect that the luxury salon and spa on your block probably shares a similar target audience, this could be a great partnership for co-op promotions!
Why would the other small business be willing to help you for free? Because you will promote their business with your customers in return. Ask them if they have any coupons you could leave in your waiting area or hand to your customers as they leave, or perhaps do a co-op promotion in your email marketing efforts. Cross promoting your business with other related businesses is quick, easy, and cost effective. If the other company is willing to link to your website from their site, blog, or social media, then the value of your efforts just increased significantly because of the SEO value!
Use Email Marketing to Incentivize Referrals
Most companies say it is cheaper to retain a current customer than to acquire a new one. So if you are not currently keeping your brand fresh in their minds with incentives to return and refer their friends and family to your small business, it may be time to start email marketing campaigns. There isn’t a single customer out there that doesn’t like getting something free or discounted from one of their favorite companies, and people love to share their great experiences with locally-owned companies. So why not reach out to your current customers online and provide them with an incentive to tell their friends and family about your business?
People trust the opinions of their friends and family when it comes to choosing a brand, and if they get forwarded your email with your special offer from someone they trust it greatly increases the odds they’ll give your SMB a shot. Offering your current customers a 20% off coupon or a free product for simply referring a friend to your business is well worth the cost to get a new paying customer!
Here at Tentacle Inbound we know what it takes to capture new customers with email marketing and incentivizing your current customers is a critical piece to success.
There is no question that Google will continue to be a critical piece to your digital marketing strategy, but just know that you can expand the reach of your small business without breaking your budget. As user activity evolves online, so must your digital marketing strategy, as you’ll need to reach customers at many touch points and in many different ways. Whether you need assistance developing a full digital marketing plan for your small business, or just need specialty help in any of the digital tactics discussed in this article, contact Tentacle Inbound today to get started.