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Small Business Marketing Checklist

Disclaimer: Utilizing one or more of these strategies alongside your knowledge of your industry may increase website traffic and result in increased sales.

As a small business, you know marketing is important to your success. So you've taken up the title of marketer and are looking for guidance on your journey.

I have put together this checklist as a guide to small business marketing, check off the items on this list to see where you are doing good and what you can improve on in your marketing strategy.

Small Business Marketing Checklist

  1. Conduct market research.
  2. Create a marketing plan, or update your existing one.
  3. Create a brand identity.
  4. Identify your buyer persona and target market.
  5. Create a content marketing plan.
  6. Create a marketing funnel.
  7. Create or update your website.
  8. Set up social media accounts.
  9. Leverage email marketing.
  10. Promote a free consultation.
  11. Keep an updated blog.
  12. Join local business groups.
  13. Collaborate and partner with other businesses.
  14. Always put your customers first.
  15. Understand the difference between advertising and marketing.
  16. Encourage happy customers to share their experiences.
  17. Get listed on popular directories.
  18. Track your website traffic with analytics tools.
  19. Set up Google My Business.
  20. Build landing pages.
  21. Offer discounts and coupons.
  22. Add push notifications.
  23. Add share buttons to your website.
  24. Look for new social platforms in your industry.
  25. Subscribe to our email list for more business growth strategies

Page Index

  1. Conduct market research.
  2. Create a marketing plan , or update your existing one.
  3. Create a brand identity.
  4. Identify your buyer persona and target market.
  5. Create a content marketing plan.
  6. Create a marketing funnel.
  7. Create or update your website.
  8. Set up social media accounts.
  9. Leverage email marketing.
  10. Promote a free consultation.
  11. Write a blog.
  12. Join local business groups.
  13. Collaborate and partner with other businesses.
  14. Put your customers first.
  15. Understand the difference between advertising and marketing.
  16. Encourage happy customers to share their experiences.
  17. Get listed on popular directories.
  18. Track your website traffic with analytics tools.
  19. Set up Google My Business.
  20. Build landing pages.
  21. Offer discounts and coupons.
  22. Add push notifications.
  23. Add share buttons to your website.
  24. Look for new social platforms in your industry.
  25. Subscribe to our email list for more business growth strategies.
  1. Conduct Market Research

    Conducting market research allows you to see where your business is able to integrate into your industry. Knowing where you fit alongside competitors will help give you a solid understanding of how you can best position your business in your market.

    Examine the size of the market so you know what kind of scale is possible, doing so can save you a ton of headache in figuring out how to roll out and price a new product.

    Conducting market research allows you to create a marketing plan with targeted precision.

  2. Create or Update Your Marketing Plan

    Start with defining your company, its products or services and the benefits you provide to the customers that set you apart from your competition. This is called a situation analysis. Doing so allows you to position your company competitively in your industry.

    Set your mission and your goals for marketing this month, this year, and 5 years down the road.

    Use these steps to create or refine your marketing plan.

    1. List your companies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
    2. Determine your target audience.
    3. Make a list of marketing goals.
    4. Research marketing tactics.
    5. Set your marketing budget.
    6. Outline strategies.
    7. Outline processes.
    8. Set it in motion.
  3. Creating or refining your marketing plan will give your business trajectory within your market.

  4. Create a unique brand identity

    Your brand identity is what will attract customers to your services or products.

    In order to create a brand identity that resonates with your audience, you need to research your audience, value proposition, and mission.

    • Mission Statement

      Use this formula to create a missions statement

      We provide [TARGET MARKET], with [SERVICE/PRODUCT] and help them reach / accomplish / attain [CUSTOMER GOALS].

    • Brand Name
    • Consistent tone
    • Logo & graphics
    • Typography
    • Website
    • Packaging
  5. Identify your target markets and buyer personas

    Determining a few buyer personas for your business will allow you to create content for specific groups of buyers, giving your efforts more effective.

    Resolve the needs that are unmet among certain groups of people to identify your target markets, as well as ideal buyer types.

    Knowing and understanding target markets and buyer personas allow you to tailor your marketing plan specifically towards your buyers.

  6. Create or update your content marketing plan

    Creating or updating your content marketing strategy enables your business to create content that will help to market your business as well.

    Create content that is targeted towards your buyer personas and target markets. This is the first step in creating a marketing funnel.

