In today’s Export Roundup article we’re diving deep into how small businesses can get an edge and win in 2022.

Let’s get into it!

Margee Moore from BigOrange Marketing says “Small businesses are getting more attention this new year than ever before, for good reason. Shopping small eliminates the need for outsourcing resources, which is the perfect way to combat the supply chain issues plaguing the economy. For small businesses looking to grow in 2022, we recommend utilizing videos. Videos are a great way to tell a story to a customer, which is the most effective way to market your small business. You can make videos using a variety of platforms depending on your price point.”

Blake Akers from SEO by Sociallyin says “Double down on your Google Business Profile. Post, get reviews, and get friends or family to ‘ask a question’ so you can build out an FAQ section in your Google profile. Once you get that taken care of, you should work to build links to your CID URL. This is a little-known secret of local SEO. The CID URL is Google’s special identifier that links directly to your business profile. We’ve tested this on hundreds of profiles and it works consistently in any local industry. You can use tools like the GatherUp Chrome Extension to find your CID URL and build links to it.”

Nicolas Gonzalez from Tandem Interactiv says “My name is Nicolas Gonzalez and I am an SEO specialist with Tandem Interactive, a digital marketing agency based out of Fort Lauderdale that services the entire United States and beyond. Some tips I would offer small businesses looking to grow would be to use all the tools at your disposal. Social media, search engines, google maps, etc. can all be optimized to help your business grow. It can be difficult to understand all the different methods of optimization and how to apply them to your specific industry’s target market, but that is where marketing professionals come into play. In short I would say to be sure to do all you can to get your businesses’ name out there on the internet, and if you can afford professional help do get it.”

Stuart Barnett from LeftLeads says “From a technological perspective, there are three things small businesses can do to grow in 2022.

Firstly, embrace the latest technology. Remote working is our reality, and small businesses need to be equipped to handle this. The best way to do it is to upgrade your network to 5G. 5G is the current standard for cellular technology. It is 100x faster than the previous 4G generation, has less latency and is significantly more reliable. An increased capacity means better communication between businesses and customers. A business owner could host meetings without worrying about their network dropping out or they could give a customer a video presentation on their shop’s wares. If small businesses don’t stay up-to-date with the latest technology, they’re going to be left behind.

Secondly, think outside the box. With 5G’s increased network capacity, small businesses have more options for how to separate themselves from their competitors. It’s possible for them to implement AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality) technology into their operations. They do cost money, but they are readily available for mobile devices and make a business more interactive. Not everybody is willing to learn or experiment with the technology, and small business owners can use this to their advantage.

Thirdly, be proactive with your social media advertising. There are over 3 billion social media users in the world right now. Opening an Instagram account or posting on your business’s Facebook page is a good start – but there’s always more that can be done. Find different ways to target your audience or those closest to them. Engage influencers for potential shout-outs or show customers the ins and outs of the business in YouTube videos (real estate agents have gained thousands of views from doing this). Social media is a business and no business runs without some effort.”

Danny Star from Website Depot says “A top tip for small businesses in 2022: make sure to include empathy in everything that you do. Empathetic marketing, really focusing on “putting yourself in a customer’s/user’s shoes,” can help you to build better products and services, an improved UX for your site, delivery/shopping methods, and so much more. Additionally, being empathetic with your staff, focusing on their mental health, work/life balance, and similar actions will lead to improved retention as well as productivity.”

Stan Sojy from Stan ventures says “my tips that we suggest for small businesses are: Establish your brand identity. Leverage online channels Try out affordable yet result driven SEO for reach to your customers organically Utililize high impact marketing opportunity to improve your visibility Focus on quality as well as trust Deliver services as fast as possible Drive customer loyalty programs successfully as a token of gratitude Ensure you are caring enough for their feelings in seasons”

Trenton Erker from Seattle PPC says “In my experience, the biggest issue companies have when trying to grow is doing too many things at once, or being unsure of which path to commit to. These both have the same underlying issue – lack of commitment to a singular path. Every company I have ever worked with that saw great growth chose an avenue, went down it hard until they either grew enough to start another growth strategy or realized it was the wrong path and quickly changed course. Find what has been working for others, decide which you are most comfortable with, and stick to it for a predetermined amount of time.”

