This is part two in a two-part series. Read part one here.
In part one of this two-part series on marketing tools for your small business, we looked at tools specifically designed for promoting or improving your website. Of course, that’s not all there is to marketing in the Internet age – not by far. In part two, we’ll look at other ways to promote your retail location, service or eCommerce store in style.
A few more of our favorite apps for this include:
MailChimp. Email marketing is far from a lost art — in fact, it’s a high effective way to convert visitors if you target it properly. MailChimp is a mail package that allows you to create emails and newsletters visually, without having much HTML experience. You can set up different lists of customers to email, divided by demographic or interest, and even schedule those emails to go out at specific times. It’s able to fully integrate with software packages like Shopify and BigCommerce to make your email newsletters even easier.
Google Local Inventory. If you have a physical retail location as well as an eCommerce shop, Google Local Inventory is a tool you absolutely need right now. It works by connecting your inventory to the Google search engine. When someone in your local area searches for a product carried in your store (and listed in your Google Inventory), your product listing will come up first, as a local item. This way your local customers know they can purchase the item they have in mind locally, without having to wait for shipping. It’s a cool tool and works on both desktop and mobile devices.
Facebook Ads. Facebook is today’s undisputed leader in data – it knows everything about everyone and its predictive algorithms are unmatched. On top of that, Facebook ads are actually pretty inexpensive, which is perfect for a small business’s small budget. When you place a Facebook ad, you can specify exactly what audience you want to show it to, including gender, age, location and even specific interest keywords. Depending on what you’re selling, it may take a few tries at tweaking your audience to really get the most bang for your buck, but if you need to reach an audience fast, this is a great way to do it.
SurveyMonkey. Although you could have your answering service take customer surveys, it’s often less intrusive if you use a third-party company like SurveyMonkey. You can set up your own surveys, asking the questions you really need answered about any part of the customer experience. When your customers have completed the surveys, SurveyMonkey will email you with an update and provide you with a great deal of data to examine. Trends and other statistics are displayed graphically to make it easy to see just what makes your customers tick and how you can make them happier.
The assortment of marketing tools available to the average small business today is remarkable. Not only can you easily connect with your customer base through programs like Facebook Ads, you can ask their very detailed opinions and send out targeted emails with just a few clicks of a mouse. It’s really a great time to be marketing a small business.