Small businesses are the heart of our great nation. Over half of all Americans own or work in a small business, and small businesses create nearly two-thirds of all new jobs each year.

But being a small business owner doesn’t mean working 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Instead it means working early mornings, late evenings and seven days a week for most. The small business owner and employees wear many different hats … operations, hiring, accounting, sales and marketing. Time is precious and we understand that. So, in honor of Small Business Week 2019, here’s a list of 6 essential marketing tips you need to grow your business.

1. List Your Business on All Major Online Directories

Above all else, you need to make sure customers can find your business. If they can’t locate you, they can’t buy from you – no matter how good your products or service. That’s why it’s critical to list your business on the major online directories like Google, Yahoo, Foursquare and dozens of others. Not sure if your business is listed? Run our free SEO report to analyze your online presence and identify what you need to do to get listed. Your customers are going to look for you online, you need to ensure they can find your business.

2. Content Ideas For Any Industry

Lack of time may be the #1 excuse for ignoring content marketing, but we’ve also heard plenty of business owners say, “I just don’t really know what to write about.” And that’s OK – especially if you’ve never written a blog post in your life. To help you get the creative juices flowing, our team of expert editors has put together a list of 10 content ideas from some of our most successful customers:

  1. Share a success story from one of your customers
  2. Compile a list of the best tools for your industry
  3. Answer frequently asked questions
  4. Showcase a product or service
  5. Profile an employee – both their professional and personal mission
  6. Give an update on what’s happening in your business within the next 30-60 days
  7. Promote an upcoming event
  8. Share lessons you’ve learned as a small business owner
  9. Highlight your favorite local charity or community event
  10. Share a personal story to inspire your readers

And don’t forget, with Vivial’s Marketing Platform package, we can handle the content writing for you!

3. Leverage Online Reviews

Word of mouth has long been the top marketing channel for small and local businesses. Except today, word of mouth has made the transition to the online world in the form of Google and Facebook reviews. 97% of consumers will read reviews for local businesses (Source: BIA/Kelsey) and 9 out of 10 say online reviews impact their purchase decision (Source: Podium).

Review management isn’t an option – it is a MUST for local business. And even if you haven’t proactively asked for reviews, chances are they may already be out there. Online reputation management can be a lot of work. The key to success is simplification and using the right tools. Preferably, look for an all-in-one solution that minimizes the need for you to log into multiple sites or platforms. Remember, consumers want quick responses, so finding tools that make it quick and easy to monitor and respond to reviews will go a long way towards helping to keep your online reputation a positive one.

Want to learn how to maximize your business’s online presence on all of the big review sites like Google My Business and Facebook? Watch our on-demand Webinar: “Your 5-Star Guide to Reviews”.

4. Foster An Authentic Social Media Strategy

The concept of meaningful, relevant and authentic content is one that’s important to everyone. Consumers want to engage with brands on social media. So give them what they want!

  • Engagement: is the key to continued exposure and connections on social media
  • Quality not quantity: don’t bog down the feed with mindless posts or self-serving promotions, ensure your posts are helpful, informative or entertaining
  • Feedback: Embrace feedback, both positive and negative – be sure to respond to all reviews, showing potential customers how they’ll be treated by your business
  • Promote it: Create high-value content that demonstrates your expertise in your industry, and then target relevant customers, using Facebook and Instagram advertising, to gain greater exposure with a highly targeted audience

5. Grow Your Business with Text Messaging

Text message marketing is quickly becoming a powerhouse tool for local businesses. With more than 6 billion messages sent daily and 98% opened—most in under 3 seconds—it’s no wonder today’s savvy business owner wants to leverage this powerful medium!

But where do you even begin? Figuring out the right content, how long the message should be and how often to send can be difficult. We’ve created some guidelines to help you get started.

6. When In Need, Ask For Help

Running a business is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears and at the end of the day, it’s okay to ask for a little help. At Vivial, we are honored to partner with thousands of small businesses to provide marketing solutions to help them grow. Our turn-key solutions allow you to get back to running your business while we work behind the scenes to get you results.

Want to see how Vivial can help grow your business? Contact us today for a free business consultation.