So, you have either just started your small business, or have been operational for a while and things just don’t seem to be taking off. You might be wondering what you are doing wrong or how you can get your name out there to potential customers.
You are not alone. In fact, statistics show that 50% of small businesses fail in the first year, but the main reason for this is that 42% of them fail due to the lack of demand for the product, or incorrect marketing.
This can be incredibly daunting for new business owners.
We totally understand, marketing budgets for SMEs are tiny, and there is only so much you can throw at getting your name out there compared to the day-to-day operational costs. Having deep insights into marketing is also rare for an entrepreneur, and hiring a top-notch marketing guru can be expensive.
Well, we are here to help. In this digital day and age, getting the right marketing strategy together and actually implementing it is possible on a shoestring budget and with limited knowledge of the field. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you on the right path and get your name known.
Put a Lot of Focus on Your Content Marketing
We are going to jump straight into what might just be the most important aspect of the digital marketing strategy right now.
Content is certainly one of the biggest tools at the moment to get your product in front of the right audience. If you go smart about it, you can find tons of free or incredibly cheap tools and platforms to help you in your content strategy.
You will need:
- Your website;
- Your blog;
- Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter;
- Email campaign platform;
- Affiliate and partner sites.
But, here are the rules.
- Your content needs to be informative.
- Your content needs to be educational.
- Your content needs to empower and enrich your customer.
Here is a practical example of how you can put this into practice. Say, you are a pet food and accessory retailer. Next week, a certain brand of pet food will be going on special and you want to market that. Pop it into your content calendar and start planning some good content around it.
Write at least two blog articles relating to the pet food. Here are two good examples of what people want to read:
“5 signs your dog needs to go on a diet”
“Why do older dogs need different food and when should you make the swap”
These are topics which people will be searching organically, or will catch their eye in emails or on social platforms. So, make sure you get them up onto your blog and then share them across your social platforms, as well as in your email campaign.
In the article, you can insert a great CTA with a copy like “Get 30% off x brand food, this week only.” Traffic will come in from all sources and you will see a huge increase in click-through rates.
Automate as Much as Possible
Now, this all might seem like a lot of work, but when you get the hang of it, you can actually automate a few processes and start focussing on other things in your business.
Things like emails that go out each week can be fully automated, and you will simply look for the right email automation tool that suits you and get on the road of sending out mass emails to your database. In these emails you can include your blogs, new products, product offers and eye-catching CTAs and images to convert the readers to site visitors.
You can also automate your social media scheduling, which is really helpful because this can take hours out of your day. There are tons of great tools that you can use to schedule posts across various platforms, or even monitor how well they are doing.
There are also a number of really impressive CRM tools that you can choose from. With these, you can have a full view of your client database and incredible insights into them. Your client base will be properly organized and you will be able to see when they made their first purchase, what their purchase patterns are and when the last purchase was.
This means that you can reach out to them with a great offer before their next purchase, for example, and prompt them to buy again, and even up-sell them. These tools are great for retargeting and customer retention due to their personalization aspects.
Measure, Monitor and Test Everything
One of the biggest pieces of advice that we can give to you is to keep an eye on every single thing you do. If you post a blog and share it on your socials and in your email campaign, watch how successful it is.
Keep an eye on how much traffic it generates, how long people stayed on the article, whether they bounced or whether they took the bait and clicked the CTA to the product page. This will allow you to map your strategy more successfully in the future.
You will be able to see what works and what doesn’t. You can easily track what pages are getting the most attention, what sign up forms are working, which CTA’s are high in click-throughs and more with Google Analytics. You can easily merge GA with your site, and be able to have a birds-eye view on how traffic flows on your site.
If you change something on your site, even something as simple as the color of a CTA, or the position of your sign-up form, test to see how well it performs. A/B testing is a great way of mapping what works and building a successful strategy from there. You can track what increases your conversion rates and what heightens the bounce rate with successful A/B testing.
As much as it does sound like a lot of hard, repetitive work, once you refine the process, you will be able to move on to the next strategy and operation that will need your attention.
Don’t be overwhelmed by digital marketing. As much as there are a lot of options and aspects to consider, once you start getting one element right, the rest will start falling into place. Make sure you do a lot of research while you go along.
Searching best practices and how-to videos will save you tons of time and money and you will be able to kickstart your marketing strategy by yourself, with a very small budget.
Keep your content calendar simple to begin with and make sure you get out regular, eye-catching content weekly to keep your audience interested.
Remember, your customer journey is key, and you will need to cater to what your customer wants, and how they move and flow on your site at all times.