Discover small business marketing strategies that can help you attract attention, woo your target audience, grow your customer base, and expand your profits—all for little or no money.
When it comes to marketing for small businesses, money isn't everything! In this course, you'll learn how to use the same marketing tricks the big companies employ—without making a big dent in your wallet.
The small business marketing strategies you'll learn will fit into any budget—and some are even free! With the help of videos, spreadsheets, and hands-on activities, you'll build your skills in each lesson. You'll master cost-effective strategies, including strategic partnerships, local marketing, search engine optimization, social networking, email marketing, lead generation, and niche marketing. Along the way, you'll see many real-world examples from other small businesses much like yours.
Whether you're new to advertising or looking for a refresher, this course will make you a marketing pro. And by the time you're done, you'll have a personalized plan of action for increasing your sales—all on a shoestring budget.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.
- PC: Windows 8 or newer.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
Instructional Material Requirements:
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.Discover how to use the same marketing tricks the big companies employ and create a personalized plan without clearing out your bank account. This course will help you master cost effective marketing strategies the provide results with hands-on activities and real-world examples.
Creating a Marketing Strategy
If you own a small business and need to stretch your marketing dollars, you've come to the right place! In this lesson, you'll discover that you can promote your business effectively for just pennies—or sometimes even for free. The secret: a systematic marketing plan that targets your audience at every stage of the purchasing cycle.
Getting Customers to Notice You
The first step in successful marketing is getting people to notice you—and in this lesson, you'll look at three ways to achieve that goal. You'll start by learning how to create a great first impression, both in person and through your brand. Next, you'll find out how to position yourself as an expert in your field. Finally, the lesson will talk about using the media to promote your business.
Want to stretch your marketing dollars to the max? Then put the power of partnerships to work for you. In this lesson, you'll discover how to combine forces with other individuals or businesses to create exciting and effective marketing opportunities. In addition, you'll learn about enlisting other people in your place-based marketing and word-of-mouth campaigns.
Creating a Website Designed to Sell
These days, a website is an essential marketing tool for any business. Here's the good news: You can create an attractive, professional-looking website quickly and easily, for only a few dollars. You'll find out how in this lesson—and you'll also learn the ins and outs of obtaining a domain name, getting a matching email address, laying out your website, and finding a hosting provider if you need one.
Driving People to Your Website
After you create your website, it's time for the next step: drawing traffic to it. In this lesson, you'll explore how to do this through on-page and off-page search engine optimization (SEO). In addition, you'll look at pay-per-click ads, banner ads, classified ads, videos, and a host of other low-cost or free ways to draw attention online.
Finding Leads and Encouraging Sales
Successful business owners master the art of finding and cultivating leads, and that's what this lesson will talk about. You'll investigate everything from old-fashioned fishbowls to Facebook Business pages and Twitter, and then learn about the pros and cons of email and direct mail marketing. Whether you're a traditionalist or a techie, you'll find an approach that's just right for you.
Encouraging Repeat Business and Referrals
Congratulations: You've scored a sale! Now, how can you keep your new customer coming back for more? This lesson will talk about inexpensive or free ways to generate repeat sales. In addition, you'll look at a variety of techniques for encouraging referrals. Finally, the lesson will talk about capturing your customer information in a database.
Understanding Projections and Timing
Some marketing efforts bring crowds of customers to your door. Others are a complete flop, wasting your time and money. How can you choose wisely? By doing some upfront analysis—and that's what this lesson will talk about. Once you complete this lesson, you'll be equipped with all the tools you need to choose marketing tactics that have a high potential for success. In addition, you'll learn why integrated marketing gives you the best results and find out how to schedule a full year of marketing activities easily and efficiently.
Targeting Your Marketing
Sure, you want everyone to buy your product—but when you're marketing, it pays to be exclusive. In this lesson, you'll find out why niche marketing can bring in more customers than mass marketing (and create a more loyal customer base as well). After that, you'll learn how to use geographics, demographics, firmographics, psychographics, and behavioral data to create a marketing message that resonates with your target market.
Creating Your Key Selling Messages
This lesson will talk about key selling messages—those alluring words that overcome potential buyers' objections and make them want to make a purchase immediately. You'll learn how to identify the unique features of your business, how to create a competitive positioning statement, and—most important of all—how to identify the emotional benefits that motivate your buyers. By the time you're done, you'll be able to distill your new knowledge into a short, powerful message that will turn skeptical people into eager customers.
Setting Your Goals and Finalizing Your Marketing Plan
In this lesson, it all comes together! First, you'll create the two final elements of your marketing plan: your business goals and your marketing goals. You'll discover how to create goals that are clear-cut, realistic, and measurable, so you'll be motivated to meet (or even exceed) the targets you set. After that, you'll roll all of your information into a single document that will be your blueprint for marketing success. With this marketing plan in hand, you'll be ready to take your prospective buyers by storm.
Tracking Your Results
This final lesson talks about tracking—the secret to continually improving your marketing tactics and increasing your profits. You'll learn how to create a baseline and compile reports that can highlight your marketing successes and point to areas where you can improve. In addition, you'll discover different ways to track your campaigns—including the campaigns you might think are "untrackable."
Glynns Thomas has more than 20 years of advertising and marketing experience. She was a Vice President of Internet Marketing at Wells Fargo Bank and has worked for several well-known advertising agencies. Today, Thomas is an independent marketing consultant and a volunteer with SCORE: Counselors to America's Small Business, providing marketing advice to small businesses.