How to Bring Your A-Game in 2013 and Effectively Market Your Small Business

You already know that the internet world is affording us more and more ways to market our businesses; but look before you leap. Here are some things you can try, and a few to avoid, when it comes to using market strategies to boost business.

2013 marketing strategy
Image by Ralph Paglia

1. Go Virtual!

The internet allows us to share everything with the world; why limit yourself geographically? Are you located in Georgia but want to heavily market your company in New York? Michigan? Japan? You can! You can hire freelancers who work as virtual assistants. They can bring your business to a location that isn’t yet familiar with it. With the help of virtual freelancers, you can launch marketing campaigns almost anywhere in the world.

2. Make Social Media Marketing a Requirement for Your Employees

Be sure to clarify this to your employees: You’re not asking them to use their personal pages (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to market the company. However, it’s perfectly acceptable to have them create a page specifically for work.

Make sure there’s an incentive for them to do this; maybe they’re entered into a bonus pool. Regardless of the payoff for them, this is yet another way to raise the bar in small business marketing strategies and spread the word on your company. Set guidelines for what employees must discuss. Maybe they have to post at least one Facebook status a week and tag ten friends in it; maybe they have to retweet three posts from the company’s main Twitter page.

3. Create a Social Media Network of Your Own!

Don’t rely solely on pre-existing social media networks; make one of your own. There is no reason that small businesses can’t follow in these footsteps, even on a smaller scale. This is a wonderful way to establish your business as its own entity. You might be limited in size geographically with your 100-person staff, but you can still do business all over the world. It just takes the right marketing skills.

4. Get Smart about Mobile Marketing

The use of mobile technology is quickly taking over, and businesses are jumping on the bandwagon. But remember that it’s not always about working hard as much as it’s about working smart.

It’s true that these days, many people – maybe even most people – are practically glued to their phones. Just because you can reach them through this device, though, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be picky in the way you do so. Don’t merely throw a bunch of money into mobile marketing just because you can. What works for other companies won’t necessarily work for you. Know who your target audience is and find a way for them to use their smartphones to more conveniently access and take advantage of your business than if they were doing it from their computer.

Marketing is all about driving business your way and making things easier on consumers, so don’t waste their time or your money!

5. Be Careful about ‘Buying’ Your Audience

Money can buy a lot of things, including marketing; but hold up for a moment. There are companies out there that allow to you literally purchase things like Twitter followers and Facebook ‘likes’; but this can be detrimental to your business!

What is essentially happening here is Facebook is going into people’s accounts and liking your page for them – without their knowledge. Do you think they’re going to be happy with Facebook – or YOU – when your status updates start showing up on their newsfeed for no reason?

Higher numbers don’t necessarily mean more people are taking a liking to your business. In some cases, it’s much better to take a more old-fashioned route: Hire people with killer marketing degrees to promote your business the honest way.

It’s easy to get lost in a sea of marketing strategies. Always remember to put yourself in the consumers’ position, find a way to communicate with them in a manner that’s time- and cost-efficient, and don’t bombard them with your marketing materials just because you can.

About the Author: Amy Nielson is an avid blogger who writes often for business sites. You can follow her on Twitter @NielsonAmy.