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You’re a one-woman show, wearing multiple hats, running your own errands, and hopping in and out of meetings all day.
Between crafting marketing emails and keeping up with social media algorithms, it can feel like your marketing efforts are stretched too thin.
But what if you could put together a comprehensive SMB marketing plan that fits your busy schedule?
You absolutely can have it all. With a little bit of reading about common types of SMB marketing and some time spent putting together your plan, you can have a solid marketing path that will increase your brand awareness and boost conversions.
Plan and organize all your marketing projects in one place with this downloadable SMB marketing calendar template (Excel).
As a small business marketer, you have some unique challenges:
1. You’re probably strapped for resources. Running lean and efficient is the name of the game.
2. It’s unlikely you have much help. You’re a one-person team wearing all the marketing hats for your company.
3. And you just might feel overwhelmed. When the whole world is on your shoulders (or at least everything marketing within your organization), it can feel like a lot.
Fortunately, this post will help you make sense of it all. For a quick refresher, start with this straightforward but informative Slideshare deck from Sahar Consulting that covers the basics of SMB marketing. Then, read on to learn how to put together a plan that will help you get organized and start making sense of your marketing.
Your SMB marketing plan should be as multifaceted as possible – but this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to master every marketing channel. Rather, you need to be selective in choosing channels that you’re able to strategically integrate and optimize.
Knowing how different SMB marketing channels impact your business gives you power in making the right decisions:
You can see that both social media and email are critical to an effective SMB marketing plan, as is taking a multi-channel approach.
Content marketing is a broad SMB marketing channel that includes your website and blog, one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site.
Some people may think it’s limited to blogs and landing pages, but content marketing is much bigger than that.
Content includes a variety of media that can be published online:
You can use each of these types of small business marketing to create interest in your company and provide value to your potential customers.
Videos and podcasts, for example, are useful for communicating in-depth content and driving traffic to your site. And they can be posted on multiple platforms, exposing your content to new viewers.
If you have a lot of knowledge on a niche topic and think your customers will find value in it, ebooks give you room to dive deep into a topic and share your expertise. Like videos and podcasts, you can also make them available on multiple platforms.
Email is an incredibly effective marketing tool. Not only is it relatively inexpensive, virtually everyone has some basic access to email (there are nearly seven billion email accounts!)
This makes it one of the most prevalent forms of communication in the world.
But capitalizing on that SMB marketing channel takes some diligence and effort. There are some best practices to follow that will boost your email marketing success:
This is one channel that shouldn’t be overlooked. Consider working with an email marketing company to help formulate a successful email marketing plan.
Marketing for small business has come a long way in the last decade. With more social media apps than ever, small businesses and solo marketers have access to people in a way they’ve never experienced before. That makes social media marketing a critical part of any SMB marketing plan.
Some of the most common social media platforms used in SMB marketing include:
While not every business will use all of these platforms regularly, having access to these channels is crucial. Instagram, for example, has a significant web presence:
Being able to market to those 500 million people is a path to increased revenue—the goal of any SMB marketing plan. Craft unique, effective hashtags and share valuable insight with your followers.
Search engine optimization (SEO) goes hand in hand with certain types of written content. For the most productive SMB marketing strategy, incorporate SEO into your blogs and landing pages. Here are some tips on using SEO effectively:
With a little bit of practice and testing on your website, SEO can be a relatively inexpensive tool in your SMB marketing toolkit.
One SMB marketing channel that shouldn’t be overlooked is paid advertisements. Paid ads can come from a number of sources and there are a few types of ads that may be useful:
HubSpot highlights some of the key things to know about paid ads in this infographic:
Before you take this route though, it’s important to do some research on your target market. If your customers spend a lot of time using mobile devices and social media, for example, consider focusing on social media ads in your SMB marketing plan.
SMB marketing as a solo marketer doesn’t have to be a chore. Like your business plan, putting together a comprehensive marketing plan for small businesses is a crucial first step in driving growth.
First thing’s first: Before you ever put together a comprehensive SMB marketing plan, it’s critical that you research your target market.
What is the age range of your current customer base?
Where do they live? How do they find your shop or services?
Start by taking a look at the profile of your current customers. Don’t have a lot of info on them? Send out a survey. Ask a few quick questions and emphasize that this is helping you serve them better.
You should also do some research on your industry. Find out where companies like yours stand with respect to demographics and work that data into your strategy.
Knowing your market means you’ll spend your marketing dollars more effectively – you can target people like your customers rather than setting up ad campaigns for the general population. You can optimize your SEO to match the keywords people are already using to get to your services.
For additional guidance, this video from Wondertree Media explains exactly how to do this:
Let’s face it: We live in a digital world. Any business that doesn’t have a website is missing out on incredible SMB marketing potential.
But an optimized website is better than just throwing something together, so evaluate what you’ve already built and see where you can make improvements.
A key place to start is optimizing your content – update your blog and page titles, check that you’re using the best keywords still, and do some analysis on what’s been working best for your site.
If you haven’t updated your website in a while, make sure your site is responsive. Not only does Google recommend this, but it offers a user-friendly experience across multiple platforms.
An article from Forbes highlights how important your brand is: “Customers need to hear your message several times, so brand, brand, brand!”
And don’t forget about the importance of a mobile-optimized website, something that can really boost your conversions outside of SMB marketing.
You don’t have to try every marketing channel at one time.
In fact, that’s probably not a good use of your time. Instead, read through the channels listed above and see which ones make you 1) excited to learn, and/or 2) excited to do something you already know how to do.
Are you already good at writing?
Start with optimizing the SEO on your website and your blog posts.
Do you present well on camera?
Use content marketing to your advantage and create video content that your customers will love.
Use the skills you have, then tackle the next SMB marketing channel.
If you already use a web-based calendar to track your schedule, you’re ahead of the curve on this one.
Set up a dedicated SMB marketing calendar that you access on a daily basis. This infographic from CoSchedule points out the importance of scheduling your marketing campaigns:
Sure, you could combine it with your regular calendar, but as your marketing plan expands, you’ll want a schedule that has room for growth.
Now, hold yourself accountable. Get in the habit of scheduling your marketing activities for the week (or even the month or quarter!) and checking the calendar daily so you don’t miss anything.
If this all seems a bit overwhelming to take on by yourself, don’t be alarmed. You’re not the only one who’s ever felt that way!
One of the great things about our digital age is the number of SMB marketing tools available to solo marketers. You can find an app or extension for just about any aspect of your business.
SMB marketing tools cover a variety of categories, including:
With only 30% of businesses using a cohesive content strategy, you can easily set your business apart from the competition with a little bit of effort.
Whether you just started your business, or you’ve been around for some time and are looking for growth, SMB marketing for solo marketers is your path to success. You can increase conversions through automated emails and ramp up your brand awareness through social media.
And once you’ve got the basics down, invest in SMB marketing tools that will further drive growth and revenue – are you ready?
Schedule a demo today to see how we can make your small business marketing efforts pay off.
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