5 Marketing Essentials for Small and Medium Businesses

Getting an effective marketing strategy for your small or medium business can be an uphill task.

With there being so many B2B marketing tools, channels, and strategies, it is difficult to determine which will work best for your industry.

Of course, the right solution will depend on the product or service you offer. It’s also worth adding that it takes expertise to develop an effective marketing strategy, this is not something you can muddle through yourself; get the senior strategic help you need. Inside-OutHouse makes this challenge a lot easier, take a look here.

So let’s consider 5 of the best marketing toolsets that you can use to boost your sales.

 

1. Market Insight is everything

It should go without saying that perhaps the most significant determinant of how effective your marketing strategy will be is how well you know your audience – their preferred communication channels, their pain points, and activation triggers.

Carrying out market research is crucial both when you are developing your marketing strategies and when you are implementing them. Research helps you understand your client’s needs. The effect of the business environment on those needs, and how actions from your competitors may affect how you satisfy those needs.

When carrying out market research, talk to past and present customers, as well as prospects. Ensure you use both online and offline materials to understand your customers better. Also, ensure that you create a research repository so that your team can easily access it and implement its recommendations.

 

2. Never overlook Email Marketing

Email marketing is a tried and tested method of reaching both business and individual customers. Email marketing is an effective way of engaging with your potential clients and turning them into leads and eventually into customers. Done well, it’s been shown to have the best ROI of any channel.

However, for this marketing strategy to be effective, you need to implement it properly. Some of the best email marketing practices include:

  • Creating enticing subject lines: Your subject line should be clickbait without being spammy. There are free subject line test tools online.
  •  Stick to only one call-to-action (CTA) per email: Have a specific CTA per email. Having numerous CTAs in one email may confuse your recipients.
  •  Segment your emails such that it reaches the most relevant audience with the most pertinent message.
  •  Don’t shy away from cold emailing but beware of spamming. It can hurt your online reputation and reduce deliverability. Know what you’re doing.
  •  Create responsive emails: Create emails that show up correctly on various devices, more so mobile phones, to avoid them being ignored.
  • Leverage and learn from data: Good email platforms offer you a host of data – you can even trigger automated follow-ups from the most receptive recipients.

 

3. Master your Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a vast world but the two most important components are search and your website. Get these right! Entire businesses have been built on little more.

  •  Drive traffic to your website with Search Engine Marketing (SEM) aka Pay-per-click advertising (PPC). You can target tightly, set any budget and measure the effectiveness of specific messages.
  •  Create an engaging website that effectively converts visitors to leads/sales. Use landing pages that support specific SEM campaigns for additional relevance. This is known as Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO).
  • Optimise your website to be easily discoverable and to rank highly in Google search results by applying Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques. These are many and varied and take time to have effect, but is an important way to see website traffic increase.

Be clear about your digital marketing goals. The top 5 goals of digital marketing in 2020 were to convert leads (19%), increase web traffic (17%), support revenue generation (15%), increase brand and customer (14%), and generate a high volume of qualified leads (14%).

 

4. Use of social media for engagement and lead generation

Social media platforms – most notably LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – have cemented themselves as great places to acquire new customers. You need not only to join these platforms but also be active on them. Post regularly, take part in discussions, follow the conversations of your target audience, and provide them with solutions to their needs.

Some of the best practices to market effectively on social media include:

  • Publish valuable content regularly: You can publish written content or share videos or infographics that can help your audience address their pain points.
  •  Constantly review and quickly respond to customer comments, questions, and feedback no matter whether they are negative or positive. Your response to your customer will help create a good image of your brand or service.
  • Think of it as a conversation; don’t hard sell and don’t be boring!

 

5. Managing Customer Data in CRM and Marketing Automation systems

Great marketing feeds on its own success! When you sell anything, you have potentially also scored a bit of valuable customer data. You can use this to understand your market better as well as to cross-sell and upsell to.

But you’ll need a good CRM system (Customer relationship Management) that combines data insights with database management capabilities about your customers and prospects, actively tracking behaviour and interactions so you know what drives their purchase decision, when they buy, and what makes them unique.

Customer data is also used in Marketing Automation platforms that follow up on your customers to personalise your relationship, remove repetitive sales tasks and essentially never lose a prospect.

 

6. Referral marketing, reviews and testimonials

Referrals and reviews are powerful ways to positively impact your credibility and the number of customers you convert. That’s why review sites and Google reviews have been booming.

You should ensure that your referrals are trusted people or entities. Among the best way to be successful with referral marketing are:

  • Expanding your professional network: You can do this by getting involved in professional and industry organisations.
  • Using incentive referral: Come up with a manageable and financially prudent program that offers incentives to people who refer others to your product or service.

As for reviews: constantly ask for them and share a link to Google reviews so it’s easy for customers to upload theirs. Don’t be afraid of reviews; provide a great service and they’ll look after themselves.

 

The marketing toolsets outlined above are among the most efficient. However, you should keep in mind that marketing strategies evolve with changes in the needs of your audience. As such, constantly improving your marketing strategies on a need-to basis is the hallmark to have an effective strategy.

 

 

 

Read more about Inside-OutHouse services here. Inside-Outhouse was created by specialist SME marketing consultancy Permission. Read more about Permission here.

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