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Welcome to Marketing Essentials for Small Business


In this new, resource series we show you simple ways to achieve marketing results without investing heaps of time and money.

We offer tips on the best ways to use social media, how to develop a basic Strategic Marketing Plan (and why you should), developing Customer Loyalty Programs, and the importance of getting your brand to stand out from the crowd.

Marketing Essentials for Small Business has been developed specifically for retailers and real estate companies looking to boost their profile and increase their customer base.

Lots of great information and tips are included which are easy to follow and implement. We know it will help you to help your business.

Begin here:



What is Content Marketing?


Content marketing – what is it and why your retail business needs it

Content marketing has come into its own in the last two decades with the rise of new social media including TikTok (founded 2016), lnstagram (2010), Twitter (2006) and Facebook (2004) at the same time access to digital devices went through the roof.

It is an easy-to-use approach to marketing which allows businesses to reach their targeted demographic with information they will find useful or informative. It is, to put it bluntly, a way of promoting a business as experts or specialists in their field without coming out and directly saying so.

According to popular email marketing platform, Mailchimp, “content marketing is a marketing strategy used to attract, engage, and retain an audience by creating and sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media”.

“This approach establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness, and keeps your business top of mind when it’s time to buy what you sell,” Mailchimp continued.

“Content marketing is the development and distribution of relevant, useful content-biogs, newsletters, white papers, social media posts, emails, videos, and the like-to current and potential customers. When it’s done right, this content conveys expertise and makes it clear that a company values the people to whom it sells.”

What is the content in content marketing?

Content is basically any information shared by your company with your customers, potential customers and members of the public.

Effective content marketing uses content which is relevant or meaningful to those who receive it via marketing channels including your website, social media, newsletter and biogs.

Think of your local hairdresser who takes shots of haircuts they have done and used them in social media posts. This content demonstrates the hairdresser’s skill and a possible new look for the client.

Or it may be a tax agent using their monthly newsletter to provide a checklist for retailers on ways to minimise their tax liability as the end of the financial year draws to a close.

It is, to put it bluntly, information which does not waste the time of those receiving it and is aimed at both attracting new (or former) customers and retaining current ones.

What content marketing is not:

  • Content marketing is not spam.
  • It is not sale notice after sale notice after sale notice. It is not text messages asking for feedback.
  • It is rarely a paid advertisement.
  • It is not videos of cute dogs – unless those dogs are somehow sharing information or simply a bit player in the marketing of a product or service.

Popular forms of content marketing

The best form of content marketing for any business depends very much on the business itself, the products or services it is selling, and the target demographic they are trying to reach.

For some businesses, newsletters will be their most effective form of contact marketing while email or social media posts is more likely to hit the mark for some.

Whatever is likely to resonate with a business’s customer base is the right form of content marketing for that business.

Marketing specialists, The Digital Marketing Institute, says visual forms of information are proving to be increasingly popular within content marketing, because of their ability to share a lot of information quickly, colourfully and in entertaining ways (think TikTok!).

lnfographics are among the most popular types of content you can create, and this is because they present a great deal of information (such as statistics, research, and other data) in a visual way that’s engaging, digestible, and shareable,” The Digital Marketing Institute explains.

“According to the Content Marketing Institute, infographics have had the biggest increase in usage among B2B marketers in the last few years – now at 67 percent.”

Also popular are videos, podcasts and images including photos.

If you want to know more about how your retail business can use content marketing, or book in some training with us so you know how to do it in the most effective and efficient ways, get in touch.

Or you can make an appointment to talk with our team of retail marketing specialists, about managing your digital marketing for you, by emailing Strictlymarketing’s Managing Director, Bev Strickland or phoning 0417 761 966.




Get Planning


Do you have a marketing plan?

As a small or medium sized business owner, the chances are you do not have a strategic marketing plan, but they can be easier to do than you realise and the benefits to your business can be absolutely enormous!

Don’t be put off by the term “strategic marketing plan”. It doesn’t have to be this big, fancy and expensive process. It can be as small and simple as ads on Facebook, or as large and ambitious as you want.

Why a strategic marketing strategy is a good thing?

  • Helps you take a fresh look at your business
  • Makes you clearly identify your target market
  • Allows you to develop marketing strategies and campaigns to target that market

Taking a fresh look at your business

When you are developing a marketing strategy or plan, it is essential that you understand your business. This means being clear about what you sell, whether that’s product or services, what your consumers buy and what they may want to buy in the future.

This means understanding what stock is left sitting on shelves and which stock you can’t get enough of. This lets you see where your choices for the business have been working and where they haven’t.

It also means looking at your competition. Are they more or less successful than you? Do they always have a lot of people wandering in or are the sales staff busy trying to look busy? And why are they busy or quiet?

What is the point of difference your business offers? In other words, why would a customer want to go to your business instead of a competitor and what can you do to make sure that is happening? For a real estate agent it may be strong local knowledge, for a hairdresser it may be staff who specialise in treatments your competitors can’t offer and, for a coffee shop it may be the delicious range of cakes they offer along with coffee.

