Marketing Strategies for SMBs that Are Often Overlooked
When it comes to running a marketing strategy for an SMB, you need to use all the available tools in your arsenal. This means that, apart from the big marketing methods that you remembered to consider right away, you also need to use those means that you would normally overlook. Now, just because a marketing technique isn’t getting enough attention, this doesn’t mean that it’s not effective or that it doesn’t provide a decent ROI. With this in mind and without further ado, here are a couple of marketing strategies for SMBs that are often (unjustly) overlooked.
On average, micro-influencers have much higher audience engagement rates than their more popular counterparts. Why? Well, because the following of a micro-influencer cannot be attributed to bandwagoning. Sure, a celebrity may give their own political opinions and while they’ll be received by a major audience, people are more likely going to trust an actual political analyst. The same goes for any other field.
Another reason why micro-influencers are so great for SMBs is that they’re a lot cheaper to collaborate with and have a much freer schedule. Now, while, in theory, you get less exposure for less money, you shouldn’t be surprised if, within their niche, they have just as much influence and just as big of a reach. In other words, they’re ideal for smaller budgets, which is exactly what SMBs have at their disposal.
Keep in mind that some macro-influencers outright refuse to work with smaller brands. Micro-influencers have no such problems. Now, if you establish this collaboration early on and a micro-influencer expands their audience, they’ll probably still be interested in collaboration. In other words, it’s a scalable solution.
Email marketing has an ROI of 4400%. This means that for every $1 you invest, you stand to get $44 back. Now, keep in mind that with traditional (analog) marketing, you would be unable to exactly track your profit. John Wannamaker once said that while half of the money he spends on marketing is wasted, he can never know which half it is. Well, in the era of digital marketing, this is no longer the case.
This form of marketing applies to every industry. After all, email is just that electronic mail and we’ve been conducting business by mail since the dawn of time. Keep in mind, nonetheless, that the rules of engagement slightly change from one industry to another, even though the principles remain the same. For instance, while standard email marketing will help you out even in the dental industry, going for email marketing for dentists will give you far greater results.
Generally speaking, email marketing drives traffic, builds your reputation, and even helps you establish relationships with your audience. Speaking of relationships, one of the best applications of email marketing is the fact that it’s an amazing re-engagement tool. This means that you can use it for post-sale follow-up and to generate return customers.
Give Back to the Community
The next thing worth mentioning is that you want to humanize your business. The last thing you want is to be seen as a faceless, corporate cash grab. Sure, a primary purpose of a business is to generate profit, but the relationship of your audience towards this fact is never going to be a positive one. They want to see that you’re in it for more than just money and the most organic way to show this is by giving back to the local community.
Now, the main reason why this is so great for SMBs is that they’re primarily local businesses or businesses operating on a small local turf. In other words, the people you interact with are your potential customers and partners. Parents of the kids on the soccer team that you’ve just decided to sponsor are your future customers. Even if you don’t target them specifically, things just overlap naturally. Hosted events are also a great opportunity for you to distribute some promotional materials.
Then again, you might need to do this for your own sake. Doing something that’s not profit-oriented feels great, even if you can’t afford this luxury too often. It helps you keep fighting the good fight and it reminds your team of the humanist side of your business. In other words, a small business may use these causes to keep its team together.
Communication Through the GMB Profile
Setting up a GMB (Google My Business) profile is not a piece of advice, it’s a requirement (a prerequisite) in the business world. After all, the majority of people will look you up online as soon as they hear about you, and if they can’t find you online, they’ll assume that you don’t exist. If they want to find your physical location, chances are that they’ll expect to see it on your GMB.
Now, a good thing about GMB is that it gives people a place to post their reviews. Reviews are invaluable, seeing as how they’re social proof that your business is legit. In many ways, they’re trusted more than testimonials since they appear to be more spontaneous. This is a great chance for you to interact with your audience and start working on your relationship.
You need to turn the messages on and automate the process a bit by adding a welcome message to your notifications. Remember that messaging from an official GMB profile is like using a profile with a blue checkmark on social media (it feels more legit). Everyone likes preferential treatment, and this is exactly what this will feel like to your customers.
Great human interaction is one in which both sides are getting something of value. While advertising, you’re getting exposure and attention, but what’s in it for your target audience? What are they getting from all of this? Well, by hosting webinars, you’ll start by making an offer of free knowledge, which is already a reason enough for them to log in.
Still, the effectiveness of the webinar in question can only be assessed in the aftermath. You need to set a meaningful topic, seeing as how that will determine the attendance (traffic). You need to promote the event the right way around, provide valuable content and consolidate all the assets for better engagement.
The reason why webinars are so amazing for small businesses is that they’re not as resource-heavy as traditional seminars. You don’t have to book a venue and take care of all the logistics. All you need to do is schedule it, announce it, and host it via the right platform. Still, don’t be fooled into believing that this is simple either. Hosting a great webinar takes time, patience, and careful planning. Nothing should be done with haste.
When it comes to digital marketing, the majority of enterprises immediately go for methods like social media marketing, SEO, and referral marketing. Why shouldn’t they? These methods are almost as effective as they are popular. Still, they’re not all that digital marketing has to offer. Methods like micro-influencers and holding webinars are more effective than you think, and email marketing is not dead. To make the long story short, in order to get the most value out of your campaign, you need to explore all your options.