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5 Small Business Marketing Ideas for 2021

Carly @ Relly

February 22, 2021

It’s no secret 2020 knocked marketing ideas for a loop. Especially for Small Businesses. And despite the highly-anticipated arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, the world is likely to operate under similar, less-than-ideal circumstances for small businesses throughout 2021.

With this in mind, it’s crucial to factor in solid marketing ideas moving forward. Even if you are working with a smaller team, tighter budget, and little resources.

But don’t worry, effective marketing ideas don’t need to break the bank. Most can be achieved for free!

Check out these top five marketing tips for small businesses!

Utilize Video

All right, let’s start with the glaringly obvious – social media. It’s no secret that our ability to connect with others has suffered dramatically over the past year (thanks 2020 …).

Psychotherapist Dan Roberts stresses the necessity of strong, reliable relationships for our mental and physical well-being by explaining that

“Humans are born for connection – it’s in our DNA, as strong a need as food, water, and warmth.”

Considering that we’ve been forced to put physical, face-to-face interactions on the shelf for the time being, video is currently the next best and safest route toward cultivating these connections. Which makes it an important medium to take advantage of this year.

Whether you opt to host an online webinar, go live on Instagram or Facebook, or even share behind-the-scenes footage on stories. The end game is all the same:

Give your community the opportunity to form and strengthen their affiliation with you and your brand.

Video content has exploded over the past months with popular apps like TikTok and Triller. So getting used to hitting record is a must in order to stay relevant. The good news is you don’t have to be a professional!

Using your phone to record is not just acceptable, but actually preferred. Consumers are accustomed to watching social media videos created with smartphones. In fact, audiences like and engage the authenticity it offers, as opposed to the highly-produced, highly-curated content we’ve seen in the past.

Now more than ever, people want to see real life. After being collectively subjected to almost a year of isolation, uncertainty and the now oh-so cliché “unprecedented” circumstances, we’ve come to recognize that we aren’t all that different or far away from one another.

Overly-curated content has taken a back seat in the name of relatability. Because of this, we want to see those behind-the-scenes moments. We want to gain a better understanding of the company’s values, personality, and mission.

Optimize Voice Search

In case you haven’t heard, voice search is the future. Think Siri, Alexa and Google Home. According to TechWyse, approximately 55% of teenagers use voice search on a daily basis, and voice-based shopping is expected to skyrocket to $40 billion by 2022. Because of this trend, it’s imperative to grab the bull by the horns by ensuring your online presence is catered to favorable voice search results.

Optimizing the likelihood of your business being recognized audibly actually isn’t as complicated as you may think, and can be achieved in a few simple, but impactful steps.

First and foremost, make sure your business is listed on as many directory websites as possible such as Yelp, Facebook and Google My Business. When creating these profiles, go the extra mile by uploading plenty of photos, writing thoughtful descriptions and providing accurate information.

You won’t be sorry for putting in a little extra elbow grease here.

These small efforts create an enormous amount of opportunity to grow your audience, as these profiles are likely the first perception your prospective customers will have of your business when utilizing search engines.

PRO-TIP: When creating any and all online content, write how you talk. Voice search results are typically written at the 9th-grade level max. People aren’t taking the time to carefully phrase their voice searches. They’re just spouting off the first phrase that comes to mind, so take that into consideration when copywriting.

Lastly, your website MUST load quickly. You can check out the page speed by analyzing your Core Web Vitals. To increase your page-load speed you can compress files, shrink images and provide responsive mobile capabilities to gain favor with Google.

Invest in Past and Current Customers

Guess what? You actually already have your most valuable and effective marketing tool right under your nose! Your past and current customers are walking billboards for your business. Continuing to make them a priority is your biggest asset.

Your current customers should be your main source for referrals and reviews.

Don’t make the common marketing mistake of getting caught up shelling out money for elaborate advertising campaigns to gain new clients while ignoring the loyal ones you already have.

Did you know it costs FIVE times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an old one? That’ll make you think twice!

Taking the time to engage with customers online is one of the easiest ways to show your appreciation for their support.

  • Answer every single Instagram DM you receive.
  • Respond to every single Yelp review you see.
  • Say “thank you” by hosting free events (these can be online) or conducting a giveaway on social media.

Your acts of kindness and recognition of your clients’ support will not go unnoticed, and will likely lead to more business than any other marketing strategy you can think of.

Automate Platforms

Aside from making your life a whole heck of a lot easier, automating your business channels will increase customer satisfaction and overall retention. Consistency sets brands and businesses apart from the rest.

We’ve all heard whispers of the elusive social media “algorithm”, but let’s break down exactly what that word means and identify its direct impact on your brand.

Long story short, platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter determine the content you’re shown. That’s right – unfortunately, picking who we follow and what we “like” doesn’t necessarily make us autonomous over the media we’re consuming.

Wah-wah.

Furthermore, these platforms will actually decrease views on your timeline if posting from a certain account decreases. Therefore, the more you consistently post, the more you’re promoted.

As a member of Relly, we provide done-for-you content prompts, caption templates and customizable graphics synced directly to your calendar. Which makes posting content consistently, well … easy!

Automating your channels will help you stay organized with the type of content you’re wanting to share, as well as assist in creating and maintaining a regular online presence. Tools such as CoSchedule and Plann offer the ability to schedule and automate posts in advance, as well as provide insight regarding performance and engagement.

Email marketing is another great example of a channel to automate. Many people view email marketing as somewhat outdated in comparison to its counterparts on social media, but it’s actually still one of the top lead generators available.

Our favorite email marketing platform is Flodesk.

Establish and Maintain Your Own Personal Brand

Yes, your business needs an up-to-date, user-friendly website, cohesive and consistent social media content and proper representation throughout listing directories.

But guess what?

So do you!

In the same way that video content creates connection and relationship, so does your willingness to show your audience behind the curtain.

Perhaps a more overlooked approach, being intentional with your own online presence will differentiate you from the competition. Helping build trust with prospective clients.

Leading viewers to your own personal accounts, be it a blog, social media or podcast, offers a unique insight into who you are as a person. And gives you an advantage over bigger brands. By helping your audience connect with you, you cultivate a more personal relationship which can cultivate loyalty.

A popular quote from Seth Godin states,

“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.”

Think about your favorite influencer, blogger, author or podcaster. You probably didn’t start consuming their content because you were looking to spend money. More than likely, you were inspired by them in the beginning. After subscribing to their content, learning who they are and what they stand for, you likely became more interested in the products or services they advocate for.

Whether we would like to believe it or not, digital media is quite possibly the most influential and intimate relationship we have. We’re watching TV, scrolling through our phones and listening to music or audiobooks or podcasts 24/7. There’s a sense of security in becoming familiar with these creators on a daily basis.

And who’s to say you can’t provide that feeling to your audience as well? If you can sell yourself, you can sell anything.

The good news is Relly can help with Marketing Ideas! Starting at $14.99/mo, our team of experts and support agents can brainstorm ideas specific to your business. Did we mention how awesome our social prompts are and make posting on social media every day, easy?!

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