Ed Katz from Katnip Marketing says “It’s important to remember to give helpful information to your audience with the 80/20 rule: 80% of your posts should be information of value to the audience and the other 20% can be of a more self-promotional nature. I have found that using client testimonials as part of that 20% has been particularly useful. Often, a potential client can relate to what is said in the testimonial- or who (based on their profession) is saying it.”

Carolina Gonzalez from The PR Influence says “My top tips for small businesses looking to grow in 2022 is to provide video-first content that provides both intentional and educational value to their audience. With the exponential growth of the Tik Tok popularity, Reels on Instagram, and Youtube Shorts, it’s becoming evident that engaging your brand’s audience through captivating words, sounds, and visual trends in videos is where social media is shifting towards. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million.”

Mike Funkhouser from Small Business Mentor says “My #1 tip for Small businesses looking to grow in 2022 is to look at their data. There are so many easy wins that I see every day when working with clients. It may be that certain keywords for your digital advertising are performing really well and you can scale them up while turning off others. It may be that by improving your customer service and decreasing response times help improve your customer retention dramatically. Data should be at the foundation of every decision you make in 2022 because the impacts can be huge!”

Justin Salters from Hey Salty Inc says “Justin’s secrets to growing his small business quickly during the pandemic: Use traditional public relations, don’t forget about the local media and maintain a strong network, especially if you’re in a small to midsized market. With a minimal budget, you can put yourself and your clients front and center in the news.”

Alexi English from Hurrdat Marketing says “My top tip for local businesses looking to grow in 2022 is to continue to invest in local search optimization. It’s important that your business understands what factors have the biggest impact on local rankings and creates strategies around these factors that could lead to improved ranking and more conversions from Google.”

Zachary Colman from Creatitive says “Take advantage of the rise of social media. Leverage your online presence to build brand visibility and attract your target audience. Promote your business and build marketing strategies and plans to utilize social media.”

Melissa Macalinao from Cooktop Hunter says “Understand your market – The primary aim of any business is to generate revenue. To achieve this, it’s important to understand what your customers are looking for and how you can help them. Encourage feedback – You can make the best product but if the target audience doesn’t like it, you won’t move forward. It’s important to continuously monitor the feedback and make changes accordingly. Set clear goals – Goals are what help you focus on a particular task, divert your time on it, and make sure they are realistic. Marketing is an investment. With the right efforts, you can see returns on the investment and grow your business. Consider buying an ad on Facebook or Google. You can also redesign your website to improve sales.”

Dave DiGregorio from Owner of Blue Streak Digital says “Have you taken the chance to use TikTok to improve your small business’s marketing strategy? This platform is more engaging to its users than any other platform in history because of the great design and its ability to keep the viewer coming back. TikTok’s users are extremely creative and the platform is home to an endless supply of creative, unique content. If you are able to use it for your small business, you can reach a whole new audience, show a different side of you, and grow in a brand new way you’ve never witnessed before.”

Nicolas Ascencio from Gente Now says “Small businesses in all verticals have a lot of questions to consider for 2022 with regard to strategy and making sure that their marketing plans are on target for growth. However, chief among these is ensuring that their marketing strategies take into account the rapidly-growing Spanish-speaking community.

According to US Census data released this year, the Hispanic and Latino population has comprised over 51% of the nation’s population growth in the last decade. 13% of the U.S population speaks Spanish at home, and the US has the world’s second largest population of Spanish speakers just after Mexico. It’s estimated that by 2050, 1/3 of people in the US will speak Spanish, and by 2040, 70% of new home ownership will come from the Hispanic/Latino community.

