For small and medium-sized businesses, marketing can play a crucial factor in their long-term success. However, for many, we understand that limited resources and budgets can make developing and executing an effective marketing strategy challenging. In today’s digital age, having a solid online presence and creating valuable content are essential components of any marketing plan. But there are many other tips and strategies that SMEs can implement to reach their target audience and grow their business without breaking the bank.
Defining your target audience: Before implementing a marketing strategy, SMEs should clearly understand who their products and or services are targeting. Without truly defining your target audience, you’ll end up talking to everyone, and if you’re talking to everyone, you’ll find you’re talking to no one! If you’re unsure who your target market is, test it and pivot if necessary! Often businesses take a scattergun approach, developing lots of marketing without the desired results because they cannot reach their customers.
Create a compelling value proposition: A proposition defines what makes you different to your competitors and is your unique selling point. This should be used to help to develop your key messaging, marketing campaigns and subsequent marketing collateral. Identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will help you do this.
Have a plan: Each business is different, but it’s essential to have a plan that outlines your marketing goals. Whether you’re looking to create lead generation, improve your reputation or develop your brand awareness, it’s essential to know what steps you’ll take and how you’ll get there. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timeframe can be an excellent place to start.
Build an online presence: In today’s digital age, a strong online presence is more important than ever for SMEs. This includes having a user-friendly website that is optimised for search engines and social media profiles that are active, engaging and consistent. If you lack resources or budget, select the social channels that work best for your type of industry and do them well. You’re better off doing 1-2 effectively rather than five poorly. LinkedIn could be for you if you’re B2B focused, and if your business model focuses on B2C, the likes of Facebook and Instagram could be the best social channels for you to utilise.
Create valuable content: SMEs should create valuable content that speaks directly to their target audience. This can include blog posts that discuss the benefits of products and services, infographics that highlight key statistics, videos, and other forms of content that provide useful information. Having an opinion and creating thought leadership on current trends and events also helps businesses establish themselves as experts within their respective industries and may lead to opportunities with external media. Always respond to media enquiries, even if it’s to decline politely. Good relationships with local and trade press could prove invaluable in the future!
Leverage customer reviews and testimonials: Positive customer reviews, and testimonials can be a powerful marketing tool for SMEs. These act as your proof points and are examples of when your product and services did what you said they would, creating credibility amongst your target audience. Use case studies that outline how you helped implement services and products successfully into businesses and look to include these into tangible marketing collateral.
Network: Build a strong network with a wide range of stakeholders, including decision-makers, other business owners and advocates. Look at attending trade shows or events that are relevant to your business. Despite the prominence of technology and the emergence of AI, human relationships are still vital and should always be considered in any marketing strategy!
River Capital Marketing Manager