In the era of digital marketing, small businesses benefit a lot from the opportunities brought about by online platforms and strategies. From social media marketing to search engine optimization, small businesses can now expand its reach and tap into the online market. Everyone and anyone who has access to a smart phone, or a laptop becomes a potential customer.
But not all small businesses have the luxury of having a marketing officer who can look into the technicalities of online marketing. Businesses go into business not as marketing professionals – small business managers are mainly skilled and focused on their product or service. It would be a fantastic bonus if a small business owner has background in online marketing from a previous experience prior to setting up a business. But this isn’t always the case.
Given the limited resources and budget of small businesses, and usually the lack of technical expertise, how can small businesses jumpstart their online marketing efforts?
- Be ready to invest either on internal training or outsourcing
There will surely be initial costs that come with exploring digital marketing as a function to improve visibility to a wider customer base. To start, assess whether there’s one person in the company who can and is willing to go through digital marketing training and could bring in this technical knowledge as a new skill. One can invest on at least one person to go on training if the goal is to slowly integrate digital marketing into operations. But, if the small business is eager to see fast results, it is best to consider investing in outsourced services, such as Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, or paid campaigns on social media, provided by technical experts.
- Identify top three products and focus on these
Another step to take is to identify the top three products which can be sources of growth. This can be the top-selling products, or those that have great potential but have not been given enough push through sales and marketing. Spreading your budget to market all the products and services is usually not an efficient way to spend marketing money. Small businesses can first focus on the low-lying fruits to do test paid campaigns on and fine tune based on results.
- Set a single source of truth for data and monitoring
Connected to the second point is setting up a reporting / measurement system. It will be hard to speculate about the results if there is no single source of truth – whether it be the analytics already provided by social media or hooking your website up to google analytics. All the money spent on online marketing will be put to waste if there will be no firm understanding of what works and what doesn’t. The goal of small businesses when investing into such efforts is not to get rich quick – it is to understand where traffic comes from and what fuels this interest. Without data, the small business will simply pump in more money without improving the efforts long-term.
Talk to CMSIT today to learn about outsourcing digital marketing as an option for small businesses.