Updated: Aug 9, 2021
The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Checklist
Small business marketing is ever changing – think of companies that have existed for the last century. One key to their success is to be strategic in their planning, looking ahead for the next 5 or 10 years in their industry. Of course as a small business owner, your main focus may be just running your business. We get that!
One of our passions at Salty Red Dog Marketing is creating a marketing strategy for small business owners. While each strategy and to-do’s may be different with each other, we’ve put together a simple marketing checklist that everyone should start with.
Many “old-school” business owners don’t feel the need to be online. They think word-of-mouth is their biggest referral source (and we agree!) But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some sort of online presence for the rest of the common folk.
Any small business marketing strategy will tell you that a well-designed website is where most online traffic will be. While you don’t need to take out a second-mortgage for a website, you want one that will work for your business and your brand.
The most successful small business websites are those that are:
Easy to navigate
Content that easy to read with complementary images
Quick loading time (anything over 5 seconds is too slow)
More than 70% of consumers will search on their phone for a business (especially if it’s urgent). In 2018, Google rolled out its “mobile-first” policy, which means that if your website isn’t mobile friendly, you go to the back pages.
Since a phone or tablet screen is smaller than a laptop, you may want to consider shortening some content. Think:
Mobile-friendly reading patterns
More than one call-to-action
A small business owner who loves their business could spend hours and hours with details and information describing their business. While it’s probably (yes, it is) way too much to add to your local website pages, it’s more productive to add those educational and information tips to your blog.
By having an active blog, shows the website has activity instead of being a sitting duck. Search engines would rather support an active website than one that’s sitting in the dark.
Other ways businesses are found online are through social platforms. Many businesses use Facebook and Twitter, but depending on your type of business and audience, there are different ones to choose from. You don’t have to be on each and every one – choose two and get good at them.
Since your digital platforms are a reflection of your business, you want to make sure your branding, content and images line-up directly with your company’s messaging.
Ok, time for the good stuff. It’s important to market a small business locally because of the specific targeted geographical areas. In order to do this, a local SEO plan has to be part of your overall strategy. Plus, most people who do a local search will find and connect with that person they found online within a day.
So what steps can you take so get your local SEO going? Be sure to include the following:
Clear online directions (many searchers will look for directions to get to your location)
Accurate information – business name, address, phone number
An optimized Google My Business listing
Encourage online reviews (many consumers will make a decision based on your reviews, and pass all together if you have none)
Many websites have social media icons on their site which promotes the website visitor to few their social platforms and share!
But please – and I’m begging you, only because we’ve seen this a hundred times – if you are going to put social icons on your website or email signature, please make sure it’s connected to your social sites.
Ever see the same commercial on TV over and over till the thought of it makes you want to scream? Well, don’t do that with your marketing either.
In order for your marketing content to work, you want to be relevant, consistent and not repetitive (as in the same post or sentence used excessively.) You also want to distribute your content across various channels (social media, website, blogs, paid ads, organic search, etc.). The best way to manage all your content is to:
Create a content calendar to outline and schedule
Use your digital platforms to see what content has been winning – and what’s been losing
Repurpose your content (yes, you can use your content again, just in a recycled, more creative way)
Did you know that email marketing has one of the highest ROI’s? Yup. Communicating with your customers on a regular basis with email marketing is shown as one of the most effective ways of delivering your message today.
Don’t do cold-emails or buy lists. Instead, use your customer’s information and build an email list that’s more personalized for your target audience and customer base. Your email strategy should include: