Black-owned businesses face many challenges, like being less likely to receive bank loans and experiencing steeper consequences from the pandemic. Despite the disadvantages, Black-owned businesses can still leverage digital marketing strategies, social media platforms, and the power of black businesses to attract customers and clients.
More and more consumers actively support black-owned businesses, increasing economic advancement in black communities. Understanding how to get your business across to these audiences can be the difference between thriving and going out of business.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss nine of the best digital marketing strategies for black-owned businesses so you can grow your business in today’s competitive business environment. Some of these tips are more specific to minority-owned businesses, while others are digital marketing strategies that every business should take advantage of.
Social Media Marketing
People, especially minorities, want to feel like they belong to a brand’s community before they become a customer or clients. This means using social media platforms to promote your brand and building meaningful connections with your target audience.
Social Media Marketing Action Step
Build social media profiles on all popular channels, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Learn how to tailor your content to specific mediums, like creating video content for TikTok; don’t be afraid to enlist help in creating your digital presence.
Movements like Black Lives Matter have prompted tangible steps to fight racial inequality. Who leads the front of activists fighting against racial injustices and inequalities black-owned businesses face? Influencers.
Influencers in your industry or niche can help spread the word about your black-owned business and attract new customers. They can also help shape the conversations around your brand and determine who interacts with it. A Nielsen study found that 59% of black viewers are likelier to buy from brands that feature someone from their identity group in advertisements.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Black-owned businesses face unequal opportunity and a lack of representation in many business areas. One area where this isn’t as true is on search engines, in which robots instead of people rule.
SEO is improving your website’s ranking on search engines to drive traffic. Consumers are looking for businesses on search engines, and many want to buy from minority-owned businesses. The unfortunate truth is that they’ll only look so hard to find black-owned businesses before they settle for what they see.
How To Succeed At SEO: The Skinny
To succeed at SEO, build a website that offers users a great experience and is crawlable. From there, your work is not done. Consistently post new content to your website, update outdated pages that don’t rank for search terms, and generate links from other websites.
Email marketing is one of small businesses’ most price-effective digital marketing strategies. Strategies like SEO, influencer marketing, and social media marketing help you gain new customers, but how do you reach out to current customers?
Email marketing helps businesses keep customers engaged and informed about your products, company, and mission. Nurture subscribers by sending exclusive deals and sharing behind-the-scenes information. If a client’s already bought from you, email is the best way to motivate them to purchase multiple products or invest in your services again.
Also, one of the main factors in someone’s decision to become a customer is your ability to reach them on multiple platforms. For example, if someone doesn’t purchase your marketing service immediately, you can create targeted campaigns offering them a free consultation.
Where To Start With Email Marketing Software
To nurture a small email list, you can use a tool like Moosend or Mailchimp. If you have an eCommerce company, Klaviyo is the most robust option. Remember, a good email marketing strategy is most important for minority-owned businesses, whose customers greatly value trust and authenticity.
Influencer marketing is great, but you must pay influencers every time they promote your brand. If you believe you have a voice that should be heard, step up and be the voice for your business and niche. Build a social media presence that discusses common problems in your industry that your black-owned business can solve. Sometimes, being a thought leader means promoting other businesses and sending customers to another black business owner.
Being a thought leader allows customers to warm up to your brand before becoming a customer. Many would-be customers also want to know how “black-owned” a business is. By showing your face, you humanize your company and show it is part of the community.
Let’s switch things up and discuss a few “old school” marketing strategies. Don’t overlook the opportunity to market your black-owned business at local community events. Community starts at home, even if you want to appeal to an international audience. At the beginning of every year, research events like trade shows and conferences in your local area.
Nothing wrong can happen when you expose your business to potential customers, partners, or people who refer you around. As we discussed earlier, you can even speak at events, sharing your knowledge if you’re a thought leader. In fact, public speaking opens you up to speaking at events that are slightly outside your niche but in your community. Join your local chamber and ask other business owners what organizations they’re involved in.
Referral Programs & Collaborations
Offering a referral program is just good business. Your customers are the best people to promote your business because their friends and family will trust them.
Referral programs and collaborations come in many forms, paid and free:
- In return for the recommendation, offer customers discounts and special offers.
- Partner with a local sports team and sponsor a halftime competition or raffle.
- Sponsor a local school and offer an exclusive discount for attendees at a play or school event you sponsor.
In Business Today Brands Want To Work With Black Business Owners
Over the past few years, more big brands and companies have decided to do their part in social justice by investing in black women and business owners. This means collaborating with small businesses is minuscule in size compared to them. If you’re a black business owner, don’t be afraid to shoot your shot when promoting yourself.
Many organizations like Black Business News or the National African American Business Network are designed for black-owned businesses to advertise directly to African-Americans. Aside from referring friends and families, targeted business networks are how African-Americans can keep money circulating through the black community. These platforms are designed specifically for businesses owned by Black Americans and other minorities.
Do you ever feel you can never reach enough potential customers through organic digital marketing? Knowing how many people use the internet but never come across your business is frustrating.
Paid advertising on platforms like Google, Facebook, and Instagram allows businesses to create ads targeted to specific audiences. GDPR restricts advertisers’ ability to target specific racial demographics (for good reason). A workaround for that is targeting search behavior, which gives you more control over which audience sees your ads and interacts with your brand.
Where To Start With Paid Advertising
Set aside a portion of your advertising budget to focus on paid ads. Consistent results with Google and Facebook ads take consistency, meaning you have to stick with them. Create and test multiple ads to see what your market engages with best.
As the old proverb says, “a closed mouth doesn’t get fed.” If you want your business to grow, you need to meet and network with as many people as you can. Black-owned brands want to support other black-owned businesses, politicians want to support their community, and influencers want to be the first to spread the word.
Even if someone is not your ideal customer, you never know what good can come from getting to know them and vice versa. Instead of hyper-focusing on your target audience, don’t be afraid to cast a large net.
People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Even in our internet-obsessed world, face-to-face is the best way to achieve that for your black-owned business.
Digital Marketing Trends For Black-Owned Businesses: What To Do Next
As a diverse marketing agency, we like to think we’re up to date on digital marketing methods. There are a lot of digital marketing ideas on this list, so you may wonder where you should start. Begin by understanding your business and ideal customer base. Determine where they are and the best ways to reach them.
With these insights, you can choose multiple marketing strategies from this list or find one to focus on. The journey isn’t easy, but there are many examples of black-owned companies succeeding despite the odds.