Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business Marketing

Marketing Basics

How important is marketing for small business?

Without proper marketing and ensuring your business can be found when someone searches, no one will know about you. Implementing simple, online marketing activities puts your business in front of more potential customers. Your marketing can educate them about the products or services you offer.

The answer to that question is “all the time”.

Marketing is not something you can turn on and off. Marketing also needs to be viewed as an investment, not an expense. Turning on marketing only when business gets slow puts you in a viscous cycle. Although you could spend money on paid advertising to hasten your visibility, it is better to build visibility organically.

Effective small business marketing is not an activity to be done only when things get quiet, but is a process that should be constantly and consistently happening in your business, making your business more visible to those looking for your products and services.

Benefits of continuous marketing:

  • You build awareness and brand differentiation for your business by being visible to your prospects and clients;
  • You establish a solid reputation for your business by marketing your expertise through articles and blogging;
  • You distinguish your business from the “competition” by staying visible and promoting your expertise;
  • You can evaluate your marketing efforts by the results you are seeing in your business. If they work, keep doing them; if they don’t work try something else.

Marketing takes time to take effect. When you shut something down, it is really hard to kick it back up. Plus stopping and starting marketing doesn’t give you enough data to know whether something is working or not. The key is to put a marketing effort in motion and let it run, evaluating the outcome and tweaking the campaign when need be. Starting and stopping marketing is guaranteed to give you less than stellar results.

Build marketing into your business strategy so that it becomes second nature and ensures your business stays visible to your clients. If you don’t feel you can do it yourself, find a reputable marketing agency to help. An investment in marketing your business can be small but the payoff can be substantial.

Without a written marketing plan, your business is making decisions on the fly. This results in disjointed marketing efforts, wasting time and resources on activities that may or may not work for your business. When your plan is written down, you become more focused. Committing your goals, strategies and activities to a written document is the only way to avoid losing sight of what we want to achieve – turning our ideas into proven reality.

If you want your marketing to be effective, you need to treat marketing as a process – a series of actions to achieve your particular marketing goal. But unless you create a marketing system, your marketing process could be inefficient and inconsistent, producing results that are less than you had hoped.

The key to implementing an effective marketing system is to ensure it aligns with your marketing plan and defines the steps you will take to implement a success inbound marketing funnel.

For more information on implementing a marketing system, read my blog post on Marketing System or Marketing Plan – Do You Need Both?

Marketing Tools

Why WordPress?

A website’s goal is to provide inbound leads and visibility for your business. To accomplish that goal, your website needs to continually deliver a pleasant user experience to those who are looking for your products and services.

WordPress provides robust functionality and ease of use features, making it the ideal choice for businesses that want to keep their website content up-to-date and relevant to their target market. This dynamic, open source software has evolved into an easy to use content management system, putting you in control of your content.

As more people are visiting websites from their smartphones and tablets than web browsers, it is also important that your website be able to support a broad range of devices. In the latest Google algorithm, websites that do not support a mobile experience may lose rank in the Google search engine results.

Not all businesses will be able to support the requirements of having a blog, but businesses who do blog get more traffic to their website than those who don’t. A quality blog helps convert that traffic into leads while establishing your business as an authority in your industry.

Every time you publish a blog post, you increase your web presence by another page which creates one more opportunity for your business to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search.

Optimizing your website is the process of ensuring your web pages can be found when someone is searching using the most relevant keyword phrases for your business. By taking the time to optimize each page and post on your website can have a huge impact on your organic traffic.

Getting your website organically ranking high in search engines is one of the most important aspects to your marketing plan. Traffic that comes from organic search engine results is extremely cost effective, providing a high ROI if that traffic converts into paying clients.

If you want to email a large number of recipients, you must use an email service provider. With the amount of spam being sent, many ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will block emails that have too many recipients in the cc or bcc fields. In order to ensure your emails reach your intended audience, you should signup for a reputable email service provider, build your email list on that provider and use it to email to your list.

I recommend MailChimp for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s free to use for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month.
  • It supports an RSS campaign, making it easy for you to send your blog posts to your list via email automatically. Only a few email service providers have this feature.
  • It supports mobile devices so your emails look good when read on a smartphone.
  • It now has an autoresponder feature in the free account that enables you to send a series of emails to people based on what they signed up for.

You can sign up for an account simply by visiting the MailChimp website.

If you would like to understand the differences between email marketing and marketing automation, check out my blog post Marketing Automation vs Email Marketing.

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Testimonials

It truly is a pleasure working with Debra as a marketing coach and mentor. I love the fact that her style is very practical and focused rather than providing me with fluff. I have truly seen a difference in business since I have started working with Debra and I am grateful for this. I not… “Adizat”

Adizat Animashaun, Owner

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