You may think that the hard part is done. The planning, strategizing, and sourcing is done. You have your logo and your small business website in place and ready to launch. But, unless you have already begun to build an audience, the marketing has just begun. Marketing your small business is an important way for you to grow and find new customers. Wherever you are in the startup process, marketing is critical to helping you reach your goals. When it comes to creating your small business marketing mix, sooner is always better.
Do you still need a small business website? Read more–> How to Start a Website for Your Small Business
Start Marketing Your Small Business Right Away
There are some basic forms of online marketing that you can start even before you launch your business. Here are a few ideas:
- Grow an email list.
- Build a social media following.
- Build an SEO keyword list.
- Join groups and forums within your niche.
Decide whether you have the skill set to handle these preliminary online marketing tasks or if it is smarter to outsource.
As you build your website, don’t forget to ensure that it is responsive for (and attractive on) mobile devices. According to FNS Digital Marketing Services, internet use on mobile devices has increased 67% worldwide over the last 12 months alone — and this number will only continue to grow.
Expand Slowly, but Wisely
Marketing is an ongoing process. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to advertising, start with free marketing mediums and then slowly expand as your revenue increases. If you haven’t outsourced your digital marketing strategy, now would be a good time to start considering it before you get too overwhelmed or throw away your marketing budget without results.
As you scale your business and increase the number of customers you can handle, consider incorporating lead automation tools. Creating landing pages as part of a strategic sales funnel is a quick way to test the market. One idea is to give away a freebie (a coupon code, a free ebook, or other printable) in exchange for an email address. Email lists are gold to strategic email marketers with a plan.
Increase Your Online Marketing Reach
When you’re looking to increase your reach, such expanding into e-commerce on your site, or shipping internationally, you will want to employ new marketing strategies to go along with them.
To grow your audience or expand into new verticals, one the best marketing tools you can use is PPC marketing. Adding a PPC strategy to your marketing mix can be customized to fit your budget and goals. Multiple marketing campaigns can be built to promote new products, services, and even specials. Pay-per-click ads ensure you only pay when someone clicks on the ad. You can choose to have the ads featured in Facebook, Youtube, Bing, Google, and many other sites.
Dedicate a Budget Line Item for Online Marketing
Whether you decide to start marketing your small business yourself or outsource your marketing, create a budget from day one. It may be tempting to cut back on marketing expenses during a slow month, but resist that urge. Your small business should always have at least some kind of advertising going on in the background. Consistent online marketing maintains your existing customer base while slowly expanding it.
The Short and Sweet
Online marketing can be the most challenging part of your small business launch. Create a plan, test your existing online marketing and continue to improve. The world of digital marketing is constantly changing and evolving and keeping up will make the difference with the success of your small business.