  7. Create a marketing funnel

    A marketing funnel is a way of breaking down the customers' journey from the "awareness" stage to the "purchase" stage. Knowing where the customer is in the marketing funnel allows us to specifically target and nurture leads in different parts of the funnel.

    In order to build a marketing funnel, we must first understand the anatomy of it. There is another side of the marketing funnel but we will save this for an in-depth lesson on marketing funnels.

    1. Awareness

      This is the top of the funnel, the point of this stage is to increase the visibility of your business. Show what value you have to offer to your potential customers and clients.

    2. Engagement

      This is where your potential customers and clients begin engaging with your company. Create content designed to understand your users' pain points and problems.

    3. Consideration

      At this stage, your potential customer is weighing their options. Create content that solves their problems and pains. This will help show the customer how your solution will fit into their situation.

    4. Purchase

      This is where the potential customer transforms into a new customer. This is where the real work begins. Nurturing your new client and ensuring their onboarding is smooth is essential to retaining your customers.

  8. Creating a marketing funnel will allow you to target potential customers at specific stages in the buying process which increases selling effectiveness.

  9. Create a website or update your website

    A website is the face of your business on the internet. Having an aesthetic, user-friendly, and fast website will help to establish credibility with your customers.

    Leverage responsive web design so your website looks great on all devices!

    If you don't have the budget to hire a website designer yet, create a free website using Wix or Wordpress for now.

    The Basic Anatomy of a Website

    1. Home Page
    2. About Page
    3. Contact Page
    4. Blog / Resources Page

      Creating a blog will help with inbound marketing.

    5. Products or Services page

      This allows potential customers to see what you have to offer.

    6. Portfolio or Testimonials Page
    7. Frequently Asked Questions Page

    The first 3 points are absolutely essential.

    Create engaging content for your website that helps your users get to know your brand.

    Purchase a domain name for your business. You can purchase this through GoDaddy, Google, or my personal favorite, namesilo.com.

  10. Create social media accounts

    Create social media accounts for your business, this is one of the biggest ways to spread the word about your business.

    Maintain a presence on your social media platforms once you have created them so you can start to build a following.

    Focus on building the top of a marketing/sales funnel with your posts, you want to create posts and content that will draw in your target market and buyer personas.

    Here's a list of the main social media platforms

    • LinkedIn
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    • YouTube
    • Pinterest
    • Yelp
  11. Leverage email marketing

    Email marketing is the use of email to promote products or services. To be successful in your promotion you need to not just promote but develop a relationship with your potential customers or clients. Doing so will build rapport and help turn those potential customers into loyal customers.

    The best way to build a relationship with prospects is by offering your viewers something of value in exchange for their information. For example, you can share exclusive tips and tricks about your industry with your email subscribers.

    Leveraging email marketing correctly will help nurture leads through the buying process and help transform potential into profit.

  12. Promote a free consultation

    A consultation is when you formally give advice. Offering this for free will entice potential customers or clients to look into your product or service.

    When creating your consultation keep it simple, concise, and to the point. Use bold CTA buttons (orange has been shown to convert the best). Use case studies, testimonials, or other evidence to show potential customers and clients what they can gain from your consultation.

    Promoting a free consultation is a great way to collect user information and start building leads.

  13. Keep an updated blog

    Keeping an updated blog will give relevant content to your customers. This helps to build a sense of community around your brand. You can also use this to drive traffic to your website.

    Writing useful content that helps your readers will help them to share it with others. These backlinks will boost traffic to your page.

    Post links to your article on social media to give your social media followers a reason to click through to your website.

    Post a part of your article on medium.com and link back to the article on your website.

    Keeping an updated blog will build relationships with your readers and can be used to drive traffic back to your website.

  14. Join local business groups

    Look around in your area for local business groups. Joining these groups is a great way to start networking for your new business.

    Here are a few useful websites for finding local groups

  15. Collaborate and partner with people and businesses in your space

    Your enemy can be your ally if you look at it the right way. Collaborating with competitors allows you to share R&D resources and information in order to cut costs and speed up development.

    Working with people that are already doing what you are will help boost your companies popularity by sharing resources with each other such as leads and techniques.

  16. Customers ALWAYS come first

    Always putting your customer first means putting the needs and requirements of a customer ahead of anything and everything. Integrating this into your business culture will help to build healthy relationships and happy customers make a great business.

    Use these points to stay customer-focused

    • Ask the customer what they want.
    • Give the customer what they want.
    • Deliver on promises.
    • Express gratitude for customers' business.
    • Reward your customers on occasion.
    • Post a review link on your website and social media pages.

