For a small business, growth is everything. Growth is the difference between success, and unfortunately having to close up shop. In the age of digital marketing, however, there are many growth strategies available to you – many at a low cost and some are even free! Try out a few to determine what works best for your business, but don’t be afraid to give something new a go! You never know what might stick. Here are seven growth strategies perfect for small businesses.
Facebook ads allow you to get highly specific and personal – much more so than traditional marketing. A billboard will be seen by anyone who drives by, and is difficult to target your specific customer. For Facebook ads, you set preferences for location, age, gender, interests, and more. This is great for local niche businesses who only need to market to people who like to knit in the Seattle area (for example). Instead of wasting money getting your message out to people who don’t want to hear it, you can get your ads to the eyeballs of those who are looking for a business like yours.
Facebook ads can also be very affordable, as you set your daily spend limit. While you don’t want to sell yourself short and only spend enough to get your ad to a handful of people, you have the freedom to easily increase and decrease your spending. And if the ad doesn’t seem to be working, pull it immediately, change it, and try it again to see if that works.
As you probably know from experience, people are more likely to click the top result on Google. Paying to have a Sponsored Result could really pay off. Make sure it’s for a very specific keyword, like “Knitting Shops in Seattle,” otherwise its unlikely you’ll be able to outspend a major chain store. Running Google Ads can be a great way to get people to a specific landing page on your site, and you can specifically target different customers with custom meta tags for various keywords.
If you sell a product or have a very visual brand (particularly one that appeals to women aged 25-50), give Pinterest a try. Pinning and repinning on your company’s boards is a good start. Search for users who pin items that fit with your business, and repin their items or like their posts. They’ll see your company liked them, and they’ll probably check them out. You can also sponsor pins. Like Facebook ads, this is a great way to target people who have a specific hobby or interest. If you’re a food blog, running sponsored pins for people who use Pinterest to find recipes could be a great source of traffic.
Video content is becoming more and more valuable across social media and digital marketing. Start a YouTube account and post videos about your business. It could be relevant how-to videos, product profiles, or even a behind-the-scenes tour of your office or store. Because Google owns YouTube, they’re likely to discover that content and use it to rank you higher in search results. Plus, you can share those videos across your social media platforms. If you’re making videos with great shareable, evergreen content, place ads in YouTube as well. You can also find YouTube content creators whose audience fits your customer personas and do a collaboration with them. Ask them to feature your product or give your business a shout-out. This can be a very natural way of reaching new customers.
IF YOUR SITE DOESN’T HAVE A BLOG, YOU NEED TO GET ONE QUICKLY. WRITE ABOUT RELEVANT INDUSTRY TOPICS, COMPANY NEWS, OR OTHER INTERESTING UPDATES. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE STUFFY! WARBY PARKER, FOR EXAMPLE, HAS A BLOG THAT FOCUSES ON READING, INCLUDING BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS AND FUN FEATURES ON LITERARY FIGURES. THESE ARE BLOGS THAT ARE FUN FOR CUSTOMERS TO READ AND SHARE, BECAUSE THEY DON’T FEEL LIKE ADS. YOU CAN ALSO FORM PARTNERSHIPS WITH POPULAR BLOGGERS AND HAVE THEM FEATURE YOUR BUSINESS IN A POST. LIKE YOUTUBE COLLABORATIONS, YOU CAN EASILY REACH NEW CUSTOMERS THIS WAY, WHO WILL HEAR ABOUT YOUR COMPANY FROM A NAME THEY TRUST.
For some businesses, advertising on popular podcasts is an unexpected way to grow. These ads are typically read by the podcast host, so they have a natural, casual feel to them. If there’s a podcast with an audience that you think would love your product, reach out and see if they would do an advertising partnership! Typically, these ads offer a discount for listeners, but that 10% discount will be more than worth it if you get a bunch of new dedicated customers.