Small businesses always have it tougher than well-established businesses when it comes to marketing.
First of all, just starting out is a challenge.
Whether you are a large or a small company, numerous challenges will be hurled your way. But if you are a small business, then those challenges are magnified.
Shortages in budget, time, or manpower are a few examples of those hurdles.
Whether a business is built as a B2B or B2C, challenges are present right from the get-go.
What about medium-sized businesses?
Medium sized businesses do not have it any easier. Sure, they might have a little more when it comes to resources, but not that much.
Whatever the struggles that they go through, small-to-medium sized businesses or SMB’s are gaining in prominence.
They make up a whopping 99.7% of all businesses in the United States, after all. New SMBs are also being established on a regular basis.
So how do they deal with the ups and downs and emerge as one of those that last and succeed?
The antidote is SMB marketing. This is a term that refers to the method by which small and medium sized companies market their products.
Obviously, they try to do it using a conservative budget, and they are constantly on the lookout for low-cost ways to convert and get sales.
Here are 10 proven SMB marketing strategies that will help push your brand while you save.
- Setting a Goal and a Budget
To market your business right, you need to set a goal. What is your vision and endgame for your business?
The primary SMB marketing strategy is to set the right goal and a reasonable budget.
What do you really want to happen? Are you looking to expand your company’s reach, or do you want to strengthen your hold on the local market? Do you want people to become aware of your brand?
All these are valid goals, of course. But as you set the goal or goals that you want to accomplish, you also need to think about your budget.
Your budget needs to be in sync with what your goals are. At the same time, it needs to be realistic and practical.
The thing is, your goals will not be relegated to just one or two. It is likely that you have several. To avoid confusion and to make it easier to track your growth, you have to prioritize your goals.
Which goal matches your most pressing need? Identify that and focus on it first.
Then you can set your sights on the long-term goals that you consider to be the most important for your business.
Maximize Google’s Local Offerings
You can also take advantage of Google’s local offerings. With Google being the largest search engine available, it can definitely offer a lot for small and medium-sized businesses.
Having an online presence is a big boost to any SMB, which is almost always a local business.
In fact, when you compare a business that is found online with one that is not, the one found online will grow 40% faster.
That makes a Google My Business account indispensable for an SMB. For a local business that targets local clients, this is a powerful tool.
By having a Google My Business account, you can take charge of the information about your business. That includes address, phone number, website, and hours of operation.
Google My Business is also the best place for you to combine all your Google platforms, which include your Google+ profile, Google reviews, Google Maps profile, and many more.
By having a Google My Business account, your business becomes more credible and more visible to consumers.
Choose The Top Social Media Channels To Focus On
You might have read somewhere that having an account across all social media channels is the way to go.
You have the budget for that and you know your target market exists on every social media platform, go for it!
However, if you are an SMB and you are a little short on personnel, then you might not be able to keep up with all your social media channels all the time.
Choosing just one to three social media channels to focus on seems to be the wiser choice.
Start by analyzing your overall presence on social media.
Which of the channels feature the highest number of engagements? That should be your clue about which channel you need to choose.
Once you have made your choice, then you can turn your sight to the possible tools that you can use for help.
For example, you might want to have someone else take charge of scheduling your social media posts for you. Hootsuite is your best tool for that.
Or maybe you want to monitor the keywords that you use. Then Mention is the tool to use.
Content marketing is useful for getting long-term results. So if you have a long-term vision for your business, then this is the perfect SMB marketing strategy for you.
You need to understand that it is a process in which you have to create content that is
Once you have created great content, you need to distribute it to your target audience with the intention of it leading to sales.
Please note that content marketing is not limited to written content or blog posts. It can include several different types of content, such as videos, podcasts, and many more.
Just remember that you will need to have an ample supply of time and patience when you choose to roll with this strategy.
It will also be better if you have some extra resources allotted to it just to make sure that you avoid producing inferior content.
Allocating money to cover professional graphic designers etc. can help you avoid wasting time and budget.
You don’t want to end up with poor content because that will only drive customers away instead of attracting them.
E-mail marketing is another great SMB marketing strategy that helps you establish a connection with your target audience.
