Small Businesses in New Jersey Will Receive Free Marketing Services to Improve Their Online Presence
By Space Coast Daily // August 30, 2023
Small businesses are usually the ones whose productivity is tied to funds and opportunities. Unfortunately, this makes them powerless in the face of economic challenges, which is why many of them closed after the pandemic.
This is even more concerning given that small businesses are a crucial component of a government’s economic state. Each city of a country relies on most of these small enterprises whose efforts are bringing money into the local culture and are also passing the business down to the next generation. For example, there are over 861,000 small businesses in New Jersey, placing it in the top ten American states with the most SMEs.
Despite small businesses being part of 99.6% of all companies in the state, challenges arise continuously, hindering their possibilities to become targets for younger employees or foreign investors. While there are numerous reasons for this low engagement rate, one of the leading motives is the lack of media coverage and expansion on social apps.
This is why an excellent team gathered all their resources and aimed to help small businesses flourish. Here’s how.
How the Small Business E-commerce Support Program came to life
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is the state’s organization that has a specific objective of developing its economy and supporting the creation of high-quality jobs. The institution works with various partnerships to achieve its goal, and this time it launched a new program aimed towards small businesses that want to get more online exposure.
The $100 million support is set to compensate for the operating costs included in the plan to attract new customers with the help of online platforms. The program’s goal is to help with website development and optimization, but also further improvement with e-commerce, online ordering and booking appointments.
What makes a small business eligible for these benefits?
There are a few criteria that small businesses have to respect in order to get help. First, their physical location must be in New Jersey. The industries targeted include restaurants, retail and personal care. At the same time, small businesses should check the requirements of the US Small Business Administration and the New Jersey Division of Taxation.
If they’re accepted into the program, small businesses from New Jersey will have the opportunity to freely work with marketing and consulting firms through different polls and surveys that will help them improve some of their pain points regarding social media and marketing online.
The program is set to last from two to eight weeks, so there’s plenty of time for changes. Of course, after marketers present their plans and help with the implementation, small businesses will have to continue their operations and maintain a social media presence.
Why do small businesses need guidance in the age of technology?
Approaching a marketing strategy isn’t that easy, especially in organizations with few employees or industries that focus on something more than socials. However, it has been proven that a strong media presence has numerous benefits for companies, including:
- Creating connection opportunities;
- Strengthening the offline market;
- Building a reliable community;
- Targeting new audiences;
- Being where the competition is;
At the same time, being on a few social media apps helps you build brand image. By frequently posting pictures from your company, educational videos and even infographics, you brush off your identifying features and communicate your brand values in an original but easy-to-understand way.
Besides social media, small businesses also need a reliable website
Of course, a solid social media presence attracts new customers, but a good website is what keeps them engaged and transforms them into loyal clients. A company’s website is where people can clearly see the products, their descriptions, as well as the organization’s history and goals. Here are some aspects that are enhanced by a simple website:
- Credibility: a website that is fast, simple to navigate and trustworthy will make the best first impression;
- Leads: a website will allow possible leads to contact you about anything they want to buy something, increasing the chance of more sales;
- Organic traffic: small businesses may not have the resources for paid traffic and advertising, so having a website is the surest way to benefit from organic traffic;
- Internal productivity: your website can provide basic information about your products and also a Q&A section that helps employees in being productive in more important sectors;
How can small businesses create their social media presence with no funds?
It’s often said that without paid advertisements, not many people will find the website or social media account of a company, regardless of its size. That’s because paid strategies are more straightforward and faster, which allows the business to experience a sudden upsurge.
However, they can also approach a more human way and take their time to know the target audience and experiment with posts. There are a few steps that can be followed in this process:
- Setting SMART goals and making them as realistic as possible;
- Identifying the primary target audience to create content accordingly;
- Engaging in social listening and responding to people’s comments;
- Creating an editorial calendar to keep all posts up-to-date;
- Posting daily to stay active and build reliability;
- Keeping up with trends to become relatable;
- Monitoring engagement and strategies;
- Experimenting as frequently as possible to get out of the comfort zone;
Of course, at some point, you may want to pay for premium services that provide you with valuable insight into the best keywords to use in your posts or analytics that show the business’ productivity rates. But there’s a time for that too. Until that moment comes, small businesses shouldn’t be afraid to show how they’re making considerable efforts to sustain their operations without significant funds or financial resources. Moreover, don’t forget to watch what the competition is doing, because there’s nothing wrong with getting inspired by other organizations.
As the state of New Jersey is trying to help small businesses improve their social media presence, we hope that many other cities and countries will consider giving small businesses more support to help the local economy flourish.