Marketing Channels for Small Businesses

Marketing isn't the easiest thing to do. In fact, it's one of the hardest things you'll do as a small business owner.

Marketing Channels for Small Businesses
Photo by Campaign Creators / Unsplash

Marketing isn't the easiest thing to do. In fact, it's one of the hardest things you'll do as a small business owner.

But your marketing efforts are crucial to your business. It's what brings in new customers—and keeps existing ones coming back for more.

Having a small business can be tough. You have to wear a lot of hats, and sometimes you feel like you don't know where to start.

But the good news is, that there are some ways to make things easier—like choosing one marketing channel to focus on early on.

Just think about it: If you're just starting out, you don't have the resources to create a full-scale marketing campaign across all channels. And that's okay!

It's totally normal for small businesses to focus on doing one thing really well until they've reached a point where they can expand their efforts.

So what marketing channels should you choose? That depends on your business and target audience, here are some good options:

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an organic marketing strategy that increases the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through search engines.

SEO involves optimizing your web pages, which helps search engines understand what your site is about and rank them higher in searches. Although it takes time to see results, SEO can be a cost-effective marketing strategy with a long shelf-life.

When you practice SEO, you help search engines like Google better understand what your site is about, which in turn helps your business rank higher when people search for keywords related to the products or services you provide.

For example, if you own a small local flower shop and want more customers to contact you for their wedding's floral needs, then one of the keywords you would want to rank high for would-be "wedding florist."

SEO as a marketing channel can help build trust and credibility with consumers by creating content that answers questions and provides solutions rather than just promoting products or services.

The key is providing value for users who visit your site by giving them helpful information they have come across during their online searches.

Social media marketing

Social media is a good way to reach your customers and share relevant content with them. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are the most widely used social platforms online. You can use these channels to engage with your customers and create a community. Social media helps you build brand awareness, share customer stories and testimonials, and interact with the people who matter to you.

Email marketing

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective and easily trackable methods of online marketing. You can use email marketing to promote products, develop your brand's image and build a community around your business.

We recommend using tools like Mailchimp to automate your email marketing—it's a great way to nurture prospects into customers by sending them useful information about your brand regularly. Remind people how valuable it is to be on your list by showing them how and why they should use your product or service.

Referral marketing

Customer referrals can have a huge impact on your business. In fact, they are one of the most powerful marketing tools available to any business, because they come directly from people who already know and trust you.

The key to making customer referrals work as a marketing channel is providing your customers with good service. This will help create positive feelings about your company, which will encourage them to talk favorably about it. Customer satisfaction is essential here—if you're not happy with your customer service, you're unlikely to get many happy customers referring their friends!

Once you've got a good referral program in place, there are plenty of things that may encourage existing customers to recommend you:

  • You could provide incentives for people who refer others to your business.
  • You could make it easier for new customers to give feedback—make sure that the process is quick and easy (automated surveys at the point of sale can be useful here), and let people know that their feedback helps improve services for everyone.

Public relations (PR) efforts

The difference between PR and advertising goes beyond just cost. While advertising is a closed-off, one-way communication system, PR is more like an ongoing conversation between you and your customers. And the way that you engage in those communications will directly impact how your audience interacts with you.

Some of the ways that PR can help build your business:

  • It builds credibility for you, for your products or services, and for your brand.
  • It builds relationships with customers, vendors, or suppliers, and with members of the community who may be able to help generate business as well (think “word of mouth”).
  • It helps establish where you fit into the market by positioning (or re-positioning) your brand according to where it should be in order to appeal most effectively to its target market.

Content marketing

Content marketing is an umbrella term that refers to your strategy of creating and distributing content for your audience.

This content can be in the form of blog posts, ebooks, videos, podcasts, etc.

The purpose of the content is to attract, engage and retain customers. In order to create effective content marketing campaigns, you should put yourself in their shoes by thinking about the questions they are asking or the type of information they need that relates to your product or service.

By answering these questions you will help them make a decision about whether you offer something that meets their needs and helps them understand why they need it.

Small business owners have the opportunity to use a lot of different channels to reach more customers.

A business can promote its products or services both online and offline. Additionally, small businesses have options that large companies don't have like community involvement.

This allows them to engage with customers in unique ways that are highly relevant to the customers they serve.

But what exactly do all these marketing channels look like and how can you use them?