3 Cost Effective Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Marketing Ideas for Small Business

Being a small business owner, you want to make sure your time and money are spent on the right marketing strategies. It isn’t enough to get more leads, it is crucial your business gets sales. How often have you spent time and money on small business marketing to only come up short on the results? You don’t have to tell us in the comment section. Our digital marketing agency has helped many smb businesses like yours to know that it is all too common.

The good news is we learn from our mistakes. You are reading this article after all.  You are here to turn your small business marketing campaigns into cost-effective client generators. Let’s get to it then.

1) Infographics, 30 Second Videos, and Hashtags

We could just say enhance your social media marketing for your small business, but that is way too vague. The details are always best. You must be mindful that most people are not on social media to read wordy articles and watch lengthy videos. They want their content to be concise without sacrificing being entertaining.

This is where creativity comes in to play. Infographics are an easy place to start since this format forces you to be concise and to use mostly pictures to communicate. If you really want your infographic to be engaging to your target user, you need to find out what they are searching for online. Just head over to Google search and put on your client hat. Type search queries into the Google search bar without pressing Enter so Google can give you search query recommendations. These are topics people are searching for in Google. Use it to learn what topics you should cover when creating your content.

how to make an infographic
Venngage is great if you don’t have graphic design experience


You can use your research for all content types. While cat videos are cute, it is better to provide your target client with what they want to know in a short and engaging package. So just make sure the cat video is about a topic your target audience actually want to know more about.

When shooting videos, it needs to be short. Even less than 20 seconds if it can effectively communicate the message. The longer the video the harder it is to keep people engaged, so if you have a lot to say then the video’s presentation needs to be great. Otherwise, you will just be wasting your time making long videos that can’t keep its viewers past 10 seconds, which is most content on YouTube.

Even when you do all the work to make the most amazing content, it still needs to be shown to the right audience. This is where hashtags come into play. Hashtags organize content on social media channels and make it easier to find among users. Login into your social media accounts and search for industry related content. You will find hashtags relevant to your business on these posts. Now just don’t use any of them. Look at the content with the most engagement. Now write down the hashtags that you want to use and make sure they are relevant to your own content.

2) Google, Facebook, LinkedIn PPC Ads

You have to spend money to make money. But you don’t have to waste money. Online advertising for small businesses can be very cost-effective when the right research is done on your target audience. You want to know who they are, where they hang out online, and their search behaviors. Why? So you can have amazing targeting for your ads.

Facebook ad targeting
Facebook audience targeting is effective


Aim first and then fire. PPC ads, also known as pay per click ads, can be targeted by multiple criteria such as age, income, occupation, location, gender, and search behavior. You can also decide how much you want to spend to prevent overspending on poor performing campaigns.

Another great thing about PPC ads for small businesses is the performance data. This beautiful data is a money saver and the best way to improve your PPC ads’ performances. How? First, always analyze the data at least every three days. You want to look for patterns in engagement to learn what ads needs to be paused and reworked. The last thing you want to do is wait after you hit your monthly spend to then look back at the data. You can avoid so many mistakes and improve on increasing your on-site conversion traffic by making changes to your ad campaigns as soon as the data warrants you to do so.

LinkedIn is the most expensive, while Facebook is the least. If you are a B2B business, then LinkedIn is worth the ad spend. Its ability to target decision makers is great. Why deal with the traditional gatekeepers when you don’t have to? Facebook works well for B2C businesses. Google, since it has the largest audience, works well for B2B and B2C businesses. You just need to be really mindful about your targeting when using Google since the audience pool is an ocean.

3)  Landing Pages or a Website

It isn’t enough to just have a Facebook page or LinkedIn page for your business. Hopefully you didn’t throw away your client hat. Put that bad boy back on and just think about how you search for products and services. How often do you give your business to companies that do not have a website? If they do have a website and it looks horrible, we know you don’t stick around. We have the data that shows that nobody does. Even when the site looks great, but performs horribly, such as bad page load speeds and confusing page navigation, people leave within seconds.

