As we head towards the last lap of 2020, we are still facing many challenges and uncertainties. There are several fears in the air due to the pandemic. Things are starting to close again, and many small business owners are being affected one way or another. This is also a time for innovation and for pivoting. So if you have a small business or are planning to start a new one, here are some 2021 small business marketing strategies that stick. After all, digital marketing is a long term affair.
I have been an entrepreneur for 12 years, and I have found that any rush or viral wins don’t yield the best results. Being in business for yourself takes hard work! And consistency, my dear creative, is key. So let’s get to the strategies, shall we.
- Be a resource. When you are a resource and your business offers a solution to a problem, this is a great marketing tool. I feel most business owners know this but have a hard time articulating this. At least I do. So I turn to some of my business besties that are more analytical and handle copywriting well. Some questions you want to answer for yourself: How can you serve your audience?
- Social Media. As much as social media frustrates me at times, it is here to stay. Instagram is becoming more of a search engine as well as a relationship network, Pinterest is still sending loads of web traffic and sales, and Tik Tok well Tik Tok is kicking butt. Plus the new cool kid in town Clubhouse is shaking up the online marketing world.
- Email Marketing. This marketing strategy is a wild card, almost like a Unicorn. Why? Because many people are not using it enough. Maybe you feel you are annoying your audience, or they don’t want to hear from you. These are lies that you need to toss out the window. Always focus on what solution and benefit, and value that you and your business offer. Think of ways to gift your email subscribers inspiration, tutorials, information, and advice.
- Networking. So many business owners use this tactic already, but they don’t realize it. Now it’s time to step back and identify how you have networked for your business in the past. Watch this quick video with my take on networking and how it has helped me for 12 years.
5. Paid advertising. I must confess as this is new to me because, after all, I teach organic SEO and organic social media reach, but I now realize how powerful utilizing both marketing strategies can be. I recommend that you set aside a marketing budget to create some Facebook Ads. I don’t mean boosting posts, but actually go to the Ads Manager and create different audiences and different types of ads to see which one will do better.
6. Video. The cool thing is that you don’t need long videos; small videos go a long way. Pinterest has been pushing videos and I have been playing around with repurposing Tik Tok videos to Pinterest. Same with Instagram Reels. Video is going nowhere, and it is vital to acknowledge the level of involvement you can add to your lap. I would love to relaunch my YouTube channel, but I just don’t have the manpower at the moment.
- Freebie Page. Makes such a difference
- Sales page. People are lazy and don’t ready but they will watch a video
- FB group
- Instagram Reel
- Tik Tok
- Resume or Cover letter if applying for a part-time job
- About page
- Gallery Page or work page
7. SEO. Being found on Google for free especially nowadays is a must. The beauty of SEO is that anyone can really do it and do it for free. The first step is to set up your SEO foundation. Look for the areas that you can fill out the SEO info and optimize each page on your website. If you are new to SEO, I recommend you get started with my free Keywords course.
- Website content & user-friendliness. This may be a weird one but one thing that voice search is teaching the SEO world is that content needs to be more conversational. You need to audit your website and make sure your content is speaking in a more conversational way. Make sure your pages have content. Make sure you have info on how people can book you, reach you, and buy for you. Are these steps found easily on your website? Are buttons visible? Are links visible? Is your email listed? Do you have info about where you are located, and where you service clients?
- Get reviews online. If you are a local business then please please list your business with Google. It’s free and it makes up 25% of local SEO. This is a must for any business that wants to be found in a local market. The best part is that if you work from home, you don’t need to show your address. You can just choose the service areas like zip codes.
- Be consistent. This one is surprisingly a hard one for me. I get impatient and I want things to happen fast and I give up way too easily. When I look back on my entrepreneurial journey I see myself committing the same mistake over and over. I fall easily for shiny ball syndrome and I don’t stick to something long enough. I also tend to not focus on my own lane, but out with old and in with the new. Consistency and strategic planning are here to stay.
Systems Expert Eric H. Vincent shares:
Email marketing “Speak in your authentic voice like you’re talking to ONE perfect client/customer” this is a skill that will forever change how you nurture your relationships.
Talk to people on the phone. People are so craving and needing an encouraging voice and real people voices.
Tash Haynes from Wisdom and Courage Blog
Off all the things I’ve done to market my business and keep things “flowing,” the best tip I can give for long-term success and sustainability, is changing the focus from what you can get and your personal and financial goals TO how you can serve and be a true asset to your clients and those around you.
The posture of your business will be the foundation for how it thrives in seasons of feast and famine and it also changes the heart in which you show up when things are either going well or when they are a little dry. In my business, I am always intentioned to serve and be a blessing and I believe it is why we have been in successful business for so long.
This helps people see you as more of what you can do for them, and a pillar, the voice of wisdom on your perspective field, which means they want to invest and see you do well because you’re a benefit to the whole.
Andre from Socially Buzz shares
In 2021, I’m forecasting that marketing technologies will become smarter, but the execution becomes harder. I also predict the following 4 changes:
1. Hyper Local Social Media Communities (Nextdoor, etc) will be widely accepted as a place to market your local brand
2. Omni-Channel Marketing will be widely accepted by big and small brands
3. More brands will start to adopt to more advanced marketing techniques using services like voice search on Alexa, and Google Home, to connect with customers at home
4. Augmented Reality marketing will finally get a breakthrough in the latter part of 2021