small business marketing

 

Growing a business is never an easy venture. To establish a credible foundation, you must first come up with a feasible idea. The work does not end there, however, as you also need to find something of value to sell, as well as who to sell them to. It could be a product or service, but then comes the trickiest part: getting the word out about your business. You need to find a way to make your brand visible, and then encourage people to trust you.

 

The right marketing strategies are readily available, but which one will work best for your business? You need to boost visibility and increase sales, so which one holds the magic formula? Social media, content, or email? It can be incredibly frustrating, especially since you’re working on limited resources.

 

The good news is that strategies can be used together, helping you come up with campaigns that deliver. Without further ado, here are three marketing strategies your small business needs to invest in:

 

Strategy #1: Content blogging for authority


Content is the non-negotiable currency of the digital world. If you don’t have a blog for your small business yet, you must begin as soon as possible. Blogging entails more than just writing, however—you’ll need to write with authority in mind, as this is the only way to gain good brand visibility.

 

Make use of other platforms such as Quora and Reddit, along with LinkedIn. These are authority domains commanding vast amounts of users, ensuring that your content reaches the eyes and ears of many. Remember to post with purpose, though—audiences will know half-baked content when you see them, so offer them relevant and valuable information.

 

Strategy #2: Influencers for social media


Social media is a vast world that can be difficult to navigate, and it could take years to build a loyal audience. Although that may be the case, there are faster ways to capture audiences, such as leveraging influencers. They have built names in the social media world, meaning that they already have followers your brand can be introduced to.

 

The key is to find the right influencer, specifically those with fewer followers. You don’t need an influencer with a million followers. So long as they have the right audience, you’ll be able to effectively spread your message, thereby increasing brand awareness.

 

Strategy #3: Email marketing


Although various digital tools exist today, traditional forms of marketing still reign supreme. Email marketing, for instance, can be a great way to encourage prospective customers to purchase once again. You usually capture information once they visit your website, and these leads can be nurtured into loyal customers. By reaching out to them using personalized email marketing campaigns, you’re able to pique their interest once more.

 

Keep in mind that these visitors are already interested in your brand—all they need is a little nudge, so keep sending them valuable content to further the trust and connection. You can also invest in sales and promotions, which can help accelerate their purchase decision making.

 

Begin Growing Your Small Business Today


Small businesses usually operate under small budgets, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be investing in powerful marketing strategies. Those listed above are budget-friendly, and you don’t need much apart from patience, determination, and sheer dedication. As you begin crafting your marketing plan, keep these high-yielding strategies in mind. You’ll be enjoying conversions, sales, and success in no time!

 

If you require a digital and web marketing consultant, Brandignity offers the best team. As a results-driven digital marketing agency, we offer your solutions and strategies that deliver. We specialize in growth and expansion, ensuring that your business, no matter the size, enjoys the success it deserves. Let’s talk business—reach out to us today.

 

 

Small Business Marketing Automation

 

Small businesses have lower annual incomes, fewer employees (usually less than 50) and limited resources. Not to mention, small businesses are constantly under pressure to compete with larger enterprises with much larger marketing budgets.

 

In the competitive world of today, if a small business wants to sustain in the market, the only way this can happen is if it can achieve more with less.

 

Therefore, technology and automation are the two methods businesses can employ to achieve more with less; it can help them cut costs and increase efficiency. Unfortunately, many small businesses still don’t understand the necessity of marketing automation that could help them spread their thin resources optimally.

 

What is marketing automation?


A business cannot survive without marketing its products and services in today’s time and age. It needs to showcase its products to the right consumer market for success. On a daily basis, marketing personnel engage in repetitive tasks that includes sending emails, crafting engagement strategies for social media, creating subscription lists, writing blogs etc. Each of these tasks takes time and effort – both of which can be minimized with the help of marketing automation software.

 

However, the magic of marketing automation is not confined to everyday marketing tasks. The main goal of the software is to generate leads, nurture them in a highly personalized manner and convert prospects into customers and first-time customers into delighted, loyal ones. This sounds complicated, time consuming and expensive; but in reality, it is the very opposite.

 

In short, the top functions that marketing automation offers to organizations are;

 

  • Lead scoring
  • Targeted emails
  • Website integration
  • Customer profiling
  • Lead nurturing

 

Amazon is a great example of this;

 

  1. Amazon sends emails requesting customers for product ratings and reviews a few days after a product is shipped. This is a great way to assess customer satisfaction levels and also provide useful content for the website.
  2. Amazon uses marketing automation to display more shopping choices on its webpages based on a customer’s recent purchases.
  3. Amazon also shows you what other people have bought and what is popular on the website. This helps customers make additional purchases.

 

Marketing automation is growing leaps and bounds with each passing day. A report published in April 2017 states that 49% B2B companies are using marketing automation. Moreover, 91% users agree that marketing automation is vital to company success and growth.

 

Marketing Automation

Image source: emailmonday.com

 

Why should small businesses adopt marketing automation?


As mentioned earlier, small businesses are weighed down with many predicaments. At the small business level, it is not a priority to automate marketing practices, budget constraints being the main reason. 25% UK companies have revealed that they face marketing challenges due to budget limitations.

 

However, marketing automation can benefit small businesses even more than large enterprises by giving them a chance to compete with the big fish in the industry.

 

According to Nucleus Research, marketing automation resulted in sales productivity increase by 14.5% with a 12.2% decline in marketing overheads. Hence, with the help of marketing automation, small businesses can decrease costs while increasing productivity levels thereby optimally utilizing their marketing budgets.

