Being smart with marketing ensures the success of your business by attracting more customers, and keeping them coming back. After all, you are there to run a business and not just to be the marketing guru.
The encouraging thing to know is that you do not need to be a rocket-scientist to run the digital marketing for your small business. But there is no magic pill or one-size-fits-all solution as every small business is different. However, the process of building a plan, sticking to it and applying the time and resources it needs is the common secret to success in marketing.
This means creating and implementing a marketing strategy for your business which will, in turn, generate a marketing plan which you need to allocate time, resource and budget to, in order for it to work. In creating your strategy, establish what your goals, targets, KPIs (key performance indicators) and ROI (return on investment) should be for your marketing efforts. Marketing efforts that are likely not to bring in new business will be a drain on your resources and should be factored out. Know what your goals are in terms of revenue, expenses, profit, the number of enquiries and, of course, the number of new sales. Most importantly, know how to measure these items, as a response to your marketing strategies.
A marketing strategy does not work on its own though. In creating your plan, make sure you align it to your product, pricing and distribution strategy too.
Another important factor to take into consideration when developing your marketing strategy is your target audience. It is essential that you know who your target market is. Targeting your marketing activities directly to the people who need and want your services or products is the secret to creating quality enquiries and getting prospects to engage with you.
If you are a small business running your marketing programme on your own, then it is safe to assume that you probably do not have the biggest marketing budget to spend. If this is the case, choose the channels you use wisely. As a bare minimum, you should have a user-friendly, well-designed professional website, and be using:
Your website must attract attention and give value to those who visit. Use it as a tool to retain and keep in touch with existing customers as well as for enticing new customers. If it has been built in an easy-to-use way, such as in WordPress, then you will be able to make any of the basic changes yourself.
Using social-networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, producing your own videos for YouTube or writing your own blogs are creative methods of letting people know about you and your business. Plus, they are really easy to manage. If you do decide to start social media pages for your business, remember, it needs to be a 2-way conversation. If your customers engage with your pages, you need to be agile enough to reply within a timely manner to keep the conversation and momentum going.
It is important to establish what you are capable of doing yourself and what you need to outsource. Failure to do this means you could be wasting your time implementing marketing strategies that will not work. For example, if you are a strong communicator, with excellent writing skills and fantastic product knowledge, then you are the best person to write the content for your business. If writing is not your thing, it is better to outsource this to some one more capable. The quality of the content you distribute is what will make the difference when it comes to whether your prospects are going to engage with your marketing efforts or not.
Likewise, if you are great at numbers, then you are probably the best person for the job when it comes to data-crunching and analysis. But if not, why not outsource this? There are analysts who love nothing more than going through endless spreadsheets.
If you are going to spend your precious budget on a Google AdWords campaign, you need to make sure you get this 100% right. SEO and Google Adwords is a highly competitive space. And it is the one place where you can easily waste your money if you are not executing it correctly. We prefer to advise our clients to use the services of an agency when carrying out SEO or Google Adwords campaigns but if you do want to give it a go yourself, then give this recent blog a read.
The backbone of all good marketing is about building a solid database of past, present and future customers (prospects) so you can keep in touch and communicate regularly via e-newsletters, emails and phone. Every single time you engage with someone, add them to your database. And ensure you are constantly implementing ways to capture data. This can be done by adding forms onto your website pages, which you can entice customers to fill out in exchange for a free piece of valuable content. Or, you can run fun competitions on social media, or offer ‘’freebies’’ in exchange for their data.
Do not jump straight into low-cost (or no-cost) tactics without getting the basics right first — plan your marketing strategy, understand your target market and polish up your product. If you need any help at all, feel free to get in touch with us. We offer all of the services a small business needs to get their marketing on the right track.
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