Or even beyond that connection, e-mail marketing is best used to build loyalty. The perfect opportunity to do this is when your customers send their e-mail addresses.
The fact that they provide their e-mail addresses opens the door for you to send them notifications. Take note that these should be event and sale notifications.
Other than notifications, you can also choose to send newsletters. Either a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter will do the job for you.
A business that takes the time and effort to connect with its customers has a better chance at building loyalty and engagement.
Just a couple of reminders, though:
- Make sure that your e-mail marketing efforts are mobile-friendly. More and more people are checking their e-mails on their phones, so this is a good move.
- Use e-mail optimization. This means you need to keep testing subject lines, creative templates, time of day, time of week, and more.
You can think of blogging as a creative outlet. A lot of people do it for pure fun, but it is also useful for exposing and marketing one’s brand.
Start a company blog where you can show just how great your product or service is. Explain how it works and show that you are knowledgeable about your industry.
A blog is also a great place to make announcements. You can tell your audience if your company hit a milestone or is about to hit one.
It is also the best place to announce future and completed projects along with your vision for the future.
Fill your blog with useful information that also catches your audience’s interest and attention.
Aside from making sure that you only provide quality content, you also need to be consistent.
It will help your audience if they know when they can expect a new blog post from you.
If you get a new blog post out at least once a week, then that will be a great way to keep your audience informed and connected to what you are doing.
Share What You Know
Sharing is caring. If you are a small and medium-sized business and you want to connect to people, you can share what you know.
Think about it. What field of knowledge or area of expertise are you better at than almost anybody or at least over most people?
Since you are a business, then you are likely to be an expert in the industry that you belong to.
You can share bits and pieces of your formidable know-how and help people with valuable information.
How do you choose what you are going to share? What are you looking for specifically?
Perhaps you can start with what the people in your industry are talking about. As for the format, you have plenty of options.
You can choose to share what you know through the following:
- Youtube tutorials
- Local conferences
Research details such as technical requirements and how you will promote the things that you want to share.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and can be a great asset to your SMB marketing strategy.
SEO helps your website rank on Google for certain keywords. Keywords are the words and phrases people search on Google.
For instance, if you type social media marketing company into Google, LYFE Marketing is the first organic (unpaid) result to come up.
That’s the result of us performing SEO for ourselves (and we do the same for our clients too!).
Though SEO is a long term strategy, it’s good for SMBs who need to start establishing themselves within their industry.
When someone searches something on Google that’s relevant to your product or service, you want your website to pop up!
It’s also great for SMBs with a limited advertising budget because you can out-optimize your website from big-spending competitors to still beat them in the organic rankings!
Plus, consumers often trust the first few organic search engine results on Google just simply but Google ranks them first. So envision that trust automatically being associated with your brand and business!
Getting feedback is also an effective SMB marketing strategy. Doing this accomplishes several things at once.
First, you get to connect with your audience. After a customer buys a product or receives a service, you can ask for their feedback.
Second, you are not going to be left behind by other companies who are doing the same. And take note that they are also doing it to improve their products and services.
One of the best ways to get feedback is through surveys. You can get the customer to complete the survey before making a purchase. It can be done through the customer’s tablet or phone.
As an incentive to customers who complete a survey, offer discounts on your products or services.
Lastly, standing out is also an excellent choice for an SMB marketing strategy.
While it may work to your advantage to copy similar strategies from successful companies, you still want your brand and USPs to stand out.
In this case, being different from the rest is a good thing. It can certainly help spread awareness about your product or service.
Think of new and original ways for you to market or advertise your brand.
On your website, you can also showcase just how unique and different you are from the rest.
Place it in your About Us page or any of your main pages so people can access it easily.
This also doubles as a great way to transparently connect with your target market, and help them build trust in your brand and business.
You see, small and medium businesses do have it tough. They obviously face more challenges than companies that have a surplus of resources.
But with the right SMB marketing strategy, you get a chance to at least be on the same level as the larger businesses.
All it takes is to make the right choice about which SMB marketing strategy to use. They are not always easy, but with all of them proven, they could just be what you need.