We all know marketing is essential for any business: it encourages growth, boosts profits, reaches potential customers, and helps create brand awareness; however, many business owners don’t know where to start. They don’t have a big budget and so try tools and services that either don’t really work for them or are too complicated. What’s worse is that by skipping over some foundational business marketing strategies in favor of these tools and services (which often yield little to no measurable results), the business owner is often left missing out on revenue.
Although marketing trends are continuously changing and evolving, there are tactics that have proven highly effective for businesses large and small. If you do nothing else, employ one (or better yet all) of these three simple yet powerful marketing tactics right away.
Do what works, not what’s always been done.
Before we dig in, I know what you’re thinking. This shortlist doesn’t include the ‘Must-Have Marketing Strategy X’ that every marketing guru on the internet has said my business needs today! That’s right. It probably doesn’t. Because at Digital Sandwich, we don’t wash the tires. We ask why.
Let me explain. Years ago I was working with a company that digitized checklists for fire departments. As this team was moving all of the offline items into this digital checklist system, they came across an odd task – wash the tires. Wash the tires? Why in the world is this a regular task for these firefighters? How could the cleanliness of the tires impact safety or efficiency when fighting a fire?
Initially, not even the firefighters could answer this question – it had always been on the checklist and so it was always done. That was it. Eventually, one of the old timers on staff gave this answer, “Fire trucks weren’t always trucks. At one point, they were wagons pulled behind horses. Horses would poop and that’d get on the tires. Washing the tires daily was how they made sure the firehouse didn’t smell like literal crap all the time!”
While it makes perfect sense to have done this while using wagons, it makes little sense today. The same applies to marketing tactics. With the huge variety of marketing platforms, tools, and options available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and choose that which has always been done (I’m looking at you high-cost SEO strategy services) rather than asking why or how that tactic serves your particular small business’s needs.
Keeping that in mind, the following are three tactics that nearly every small business can employ for big benefits without big costs.
Tactic#1: Monthly Newsletter
Send meaningful monthly newsletters to your email list (including both current and former customers).
This simple form of email marketing is way underutilized. Re-engaging an existing email list (and don’t forget, somehow, some way, you pid to acquire this list) is an incredibly effective way to generate additional revenue. With a monthly newsletter, you can grow your customer base and incentivize repeat purchases. This is key – this is likely your lowest-hanging fruit for additional revenue. You’re putting yourself in front of previously satisfied customers, offering services they have already indicated are important and relevant to them because they already purchased from you in the past.
Plus, a monthly newsletter can help grow a business’s prospect list. High-quality content tailored to the interests of your customer base, such as inspiration, special offers, valuable tools and resources, or promotions, encourages current customers to view you as a trusted resource for them. Additionally, sharing truly meaningful tidbits in your newsletter gives the customer something to talk about – and share – with others, growing your list of subscribers and building loyalty and engagement with your company.
If you really want to ensure your contacts are sharing your newsletter with other members of your target audience (growing your subscriber list in the process) embed a referral program like Perkzilla into your newsletter.
Ultimately, for businesses that are looking for increased engagement from an already established contact list (or to actually utilize the list collecting dust somewhere in your CRM) and greater ROI from marketing efforts, investing in a monthly newsletter that keeps people engaged is well worth it.
Tactic #2: Google Reviews
Let your happy customers tell your story for you.
Authentic Google reviews are essential for businesses. They help build long-term relationships with customers and are an effective way to reach wider audiences while developing credibility within search results on Google.
If you’re unsure of how to start getting positive customer reviews, remember to keep it simple. Review solicitation can be managed in three simple steps:
1. Make a list of clients you want to solicit for positive reviews. You know which clients have had great experiences with you.
2. Next, reach out to them via text message or email. When you do, make sure to :
- thank them for being a client or customer
- mention any positive feedback they have already shared with you ask them to leave an online review of their experience with you and include a link to your Google Business Profile so they leave the review in the right place
- encourage any specific comments that might provide more detail about why they had an overall positive experience with you (these are often the types of responses that result in higher ratings on places like Google)!
- Don’t steer or incentivize! Ask for honest feedback. Authenticity is key!
3. Once the reviews have been submitted, take some time to thank each customer for contributing their thoughts.
Tactic #3: Google Business Profile
Regularly post to your business’s Google Business Profile. It’s like social media that shows up in search results.
Leveraging your company’s Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is important. Doing so can have a measurably positive impact on your ranking in searches. When you post regularly, you are providing valuable content that is both timely and relevant to your target audience, something that search engine algorithms favor. Additionally, when people follow or engage with your posts through comments or likes, this activity is indexed by Google and serves as an endorsement for your business profile.
When you post consistently on your profile, it sends the message to potential clients that you are active on the platform and open for business. This not only improves the visibility of your page but also enables customers to find more information when searching for their desired products or services – products and services you provide.
This platform also offers you an opportunity to transparently engage with target audiences no matter where they are in the customer journey. Keeping your information correct and up-to-date, posting promotional deals, discounts, and events, responding to reviews, and answering FAQs are all ways you can engage with audiences at varying stages of the sales cycle – and all while building trust and creating a positive online presence.
Bonus Tactic: The PB&J
The Absolute Minimum Marketing You Should Be Doing
Each of these is an effective marketing strategy on its own. Combining all three into a single, simple, efficient process boosts results and builds a foundational network that positions your business for growth. That’s where our PB&J service comes in.
Think about it. You send a newsletter with meaningful, valuable content to a former customer. Then you reach out to this customer and ask them to leave a positive review for your business on Google. They do so and see a post on your Google Business Profile showcasing a current promotion. They make a purchase and the cycle starts again.
Now, I realize that is a bit of an oversimplification but it does show how these three tactics overlap and amplify results. Putting these three together makes perfect sense – as much sense as putting peanut butter and jelly on bread.
At Digital Sandwich Agency, we just want to see small businesses market themselves better. Let us help you ‘do’ marketing for your small business by executing the most effective tactics we know while keeping the cost affordable for even the most limited budget.