Everybody knows how important marketing is to a small business.
How you perform on Google, social media, and in the customer email inbox will determine if your small business succeeds and turn into a startup success story.
If you own a small business you know that the key to growth is marketing, marketing, and more marketing. Without public awareness, your business is a non-starter.
Below are four tips for scaling your marketing and so you can grow your business and reach the next level of success.
Use Better Marketing Tools
If remote working has taught small businesses across the world anything it’s that the modern company is run primarily by digital tools.
These marketing tools are essential cogs in the machine that dictate your workflow, make processes easier, and generally streamline your day.
In a lockdown, marketing tools can include everything from project management software such as Asana and ClickUp to video communication tools like Google Hangouts or Zoom have become must-haves for any business trying to keep up with their pre-COVID schedule and keep some sense of cohesion out of the office. But other digital tools are going to be essential for scaling your marketing efforts.
You might think a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) is just for big businesses with thousands of customers. But there are plenty of CRMs designed for small businesses that help improve customer relationships in a scalable way. Take a look at this Zoho review that outlines how it can be used to get better insights into customers and prospects. It allows small businesses to automate sending out targeted marketing materials at the right time.
And when it comes to your social media game, with so much competition, you only as good as the tools you use. To succeed on and stand out on social media, you need to post more content and engage with your followers on a regular basis. So you need to use tools such as HootSuite to schedule posts ahead of time and give you access to analytics that help you assess and improve your social strategy as you go.
Regardless of your experience, or preferred methodology, there’s always room to experiment with powerful new marketing tools. This should be your first step to centralizing and upscaling your marketing efforts.
Position Yourselves as an Expert
As a small business, you don’t have the financial muscle to stand out in a crowded market. Rather than trying to go toe-to-toe with brands that you can’t compete with for ad space, you should look to give your business an alternative edge.
There are few better ways to improve your brand than giving it authority.
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One of the best ways to give your business a sense of authority and trust is to position yourself and your staff as experts or thought leaders. Whether you’re in the retail or service sector it helps your brand significantly to be associated with industry-leading minds and a genuine passion for what you do.
Positioning yourself as a thought leader requires putting yourself out there and creating actionable, interesting content that can attract the most enthusiastic audience. A good example is this guide to OpenCart. The site’s target audiences are e-commerce entrepreneurs and business owners, and the OpenCart review provides valuable insights for them. Alongside all the other platform reviews and relevant blog posts, it builds up the site’s reputation as an expert in the e-commerce industry.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel or come up with something unique in your weekly blog — you’ve still got a business to run. But you can offer you personal insight and show your expertise and knowledge in a specific field. Once you’ve created valuable content, you can also repurpose it for different channels and share it to increase its reach. Your content will help you to rank in search results for a wide range of keywords that are relevant to your business and drive more organic traffic to your site.
Once you’ve established yourself as an industry expert, you can expand your influence by participating in webinars, podcasts, and interviews on other blogs to build up awareness of yourself and your business. Think of this as a process of marketing yourself first and the business secondary. Promoting your business is secondary to building your brand and your reputation. Once you establish yourself as someone people can trust, business opportunities will follow.
Make Social Your Focus
It’s impossible to understate the importance of social media marketing. Every small business owner in the world knows how powerful social media is. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all have hugely passionate audiences that engage with content of all types. Emerging platforms such as TikTok show that there’s no sign of the social train coming to a stop any time soon.
Social media is just as important as ever, but it’s even more important to do it correctly.
There was a time where you could get away with being on every social platform posting the same message. Not any more. Companies need to be smarter on social, creating custom made content tailored to that particular platform and the audiences. If your social marketing is not creating opportunities for your brand, you need to take a step back. Ask yourself whether the content you post works on that network. Analize successful posts and accounts to see what’s trending and what others are doing to generate the buzz.
To successfully scale your social media marketing efforts you need to find the platforms that are the best fit for your business and brand. That doesn’t mean heading to Facebook because there are the most people there. It means finding out which platform your target audience is using and figuring out how you can reach them. There are many social media tools to help you achieve this. You can an analytics tool such as BuzzSumo to get content insights and ideas tailored to your brand and audience.
The last few years have seen brands take this idea of tailored social to heart. It’s why you get fast food brands aggressively tweeting each other and posting memes. By being smart and maximizing your efforts you will be able to generate more business using social media, but you must be smart on how you use it, otherwise, it will be a waste of your time.
Don’t Neglect Traditional Press Coverage
So far we’ve covered mostly digital strategies for marketing your small business. However, small businesses shouldn’t be afraid to turn to traditional media to give their brand a boost.
Using social media, is not the only way to build name recognition in today’s modern markets. Instead of going viral on Twitter (and be forgotten the next day), you can work with big press organizations looking for fresh content.
Getting featured on a high-authority press website can do wonders for your business, giving it national exposure and aligning it with some of the biggest brands in the world.
There are lots of unique media opportunities available for small businesses.
Ecommerce stores can find themselves in varied product catalogs and gift guides. Brands in expert fields such as medical equipment or data analysis software can use sourcing tools such as HARO to find interesting press quote opportunities. There are a number of different ways to get features in the physical and digital press that other brands will not be thinking of — giving your small business the space to create something more memorable.
Of course, you can apply these same ideas around press coverage to other media channels. Podcasts, in particular, are an emerging trend with an enormous worldwide audience. If you can secure a spot speaking on one (perhaps as a thought leader) or even start your own it will boost your business to a wide audience that may never otherwise have heard of it.
There are lots of different ways to approach upscaling your marketing efforts when running a small business. How you proceed will always depend on the products or services you’re looking to sell and your existing brand ethos and tone.
However, there are lots of easily missed opportunities out there and gaps within the business pipeline that small brands would do well to pay closer attention to.
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