So you need small business website design that provides a good looking site that performs wonderfully. If you can’t get a site at the moment, you can start small by building a landing page. If you go with the landing page route, we recommend you keep the content laser focused on just one service or product. Why? Welp, this will make your digital marketing perform much better.

A landing page that matches the marketing messages in its ad campaigns will lead to good conversion rates. Meanwhile when you try to juggle different products and services on one landing page you will have a harder time keeping your user engaged and not confusing them. Boredom and confusion will lead to high bounce rates, meaning people will leave your page without performing an action. Also, Google will increase your ad cost if it is tied to a landing page that doesn’t perform well with users. Just keep the content simple.

A website is the best tool for enhancing your brand credibility, capturing leads, and converting leads into customers. However, it takes expertise to build a website that will actually help your business grow. If you have any questions about small business web design, just reach out to us. We are always happy to help.

Generate Small Business Leads With Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn Lead Generation

Social media marketing for your small business does not have to be challenging. Let’s talk about LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great tool for small business lead generation if you know how to use it. When you consider how LinkedIn is a search engine then you can utilize its search functions to find the leads you need.

While there are ways to find new contacts to expand your network such as following LinkedIn Groups and then finding contacts from their followers section, entering a hashtag in the search bar to find very active LinkedIn members, and using the advanced search filters to find strangers with more than a few things in common, let’s begin with your current LinkedIn network. Just follow these steps and you will be on your way to building a large network of leads:

1)      Use LinkedIn’s search tool to find local 1st connections in your network to directly message. Head to the search bar at the top of your LinkedIn page, click on it, and then press Enter to head to the search page.

You will then be able to select All Filters to the lower right of the search bar. This will allow you to advance search the connections in your network. You can use the All Filters menu to specify the connections you want to see in your search results.  

If you do not see an option under the search field, you can add one by typing it in to the specific field bar. As long as the item such as the company profile page you are looking for is in LinkedIn, you will be able to add it under Current Companies just by typing in its name in the field and clicking on it. 

Again, this example is about connecting with your 1st connections, aka people in your LinkedIn network. After you get to your search results page, choose the profile you want to contact. Then in their profile select the message button to type your direct message. This is all about reconnecting with your network, something most people don’t do.

The message you send should be short and not a sales pitch. This message is to check in on your 1st connections by asking how they are. In the last sentence let them know how things are going with you. It’s okay to add a little bit of info about the market or your track record in real estate. Since this is not the main purpose of your message and is just a part of the overall message of seeing how the connection is doing.

Example:

A)

Hello First Name,

It has been a while since we talked. How are things?

Things on my end are great! I am having a great year in real estate and getting my clients into amazing homes.

I just wanted to check in with you.

Sincerely,

Agent First Name  

When your 1st connection responds then you should immediately send a follow up message to keep the conversation going. Ending a conversation too early makes it appear your initial message was insincere about learning how they are doing.

Here is an example of a correct follow up message to their response:

B)

Hi First Name,

This sentence should acknowledge their answer to “how are things?” 

It would be great to have a short call sometime soon to talk more – social media is great and all, but nothing beats a great conversation.

When would be a good time for you to chat?

Sincerely

Agent First Name

You want to move this conversation away from direct messaging to the phone. Direct messaging is great for initiating turning a cold lead into a warm lead, but the actual qualifying process is too complicated for back and forth social media messaging. One conversation should be enough to see if they are interested and worth your time as a client.

Furthermore, you now should have some good information for your phone call. You had asked them an open-ended question, “How are you doing?” Hopefully, since they are a 1st connection, they were not shy in their response and gave you some good info to go on.

If they are willing to talk to you on the phone, then you want to place them into your CRM and properly tag them for easy follow up.

