How to market a small business

The world was a very different place in 2008. This was the year in finance when the Lehman Brothers Bank collapsed precipitating a global financial crash. In politics, President Obama was starting his second term in office and Gordon Brown was the UK Prime Minister. And here in Scotland, Jenny was just about to launch the business of her dreams – POSH. Over the years, we’ve learned plenty of tips on how to market a small business successfully.

A man in an apron looks at his ipad in a coffee shop.

Where to start marketing?

Marketing a small business is hard. Seeing it thrive is infinitely harder, but here we are, 16 years later and POSH is still leading the way in developing eye-catching, SEO optimised websites for businesses across the country. 

Over the years, the strategies, tools, and approaches in digital marketing have undergone significant transformations. Social media has changed how we promote ourselves and our clients’ work, developing a new way of talking which simply didn’t exist 10 or 15 years ago.  In this blog post, we’ll delve into the top 3 lessons we have learned about marketing for small businesses and how these insights have shaped the way we approach every new commission today.

1. Embrace Digitalisation

Marketing used to be TV and newspaper led. Not any more. The rise of the digital era has revolutionised marketing for small businesses. It meant we could stand shoulder-to shoulder on the same platforms as the largest businesses like Coke, Apple and Disney. We could place adverts in places we knew our customers would be, and track how successful these ads were. Using Facebook, Instagram and TikTok has been crucial to allow small businesses to be heard above large corporations.

Find out more about our digital marketing services here.

Key lesson: Embrace change. Nothing stays the same for long, and if you aren’t at the forefront of new ways of doing things, you will be left behind playing catchup. 

2. Listen

No matter how big or small businesses are, you are always going to be dealing with a person. Whether that’s on the other end of the phone, over Teams or in person, you need to be able to make a connection. The best way to do this is to listen to what is being said, and ask questions.

Small businesses thrive on word of mouth, and this involves listening to customer feedback. When a customer gets great service, they are often keen to share this with their friends and family. This is the sort of marketing that money can’t buy! By being personable with everyone and listening to their needs, we can help ensure our business is the sort they will recommend.

Key lesson: When we listen, we can begin to see opportunities for marketing and business growth.

A marketing team in a meeting.

3. Content marketing drives results

There was a time when writing an online blog was seen as a hobby, like writing a diary. Today, blogs are a cornerstone of the web, and content marketing is crucial in pushing websites in front of the right set of eyes. 

Content marketing such as blog posts, videos, or social media content, providing valuable and relevant information to a target audience. It sets you up as a position of authority, making potential customers trust you which, in turn, increases the likelihood that they will buy from you. Good content also engages in search engine optimisation, which makes your search results appear high when someone Googles what you do. 

Find out more about our search engine optimisation services here.

Key lesson: Provide accessible, regular and relevant content to encourage new visitors to your site.

This time next year, Rodney…

We’ve learned plenty of lessons growing POSH and how to market a small business. But these three stand head and shoulders above the rest as being the basis for developing a successful enterprise. Embrace change, listen to clients and create worthwhile content. As an online marketing agency, by continuing following those lessons, we look forward to continue our growth for many more years to come. If you’d like to join us and hear more about how we can market your small business, get in touch with Jenny today.