Small Business Marketing: What Works?Small business owners have a lot on their plates, and managing their businesses is chief among them. For some entrepreneurs, “small business marketing” is part of their future plan – something to be done when the more important aspects of running a small business are better under control. But can these businesses afford to ignore their small business marketing plans?

Highly effective small business marketing tactics

It’s unwise to ignore small business marketing, largely because it is responsible for setting up the ongoing revenue stream for a business. It’s sometimes hard to think about the future when the present is so demanding, but small business owners should keep one eye on small business marketing techniques that produce the best return on their sometimes small, sometimes spotty investment.

By far, the small business marketing tactic that appears to produce the best return on investment is online marketing. According to a 2013 BrightLocal survey of 20,000 small businesses, small business owners believed that their online marketing activities generated more business than their off-line marketing techniques did.

Does that mean your small business marketing budget has to be huge? Not really. About one-third of survey respondents reported spending $100 or less per month on marketing activities. On average, businesses reported spending less than $400 per month on marketing activities of all kinds.

Curiously, respondents said that the most effective marketing technique for their business – the marketing channel that produced the best return – was word-of-mouth marketing. In terms of small business marketing, word-of-mouth campaigns can be conducted either online or offline, and can be very inexpensive to produce.

Social media is very effective at delivering a word-of-mouth message, but it relies on having a coordinated online marketing plan. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn make social media marketing easier, but for consumers (and potential consumers) who are plugged into these platforms, small business marketing efforts should also include a professional website design, an easily identifiable logo and other online capabilities like email advertising, email newsletters and blogging.
If you have a small business and would like more information about highly effective small business marketing techniques, or you would like to review (or create) your small business marketing plan, please contact Grantstreet’s Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.

Photo Credit: Ambrozjo, via StockXchng