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The Ultimate Marketing Guide for New Small Businesses

When it comes to marketing, it can be difficult to know where to start for small business owners. This is especially true for new businesses or businesses that have never done digital marketing. Making things even more difficult is coming up with a budget and being able to find digital marketing services that fall within that budget.

This guide will give you a holistic view of where to start and where to allocate your marketing dollars in the beginning.

Start with Google My Business

It can be tempting for business owners to think they need to start with a beautiful new website, but the truth is, there is enough free real estate on the internet to allow business owners to put off a website. This is mainly because most website designers charge a lot of money to build a website, namely because it takes a lot of time to build a quality website.

The place to start is with free digital listings and in particular, a Google My Business listing.

While you might not be familiar with the name, you have definitely seen Google My Business listings before. In fact, you see multiple listings just about any time you do a search on Google for any searches that feature businesses near you. They are the listings that appear in the Map section of Google or in the top right corner of Google searches on a desktop (they will be the first thing you see on mobile searches).

These listings are free to create and give you the opportunity to start appearing for local searches right away.

Focus on one social channel

Social media is generally where small business owners start. Like Google My Business, social media is free and has a huge reach, which makes it a great place to start promoting your new business. The key to doing it right, though, is to not spread yourself too thin.

There are numerous social media platforms and it can get difficult to manage a digital presence across all of them at the same time. That’s why you should choose one to focus on to begin with.

The best channel for your business will depend on what industry you are in and what you want to showcase. Here is just an overview of the different options.

Facebook: Great for any business wanting to get information out to consumers. It is moving towards an older demographic, so if you are focusing on a service or product that has a younger audience, this might not be your best option.

LinkedIn: Great for reaching business professionals. If you are a B2B service or product, LinkedIn is definitely the channel for you.

Instagram: Great for displaying images. While it has a diverse user profile, Instagram is still mainly used by a younger audience. If you do not have a ton of images that will attract attention, this is probably not the channel for you.

Pinterest: Great for creative displays. If you are in a craft business or have unique products and services, this could be a great way to get some attention.

No matter what channel you choose to start with, the key is to post regularly. Another tip is to make sure you balance selling your products/services and your business. Social media is where people can get to know you and your business. Don’t be afraid to create fun posts that showcase your personality.

Send your business information to local newspapers and community organizations

Local newspapers and community organizations are almost always in need of content to fill space on their websites. Getting listed on these websites is a great way to start building authority on the web and can be very useful once you are ready to build a website.

You should also reach out to these organizations via social media, as well as share their content on your social media. The more active you are, the more likely these organizations are to share your content and get you even more exposure.

Ask for reviews from all customers

The vast majority of customers consult reviews before making a decision or purchase. One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is hoping customers leave reviews. Instead, you should ask customers to leave reviews after each positive interaction.

The best place to ask customers to leave reviews is on your Google My Business listing. The more positive reviews you get, the more likely Google is to show your business for searches. As a goal, you should shoot to get at least ten reviews, but the more reviews you can get the better.

With this guide, you will be able to get a head start on your marketing without having to fork out a lot of money to a digital marketing company to do work that you can do on your own. The items listed above are all able to be done by anyone and best of all, they are all free.

Once you have these items in place, you can then begin to think about hiring a marketing company to implement more technical digital marketing campaigns.

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