Being a small business owner can be quite challenging. You spend most of your time working on your business, day in and day out. You are constantly trying to attract new customers to avail of your services or purchase your products.
Whatever your business is, whether you’re just launching a startup, or you could be a seasoned business owner trying to relaunch your business operations anew, you’re most likely to gain much from implementing the best marketing strategies for your business.
This article discusses the best marketing strategies and is meant to help you find the right marketing tools for your business.
Digital SME Marketing Strategies Can Level the Playing Field
While it’s true that big businesses can afford to go big in their marketing campaigns, with their huge budgets and so many marketing avenues at their disposal, the truth is that SME’s can have the same opportunities – using digital SME marketing strategies to level the playing field.
As a small business owner, you can launch a marketing campaign that increases your online presence and drives traffic to your website, your e-commerce site, your offices, or your storefronts. You can do all these by implementing digital SME marketing strategies.
Why Small Businesses Need Marketing Strategies
Marketing covers a lot of media – from traditional print, radio, and television advertising, to public relations and pitching to the media, to creating a digital presence that fosters brand awareness and convinces prospects to convert.
It doesn’t matter where you invest your marketing dollars, your main goal is to guide your customers to buy whatever you are selling and become recurring customers.
Here are a few main reasons why you need marketing strategies for your business:
Marketing promotes brand awareness - When you create positive brand awareness through marketing, you help consumers connect your business name with your products and services and recognise your brand and your reputation.
Marketing draws in new customers and increases sales to existing customers - Using marketing, you can gain new customers and keep existing customers coming back by word of mouth and other strategies.
Marketing gives small businesses the opportunity to compete with bigger companies - It doesn’t matter if you’re running a small business or startup. Marketing gives you the chance to compete with the big companies out there, especially if you highlight your personalised service and community involvement.
4 Creative Ways to Promote Your Small Business
If you seek to increase your positive reviews and improve your reputation online, then consider doing these 4 things:
Underpromise and Overdeliver - Always go above and beyond what you promised to your customers – they will remember this and will not only come back as recurring customers, they will also share the news via word of mouth. This means more new clients for your business. When this happens, you can reach out to your happy customers and ask them to give you feedback on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other customer review sites.
Make Yourself Accessible - Customers love it when you provide assistance when they need it. Dedicate phone lines to customers and make sure that your customer service representatives are available to answer any questions they may have. Reach out and connect with your customers online. Replying to their comments on social media bolsters your customers’ confidence in you and your business. Tagging customers on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube also widens your customer base as you reach their friends and contacts.
Present Your Business as Inviting - Whether you run a brick and mortar business or an online e-commerce site, make sure your business is inviting. Keep your store clean and well- maintained. Keep your website updated. Remove any and all clutter from your store or website.
Help Your Community - When you join community business or philanthropic organisations or when you go out of your way to help your fellow small business owners, you will gain the sympathy of your local community. This is your edge over multinational corporations. Share your activities and outreach efforts on social media. Send out press releases about your business and how you are helping out in your community. People will respond to this and you will gain more customers along the way.
Useful Tips for Small Business Marketing
Before launching your digital SME marketing campaign, you need to create some boundaries. Plan ahead by determining your target audience, why they should buy your products or avail of your services, what you can offer them, setting goals and how you can achieve them, and how much you can afford to spend.
Understand Your Target Customers’ Persona - To build a solid foundation for your marketing strategies, you need to know your customers – what attracts them, what their interests are, what motivates them when making a purchase, and how they respond to various means of communication.
Ask questions like:
How old are they?
What is their gender?
What is their relationship or marital status?
Do they have children?
Where do they live?
What is their occupation?
How much do they earn?
Where do they get their information?
What do they do for leisure?
What are their values?
What are their most significant challenges?
Their answers to these questions will help you create a customer or buyer persona. You may need to create several marketing personas based on the details provided and behavioural traits for each persona. This way, you can adjust and cater to their individual needs, depending on the marketing strategies that will work on each one.
Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition - In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to determine your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Knowing your USP will help you target your customers and help you find your niche in the market. It will also help your sales team communicate with your potential customers.
Creating a great USP requires that you consider your competitors, big and small. What do you offer that they can’t? What can you do better than them? What advantages do you offer that your competitors can’t provide?
These steps will help you define your USP:
Identify the product or service that you offer.
Create a specific buyer persona for your USP.
List down the customers’ problems that your product or service solves.
Highlight the advantages you offer such as cost, customer service, efficiency, reliability, current performance, and past track record.
Create your USP by focusing on your customers’ needs and how you offer a product or service that’s competitive and advantageous to them.
Set Your Key Performance Indicators - It’s important to set Key Performance Indicators when you’re launching a marketing campaign. Setting your goals early on will help you determine whether or not you are reaching them. Goal setting applies for all types of businesses – from big businesses to small ones and startups.
Estimate Your Marketing Budget – Setting a marketing budget will help you sustain your marketing efforts from the beginning of your campaign through to the end of your marketing drive. Expenses may include marketing staff salaries and training, office space and equipment, ads marketing, including Google ads, banner ads, creating and maintaining websites, SEO experts fees, graphics design fees, other marketing channels such as podcasts and email marketing.
5 Ways to Create an Effective SME Marketing Program
Building a solid and results-driven SME marketing campaign is your best bet to compete with the big companies out there. Here are five ways you can create an effective marketing program:
Content Marketing - You may have heard the phrase “Content is king!” Content Marketing entails the writing and publishing of relevant content that’s both high-quality and targeted for a certain audience.
The wonderful thing about content marketing is that smaller companies can catch their customers’ attention using a vast array of formats, including blogs, podcasts, videos, infographics, and white papers. The most important thing to remember is, when it comes to content marketing, you need to deliver trustworthy and valuable content.
SEO - Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is designed to help increase your online presence so that customers seeking your product or service are able to quickly and easily find you on Google and other search engines. SEO will help you increase your Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs) by driving traffic to your website to increase sales and conversions.
Reliable SEO strategies include creating a free Google My Business account, opening a free Yelp business account, using targeted keywords and relevant content to optimise your website, inviting clients to post reviews on Google, social media platforms, Yelp, Capterra, and other review sites.
Social Media Marketing - Small businesses can leverage social media to enhance brand awareness and communicate with their customers. You will need to choose the right social media platforms for your business by considering where your target audience will most likely be found, what type of content you’re putting out there, and where your presence can create the most impact.
When choosing the right social media platforms, you need to go all-in – meaning, you need to engage with your audience by monitoring posts or comments so you can reply and react to customer reviews, good or bad. The most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising - This type of advertising lets you promote your business using display ads on search engines like Google. You create ads using keywords such as “pest control” or “building construction” and then you get charged every time someone clicks on your ads.
Most SEO professionals recommend combining the costly PPC Advertising with a solid content marketing strategy designed to drive traffic to your website and increase your organic SEO reach.
Email Marketing - Experts predict that there will be an estimated 4.6 billion email users worldwide by 2025. This makes email marketing the favourite choice for businesses to connect with their new and existing customers. Using email marketing the right way, you can grow your business while spending less.
There are so many ways to make your small business stand out from the crowd. You just need to tap into the right marketing strategies for your business. Maximise the tips in this article and you’re well on your way to success in your marketing campaign.
Whatever your business, be it pest control, pool inspection, or building and construction, you can rely on Formitize to help you run your business.