When you open your own business, whether it be a full or part time thing, you need to know the basics of marketing.

Pop Quiz: Where do you start?

A)    Digital Marketing

B)    Social Media Marketing

C)    Cold calling

D)    Direct mailers

E)    TV advertising

F)     All of the above

Our point is that it’s hard to know where to crack the marketing nut.

There’s so much information about marketing available at your fingertips that it’s overwhelming. We’re going to get down to marketing basics: what it is and how it’s done, to make life easier for you. Once we’ve covered the basics of marketing we’ll discuss different tactics that you can employ today and some that you can plan for.

Marketing, a definition

If you search Merriam-Webster you’ll find marketing defined as

Look to Dictionary.com and you’ll see

Marketing, in a nutshell, is about getting your product or services in front of people who will purchase them. It’s been around for generations.

You’ve heard of the ancient Greeks, right? What do you think they were doing when they loaded their goods into their carts and brought them to the agora? It wasn’t so people had something to look at, it was to get their products in front of prospective customers. Imagine a crowded Greek marketplace with multiple people selling the same product — they’re competing for the same customers. They need to cut through the noise and get the attention of the buyers so maybe they have a catchy slogan, or brightly colored carts, or a device to amplify the volume of their voice. These could be called ancient Greek marketing tactics.*

We doubt you’re pulling your goods to a crowded, hilltop market in Greece, so your marketing tactics are going to look a little different.

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An explanation of common marketing terms you’ll encounter

It’s hard to walk the marketer’s walk if you can’t talk the talk. We get it. Here are some common marketing terms you should know.

  • Analytics– The information that you get from analyzing data or statistics.
  • B2B– Business-to-business. If you sell products or services to other businesses, you’re in the B2B category.
  • B2C– Business-to-consumer. If you sell products or services directly to consumers (including e-commerce, or online sales), you’re in this category.
  • Bounce Rate– This measures the number or percentage of people who land on your website, but leave it after looking at only one page.
  • Brand– A brand is a tricky thing to define. Here’s a good summary.
  • Buyer Persona– A representation of what your ideal customer looks like: what motivates them, what are they trying to accomplish, what are their behaviors, and their demographics.
  • Click-through-rate (CTR)- This measures the number of times someone clicks on your advertising or marketing materials. It’s a measurement of engagement.
  • Conversion Rate– The number or percentage of people on your site who take the action you want them to take (make a purchase, get more information, sign up for your email list, etc.)
  • Data– The statistics and facts you collect for analysis.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)– KPIs describe the quantifiable ways you measure success. For example, if I were to send an email newsletter, I might choose open rate and click-through-rate as two of my KPIs.
  • Marketing– We’ve got this one covered. If you’ve forgotten, see the start of this post.
  • Marketing Funnel– A model of the path a prospective customer takes to become a paying customer.

Marketing tactics for your small business or side gig

What marketing tactics are best for you? There are so many that it can be difficult knowing where to begin. Unless you have a large marketing budget, you’re not ready for national TV advertising, so let’s look at other options.

  • Email Newsletter– Email marketing is a great way for your customers (or prospective customers) to stay connected to you. Consider providing updates on sales, coupons, or special offers for your frequent readers.
  • Podcast– What’s your expertise or interest? Can you provide value and insight to your customers by creating podcasts? Depending on your goals your podcast can vary from an entertaining overview of a recent comic (if you’re looking to drive engagement and build a fan base) or you can provide short, actionable tips and advice for your listeners.
  • Blog– Blogs aren’t just for stay-at-home moms who share recipes. Writing blog posts increases your subject matter authority and can help your website rank higher in search engine results.
  • Social Media– You don’t have to be on every single social media platform, but you should be where your customers, or potential customers, are. Share tips, tricks, offers, and build a community with your followers.
  • Website– This is your home base. Your website should be built around the end user experience. Make it easy for your website visitors to find what they’re looking for or complete a purchase. If your website stinks, your marketing can only do so much.
  • SEO– Search Engine Optimization. There are some great resources that exist to help you understand what you can do to rank higher in search engine results. There’s a lot to learn when it comes to SEO, so don’t get down on yourself if you can’t master it all in a day.

Keep in mind that no matter how you start your marketing efforts, you should go into it with an idea of what your customers look like and what motivates them; this is what allows you to cater your marketing strategy and tactics for success.

It all starts with the right domain. Get yours today at Domain.com.

Ready to take on your marketing?

The word “marketing” shouldn’t strike fear into your heart. Marketing has been around for centuries, and whether or not you realize it, you’ve probably already started marketing your business (word-of-mouth counts, so have you told anyone about your business?) Use our definitions of common marketing terms and suggestions for small business marketing tactics to jumpstart your marketing efforts today.

What else do you suggest a small business owner, or someone just starting a side business, do to start their marketing? Any advice that you’ve learned through experience? We’d love to know, so share it below in the comments.

*The author is no scholar on ancient Greece or Greek civilization. These events are dramatized as an illustration. Though, if you are an expert and have some background information to share, post it in the comments.