A small business can entail different sizes dependent upon the vertical. An organization with anywhere from 500 to 1,500 employees could be classified as small. Just two years ago, nearly 98 percent of all businesses in the United States were categorized as 'small', according to the Small Business Association, as reported by Forbes. Within this mass, here are ways to make a small business stand out.
"Today, businesses have more ways – and places – than ever to market themselves. But deciding on a marketing method, particularly when you are a small or even a mid-sized business with a small budget and limited resources, can be difficult," said Jennifer Lonoff Schiff, CIO contributor.
It's the little things
Branding is a way to define a business. It's a claim to fame, the bread and butter, a unique detail that the business prides itself on. It helps an organization stand apart from the rest, according to Business2Community. An example of branding is the way a client feels when they fly with jetBlue, according to Michael Goldberg of The Huffington Post. Despite a delayed flight, less than ideal amount of sleep and having spent many hours in an airport, the client Goldberg felt calm and satisfied. He related that feeling to little techniques implemented by the airline. A part of its brand is to provide a similar feeling to clients.
Social media is an essential platform to widely promote an organization, according to The Glen Rose Reporter. Updating a Facebook page, sending out new Tweets or occasional blog posts can invoke interaction among consumers and other businesses, hence an opportunity to obtain more marketing tips. But owners should also be wary of a recent media cautionary tale on social media marketing tactics sometimes referred to as 'Blackhat', according to a separate Forbes article. Google can detect fake likes and gimmicks that could be used to boost search engine optimization. In the past some companies were called out for trying to buy likes and friends and publish fake reviews.
Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) recently received praise. It's relying on customers who value a business or particular product to spread the good word and it's the most important social media tool, according to Forbes. Creating deals for existing customers could entice them to tell their friends about the service, according to Business Know-How.
The need for tangibility
"Online marketing activities, from pay per click adverts through to the all important social signals on social media are only one part of the complex marketing equation," said James Birch, contributor to B Daily Business News. "Depending on the product and services you offer, your business may still need a visual, physical presence."
Attending conferences is an effective way to market a product or business, according to B Daily. While at the conference, leaders and associates should equip themselves with pamphlets, business cards and other printed products to hand out. A printed banner or poster can be a way to lure people in to learn more about the business.
"If possible, put free samples out at local events to encourage customers to get to know your product, or provide coupons for new customers. Entice them to come into your store and see all that you have to offer. Once they're in the door then it's your chance to show off your skills," said Vicky Simpson, writing for Business2Community.
Once the combined digital and print marketing strategies prove effective, the small business can focus on customer retention. Mailing out surveys is a good way to receive feedback from clients, according to a separate Forbes article.