Guide: Online Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

online marketing strategies for startups

What strategies can small business in Zimbabwe use to attract more businesses in the new age of mobile connectivity? Here are some of the online marketing strategies small businesses can use for effective online marketing.

Social Media Marketing

This goes without saying. Your online marketing journey should definitely encompass some form of social media.

Small business online marketing strategies that include some form of social media will help you get were the customers are. These days its hard to find an industry without customers active on all social media platforms.

The hard part however, of SMM (Social Media Marketing) is choosing which social network to focus on and what strategies to employ, this all depends on what kind of business you are into.

I am going to simply use two classifications of business here; Business 2 Consumer (B2C) or Business 2 Business (B2B) types. Business to Customer being a business that offers products or services direct to customers, examples are a retail, restaurants, media broadcasting. While Business to Business refers to businesses that offer products or services to other businesses.

This classification is important to us here at Admedia because it helps making it easier to determine tactics for targeting our potential clients, for example some of our Content Marketing strategies allows us to create content that is for the young and probably not business savvy. I know you guessed the social media we would likely use, TikTok and maybe Instagram, considering we’re in Zimbabwe, we would likely avoid investing much in SnapChat.

When it comes to products that are most likely going to be B2B our best bets are on Facebook and LinkedIn for obvious reasons, FB is where everyone is, it is estimated that about 6,2% of Zimbabweans are on Facebook, this is not a bad figure considering that only around 33% of the same population uses the internet as of 2020.

And LinkedIn? Well if you know a thing about this social media network now owned by Microsoft, you definitely know that, it prides itself in being a professional network. This is a must consider for any B2B marketing.

After deciding on the right platform to use for your marketing, its time to determine the content.

What content will your audience likely connect with? This comes to the same decision making process that we have employed above.

What are your audience likely to connect with? Is it cute pictures of cats doing funny stuff, maybe if your target audience is likely to be females of a certain age, or maybe motivational videos, if your audience is likely to be ambitious young adults who are likely to be persuing entrepreneurship.

You see where I am getting to here, right? Always make sure that the content you create considers what your audience likes and, maybe dislikes.

Paid Adverts: Social Media

One thing to also consider when it comes to growing your audience online is paying for your posts!

I know most businesses hesitate going this route at first but in the end, you will realize how discouraging posting on Facebook is without boosting your posts. Boosting is when you pay FB to show your post to more people who arent likely to see it otherwise.

Boosting is how most businesses are surviving on these social networks these days. Why? Because its now harder than ever to reach your audience organically (people that see your posts without paying) as many companies post everyday, than people can read.

The points above also work when you decide to go this route, consider the audience, consider the social network, consider the content.

Search Engine Marketing

There are also other ways to do your online marketing that dont involve the word ‘social’. One of those is search engine marketing (SEM).

SEM involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages primarily through paid advertising. Basically you are paying search engines like Google or Bing to put your website somewhere on the first page of search results of a keyword you choose.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is that page that Google or other search engine of your choice brings up whenever your enter a search, while keywords are specific words that the search engine uses to bring out results that will be displayed.

Whenever you advertise with these search engine, you need to understand keywords, that is you need to research words and phrases describing your product or service that will be used to determine when and where your ad will be displayed in search engine results.

Social Media Pages

Just when you thought we were done with the word ‘social’, huh? Well, this method is slowly becoming favourite option for most small businesses.

Businesses are opting to promote their business products using pages that are already popular with their audiences. Pages who have already built an audience that might be interested in your products or services are an ideal way of boosting your page’s performance.

There are many pages in Zimbabwe already doing this a few that comes to mind are, the popular Zimcelebs page, that is popular for local celeb gossip and Zimweddings page. Once you send a DM to the admins on Instagram, they will let you know their rates and conditions.

Influencers

This route is similar to the one above, but instead of dealing with popular pages, you are dealing with popular figures. You engage popular people who are likely already connected to your potential clients to help you amplify your marketing strategies.

All you need to do is find someone who has a dedicated following and who is also viewed as an expert within their niche. Some of Zimbabwe’s popular influencers are MadamBoss, Comic Pastor, RayVinnes and the BustopTV.

You can also engage popular artists who might be interested. A good example is that of Jah Prayzah being appointed the lifetime brand ambassador for West Property (WestProp) Zimbabwe.

This kind of marketing works because of the high amount of trust that social influencers have built up with their following, and recommendations from them serve as a form of social proof to your brand’s potential customers.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. Wikipedia

Why Email Marketing? It is considered the most direct and effective way of connecting with your leads, nurturing them, and turning them into customers, consistently winning out over all other marketing channels.

With Email Marketing you dont rely on big tech companies to help you get in touch with your customers, you own your list.

How do you get emails? The most recommended way to get emails for your list is usually through building it by offering something to potential clients in return they will opt in to your email list.

So you can do this through your website, add an item customers can download after entering their email, create a survey where they enter emails, offer discounts for adding an email, promise updates on up-coming discounts through emails, as you can see, there are a lot of ways to get someone to sign up, most of them just require you have a website.

Once you have those emails, its time to be a little bit more creative, send emails that you would like to see in your inbox. Please dont spam people, just try to write in a human format as much as possible.

Encourage Reviews

My last point for this blog is an advice. Encourage customers to leave good reviews on your platforms, social media, website, Amazon etc. These reviews will work as social proof to future potential customers.

How to get good reviews? Its not always easy getting good reviews from people because usually people are ready to give a review when they are not happy but usually reluctant when the service was good, or just not bad.

Always ask for feedback from your customers, when they purchase something ask them how was their experience, when you finish a service they ordered send a short questionnaire and when the feedback is good, you then ask them to leave a review on your platforms.

I hope this post will help you conquer your online battles, if you would like us to expand more on some of the topics we touched here, dont hesitate to get in touch. P.S at Admedia Zimbabwe, we employ all the strategies above to help your business grow and surpass competition, if you would like to review our packages check them out here, or get in touch for any questions.

Read More