What you need to know to market your small business

What is Marketing?

Marketing. You’re familiar with the word, you may not exactly know how to define it, and likely don’t know where to begin. You do have a hunch, though; your SMB needs it. Fear not. You’re not alone. Let’s talk about market your small business

The truth is marketing is defined many ways by many different people. See, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to marketing. Not only is each business—and the needs of the business—unique but, often, so is the target audience. If each business is different and the audiences aren’t the same, there can’t be a single method to marketing.

While that concept is easy to explain and understand, our work is only just beginning.

With the flood of marketing tactics available these days, which are the best fit for your marketing strategy?

The selection of available marketing tools and techniques can be intimidating. While having options is a good thing, it can lead to choice overload and, sometimes, a bad decision.

Regardless of how the dictionary defines “marketing;” what does it mean for your business?

Let’s dive into marketing considerations and tactics for your small business.

Marketing Considerations and Tactics

Marketing is an elegant dance between art and science. There’s an art to the execution of the deliverables as our audience is emotional and human. There’s a science behind tracking which marketing methods work, and which do not. Marketing with one and not the other—art or science—will always fail. Establishing balance is key.

Looking Good

Speaking from the art side of things, your creative (both graphically and the written word) needs to connect with your audience. It needs to resonate on a logical as well as emotional level. Your potential customers need to understand why your widget is their best option, but they also need to feel compelled to hand over the money for it. By the way, these two feelings seldom occur at the same point along the buyer’s journey, but they do need to be realized before a sale is complete.

How about the overall design? Is good website design important? Yes. YES! It most certainly is. Here are 5 Reasons For Good Website Design that you need to consider when representing your brand online.

Explore the Data

While the experimentation of a marketing idea may find its genesis in an educated guess or a gut feeling, the analyzing of the effort and determination of success and failure must be confirmed by the performance metrics. Setting up your campaign to collect the data necessary to define Key Performance Indicator (KPI) success should be set up at the very beginning. Understanding what success looks like (defining specific goals) and laying the groundwork to capture the data must occur before setting a campaign live.

Test, Test, Test

Whether you love receiving new email or loathe the next piece of spam entering your inbox, there’s no denying the power of email marketing. Understanding what types of messaging resonates with your audience is vital to your email marketing success. A/B testing your email campaigns is an easy, straight-forward approach to seeing what works and learning how to better communicate with your market. Read more on this topic.

Take a Before and After Snapshot of your Business

When trying to lose weight, it is recommended to take a “before” photo of yourself. With this picture you can witness your transformation as you hit your goal weight. Sometimes changes are small and go unnoticed on a daily basis. In this same vein, I recommend noting how your business looks today. Review financials, website visits, social media following, or anything else you hope to improve through marketing.

While you achieve an anecdotal understanding of your progress while marketing, numbers don’t lie. Seeing your growth from the start helps you to appreciate your marketing’s power. Read more on this topic.

It’s Important to Have a Responsive Website Design

It’s no secret, mobile web usage is here and here to stay. Mobile devices like cell phones and tablets are ubiquitous and people often own more than one. The convenience of the hardware created an expectation of software convenience, and this convenience is fueled by speed and accessibility.

Responsive web design solves many of the challenges of speed and accessibility by considering the needs of the mobile community at the website’s conception.

Here are seven reasons why you need a responsive website: Read more on this topic.

What is Website Hosting?

Website hosting is often misunderstood. While it’s a basic function of owning and running a website, there are a few key points that are occasionally overlooked. In this article, we discuss what web hosting is, what it is not, and why all hosts aren’t the same.

Read now to understand what is website hosting.

Social Media for B2B Businesses

I have faced countless conversations with B2B business owners questioning whether there’s any value for B2B companies in social media. The short answer is YES there’s value!!

Here are 3 practical reasons why social media absolutely makes sense for B2B businesses.

Don’t Be Afraid To Outsource

You run a business. You’re good at what you do. As a matter of fact, you’re so good at what you do that you started (or manage) a business to sell what you do. 

A business, however, always requires more than your core competencies to exist, let alone succeed. Whether it’s back office functions like order fulfillment, accounting, inventory management, and the like or more public-facing responsibilities, like sales, PR, and marketing, there are roles your business demands that your internal human resources can’t support.

As the person responsible for the business, especially when starting out, you may feel inclined—or financially obligated—to perform these tasks yourself. 

While the idea that you can save money if you handle these efforts yourself seems logical, I would like to challenge your way of thinking. 

Check out why outsourcing likely makes sense for your business: Read more on this topic.

Who should you work with?

Now that you’re ready to start that marketing strategy conversation, where do you start? Should you reach out to some large, famous marketing agency or would a smaller, boutique outfit better suit your needs?

Well, there are several pros and cons to both large agencies and smaller boutique organizations. Included among them are talent access, overhead costs, and red tape concerns.

CLICK HERE for some key points for each so you can make an informed decision.

Focusing on Progress Over Perfection in Your Small Business

Starting a small business or running a department within a small business can sometimes feel overwhelming. There are many moving parts and, inherent in most small businesses, you’re likely wearing multiple hats.

While the to-do list is long—seemingly without end—it’s important to realize that your goal is not perfection but, rather, progress.

Read more about why it’s important to focus on progress over perfection.

As you can see, we are only getting started. This blog post will continue to expand and explore more marketing tactics and considerations. Please be sure to bookmark this page and check back often.

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