In verticals such as insurance, over 27% of the Hispanic/Latino community is uninsured. In the legal field, less than 5% of Spanish-speaking refugees and asylum-seekers are even able to obtain legal representation. And with regard to consumer goods, the Hispanic/Latino community shows stronger brand loyalty than any other ethnic or racial group.

In many cities, such as our location in Los Angeles, the Hispanic and Latino community also encompasses the largest racial or ethnic group by large margins. Businesses that are not actively marketing to this community are losing out on potential business, and therefore missing out on major opportunities for growth. Small businesses looking to achieve scale quickly, particularly in areas with high concentration of Spanish speakers, need not look beyond the Spanish-speaking community. Our company, Gente Now, specializes in helping companies curate their marketing for Spanish-speaking communities across the nation in order to generate that growth and brand loyalty.”

Austin Mallar from Longhouse Consulting says “Experiment with creative marketing videos that can be used for both organic content and advertising. Our marketing agency has started producing expert reaction videos for our clients to not only position them as the expert in their field, but to also showcase the businesses light-hearted and personable side, making them more relatable.”

Daniel Phung from Full Books Marketing says “Small companies often lack a developed brand as it takes a great amount of resources and time to develop properly. A quick way to appear as an established brand is through social media verification. Not many companies are verified on social media and the majority are the top brands of the niche. Therefore, if a small business is verified, any prospect who lands on their social media pages instantly regards the business as an established, top brand.”

Chevie Publicover from Siege Digital Marketing says “If you are looking to grow your small business, the best tip I can give is to learn how your customers find your business and double down on that channel. In many cases for small or local businesses that channel is Google Search. People are always searching for ac companies, garage door companies, locksmiths and so on, and being one of the top search results in Google can significantly increase your exposure and lead to huge growth for your company. The easiest approach, next to hiring an SEO company, is to make a list of your customers’ most recurring questions and answer them with in depth content and blogs. Be as in depth as possible with what you do and how you do it. Link to your blogs on your website’s service pages and provide as much value as you can. If you do this for every question, concern or pain point your customer has you will eventually build a network of highly engaging articles that attract customers to your website.”

Randy Gunter from The Gunter Agency says “My top tip for businesses isn’t really a marketing tip, but is related because you need marketing to get it done. Keep advertising for employees. Even if you don’t need any at the moment. Create that ongoing list of potential hires. The biggest concerns for most businesses in the coming year isn’t going to be selling their products or services, it is going to be producing their products and services.”

Tara Ackaway from SocialWise PR says “Communication is a two way street. Small businesses cannot expect others to support them and grow if they are not reciprocating the love. Below are a few tips and tricks we use at our Agency: Social Media Tips: Click that heart. Leave a comment. Follow back. Don’t be the person who reaches out only when you need something. Be the person who cheers others on by consistently engaging with your followers to showcase how much their support means to you. PR Tips: Share meaningful feedback. Don’t reach out ONLY when you need something. Keep your story: Relevant + Timely Recognizable +Interesting PLUS! Always find a way to showcase why your story matters.”

Jennifer Green from LiveEcho Marketing says “There is still a lot unknown about what will happen in the coming year: will we continue to see the boom that many industries experienced during 2021’s post-pandemic recovery, or will the market try to correct itself and cause an economic downturn? Whatever the outcome for next year, we are expecting at least a robust start to 2022, and so companies should use that time to do two things: invest in their marketing and invest in their people.”

CarolTompkins from Accounts Portal says “At the end of the day, the financials of a business and how it is managed will define whether or not the SMB moves forward or otherwise. The best practices when it comes to accounting for the money in a business will map the way forward in terms of the growth and sustenance of the business as a whole. Therefore, this aspect of the business, especially for an SMB is critical.

