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7 Marketing Must-Haves for Every Small Business

As a small business owner, you trust your marketing efforts to play an essential role in bringing in business and boosting sales. If you're not currently getting the results your competitors are - consider these 7 marketing must-haves for every small business!

Marketing Strategies for the SMB Owner:

  1. An Optimized Website

An optimized website is one of the most important aspects of a small business marketing strategy. Consider everything from branding to keywords to organic SEO rankings, because the way your target audience interacts with your site (and the search engine they use to find it) will determine how likely they take action.

Your website should make it easy for visitors to successfully find what they're looking for and (where applicable) make a purchase or request a service that is positioned to satisfy that need.

  1. A Clear Content Strategy

As you develop a digital marketing strategy, a clear content plan will elevate your optimized website and further define how you get in front of your customers. This can be anything from social media posts to website landing pages to blogs to eBooks, etc. They're all connected and should be focused on your target audience’s needs.

When you have a clear content strategy (we're talking buyer personas, editorial calendars, keyword strategies, etc.), not only will you be able to determine the best way to engage with your audience, but you'll also deliver the consistent content marketing efforts that Google rewards. Plus, tailoring your inbound marketing tactics around organic search can help you get the most out of all the content that you publish.

  1. Email Marketing Strategy

We call it, "The right message to the right person at the right time."

Whether your email marketing strategy includes providing segmented offers, monthly newsletters, or targeted eBlasts, the key is to have a battle-tested methodology that is proven to connect with your customers and increase brand loyalty. Keep your lists clean, your subject lines intriguing and your offers unique.

Email is far from dead and is still used every second to build relationships. Whether you're targeting customers or prospects (it should be both!), email is a great way to connect in a very cost-effective way.

  1. Automated Processes

One of the biggest challenges of small business marketing is the fact that you're usually dealing with limited time and resources. This is where process automation comes in - create the ideal, hardworking employee who doesn't sleep because they're waiting on workflows to be triggered from the website so they can automatically send out content to prospects based on their activity. Automation helps SMBs save time and boost effectiveness.

Automated processes can also help you create consistent messaging, which will lead to a more seamless user experience. Always make sure that you are contacting the right person at the right time with the right message.

  1. Lead Handoff Strategies

Your lead handoff strategy is the grease that moves a prospect through your sales funnel. Sales and Marketing teams that have a documented lead handoff strategy are guaranteed to leave no prospect behind - so create one for your business.

Without a successful handoff strategy, it's difficult to move qualified leads through the sales funnel and ultimately close the sale. Be sure that every member of your team knows the role that they play in the lead handoff strategy - SMBs without a plan are the ones who don't follow up with prospective clients because they thought somebody else would.

  1. Reputation Management

Reputation management is another marketing must-have for any local small businesses. In marketing, reputation is everything - so make sure you have all the necessary tools set up (Google My Business, relevant industry directories, social media, etc.) and then create a process to manage your reviews on Google, Facebook, etc.

Whenever you receive feedback, use that established process to respond to the customer so that you can thank them for the nice review or remedy the situation on a negative review - just stay in front of the conversation because customers expect it. And always promote the positive experiences that are mentioned on your page!

  1. Accurate Reporting

Lastly, utilize closed-loop reporting so that you can match the dollar spent on marketing campaigns to real results. This is the only way that you will be able to determine what is working and what needs to be improved. Businesses love results and by setting reporting up the right way for your website, campaigns, social, etc., you can measure your performance much easier.

With anything that your business is putting time, money and effort against, you need an effective reporting system that allows you to analyze information and make data-driven decisions moving forward.

If you're ready to implement these initiatives in your small business and increase your ROI, consider outsourcing some or all of the marketing tasks that are involved with them. It's less expensive than a full-time hire, and it still delivers full-time strategy against whatever scope is decided.

At St. Louis Marketing Department, we're a team of Marketing Director-level experts who help your brand get found online and then cultivate and nurture leads while delivering closed-loop ROI reporting.

Contact us today to get started with a customized strategy based on your goals!

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