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May 8, 2017

Top 7 Marketing Hacks for Small Business Owners

Feel as if you’re lacking the resources to help put your business or start-up on the map?

As a marketer, you must already know that if you want to survive in the modern market, a good strategy is a must. While some businesses manage to survive without marketing, most require the fuel of meticulous advertising.

Marketing is, indeed, a risky venture where calculated risk is what you can take at the maximum, but does that take away your right to promoting your brand? No. Admittedly, high-budgeted company moguls can carry out marketing plans effortlessly, given the resources they can input but what about small businesses?

Digital intervention

Thanks to our good pal, the Internet, the environment we live in is becoming increasingly digitally intertwined, which is quite favourable for entrepreneurs and prospective business owners.

The Internet and the ensuing digital transformation has undoubtedly made the employment of influential and effective marketing tactics significantly easier than ever before. The generic understanding of conventional media is changing, being replaced by new and improved media trends. So, how can your start-up exploit the power of this new age?

Check out the list below to see what methods you can readily utilize to get your company in the eyes and minds of consumers.

1. Focus on the metrics 

Before we get started, you should have a good grasp on why metrics are essential for your company’s success. If you’re aware of the contemporary marketing gambit, you will know how most businesses like to have one big  metric to focus on; the Monthly Recurring Revenue, for example.

The second step would be highlighting sub-activities that have the biggest impact on growing your one metric. This includes areas like:

• Churn rate

• Conversion rate

• On-boarding success

• Partnerships

• Organic traffic growth

• Paid traffic and volume

Metrics will always vary from business to business, depending on the stage your business is in.  Taking this into account, you need to consider what you need to report on, in order to grow.

2. Increase social media presence 



As a start-up that is just venturing to social media, chances are that you don’t have many followers on your channel or page. If so, then one of the best ways to increase your social media presence is by getting like-minded influencers in your niche to notice you.

The author of ‘Brandscaping,’ Andrew Davis, suggests you do something called Social Media 4-1-1 to catch the attention of the forerunners.

According to Joe Pulizzi from the Content Marketing Institute, here is how the tactic works:
For every six pieces of content shared on social media, think Twitter for instance:

• Four pieces should focus on the content from the influencer group.

• One piece should be sales related – like a product notice, press release or coupon.

• One piece should be original, educational content that you have created.

Joe also adds that it’s not necessary to have exact numbers; just by implementing this idea, you can make influencers take notice of your social media accounts. If the top brass like what they see, they will definitely share your content with their followers.

3. Give creative branding a shot 

When it comes to starting your own company, having an insignia or logo is a no-brainer. If you’re tight on resources, you can easily capitalize on cheap marketing alternatives available online.

Networked services like Zeerk or Fiverr provide options for generating logos or graphic designs for businesses; sorting your image and brand logo challenges.

But how can you market that brand to be distinct, aside from publishing online content or using social media? Never forget the power of word of mouth. Instead of resorting to usual tactics, like engraving your logo onto bottle openers, invest in more memorable products.

Know a friend who’s going to a big party? Purchase some locally manufactured soft drinks, slap your company logo on the front of the bottles and send him or her with a free four-pack produced by your business. It is employing creative tactics like this that help get your name out in the open in a unique way.

4. Make use of Google+

Google+ may not be on your radar for social media networks like Twitter or Facebook. However, it has some exciting benefits to offer for small businesses.

For starters, Google+ has a large number of followers, more than those of Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn combined. This is because anyone with a Gmail or YouTube account also has an in-synced Google+ account. Moreover, being active on Google+ can increase your rankings on search results.

Updating your Google+ account on a regular basis and stating all your essential business information there such as phone number, e-mail and business address can be a great starting point for customers to discover your brand or give you reviews.

5. Look into online paid channels 

You should always consider experimenting with paid channels to drive outcomes for your business. However, don’t just throw money at credited advertising, until you have generously tagged up your conversion points or you will not have any quantifiable, objective data other than impressions or clicks, to make your decisions.

For instance, Facebook ads work terribly for the Gleam team but they still chose to experiment with it. It may have just been incorrect ad-framing to drive the right emotions or simply that the campaign was just never going to work. The point is to not rule out certain channels, but use them to keep things fresh and test your ideas.

During the testing phase, you will come across many profitable areas where you can continue to grow and pour more money into. Always put a small sum of money aside for tactical campaigns:

• Use tools to find out what your competitors are spending money on.

• Test different value propositions for your ads to see what converts better.

• Target events on Twitter or Instagram by advertising on their hashtag.

• Use retargeting methods to show special offers to your abandoned customers.

6. Write compelling content 

Writing good content is difficult and requires a lot of time. It could take you more than two days to come up with a particular write-up and it will all be worth it at the end. The only problem is that it is very easy to generate bad content, which is usually glossed over by consumers and search engines. The upside here is that with little effort, you can easily stand out with ideas and marketing measures.

The online marketing review for The Iconic, for example, has the most striking and consumer-engaged content configuration to entice clientele prospects:

• It shows the audience how they work, which makes it more likely for them to use this agency.

• It’s actionable – you can implement some of the stuff for your personal brand if you like.

• It’s distinctive, as most agencies will only write this type of content for their clients.

• It’s sharable – anyone would happily share it with their friends on social media platforms.

7. Be a part of the community 

Besides being the usual busy-bees, focusing only on our own businesses, there are plenty of things we can do to benefit our communities. These activities could include allowing people to use your product, offering free services or even just participating in events.

A popular business event in Australia, namely the CEO Sleepout, allows CEOs of a company to get a feel for what it would be like to be homeless for a night, while raising money for a charity.

Another meaningful thing you can opt for is to take a few days out each week to work in a local, co-working office space. Working amidst people doing different kinds of work can also make one’s identity stronger and more audience-receptive.

Marketing your start-up with efficacious strategies will always involve challenges. The market changes constantly, making it hard to figure out where to best channel your budgeted resources.

Nonetheless, you will find plenty of useful tactics at your disposal. Also, the practice of SEO, boosting content virality through creative branding, social media and community involvement provide endless opportunities to strike up a conversation amongst the consumers about your small business.


Evie harrison is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Find her on Twitter: @iamevieharrison