Cash Flow Management: Good cash flow management for business means putting systems to ensure efficiency and profitability. Being in such a position helps the business weather the storm during tough times. Also, this will open up the business to the possibility of expansion later in its lifetime. Also, when it comes to cash flow management, one tip to never forget is from the onset of the business, it is important to build up a cash reserve. Having a saving culture inculcated into the business system will help weather future storms. And without a doubt, the storms shall come, being in a position to weather them due to preparedness and having cash at hand is important. This also means that spending should also be managed. Cutting down on costs or delaying them also helps in the ultimate management of funds. Another tip is the increasing of profit margins albeit as delicately as possible to help in the positive management of the cash flow. Using more competitive suppliers will assist in the raising of prices to achieve higher profit margins.

Accounts Software: Some of the advantages of the use of accounting software are such as reliability or accuracy, cost-effectiveness, and simplicity. Personally, time-saving is the most important. For a small business, time can be related to gold. The better one utilizes the limited 24 hours of the day, the better for the business. The less time a business owner spends on time-consuming functions such as filing taxes, managing payroll, even invoicing, the more time they have to focus on growing the business.

Payroll management: When it comes to payroll, the utilization of technology is ideal. The use of payroll software is time-efficient in accounting functions. Hence, management can focus more time and effort on aspects aimed at improving company profitability. The time saving is through the automation of the demanding task of payroll. Therefore, the time taken to complete payroll is cut down from days to a few hours.”

Lindsey Laughlin from Gravity Group says “Small businesses looking to grow in 2022 need to have a clear understanding of who their audience is and the problems their product or company solves for that audience. In addition to marketing their product or service (focusing on the problems they solve for the audience), they have to tell their brand story consistently. That’s where they’ll see sales move from being purely transactional to beginning to build brand preference and loyalty. A great way to do that is by having an honest and engaging social presence with a variety of content that humanizes your brand, educates, and inspires. Performance marketing can drive short-term sales, but building brand awareness and preference is a long-game – with long-term benefits.”

David Farkas from The Upper Ranks says “Nobody has an infinite supply of resources, thus you cannot apply every marketing approach. As a result, it’s vital that you make the most of your marketing efforts. The best way to do this is to determine which approaches are currently working and to invest more in them. To build up the channel, develop standard operating processes, recruit more staff, invest in equipment, and so on. If something is working for you, stick with it. To determine which channels are effective, you’ll need to measure your marketing KPIs. If you’re already doing it, that’s fantastic. If you haven’t already started, it’s never too late. With free tools like Google Analytics, it’s simple to see what’s working and what isn’t.”

AJ Silberman-Moffitt from Tandem Buzz says “Websites are great, but they take time and dedication – Having a well thought out and ideally presented website takes more than just writing captivating copy. Utilize search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure that your potential customers find your site when they are searching the web. Though SEO results aren’t seen immediately, they are a low-cost process that can help your business in the long run. People expect more than just traditional advertising – Gone are the days of only advertising in newspapers and on the radio or tv. Today people are being reached on the web through pay-per-click marketing (PPC), social media marketing, and more. Learn about the different mediums that are available to you for advertising. Don’t be afraid to do A/B testing to try out multiple facets to find which best clicks with your niche. It’s hard to do it alone, so reach out for help – Advertising and digital marketing agencies employ the people with the skills, knowledge, and expertise to help raise your company to new levels. So instead of tackling any advertising efforts on your own, use the people that have the experience to help you do it as best as possible.”

Camille Moore from Third Eye Insights says “Make a marketing plan: the best way to excel for 2023 is to review your business and do an audit on your marketing. Go through a branding audit and assess your brand message, feel, and overall output. From here, start to identify some goals for your business and make a marketing plan that matches your goals. Lay out your goals by quarters so you can ensure you tackle them successfully. Agencies that focus on helping small businesses can go through this process with you to ensure it’s done effectively. Agencies can also help you pick up the slack for items that you may not be able to do yourself.”

David Wurst from Webcitz says “No matter how successful your firm is offline, its future success is determined by its online presence. Not only can having a website increase your visibility, but it also increases your conversion rate. Additionally, it helps build your organisation as a trustworthy brand, The current pandemic has bolstered the internet marketplace, since the majority of consumers now prefer to conduct transactions online. As a result, ensure that you are visible to your customers when they conduct internet searches.”

