Small Business Marketing 101

Branding, services, promotions, products, pricing, prints, blogs, advertising, research and social media -- all of this is marketing. With all the marketing options out there, it can be difficult for small businesses to know what to do. Here are some simple steps to help you market your small business:

1. Get organized. Getting an organized plan is the first step in any marketing effort. Start with brainstorming, create themes and transfer action items to a calendar or to-do list. Start small, and try to get a good ROI for everything you do and create an elevator pitch.

2. Get a website. In today’s technology-based world, the first thing a potential customer or employee does is Google your business. You need a website to show you’re real and to offer information about your business to potential customers. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and be sure to ask for search engine optimization.

3. Leverage social media. Let’s face it, everyone is on social media these days, and the majority of traffic still occurs on Facebook. If you are not using Facebook for your business, create a page today. You are leaving an opportunity on the table if you don’t.

4. Set up and claim your business online. Whether you get on board or not, information about your business is and will be on the internet. Do a search on different browsers to see what information you see about your company and then claim or create a listing for your business.

5. Use Google AdWords. Try utilizing Google AdWords to specifically target the types of products or services you offer. Remember to focus on the quality of a few keywords instead of choosing too many.

6. Create local awareness and establish a network. Join chambers, business associations, community groups, etc. Find ways to get involved. Networking is a great way to capture business leads as long as you don’t come on too strong. It allows you to meet new contacts and create more brand awareness and new referrals.

7. Offer coupons or free products/services. Create loyalty early on. A happy customer will come back and will tell their friends about you.

8. Advertise.  Advertising is not a one-size fits all solution. Find what works for you, but whatever you do, you must advertise. More than anything, focus on consistent, repetitive branding. Many marketing professionals believe in the “rule of seven," which means people need to hear or see your message at least seven times before taking any action. In today’s world of constant connectivity, you must make sure you’re seen and heard. The most common reason that people do not buy your product is that they do not know about it yet.

Interested in marketing your business but don't know how? Contact our dedicated specialists at 410.828.4286 or at www.marylandlocalmarketing.com