Knowing your business, your competitors and what your point of difference is – or can be – helps you to better understand where to focus your marketing and advertising dollars for the best return on that investment.

Identifying your target market

Once you have a clear picture of where your business fits within the market, it should be quite easy to discern who makes up your target market. (We say this with the caveat that there are always exceptions!)

Are they male or female? A barber is less likely to market to women then a dress boutique will.

What age group are you targeting? An RSL offering pensioner discounted meals probably won’t be trying to get that message across to teenagers, while a punk rock music venue almost certainly isn’t expecting a large throng of pensioners through their doors.

Does your store have something for everyone? A large and established chain with huge buying power which offers a wide range across a number of categories, such as Kmart or Bunnings, would benefit more from promoting how big their range is rather than promoting one line of products which hold appeal only for a small group of consumers.

Tailoring your marketing to your market

When you know your target market, you can further break down how you market to them.

Depending on age, gender, income, geographic area and special interests,. a marketing campaign can be drilled down to a single postcode or feature billboards in every state of Australia.

Different age groups are drawn to different social media platforms with teenagers and young adults more likely to be on Snapchat and TikTok, lnstagram is popular with under-35s while older Australians use Facebook and Pinterest more than any other demographic.

A restaurant in South Brisbane is probably not going to be targeting diners who live on the Sunshine Coast while a resort on the Gold Coast will want to let holidaymakers across Australia know about their accommodation discounts.

Tailoring your marketing and advertising spend to your target market means money is not being spent in areas which are not reaping the rewards you would hope for.

If you would like to talk about how best to develop your Strategic Marketing Plan, or have us do it for you, reach out to Strictlymarketing’s Managing Director, Bev Strickland at or phone 0417 761 966.




Social Media


Social media is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect with customers

Depending on your age, the mention of social media marketing may excite you with its potential for your small to medium retail business, have you curious but apprehensive, or rolling your eyes.
Regardless of which of these you are, marketing your business on social media should be something you are actively doing, or at least, starting to realise needs to be done because it is:

  • Cheap
  • An effective use of time
  • Easy to do (it really is!)
  • Targeted towards the demographic you want to want to reach
  • Can be done anywhere, anytime by anyone

Deciding what social media to use

Not all social media is suitable to market all businesses. For instance, Linkedln is a network for professionals so likely not worth as much energy for a small clothing boutique as Facebook or lnstagram but may be perfect for a real estate agent marketing a high-end property trying to reach potential buyers.

Understanding who your customer base is allows any business to develop and implement its marketing strategy effectively, whether this strategy is a well-thought out plan with a healthy budget or something the business owner is doing on their mobile phone on the run.

When it comes to marketing, not all social media is equal with different age groups drawn to different social media.

The age groups most likely to use each social media platform are:

lnstagram – under 35s (Statista)
Facebook – 35 to 44 year olds (Hootsuite)
Twitter – 25-34 year olds (Statista)
TikTok – 18 to 24 year olds (Oberle)
Linkedln – 25 to 34 year olds (Statista)
YouTube – 25 to 34 year olds (Oberle)
Snapchat – 18 to 24 year olds (Data Portal)
Pinterest – 50 to 65 year olds (Hootsuite)

If you are targeting young adults, your advertising dollar and time would be better spent on TikTok or Snapchat, than a campaign or posts about the business on Pinterest. In most cases, campaigns run across more than one social media platform, prove to be the most effective.

While not all of your customer base will be on any one platform, those who buy them gifts and suggest activities and products may well see a post or ad on your business’s social media and could point them in your direction, so the more you promote, the greater the chance the promotion will be successful.

Schedule posts

For most business owners, time is a rare commodity so dedicating time each day to social media is something which is simply not possible for many.

The good news is most social media platforms have a scheduling function including lnstagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and Linkedln, allowing accounts to be updated with new content while you are busy doing other things!

By scheduling posts ahead of time – for perhaps a week in advance all at the one time – social media channels can carry new content, ads, videos, photos, promotions and sales could be reaching your customer base with no daily effort on your part.

Social media can be one of the most effective marketing tools available to your business. If you are not utilising it already, you may be missing out on business to competitors who are!

If you would like to talk to the team at Strictlymarketing about training for social media, or outsourcing this function of your marketing, email Managing Director, Bev Strickland or phone 0417 761 966.




Loyal Customers


Rewarding customer loyalty makes a big difference

With competition often fierce in the small and medium retail business space, standing out is incredibly important and one way of doing this is to introduce and maintain a meaningful customer loyalty program.

When it comes to customer loyalty programs, the goal is twofold – make customers feel valued by giving them something extra for supporting your business and continuing to build loyalty so those customers return time and again.

Customer loyalty programs, when done properly, are a win-win for both customers and the business with clients enjoying discounts, freebies and promotional offers other customers can’t access while the business is likely to be forefront of mind for those customers when seeking that product or service.

