Today, I’m going to show you 19 different marketing strategies that have a proven history of success for small businesses.
Half of these options will probably be viable growth strategies for your unique business.
Four of them are probably worth testing out over the next month.
And one of them has the potential to skyrocket your growth over the next year.
These work really well if you want to find inexpensive ways to promote your mobile app.
Once you’ve achieved product/market fit, your growth is simply a matter of smart marketing on the front end and a good customer retention on the backend. By the end of this article, you will know exactly what to do next with your marketing.
But before we get started, let me share a secret with you.
There Is No Magic Marketing Strategy
There is no magic bullet.
The goal of marketing is to connect your business’ value to the right customer base. It’s a simple concept but it can take on a million different shades.
- What demographics make up your customer base?
- Where do they live?
- Where do they hang out online?
- How do they look for products in your niche?
- Who do the listen when making decisions relative to your product?
The answers to these questions determine which marketing strategies will be viable and which will be a waste of time.
In other words, the key to success for your business is not Facebook Ads.
It’s not SEO.
It’s not conference networking.
There is no magic, universal strategy that will revolutionize your business. I have literally no clue what will work for you, because I don’t know you. I don’t know your business. I don’t know your customers.
But fortunately, you DO know your business! You DO know your customer base!
And after reading this guide, you will have an expanded awareness of viable marketing channels, any of which could hold the key to your future growth.
Eight of the channels we will discuss are strictly digital strategies, which will be conducted online. The other eight are a bit more general, with strategies that can be conducted offline (although many have online applications as well).
Let’s get started. Try out the best automated affiliate management software.
1. Facebook Advertising
Two million small to medium sized businesses advertise on Facebook; it’s an inexpensive and effective way to market to virtually any audience.
Image Credit: ibisinfotech.com
Facebook ads excel at advanced targeting. They allow you to target a specific audience based on location, interests, age, sex, online behavior, and many other factors.
Creating Facebook ads is very easy. You just need a solid headline, a bit of descriptive copy, one image, and a link.
Promote your app icon here as well.
The Facebook Ads Manager also makes it fairly simple to run and test multiple ad sets, allowing you to hone in on a winning formula and reach profitability without needing advanced technical expertise.
That said, many new users have a lot of difficulty succeeding with their initial campaigns. It takes some persistence, but on the plus side, Facebook’s popularity has produced numerous 3rd party tools that can help you succeed.
If you decide that Facebook is the right channel for you, I’d recommend using a tool like AdEspresso to run your campaigns and speed up your journey to positive ROI.
If you run a business that has a strong visual component, it might be worth trying out Instagram Ads instead. As a subsidiary of Facebook, Instagram Ads benefit from the same data base and targeting options, while allowing you to connect with an audience that is better primed for visual sales.
- Facebook Advertising Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide by Neil Patel
- How to Run App Install Ads On Facebook by Aki Merced
2. Google My Business
Ranking your Google My Business (GMB) listing is one of the most powerful things you can do for your business.
In fact, if you run a local business targeting local clients, I would dare to say it is THE most powerful strategy available to you.
For example, if someone searches for a “Portland contractor”, this is what they see:
What you are seeing here is one paid ad, followed by THREE Google My Business listings before we even see the normal organic search results. If you can rank your GMB listing in these top 3, you can pull in large numbers of highly qualified leads day in and day out without needing to spend a dime on ads.
Google My Business combines all your different Google platforms into one central place, which includes your Google+ profile, Google Maps profile, your Google reviews, access to data on Google Analytics and Google Insights, and more.
If you have a unique brand name, you can even get a large display like this to show when people search for that name:
GMB immediately gives your business credibility and visibility, and as I said before, if you run a local business, it should be #1 on your priority list.
And best of all, ranking your GMB listing is really not that hard. It simply requires you to optimize your profile and then collect reviews and citations.
- How to optimize your Google My Business listing: expert tips by Graham Charlton
- 7 SEO Mistakes That Leak Money From Local Businesses by Jacob McMillen
3. Google Adwords
There are more than 40,000 search queries on Google every second. No other advertising method has the potential to get your business before that many pairs of eyes.
Google Adwords is sort of the godfather of online marketing channels. It’s been around a long time. It’s competitive. It’s expensive. And if you know what you’re doing, it can work very, very well for you.
Despite being a paid channel, Adwords’ goal is still to deliver relevant search results to users, and as a result, it will be less expensive for you when you are utilizing proper on-page SEO.
Google assigns a quality score to your ad, which is dependent on CTR (Click Through Rate), relevance and the landing page your ad sends traffic to. This quality score factors into the bid rate you will need to get an ad displayed, with higher scores lowering the bid cost.
Unlike many of the channels we will discuss today, Adwords is a remarkably symbiotic channel that can be paired with many other strategies to maximize output. As a paid marketing channel, it also allows you to obtain immediate results and can scale as far as your budget allows.
- The Complete Google AdWords Tutorial by Jerry Banfield
- The Iceberg Effect: How Your AdWords Strategy Is Slowly Drowning by Johnathan Dane
4. Content Marketing
18% of marketers say that content marketing has the greatest commercial impact on their business of any channel in 2016.
Image Credit: SmartInsights
Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience and drive profitable customer action.
Unlike paid advertising, content marketing focuses more on long-term results. The initial payoff tends to be low, but the long-term, sustainable growth in visitors, leads, and customers can single-handedly carry a business.
Content marketing is not easy, however, and requires every element to be done right:
- Quality content
- Relevant topics
- Optimized for SEO
- Optimized for readers
- Consistent content creation & promotion
Content is not limited to blog posts. It includes videos, podcasts, online courses, and a host of other mediums in which people consume information.
If you are considering this strategy for your own business, make sure you have the time and capital needed to get going with no initial ROI, and then DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Too many businesses these days are just wasting resources creating mediocre content with no payoff, now or ever.
5. Organic Social Media
Using social media for business is really a non-negotiable.
67% of consumers use social media for customer support, and 33% prefer using social media instead of the telephone. If people can’t find your business via social media, they will look for your competitors who ARE present on preferred social channels.
The real question isn’t whether you should have active social media accounts, it’s how much time and resources you should be investing in growing your social audiences.
For some businesses, it makes sense to invest heavily in organic social media growth.
For example, Instagram users that follow fashion influencers are actively looking to purchase new styles. By building an active, fashion-savvy audience, a clothing retailer can build a consistent direct sales channel.