Small businesses face unique challenges with marketing, but the payoff for implementing the right strategy is worth the effort. When a small business reaches profitability status (usually in two-three years), it's critical that other "marketing success factors" are in place for long-term success and future profitability. Many business owners fail to see the value in these success factors because they're so focused on profitability and startup necessities. Eventually, ever business needs to grow up and move beyond the startup phase.
Make sure these marketing trends strategies are part of your growing business:*
Small Business Online Listings
Verified online listings is #1 on the list of Forbes' Small Business Must Haves. It's a quick win and most of them are free. If you see your business name associated with a free listing service, be sure to claim your profile and fill it out completely. If your Google Profile is missing information, potential customers are likely to use a competitor's profile if it has everything they need (hours, website link, photos). Here are a few places to start:
Many verified listing sites gather reviews, offer maps, phone numbers, and links back to your business website. Use caution when selecting these sites; some of them are designed to collect high fees that don't provide much benefit. Not all sites that charge a flat fee are bad, but use caution. Beware of YELP; they have a very large telemarketing team designed as 'customer service' to use your listing as a revenue stream.
Here are a few authoritative business listing sites to help you get started:
Even if your business is national or regional, it's still relevant to list it in your headquarter or branch location state directories. For example, in South Carolina, SCIWAY gets over 7 MILLION visits per year and lists over 50,000 businesses. The best part? The site has been active on the internet since the late 90's, making it a powerful and valuable website.
Most businesses have a Google Business Profile (which connects to Maps), but not everyone updates and maintains their listing. You do not need a third party service to do it for you, and it's easy to manage if you don't have a marketing agency. Click here to manage your Google Business Profile. If you still have questions or need help, send us a message, and we'll reply within 48 hours in most cases.
Other free map listings:
• Apple Maps
Social Media Listings
Even if you don't plan to update or use social media very often, creating a listing with a link back to your website, phone number, and other contact information can generate customers. Think about it; if you type a small business name into a search engine, many times you'll see their Facebook or LinkedIn page before you'll notice the website.
Not sure which channels to use? Type your biggest competitor's name into Google and see which social media channels populate with their name or their competitor. Start with that list, and keep typing in competitor brand names to see if anything else pops up. Bottom line, you want to show up where they are.
Isn't There a Shortcut?
Yes there is! Yext or Synup can help you save time and generate local and map listings in bulk.
CRM System to Connect Marketing with Sales
Even if you don't have a sales team, it's a good idea to have a Customer Relationship Manager tool to ensure that ALL of your leads and prospects are gathered in one database.
Evergreen content lives on your website in the form of blog posts, articles, resources, or Q&A sections. Use competitor research to find out what's popular and start there. Use ChatGPT or hire a blog writing service to create the content for you. Evergreen content won't bring value right away, but as long as it exists and you're using the right topic, it will build website traffic and turn into a source of leads for your business in the future.
*Marketing trends can be fun and create temporary buzz for your business, but if they're truly valuable, they'll become part of the pillar strategies that are already in place. An experienced, thoughtful marketing agency will help you identify reliable a reliable strategy over trends, and will ALWAYS measure the value of a strategy against the cost per lead, lifetime customer value, and recommend a marketing P&L sheet.
A leader in content strategy and digital marketing, Markelle has been helping digital marketing agencies and businesses identify, implement, and measure the ROI from marketing efforts for over 15 years. iHer advice and insights have been quoted by Content Marketing Institute, Search Engine Journal, CMS Wire, Databox, and Prowly.
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