    Remember, your customers make or break your company, so ALWAYS put them first.

  17. Understand the difference between advertising and marketing

    Advertising and marketing although commonly perceived to be the same idea, advertising is actually a part of marketing.

    Advertising is a marketing tactic that displays an openly sponsored message in order to sell a product, service or idea. Marketing covers a broad range of techniques and tactics in order to get potential customers interested in your products and services.

    Knowing the difference between advertising and marketing allows you to better understand the uses of each idea.

  18. Encourage happy customers to share their experiences

    Encourage customers that are have had success with your service or product to leave a review. This will help your business stand out on platforms like google maps.

    Send follow up emails after customers make a purchase to ask for feedback. Make it easy for your customers to leave feedback by adding a link to review your business on your website and social media pages.

    97% of people read reviews for local businesses. (BIA/Kelsey)

    88% of people trust online reviews. ( Brightlocal 2014)

  19. Get listed on popular online directories

    Getting listed on popular online directories increases your boosts SEO, enhances discoverability, and establishes online reputation.

    Sign up on popular online business directories such as Yellowpages, Google My Business, Yelp, and many more. Check this list from localseoguide for more great directories to list your business.

  20. Track your website with an analytics tool

    Website analysis tools offer insights into how your site is performing, how users behave on your site, page views, clicks, and much more.

    Use the data that is collected from your analytics as well as data collected from competitors' websites in order to improve your site for better user experience and ultimately to convert more.

  21. Set up Google My Business

    Setting up Google My Business will list your business to locals on Google Maps when they search for products or services you offer. One in two people who search for a local product or service visit a store that day.

    Set up Google My Business with these steps

    • Create an account and claim your business
      • Log into your Google Account you want to be tied to your business, or create a Google Account.
      • Go to google.com/business and click start now.
      • Fill out the forms in the business listing creation tool.
    • Verify your business listing
    • Optimize your business listing
      • Add your logo
      • Choose a category
      • Add photos to your listing
      • Refine your service area
      • Link your website
      • Write a post
    • Download the Google My Business App

    Local searches result in purchases 28% of the time. (Source: Joel House Search Media)

    Search result information will send 70% of consumers to a physical store. (Source: Joel House Search Media)

    46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. (Source: GoGulf)

  22. Build landing pages

    A landing page is a web page that users find by clicking on a search engine optimized search result, marketing promotion, marketing email, or an online advertisement.

    Some basic rules to follow are, keep navigation simple, optimize for search engines, add images/video, share customer reviews and feedback, including contact information, social sharing buttons, and a form to collect user opt-in information.

    Build landing pages that give your visitors what they are looking for when they search. Remember, you want to give them what they want in a single page elevator pitch.

  23. Offer discounts and coupons

    Discounts and coupons entice new customers to buy your products or services and create repeat customers.

    Run the discount for a few days and be sure to be clear about the date that it ends, this creates a sense of urgency that helps drive more traffic.

    Creating discounts and coupons can attract new customers to buy not only the discounted product or service but other products or services they notice while shopping for the discount.

    Overuse of this tactic shows a lack of confidence in your product, sets a bad precedent for customers to be buying your product or service at a discounted price, and can even lower the perceived value of your product or service. So use this sparingly.

    Offering discounts and coupons will draw in customers, and increase sales. Just remember not to abuse this tactic, and even possibly completely avoid it.

  24. Add push notifications

    A push notification is a message that pops up on a mobile device. The app publisher can send messages to subscribers at any time.

    Push notifications allow you to communicate with your subscribers in a number of helpful ways. You can send out a new notification for your new blog article, or for a product or service you are promoting. You can even send short messages to build a reputation with your subscribers.

    Taking advantage of push notifications can help reengage subscribers who are no longer active on your site by delivering quality useful content.

  25. Add share buttons to your website

    Social shares are very important if you want a web page to rank on Google. Making your article easy to share on social makes it that much easier for viewers to share it.

    Adding share buttons to your website pages and blog articles will let your visitors share your content on the touch of a button, helping drive traffic through social shares.

  26. Look for new social platforms in your industry

    Keep an eye open for new social platforms rising in your industry. An example of a rising social network for small businesses is alignable.

    Search google for "new social media platforms for (insert your industry here)". This will give you tons of results, not all industries have a social media platform yet, but you should be able to figure that out with this search.

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