Heather Doering from ACE Strategies says “Focus on people, not products or services. We’re in a space of disconnect; we’re seeking humanness and authenticity; we crave conversation. Shift your marketing strategies away from cold pitching and focus on building meaningful relationships with the right prospects and collaborators. Identify the problems and challenges your customers face and present solutions as a trusted advisor who is equipped to partner with them rather than a vendor schlepping a product or service.”

Josh Bernstein from Something Incorporated says “2021 has been a tough year for most, if not all businesses regardless of the industry. But, in 2022, there are plenty of ways that companies of all sizes can grow. As we’ve all seen in the past few years, the primary space for rapid and sustainable growth is online. This includes having an online presence that is recognizable and easily located as well as an easy-to-navigate page and targeted funnel. Small businesses need to utilize the power that an online presence can have in addition to a combination of traditional and non-traditional marketing practices. Being successful in 2021 is all about being unique in ideation and ion how we reach our audiences. So, in 2022, this notion will only continue to grow.”

MaryAnn Pfeiffer from 108 Degrees Digital Marketing says “iOS 15 is a game changer for small businesses in 2022. Many of the tools we depended on for the last couple of decades will become at best unreliable, or at worst irrelevant, as we try to grow our reach and expand to new markets. I’m advising my clients to think a little bit old school and go back to customer profiles (or archetypes) as well as existing data to learn more and really get inside the heads of their prospects. If data from outside parties is less reliable now, we need to lean into our own data about customers and prospects to inform our decision making this means:

– analyzing past sales and marketing data to determine new paths and options

– regularly conducting market research with your customers and prospects to hear their voices

– test, test and retest what you’re doing to find what works and continuously improve

These are, to be honest, things we should be doing all the time. But sometimes we get busy, or lazy, and let those best practices fall by the wayside because we can look elsewhere to find information to make decisions. 2022 is the time to get back on the wagon and do the homework to learn and understand more about our changing world, and customer base, to better serve them and grow our reach.”

Justin Silverman from Merchynt says “Large corporations can build a trusted reputation at scale, whereas small businesses need to be more clever about how they go about it, and form relationships with their customers on a one-to-one level. Since such a high percentage of consumers will pick a business based on their reviews or reputation online alone, it’s never been more important for a small business to ask their customers for reviews online. This will not only help the small business owner learn about what consumers like or dislike about their business so they can improve, but it’ll also show others looking for a retailer or service provider like them that this is a trustworthy business. Who do you think a consumer is going to trust – a business with 14 reviews and a 3.5-star rating, or a business with 300 reviews and a 4.5-star rating?”

Michael A. Grego from Provare Marketing talks about the importance of data and marketing business: “Our data-driven results are typically a combination of the performance of online marketing campaign impressions, clicks, and click through rates along with goal conversions we setup within their website’s Google Analytics. For example, we have a Credit Union client that had never tracked the number of online mortgage loan applications they have received through their website. When they began working with us, we set goals for the approximate number of new loan applications needed to get to their new loan goals. We analyzed data month over month to determine the number of online applications needed at a specific closing ratio to reach their goals. After six months, we knew exactly how many online applications their campaign needed to generate in order to hit their loan portfolio goals. That historical data and proven tactics, helped the client set an annual budget and a known goal to strive for each month.”

Toshy from Logical also shared on how they’re helping small businesses win with data. Toshy said “We like to measure and track keyword quality scores and content quality scores, both of which we measure internally. If we successfully improve the right inputs (the quality of the keywords we target and the quality of our content), then the results will take care of the rest. If they don’t, we have to tweak what we measure.”

Furthermore, Sean O’Neal of Onclusive says “Data analysis improves our content personalization. Since data provides us with information on the customer’s interests, it enables us to incorporate personal touches that make them feel valued as clients. This will then generate customer loyalty to our brand and encourage other potential customers to look into our brand as well. This drives profit and sustainable growth to our business.”

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