In order to beat the competition, small businesses need to keep on top of innovative marketing strategies so that they can take advantage of opportunities as they arise. Are you looking for resources to help you maximize your marketing power? Read on for a list of indispensable marketing tools for small-business entrepreneurs!
Photo Credit: Huffingtonpost.com (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/toby-nwazor/4-reasons-smart-small-bus_b_9035116.html)
- Safety First
Rapid growth of online sales and internet marketing has allowed small businesses to expand their reach, but streamlined access comes with increased risk. Customers are more aware of the importance of cybersecurity, and they need confirmation that your business will protect their privacy. Cybersecurity can be complicated, especially for small-business owners, but help is available. Department of Homeland Security has developed the Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community (C3) Voluntary Program and the CRR Resistance Tool to give small business owners information about online security. The Federal Communications Commission has also developed the Small Biz Cyber Planner, a free online program that will help you protect your business.
- Community Bulletin Boards for the Digital Age
If you’re looking for creative solutions or time-tested advice, other small business owners are a great place to start. Small Business Trends, founded in 2003, is a groundbreaking web publication that offers up-to-date news about small business markets. Business on Main is another online community resource for small business owners. Huffington Post Small Business America continued the tradition of cogent, down-to-earth advice for small business owners online.
- Nonprofit Resources
SCORE is a nonprofit organization built to help small-business owners with hands-on marketing mentorship and advice – for free! They’ll work one-on-one with you to help design a customized business plan – and many SCORE volunteers are retired executives, so you’ll be getting high-level advice. In addition to SCORE, the Small Business Administration offers a roster of training programs in many communities across the US – visit SBA.gov to find services near you.
- Go Downtown
Your local Chamber of Commerce will probably charge a small fee to join, but in exchange you’ll get access to free networking events close to home and marketing programs for your area. You’ll also have a way to stay informed about new developments in your hometown – whether it’s a revitalization plan offering funding to local businesses or changes in the law that might affect you.
- …Or Back to School!
If your area has a university or community college, you have a treasure trove of resources in your backyard. Students are looking forward to entering the workforce, and looking out for any opportunity to gain experience and earn some spare cash. Their creativity and drive can become an asset to your company. Consider a summer job, or a part-time sales or marketing position year-round. And if you’re interested in graphic design, you might find a star employee in the art department or the computer lab.
- Statistics for Success
One of the most important components of online marketing is follow-through: you need to know where your strategy is working, and where it needs more work! Google Analytics is an easy-to-use online tool that will help you track your website traffic over the past week, month, or year.
- DIY Website-Builders
Free blogging sites like WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr give you an easy way to set up an online platform to share updates about your business. Wix is a free design site that gives you a full set of tools to build your own website. Best of all, its drag-and-drop format is easy to use. If you’re interested in a more tech-intensive option, Wix has also released a market app that allows users to incorporate personal apps onto the Wix platform.
- Mass Mailing Made Easy
Small businesses need to be as efficient as possible. They also need to reach as many customers as possible. These days, email campaign can be automated through easy-to-use programs like MailChimp, AWeber, and ActiveCampaign. Consider using one of these programs to organize updates and contacts so that you can focus on creative ad campaigns!
- Take Your Presentations to a Whole New Level
Content is a great way for small businesses to show new customers what they bring to the table. With Slideshare, it’s easy to share video content, slideshow presentations, and sound files online. You can also embed videos on your own blog or website, adding visual interest and informative content for visitors.
- Make the Front Page
HARO, short for Help A Reporter Out, is an invaluable tool that gives business owners direct access to reporters and media opportunities. Journalists get a database full of sources for upcoming business stories, and you get a library of media outlet options to market your products and services. Visit HARO to find out how you can build a business profile and get the word out!
As a small-business owner, you already know how to make the most of the tools at hand. Using these exciting new marketing resources, you can save time and money and develop your business to its fullest potential.
Are you interested in more leads on innovative new resources for your small-business venture? We recommend speaking to a team of digital marketing professionals who can give you expert advice on the best options for your business. Contact Square 1 Group Today!