Small business owners make up for a majority of the working class around the world. Here are some numbers to support this claim:
Small business units form close to 58% of the total employment. This number goes considerably up in low and middle-income countries. It might come as a surprise, but in countries that have the lowest income levels, small businesses contribute almost 100% proportion of employment.
These numbers clearly show how vital they are for the economy.
Yet only 50% of small businesses survive just five years or more. During the years of their inception, small businesses have to face multiple challenges and strive hard to carve a niche for themselves.
Without an iota of doubt, it takes considerable effort to create and execute a successful business. Right from building a team to managing payroll, accounting, and more – there’s a lot that small business owners have to manage.
And it requires constant input and effort from not just the owners but the entire team to take a small business to the next level.
Things have been made even more difficult with a huge number of small enterprises coming up, and the competition becoming more swift than ever.
This is the reason that marketing your business has become more important than ever since that’s the only way to carve a niche in this ever-increasing competition.
Don’t forget, without proper marketing and social presence an enterprise can lose out not only on potential clients but also fail to build a solid fan following as well.
Now, over half of the overall small business owners handle their marketing on their own. But only a small fraction of this percentage is able to succeed in their marketing efforts.
If you have been investing in marketing efforts for your small business, but not getting the desired output, you probably need to rethink your strategy. In other words, you need to create a concrete marketing strategy, in which you measure your pain points and eliminate them by employing a fresh set of ideas for your business.
To help you gain more insight, here are a few ways of solving small business marketing problems:
1) Develop A Plan
A good marketing strategy will enable you to hit the target audience, generate feedback, and proceed accordingly. In a very short period, many small businesses have made it big among the masses all thanks to their well thought out marketing plans.
Systematically proceeding towards your goal can help avoid any kind of confusion and keep the workflow smooth.
A basic marketing plan would involve:
- Figuring out your target audience
- Deciding which platforms to target
- Creating a content calendar
- Building a streamlined system to track and monitor your efforts
Based on the nature of your business, you can eventually iterate and customize your business plan.
2) Work On Brand Presence
We live in a digital world, where everyone’s life is on display out in the open, and information is super easy to access. This is predominantly why small business organizations need to have an online brand presence.
Do you ever wonder how brands you never heard of a year back now have a huge buzz in the masses? This is a result of infectious marketing and giving the customers the kind of content they are looking for.
Here are three major ways that can help you increase your brand awareness:
- Public Relations: PR is key to making a business viable on the internet. Tactically increasing the visibility of a brand, setting up collaborations, events, and working with media are key aspects of public relations when it comes to increasing social presence.
- Blogging: Another great way of creating a buzz around your brand name is by blogging about your work, the process that you follow, your inspiration, relationships with employees, and so on. A consistent blog can help you maintain a niche which is key for your venture. This also helps generate credibility among your readers and authority among your contemporaries. Consequently, blogging enables your work to reach a wider audience and helps to put in a good word about it in a genuine way.
- Co-marketing: Co-marketing or business collaborations are the new way for businesses to capitalize on each other’s audiences and inherit brand credibility outside your regular audience. Partnering with other brands is great for displaying your work, and expanding outside your organic marketing crowd.
Almost 84% of smartphone users check online stores for reviews before visiting a local business. So whenever you think about a small business making it big, always remember a great social media presence is the foundation of success for an enterprise, especially for small scale businesses.
3) Stay On Top Of Market Trends
Business marketing is only successful when you keep yourself at pace with the ongoing trends. As an up and coming business enterprise, you must have complete knowledge of the demands and requirements of customers in your field and design a strategy around them.
Staying relevant is important when you own a small business, you must employ proactive marketing techniques such as working with microbloggers, native advertising, and generating a local buzz to give your business the much-needed jumpstart.
With the right professional guidance, you can work effectively in the growing business market and keep up with what your contemporaries are up to.
Your main goal when in a micro business should be lead generation, with viable leads you get potential customers and this can only be achieved if you keep up the ongoing market trends.
Building a refined small-sized audience base is a great way to start, that is possible when you keep the client requirement in mind.
4) Keep Constant Contact With Your Audience
As a business owner, you need to dissuade yourself from feeling shy and unsure in front of an audience. Giving your business a personal touch with frequent interactive sessions with your audience helps you connect with them emotionally and gives a face to your venture.
It also gives you an opportunity to get direct customer feedback.
Don’t forget – face to face communication is still the most popular way of communicating, and it is significant when marketing your business. A personalized marketing strategy can help diversify leads and increase your fan base.
As per Hubspot’s Global Content Trends when asked what kind of content consumers wish to see, a whopping 54% said they wanted to see video content. This is precisely why we must give them what they ask for and prepare interactive videos as a part of outbound marketing.
Such practices enable us to eliminate engagement problems and help businesses gain much-needed publicity.
5) Outsource Your Marketing Efforts
Resource constraints are often a major drawback of a small business. Developing a marketing plan is amazing, but one must keep in mind the budget and manpower at hand and use it optimally.
Even though the internet has greatly levelled the playing field for big and small businesses, it is, however, tough to find the best people with minimum resources.
While outsourcing you must be careful and fact-check a professional thoroughly while also going through their existing work. If you get in touch with the right people, it is a great opportunity to boost your existing marketing skills.
Cross-functional teamwork has become immensely popular among organizations and many leaders outsource work in such a team that brings diversity and fresh perspectives.
But beware of phoney, self-proclaimed social media specialists, and be sure you hire a genuine, digital marketing expert to work with you.
Overcoming marketing problems when you own a small business can be a task if you do not have the right plans in mind. When it comes to micro-businesses, a good online marketing strategy is an extremely important aspect of its success.
If in today’s highly competitive market you want to survive, prosper, and profit you must employ highly skilled marketing professionals and amp up your strategies as per the trends.
A loyal customer base is what helps a business set sail and slowly expanding that audience base requires a fresh set of ideas. This write-up aims at educating readers about tackling marketing trends and acing digital marketing with the abovementioned strategies.
Did you fix any marketing challenge in your business recently? Please share your tips in the comments.
About The Author:
Vartika is the Chief Marketing Officer at ProofHub, a project management software. She has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2016, 2017, and 2018. She is also a contributor at Business.com, The Next Web, YourStory, and Huffington, among others. Her articles mainly revolve around productivity and leadership.