How to Take Your Marketing Efforts to the Next Level: A Guide for Small and Medium Businesses
Marketing lets your business be heard. Without it, your company is a shout in the void, the tree that fell with no one around to see it. You exist, yes, but you exist in isolation. Marketing is the bridge. It’s the tool you will use to get word about your business out there so that you can reach targets and see your goals through.
Simply shouting about your business, however, is far from enough. You need to actually connect to your customers, relate to them, and then showcase your products or services in a way that tells them it’s going to improve their lives. You don’t need to solve a need, but you do need to at least fulfil a want. You need them to want your product in their home. You need them to want to use your service. If your business helps fulfill a need, then you need to inform your customers that your business’s approach is the best solution for their problem.
There are so many nuances to marketing and many different platforms. Overall, it’s important to remember that simple messages are effective. Stick to one thing at a time, especially if you offer multiple products or services. Rather than try to let a customer know about everything available at once, choose one thing and go from there.
If you struggle with curating your marketing campaigns and are finding it difficult to connect to your customers or followers online, then use the tips in this guide to start making systemic, influential changes to your way of doing business:
Hire a Fractional CMO
A fractional CMO, or chief marketing officer, is a C-suite-level executive that knows the ins and outs of marketing from a top-down perspective. A CMO is usually not a figure in small to medium businesses, but fractional CMOs are similar to freelancers, in that you only hire them for short periods of time and often for a specific job. If you wanted to really improve your marketing efforts once and for all, for example, consider hiring a fractional CMO to help direct your efforts.
They can help put together a go-to-market strategy, can help you determine which tools to use, which agency services to invest in, and can even help ramp up your marketing efforts overall. If you feel like your marketing efforts, even if you have an in-house team, haven’t been as polished as you want them to be, hiring a CMO can be just the thing you need.
Hire a Marketing Agency
If you do go down the CMO-route, you should have them help you find the right marketing agency for you. While it may seem like a marketing agency should be able to do it all, there is an absolute advantage if the agency in question has worked with your type of business before. This is because the success of any marketing campaign is how well the campaign itself can speak to your target audience.
If the agency you outsource is familiar with your business type, model, and target customer, they can build great strategies more effectively. They likely already have a host of ideas that will work with your business, meaning that you can get a great campaign up and running faster, and more effectively.
This, combined of course with experience in Google Analytics and AdWords, can help you reach your marketing goals and establish contact with new customers in your target audience.
Organic Marketing and Engagement
No matter who you have on your team, or how many professionals you outsource to, you will need to do some marketing tasks in-house. Organic marketing is powerful, since it feels more authentic. How you go about this organic marketing is simple. Rather than use tools, you do things manually.
Setting a posting schedule and doing keyword research is important, yes, but that’s the sort of task that can be outsourced or even automated. Where you need to put your focus is in actually engaging with your audience first-hand. This can mean directly responding to message inquiries, comments, and emails. You should also keep an eye out to see if any customer has mentioned you online or has posted a photo with your store or product. In these cases, comment! Being real, present, and engaging is a great way to show you care about your customers and can help you stand out to your audience in ways that large businesses simply cannot.
Get Creative with Content
Content is the most important component of marketing today, and if you can at least get a handle on this part of the marketing pipeline, you’ll be well on your way to successfully establishing an effective marketing approach. You will want to be on the platforms that your customers are, and the ones that offer you the most value. Suppose you own a bridal boutique, for example. In that case, you can create so many amazing and entertaining try-on videos that not only capture the attention of an audience, but also showcases your wide range of products.
This type of content marketing, combined with more traditional campaigns designed to capture customers on their buyer’s cycle, work wonderfully together. Content, of course, takes a lot of time and energy. Outsourcing the more traditional marketing needs can free up time and energy to create content. Keep an eye out for trends, try new things, and always use analytics to see how well each type of video is received.
Look Beyond the Online: PR Marketing
If you really want your business to thrive, you need people talking about it. That’s what PR marketing is all about. Rather than use your PR focus to do damage control, however, you’re using it to help talk up your business in unique ways. You can guest post the latest wedding trends, for example, or attend a designer showcase.
There are so many ways that you can attract the attention of your target audience and even other professionals. From earning certifications and winning awards to simply sending out press releases to publications that matter and make sense.
Getting others to talk about you means putting your name out there in front of real people while also boosting your SEO and ranking, making it a key win-win.