 

Below are some reasons why small businesses should adopt marketing automation;

 

1. Smaller sales cycles

 

Marketing automation helps close deals and leads to final consumer purchases. Hence, the time gap between a consumer expressing interest in a product and the purchase is significantly reduced with the help of marketing automation.

 

Organizations claim that the process of converting leads into customers is much faster with marketing automation. Aberdeen Group State of Marketing Automation 2014 research states that 88% companies are successful in converting leads to sales with marketing automation. These statistics will surely help small organizations achieve their sales targets faster and more efficiently.

 

2. Increases productivity

 

With the help of marketing automation, a small company can better leverage its employees and can experience a much needed boost in productivity levels. This is because a software can take care of marketing tasks that are repetitive such as sending emails to customers, conducting surveys, developing strategies to enhance customer experience, overseeing online advertising etc. HubSpot offers a wide variety of tools that can automate many of these processes.

 

Moreover, the software provides innovative solutions for mundane tasks. This gives the marketing team an opportunity to concentrate on other tasks that require human skill and attention.

 

Hence, small businesses can benefit a great deal by using marketing automation. In other words, business can now get much more out of existing resources.

 

3. Enriched customer retention

 

It is vital to engage customers at every step of their lifecycle in a pertinent and customized manner. However, customer retention is a constant struggle for companies. Marketing automation has a solution for this business dilemma as well. One of the main functions of marketing automation is to turn leads into customers and first time customers into loyal ones.

 

Marketing automation keeps customers engaged and updated via personalized emails. Using customer data, small businesses can now understand exactly what a target audience segment requires at a given moment and provide exactly that. ‘Being available at the right place and the right time’ increases purchases and thus the bottom line.

 

Also, advanced marketing software are able to gauge customer intentions and predict understand a customer is looking for and tries to encourage them to buy what they want in a shorter span of time.  One such marketing automation software that helps with customer retention is known as Windsor Circle. It uses customer history of purchases to create personalized marketing that connects with the customer on a deeper level, thereby ensuring that the customer keeps coming back.

 

4. Helps with lead conversion

 

Generating leads is easier than understanding and converting them. However, marketing automation is able to deduce the web pages that a lead visits, emails they open and products that interest them. This vital information can be put to great use by displaying only that content to a lead in which they showed interest. This way, you can nurture leads and convert them into loyal, returning customers. Infusionsoft is a great software, built especially for small business aimed at boosting sales by gathering leads

 

5. Monitoring marketing campaigns

 

Former campaigns, whether on ground or social media, need to be evaluated for their successes or failures. This task, albeit important, ties up useful resources in calculating tedious numbers and analyzing data.

However, marketing automation software such as TEO (TargetEveryone) can do this job efficiently for the company. TEO uses measurable data to track expenses of a campaign as well as the ROI. It also monitors and analyzes the response rate received following a campaign to deem whether it should be continued or not.

 

These are just a few ways small businesses can take advantage of marketing automation. However, if used to its maximum potential, the sky is the limit.

 

Author:

Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer. She loves to read and write article related to health and lifestyle, sometime on health-tech as well.  She is crazy about choclates and you can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia

SMB Spending

 

Small to medium sized businesses are really the life blood of the economy in our country. All of us combined make up much more business activity than the big dogs you see all around us. It is always interesting to see just how SMB’s plan on spending their money especially from last year to this year. Recently Bredin Business conducted some very important market research that I feel is important to take a look at. They have broken down how small to medium sized businesses and marketers plan on marketing their products and services from 2010 to 2011. The data was broken up into a few different perspectives that I believe is interesting to take a look at.

 

First Data Set (Marketers Perspective)


 

 

The question asked:

 

On a scale of 1 (significantly decrease) to 5 (significantly increase), how do you plan to change your online marketing tactics this year versus last year?

 

 

Small Business Data

 

  • Increase in email newsletter usage.
  • Increase in search marketing.
  • Increase in video marketing.
  • Increase in Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn.

Some decreases:

 

  • Decrease in blog marketing.
  • Decrease in mobile.

 

Second Data Set (SMB Perspective)


 

 

The question asked:

On the same scale, how do you feel about each of these online tactics as a source of information about products or services for your business?

 

 

Small Business Internet Marketing Data

 

 

  • Increase in search (Bing, Google & Yahoo).
  • Increase in LinkedIn.

Surprising decreases:

 

  • Decrease in Facebook.
  • Decrease in white papers.
  • Decrease in social networks.
  • Decrease in blogs.
  • Decrease in video marketing.
  • Decrease in email ads.
  • Decrease in banner advertising.
  • Decrease in Twitter.

Third Data Set (How SMB Acquire New Customers)


 

 

The question asked:

 

Which of these online marketing tactics have you used to find new customers for your business?

 

Small Business Acquisition

I like this data.

 

  • Increase in website usage.
  • Increase in email marketing.
  • Increase in search engine marketing.
  • Increase in local directories.
  • Increase in Facebook.
  • Increase in display ads.
  • Increase in blog marketing.
  • Increase in LinkedIn marketing.
  • Increase in video marketing.
  • Increase in webinars.
  • Increase in online coupons.
  • Increase in Twitter.
  • Increase in mobile marketing.
  • Increase in podcasts.
  • Increase in location based services.

 

This is amazing to see because this just shows you how much importance SMB’s are placing on the digital landscape to acquire new customers. There is a mass acceptance of the digital frontier (like the Tron reference?) and it is a trend that is significantly growing. The numbers in the above chart from 2010 to 2011 are intense leaps that are important to acknowledge.

 

To read the whole study please click Marketing to SMBs in 2011.

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