In what has been a highly unusual year for businesses everywhere, it seems as if marketing and advertising budgets have been a noticeable victim of the chaos.
Global ad spend has dramatically decreased, going from 6.3% growth in 2019 to a 4.9% decline in 2020. Digital ad spend, on the other hand, has suffered much less, still achieving 2.4% growth.
This figure could suggest a monumental shift in the way businesses coordinate their marketing activities, with low-cost advertising channels becoming much more attractive in the short-term.
And for small businesses, digital marketing strategies represent the perfect opportunity for low-cost or free methods for customer acquisition and effective capture of the local market.
The question is, what is the best approach to take for your small business marketing campaigns?
Well, we've investigated the topic and have found some of the best small business marketing strategies and general marketing tips to take advantage of for a hugely profitable 2021.
Each suggested strategy contains several different potential routes to try depending on the context of your business. Take a look and see what might work for your business.
Understand your customer base
Before you dive into strategy execution, you should develop a solid foundation of knowledge to guide your small business marketing strategy.
A mass-market approach is not only extremely expensive, but also incredibly inefficient. Your store most likely has an ideal target consumer, which means you could be missing out on ad conversion if you ignore your ideal potential customer's demographics.
So, make an effort to start collecting as much data as you can regarding both your existing customer and new customer flows.
It is advisable to be collecting at minimum: demographic (age, gender, location etc.), engagement (website traffic, social media marketing response, email response rate etc.), and behavioural (number of transactions, store visits etc.) data from your customers.
With this information, your marketing effort will be backed by tangible evidence.
For example, suppose you know that most of your customers are 16 - 24 years old and spend more time on Instagram than any other social media platform. In that case, you have solid direction for your ad campaign tone and channel, with just two pieces of easily collectible info.
If you're intimidated by the prospect of creating a system of customer data collection and analysis, there are some goodsoftware solutions that are perfect for small businesses customer data collection needs.
Here are some examples:
A popular tool for organising customer data, nurturing existing customers, and targeting new customers.
One of the world’s most used customer relationship management (CRM) applications.
A customer data and CRM platform.
- The OMG Portal.
Perhaps the most loyalty-focussed customer data tool in the world (if we do say so ourselves). But more on that later!
Establish a strong social media presence
You don't need a marketing consultant to tell you how powerful a strong social media presence is for maximising the discovery, conversion, and loyalty outcomes of your store compared to traditional marketing.
Social media works not only as a brand awareness builder, with the ability to craft elaborate brand stories through posts, but also as a meaningful CRM channel for customer service and even direct commerce itself.
Customers today devote huge amounts of attention to digital devices, so making sure your store has a digital marketing strategy that involves social media is a wise strategic move that also happens to be very friendly to the marketing budget, being low-cost or completely free.
See the below list of the most used social media channels, and what they are great at doing respectively:
Facebook remains an extremely powerful channel, thanks to its ability to function hyper-locally. Small stores can target ads to people in their local communities, and customers can easily learn valuable info about location, opening hours, and more.
For visual marketing purposes, it doesn't get better than Instagram. With their recently updated e-commerce features, the app could become a viable sales pipeline in itself. In 2018, 130 million people 'tapped to reveal' product tags in shopping posts each month.
Twitter is your customer interaction and communication go-to. Users make use of the simple messaging and mention functions to interact with brands for different purposes. It presents opportunities for CRM, advertisement, and branding.
Your success on a social media marketing channel relies on your creativity and motivation in content creation.
As a small business, you have an opportunity to compete with the bigger stores on the same level if your content marketing is engaging enough to your target audience.
Consider digital events like giveaways or increasingly popular marketing techniques like influencer marketing to boost your visibility and maximise the reach of your communications for the smallest investment.
Create loyal customers
If there's one thing we know about here at OMG, it's the insane power of customer loyalty for your profitability as a small business.
A commonly cited statistic from 2010 suggests that it is 5x more expensive to gain a new customer than to keep an existing one. If recent global spending on customer retention is anything to go by, that figure is probably even greater today.
Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto stated that, almost universally, 80% of outcomes originate from 20% of causes, a rule known as the 'Pareto Principle'.
This principle applies perfectly to the superior revenue-generating power of repeat purchases by loyal customers, where roughly 80% of total revenue is attributed to 20% of your total customer pool.
As a small business owner, you should be doubling down on your existing customers' loyalty in your marketing plan, as opposed to aggressively pursuing new customer acquisition.
The question you're probably thinking about is... how? Well, you're in the right place! Loyalty is our bread and butter, and we have discovered several proven ways to encourage repeat purchase:
- Loyalty Programmes
This is where you allow an existing customer to join a store 'club' where they can earn rewards, discounts, and other exclusive incentives by shopping with you. Known to boost repeat purchase significantly, it also offers an opportunity to collect customer data.
Cashback is a customer incentive that pays back a part of the purchase price after the sale is made. Cashback has been shown to provide an average of 30% growth in sales volume, and a 50% increase in store visits during empty hours.
Where a business offers a reward for a certain number of store purchases. Stamp schemes are known to offer an astonishing 85% increase in customer purchase frequency and even more impressive 65% increase in customer loyalty.
Payment installments for larger purchases are becoming more popular, with many new players entering the scene. Financing options lead to an average 2.5x increase in purchase spend compare to traditional methods.
- Personal Discounts
Where you offer exclusive discounts to loyal customers upon certain purchase behaviours or milestones.
Looking at the explosive growth of customer loyalty strategies from large and small retailers, as well as the growing amount of solutions to support the effort, 2021 is shaping up to be the year of customer loyalty. Don't miss out!
The OMG Portal, complete loyalty solution…
The best marketing strategy for a small business today could be as simple as joining the OMG platform.
We have developed a suite of evidence-backed customer loyalty tools to supercharge your repeat purchases, store visits, and average spends.
We've brought loyalty stamps into the 21st century with our digital loyalty stamp solution that brings stamp collection onto a simple smartphone app.
Implement foolproof cashback schemes to your checkout that draws customers in and keeps them coming back for more.
Or start selling with 0% interest installments risk-free with our customer lending solution.
Collect a rich pool of customer data in one place, where you can track, assess, and interpret the growth of your customer loyalty and strategise accordingly.
All of our customer loyalty solutions are easy to set up, require no additional hardware or training, and, best of all, are completely free.
Interested? Join our waiting list today.