An Honest Review of Underutilized Resources for Small Business Owners (Part I)

An Honest Review of Underutilized Resources for Small Business Owners (Part I)

As a small business owner, you know that every penny counts. And while it's important to make the most of your resources, sometimes you might be overlooking some great options.

Here's an honest review of some underutilized resources for small business owners from a serial marketer. So whether you're looking for ways to save money or get more exposure for your business, hopefully this will help your SMB marketing team.

Short Messaging Service (SMS), aka sending text messages

Let me introduce you to a friend's company, Alabaster Co. They do the best SMS marketing that small businesses can emulate. Go text (833) 217-3448.

The truth is sending a newsletter or an email is not enough anymore to acquire, and continue to chat, with customers.

While it's true that email and social media are still the most popular ways to communicate with customers, SMS allows customers to interact on the app they use the most — text messages.

Alabaster has a mix of reminders on the last day shipping to get something by Christmas (VERY smart!), information about new launches, just a thank you note, and sales/codes reminders.

Realize what SMS marketing allows is to grab the attention where people have attention. Just think of your mindset when you hear an email notification vs. a text...

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and why local SEO is a powerful tool 

picture of the Google app in App Store on an iPad

While I'm not an SEO marketer by trade, this is one of the most underutilized tool a local small business can use.

The difference in searching Chinese food restaurants in Anaheim (a city in California) vs. Chinese food restaurants is night and day. On top of that, if you're optimizing for a local area, Google indexes you in a different category.

This is similar to SMS being an app consumers use the most — and with a positive sentiment. Behavior, and attention, of searching where or what to eat is done on apps like Yelp and Google searches — and then seeing the food and ambiance pics on Instagram location tags.

It's not just keywords, but there are content you can add to add value:

  • Why Chinese takeout is still the most affordable dinner option.
  • 3 Chinese food traditions in Anaheim that you didn't know about
  • Hey, Anaheim! We're open for Christmas for the 15th straight year.

Understand the behavior, and provide convenience. I'll keep saying this as an SMB's marketing team needs to strategize its marketing plans around this strategy.

Don't be confused — I do think Facebook ads is still the most underutilized medium for small businesses, but I rarely see a smarter ecomm or branding strategy from more efficent platforms like Snapchat.

For example, do you know you can set up your company's filter at a specific location? Imagine you put into that filter "Bring this picture in and you'll get 15% off a purchase of more than $100."

Ads you see on IG stories exist on Snap ads, and it's at a significantly cheaper CPM. While there's less people watching, there's also a huge segment of people not watching your ads on Instagram.

That being said, I think Twitter ads and LinkedIn ads are very expensive for SMBs. There's ways to buy YouTube efficiently, but content production and bidding strategies are too complex.

But, Snapchat — and Pinterest to a degree — are underutilized and can capture a huge segment of a target market that your competitors aren't focusing on.

Screenshot of the Snapchat app interface on an iOS device, Apple iPhone

Thinking of making this into a series...

Funny enough, if I wanted to be more SEO optimized, this article would've been 2,000 words, 15 headings, at least 57 paragraphs and has ~10 images.

This is also to make a point of following best practices vs. creating value. I believe if I put everything on a list, no one would take an action on any of this. But, since I kept it simple with three, someone will at least research one of these.

So, in contradiction, of not doing something that's underutilized and not taking that opportunity, I'm instead choosing value.

Please think about all tools as a small business in this framework. Don't do what's best for you; do what's best for your target audience — and be OK with your decision.

Originally published on the blockchain under sheckii.eth

Tony Lee (aka @sheckii) is a digital advertising entrepreneur who worked on brands like 20th Century Fox, Sam’s Club, ABC Entertainment, Nintendo, Starz, sweetgreen, outdoor voices, First Republic Bank, Kane’s Furniture and more. He currently works as a lead for Performance Marketing at Shopify for international paid social media acquisition. He’s also the host of welcome to sheckiiville podcast available on Apple and iOS devices.

Logo of the welcome to sheckiiville podcast, created by Tony Lee, aka @sheckii


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