Since 1963, National Small Business Week has been celebrated once a year to recognize the outstanding contributions and achievements of small businesses, small business owners and entrepreneurs nationwide. According to the U.S. SBA, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business. These same businesses also create about two out of every three new jobs in the United States annually, which is definitely worth celebrating!

 

Small Businesses often struggle with finding the best ways to increase growth opportunities with limited budgets. Here are some ideas to help move the needle at lower costs:

 

  1. Post consistent and relevant content on social media
    • Establishing a social media presence is critical in bringing more awareness to your business and creating another way for customers and prospects to engage. Sharing employee spotlights, details of community involvement, and marketing messaging built out in a clear content calendar helps to make sure that you stay relevant and encourage dialogue as another touchpoint with consumers.

 

  1. Keep up with SEO
    • It’s critical for small businesses to develop, execute and maintain an SEO strategy because it gives visitors to the website a better user experience. It also allows your business’ website to appear higher in key search results across Google, Bing and Yahoo. If you’re not engaging in SEO, you likely won’t be on the first page of results and could miss out on critical new business leads.

 

  1. Have a foundational paid search strategy
    • Depending on your business model and industry, targeted paid search efforts could also help to maximize marketing efforts. Bid on the most relevant keywords for your business and its competitors in order to stay relevant and top of mind for purchase consideration.

 

  1. Utilize email lists
    • Finding a free or cheap email service provider, like MailChimp, allows you to build an email list with quality, opted-in leads. Sending marketing messages and special deals or promotions to the customers or prospective customers that want to hear from you creates a valuable opportunity to build loyalty, drive sales, and optimize a limited budget. It also allows for customization and personalization, which helps to solidify the relationship longer term.

 

  1. Network
    • Network with friends and fellow business owners who can spread the word about your business outside of your to normal sphere of influence. During the networking process, focus on adding value to their business, not necessarily on getting a new lead. Discuss future plans, goals, and how your business is different from others in its space. Asking for their advice will keep conversation channels open and will be the most mutually beneficial experience. If networking or social groups are looking for event sponsors in your community, jump on board to give your business more awareness.

These cost-effective approaches to marketing will help small businesses continue to connect and engage with customers, build and maintain relationships in the community, and keep their brand top of mind when customers are in need of a product or service. The budget does not directly dictate or determine success when it comes to marketing – it is what is done with the dollars, paired with time and effort, that ultimately determines the impact.

 

What are some of the most influential small business marketing efforts that you’ve seen?