Customer loyalty programs to consider

The Loyalty Card

The Loyalty Card can work in a couple of different ways, depending on the business.

A coffee shop, for instance, may have a loyalty card when each purchase of a coffee is punched/marked on the card and a free coffee offered when each spot on the card has been punched/marked.

Or a loyalty card may automatically entitle the customer to a discount when produced as they are making a purchase, or it may be pushed forward as a discount on their next buy.

Alternatively, loyalty cards can be used to acquire points after each purchase entitling the customer to a free gift or discount when they are accumulated to a pre-determined amount.

The Birthday Gift

Everybody loves something for nothing which is why Birthday Gifts to loyal customers are so popular. This may take the form of a free meal at a restaurant or a discount on purchases.

Special offers for loyalty club members

Who doesn’t like to feel a little special? Most of us like knowing we matter to retailers we visit time and again so loyalty programs where members receive free offers, pre-sale offers, additional discounts during sales and early access to new products and services can go a long way to making customers feel valued.

Starting your Customer Loyalty Program

Building a Customer Loyalty Program, while taking on elements of other successful programs, should always be specific to each business. While the coffee shop may benefit from giving away every 13th cup of coffee to regular customers, this approach is not workable for a fashion boutique or hairdresser.

When building a customer loyalty program, your customer should be at the forefront of your mind, and then tailored specifically to them.

Building support for your program should be done using a combination of:

  • Social media
  • Email or phone contact
  • Point of sale data collection

Each of these methods allows a business to connect with their customers and gather the information needed to stay in touch with them into the future.

If you would like to talk about how best to build a Customer Loyalty Program for your business, or have us do it for you, email Managing Director, Bev Strickland or phone 0417 761 966.




Using Video


Incorporating video into marketing your small or medium retail business

Picture this: you have a sale event coming up and want to promote it, but your budget is small and your time is stretched.

You can do the fast and easy option of a simple, static banner ad shared on your website and on your social media channels. Or you can invest less time than you probably think to produce a video showing the range of products or services sold by your business, what items will be on sale and some of the buzz off previous sales, complete with a soundtrack and lots of moving images.

Which do you think is more likely to engage customers? It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it.

In this crazy paced digital world, we live in, most of us have increasingly shrinking attention spans and it often takes something a bit different to really grab our attention and keep it long enough to get a message across.

Large pieces of text have long been a “no no” in marketing as they prove to be quite ineffective and provide little return on investment. Advertising using images is more effective, as is the use of sounds or music.

Much more effective still is advertising which incorporates music, sound, images and movement and this is where video really comes into its own and consistently proves to be more impactful and promotes better engagement than any static ad.

And while video production can be very flashy with all the bells and whistles, the fact is anyone with a mobile phone is now able to produce their own videos at almost no cost, other than some time and creativity.

And if you have neither the time nor the creativity, chances are you would be surprised at how little it costs to outsource video production to the professionals.

If you would like to talk to the team at Strictlymarketing about training for video production, or outsourcing this function of your marketing, email Managing Director, Bev Strickland or phone 0417 761 966.

And as a visual and auditory reminder about how powerful video can be, take a minute to enjoy The Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star




Digital Marketing


Why small to medium sized retailers should be utilising digital marketing

If you are a small or medium sized retailer and are not looking at digital marketing, you are most likely handing your potential customers to your competition because the chance are, they have some form of digital marketing in place.

What is digital marketing exactly? Put very simply, it is marketing products and services online to customers in very. Digital marketing utilises a range of new and emerging avenues to reach people such as social media platforms (think Facebook, lnstagram, Twitter), Google Analytics, a website and search engine optimisation (SEO), email and even text messages.

Almost everyone has a mobile phone now and the few who don’t, are likely not your target market and if they are, digital marketing is probably not the most effective choice for your marketing dollar and energy.

One of the key benefits to digital marketing is its ability to allow for very targeted marketing, right down to a particular postcode, age, gender or even area of interest.

It can also be incredibly cost effective because you are marketing to exact people you want to hear and can tailor your marketing message for different groups of consumers.

For example, you may see a huge return on investment using a Facebook advertising campaign to promote the weekly specials at a local restaurant to members of a dining club or let new parents in a particular suburb of Brisbane know about the opening of a childcare centre utilising lnstagram.

You would be in the minority if you haven’t received a text message from at least one retailer with details of their latest specials or deals and this is almost always the result of using the information of current shoppers collected online or at the point of sale.

Results can be that specific and this means it makes sense for retailers of all sizes, to tap into this way of marketing.

You don’t need to be a big business with a big budget to realise amazing results using digital marketing.

If you want to know more about how your retail business can use digital marketing or book in some training with us so you know how to do it in the most effective and efficient ways, get in touch. Or make a time to talk with us, retail marketing specialists, about managing your digital marketing for you, email Strictlymarketing’s Managing Director, Bev Strickland or phone 0417 761 966.

That’s it for now!
If you’d like to talk more email us.