Now when you want to expand your search beyond your 1st connection, you can still utilize your LinkedIn network. This is where you should analyze your 2nd connections. These are LinkedIn members who are not in your network, but in the networks of your 1st connections. Otherwise known as a friend of a friend. This is a great way to expand your network. Just like traditional networking it is important to use who you know to connect with who you want to know you.

Here are the steps to take:

2)      Under All Filters select the connections tab and then check 2nd.

These are LinkedIn members in your 2nd connection network. Since these people are outside of your network you have two options to message them. First you can choose the Connect button in their profile to add a note to your connection invitation. Or, you can select the message button to message them directly if the button is available in their profile and you have enough InMail credits. For example:

Your amount of InMail credits depends on your level of paid LinkedIn membership. I recommend to just send a DM in the connection invitation. Either way, here is an example of what to say:

A)

Hello First Name,

I see we have a few shared connections [you can choose to name a few]. I have enjoyed expanding my network using LinkedIn during this time when we can’t meet face to face. I’d love to connect with you.

Sincerely,

Agent First Name

If they accept your connection. You should thank them for accepting your invitation to connect.

Then say:

I think we could have a better conversation over the phone about how we can help each other.

How I can help you on my end is navigating the real estate market to get you into a better home.

When would be a good time to talk?

Sincerely,

Agent First Name

Since these are new 1st connections, you will have a higher success rate with getting them to respond to your messages and to set up a time for you to call them. Everyone is intrigued by new people. Furthermore, you are setting an expectation from the beginning of your relationship that you are the type of connection that is proactive with LinkedIn for building their network. And that is always a good way to approach every new connection you make on LinkedIn. 

We can help you with your small business social media marketing.

3 Ways to Perform Small Business Hashtag Research

Small Business Hashtags

Social media marketing for your small business requires a hashtag strategy to get its content in front of the right audience to increase your site’s conversion web traffic. A common small business social media marketing mistake is to post without targeting. Another common mistake is to post using hashtags that were not researched. When either of these mistakes are made, the content has a poor chance of being read by users that will find it valuable. This leads to bad user engagement and low web traffic. Here are three ways to perform hashtag research for effective social media marketing campaigns.

1. Search the Social Media Channel

You can search for hashtags in the actual social media channel you plan to publish on. Use the search function at the social media channel’s homepage to find hashtags. You can start with searching for hashtags using industry related terms that are relevant to your content. For example, for this article we would search #socialmediamarketing in the search bar. You can get more specific as you gain ideas from the search results page.

We recommend analyzing the content associated with the hashtag to see if your content is relevant. Pay close attention to the content under each hashtag that has the highest engagement and take note to what each have in common. You should note the post layout, graphics used, wording, and call to action. It is always a good idea to never ignore what your competition is doing to gain web traffic.

2. Analyze Popular Google Searches

If you want to stay current on what content people find valuable, we recommend using Google Trends. This method will not only help you generate great hashtags, but also great small business content that people want to read. For instance, when you search for social media marketing in Google Trends you will find under Rising and Top Google search queries that under the topic people really want to know about how to perform social media marketing. Under Rising search queries, it shows people want courses for social media marketing.

When you put this together, you can search for hashtags about social media marketing tips. You can also create more valuable content, which would be an online social media marketing course, since this is a highly searched for topic. However, this is just an example. You want to make sure the content you are creating is relevant to your business. You don’t want to create content to pull traffic from a hot topic that doesn’t concern your smb business brand or industry. This will result in a high bounce rate and low return visits for your website.

3. Use Hashtag Research Software

There are numerous online platforms that provide users the ability to research social media hashtags. We recommend reading the reviews and trying the free trials to see how each work with your needs. These platforms typically only specialize in only one to three social media channels so you may have to sign up for more than one.

Some of these platforms have a free version, but only offer basic user capabilities. If you decide to go this route, it is ideal to still perform your own research every month to ensure your social media marketing hashtag strategy is current. If you need help with your social media marketing for your small business, you can contact us. We are happy to help.