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6 Small Business Marketing Ideas for 2021
January 20, 2021
Business Marketing Ideas for 2021

6 Small Business Marketing Ideas for 2021

The freedom of small business ownership is both one of its most and least appealing benefits. On one hand, you get to chart your own direction and have the freedom to try new things. However, you typically won’t know if an idea is beneficial to your business until you’ve invested significant money and time into it.

This is especially true when you try out new business marketing strategies. Although you can find come up with plenty of small business marketing ideas, the challenge is identifying and executing on the most lucrative ones.

To that end, in this post we’ll share our best new marketing strategies for you to pursue in 2021. Since not all of these ideas will be right for your business’s industry or goals, we’ll also provide insight on when these ideas make the most strategic sense.

The Top Business Marketing Strategies for 2021:

1. Start a Referral Program

Although these programs can take many forms, the basic idea is to solicit referrals from existing customers. Perhaps the best thing about referral programs is that anyone with a database of happy customers can start one.

Also, since you’re getting customers to refer their colleagues or friends, these leads tend to be easier to close. That said, you want to have a well-thought-out plan to effectively execute your referral program.

For example, when deciding who to ask for referrals you must consider who you’re targeting and how you’ll incentivize them. Otherwise, both your lead quality and quantity may suffer.

2. Audit Your SEO Efforts

In 2020, 53 percent of website visits came from search engines. In short, organic search is a critical channel for all kinds of businesses. So if you haven’t dialed in your SEO efforts, you’re likely leaving organic traffic—and customers—on the table.

One of the best ways to earn more organic traffic is to audit your SEO efforts. Seemingly little issues like slow page speed, duplicate content, or missing page titles can hinder your organic traffic generation. In addition, creating content such as blog posts, infographics, and case studies to publish on your website can help boost your SEO results.

If you have the time and resources in-house, you can handle many of the small issues yourself and see significant traffic boosts. That said, if search is especially important for your business, consider hiring an experienced SEO specialist to guide your efforts.

3. Invest in Brand Marketing

Brand marketing underpins and enhances all of your marketing efforts. Yet it’s not uncommon for small businesses to invest relatively little into their brand. However, with a bit of time and money, brand marketing can benefit many different types of businesses.

If you sell everyday products, your goal with brand marketing is to create repeat buyers. For example, Colgate has become one of the most trusted toothpaste brands by educating people about oral care.

Similarly, if you sell more expensive products or services, a strong connection with your brand can help drive sales. Apple’s brand marketing is a good example of this; although Apple’s products are more expensive than their competitors, their brand helps ensure their customers are willing to buy.

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4. Add Live Chat to Your Website

In terms of monthly active users (MAU), the top four messaging apps surpassed the top four social networks way back in early 2015. On top of that, consumers say they’re 53 percent more likely to shop with a business they can message.

In short, messaging can unlock new doors for your business by enabling you to meet your customers where they are. To tap into messaging, consider adding a live chat function to your website.

Even if you’re not tech-savvy, companies like Drift and Olark have made implementing live chat relatively easy and cost-effective. Having access to these marketing tools will allow you to focus on lead generation instead of the complexities of adding live chat to your website.

5. Reach Out to Past Clients and Prospects

Unless you’re launching a new line of business, some portion of your marketing must be dedicated to past clients and prospects. Not only is it easier to find these potential customers, but there’s also a good chance they will be high-quality prospects.

Even better, you can reach out to past clients and prospects with a simple email marketing campaign. Or, to take it a step further, you can enroll past clients in nurture campaigns that trigger some time after you sell to them.

However you execute, getting back in touch with past clients and prospects is a low-risk, high-reward investment.

6. Invest in Customer Retention

Research has shown that increasing customer retention by 5 percent produces a more than 25 percent profit increase. The reasons for this are that return customers:

  • Generally buy more over time.
  • Tend to refer more new customers, especially if they’re satisfied with their previous experiences with your business.
  • Are often willing to pay a premium due to their trust in your business.

Plus, for most businesses, operating costs go down the longer they work with a given customer.

The challenge, of course, is finding the right customers to invest in retaining. Not all customers have the potential to be long-term and profitable. Moreover, you have limited resources that are best spent on high-potential prospects.

If you decide to go this route, do research first and reaffirm with your team who is your ideal customer base.

Conclusion: Focus On Marketing In 2021

Needless to say, 2020 was a rough year for everyone, especially small business owners. Due to this, if you’re fortunate enough to still be in business, it’s time to think about growth. Hopefully, these small business marketing ideas will help you get started.

Next, figure out which initiative is the best fit for your business and determine how to execute it. If you have other business marketing tactics, feel free to share them with your fellow entrepreneurs in the comment section below.

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. In addition, the Fora Financial team provides educational information to the small business community through their blog, which covers topics such as business financing, marketing, technology, and much more. If you’d like to see a topic covered on the Fora Financial blog, or want to submit a guest post, please email us at [email protected].