3 Small Business Marketing Strategies for 2019

Light bulb on a chalk board

You're a small business owner and you're wanting to ramp things up this year. You know the products and/or services that you provide are a cut above the rest, but how do you get the word out there? How do you reach your target market in 2019?

As a digital marketing consultant operating from a small regional town in Western Australia, I travel a lot and speak to a lot of small business owners along the way. In doing so, a lot of common themes arise - especially when it comes to marketing. Underpinning each of these conversations is one major observation:

Old methods of marketing are not as effective as they used to be.

Putting an advert in the local newsletter is not enough. Putting a sign out on the street, or using a business name starting with the letter A and advertising in the Yellow Pages is not enough. Blaming the local residents and making them feel guilty for not shopping local is not enough. These methods have had their day, and in 2019 if you want to succeed you need to change it up. Here are 3 ways that you can improve your marketing strategy this year to grow your business.

1. Word of Mouth

When I say old methods of marketing are not as effective as they used to be, word of mouth is absolutely an exception. In fact I would argue that word of mouth is more effective and cheaper than any other form of advertising you can do. It is also one of the most difficult to achieve.

I heard a saying recently that you don't want people to talk about your business, you want screaming fans. And it's so true. With so many businesses competing in each industry, you need to provide something out of the ordinary. You need to deliver first class customer based service, consistently. This will not only get people screaming about your business to everyone they meet, but it will get them screaming online as well to their friends on social media and even through leaving online reviews for you.

So this year word of mouth tops the list in my opinion as the most effective form of marketing you can do.

2. Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO as it is more often referred to has to be the next best use of your marketing efforts.

I personally started developing websites back in 2003 and back then just having a website would draw potential customers to your business. As search engines have developed over the years, their focus is two-fold.

Firstly, search engines try to make it as fair as possible for website owners to appear in the top search results. To do this they have continued to update their rules, rewarding the websites that are doing the right thing - known as White Hat SEO - and penalising those that are using unfair methods of ranking - known as Black Hat SEO.

Secondly, search engines need to make results as relevant as possible for the person who is searching.

Good SEO is the continual process of making your website as relevant as possible for the things that people in your target audience are searching for. There are many factors involved, including constantly changing external factors but when seo is done right, the reward is a top spot in search engine results working for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

3. Social Media

The final recommendation for your 2019 marketing plan is Social Media. While the various social media platforms are free, the cost is your time - and with success coming from regular relevant posts using original content, it's a good idea to set aside a time each week where you will write and schedule in posts for the next week or two. This will minimise the time spent on social media and maximise your effectiveness. Tools such as Hootsuite are great for this as you can manage all your social media profiles in the one place, and use the scheduling tool to automatically push out your content to your followers.

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If you are ready to take your business to the next level in 2019, email marketing is another strategy which can be very effective when one right and there are other methods as well but these three marketing strategies above will be highly effective and form a great starting point to get your business out there.

While you can of course do all of these yourself, if you are not sure where you will find the time, talk to us about our digital marketing services and let us take care of your online presence.