Marketing Small Businesses. Top 10 Questions Answered
Your business success depends on your marketing.
Advertising, promotions, sales, and public relations make the engine that moves your business forward. In simple English, your small business thrives when you understand marketing and how your company can benefit from it.
However, the more you read about marketing, the higher the number of questions you have. It’s normal, and that’s why we’re here to give you some answers. Here are top ten questions about marketing small businesses. Enjoy!
How do I measure the return on my marketing efforts?
Measuring and proving the return on investment (ROI) of marketing activities is a challenge for 42 percent of companies. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get things right. You can have have a clear image over how you get value from money with each marketing campaign.
Marketing metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can help you to control your marketing efforts and measure results regularly. Among the things you can monitor by yourself using technology, you have:
- new website visitors,
- returning visitors,
- qualified leads,
- customer engagement,
- page views,
- conversion rate,
- click through rate,
- email openings,
- SEO ranking,
- customer retention.
And this is just a small part of the metrics you can use to calculate the ROI of marketing activities. Tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Ads Manager, HubSpot, StoryChief, or any other software help you to manage your content and marketing with no effort.
Having SMART goals is essential when measuring ROI. Your objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This way, you can track your progress and improve your marketing strategy as you move on with your campaigns.
How can I get FAST marketing results?
PPC campaigns (pay-per-click) can be pretty fast with generating targeted traffic to your website and increasing brand awareness. Depending on your purposes and budget, you can promote your business using Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn paid Ads or other forms of social media advertising and affiliate marketing.
Generally, PPC has good results. According to Google, for every £1 a business spends on Google Adwords, the organisation has an average revenue of £2. However, paid campaigns work only as long as you integrate them in a more cohesive marketing strategy. This includes valuable content, a coherent message, and long-term goals. Otherwise, you won’t be able to convert website visitors.
How can I improve my Google rankings?
SEO (search engine optimisation) is the only right way to stand out in the infinite number of websites out there. It’s the right way to conquer the only thing that matters: Google’s first page.
Optimising your website takes time because you need to put together a series of elements:
- compelling updated content that adds value to your readers;
- long-tail keywords that allow search engines to understand what type of information your pages provide;
- quality links from and to your site, as well as internal links that connect various pages of your website;
- site speed that allows your page to upload in two seconds or less.
You can start with an SEO audit of your website. It analyses your organic search traffic, content, and backlinks, and can show you what holds your site back. Once you know the problems, you can build a solid strategy that will help you to improve your ranking.
How do I get more followers on social media?
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to become popular on social media. You can try to use the same approach as your competitors. But, sometimes what works for a business can only harm your online reputation.
We suggest you post great content, engage with existing followers, be active, use hashtags, reshare what other people publish, and reach out to influencers. To reach your goals, you need to know well your audience.
“Listen” to what people have to say about the industry, your company, and your product. Identify pain points, topics of interest, and questions that need accurate answers. This way, you can create excellent, shareable content that drives attention on social media and brings in new followers.
Why do I need a blog?
Blogging has become one of the most popular methods for getting consistent traffic. For 43 percent of B2B marketers, blogging is the most important type of content in their strategy.
A blog is a key element in your content strategy, as it allows you to provide your prospects, leads, and customers with valuable information. This way, you educate your readers and hold their hands as they make their buying decisions.
Furthermore, your blog will help you to open conversations with your potential customers and keep them engaged with your brand. In time, you can use the blog to build yourself a reputation in the industry and increase awareness about your business.
A blog is a long-term investment that pays off. According to HubSpot, 75% of their blog views and 90% of blog leads come from old posts, being a cost-effective method of generating traffic and new leads for good.
What should my company blog about?
The rule is simple: write what you know best. If you’re a dentist, you can write about various treatments and their benefits, new technology and how it can help your patients, implications of not taking care of your oral health, or tips and tricks about keeping a healthy smile.
Cover the topics from the readers’ point of view. Use simple words that a normal person understands without having to ask Google for details. The more you explain, the higher the chances to get engagement from your audience.
Try to keep up with the trends. Use visuals and video content to illustrate your ideas and make each topic appealing to your audience. When you add value to your readers, they’ll share the information with friends on social media.
How long will it take to see positive results from my inbound marketing strategy?
Inbound marketing isn’t an exact science. Which means there’s going to be a lot of trial and error before getting the right strategy in place. Any positive results that arrive in the first six months are mostly casual rather than the result of your efforts.
Inbound marketing is the customer-centred method of doing business, in which you build content and campaigns around your target audience. It starts with defining your customers and identifying your buyer personas. This first step alone can take as much as a month or even longer.
Then, you need to analyse your current resources, conceptualise your content strategy, decide what metrics to follow to measure results and find the right marketing channels that are relevant to your industry and audience.
After the first six months, you can see patterns and identify methods that have the potential to bring in more customers. This way, you can improve your existing strategy and implement new techniques to capture attention. You may see the first real results after nine months. About this time, you should register increased organic reach of your website and consistent growth in your conversions.
Which social networks should I use for my business?
With more than 60 social networks available, finding the ones that can bring in customers is a real challenge. Most businesses choose to create pages and accounts on specific channels only because everybody does it. It’s evident that this is the wrong strategy if you want to differentiate yourself from the crowd.
There’s no such thing as “the right social media”. However, depending on the type of business and the public you aim to attract, some networks work better than others.
- Facebook is still everybody’s favourite, for now, mostly because it has 2.2 billion users. And provides marketers with highly-customisable targeting options. It’s excellent if you target both millennials and baby boomers.
- Instagram focuses more on visual content. It’s the right choice for businesses in which photos and short videos speak 1000 words. Such as fashion stores, restaurants, or flower shops, to give you some examples. 9 percent of Instagram users are young people under 25, so you should give it a try if you want to connect with this public.
- YouTube is the second most used search engine after Google. Go for it if you’re a real talent with videos and you can share valuable information with this type of content.
- LinkedIn is the perfect place to create leadership. This platform is useful for B2B companies that want to increase awareness and reach a “professional” audience.
- Snap has lost some of its popularity for now. However, the new Snap Originals and augmented reality projects may help the social network regain users. Snap’s audience includes teenagers and young people.
Besides these main social networks, build a presence on any platform that is relevant to your industry or niche. This way, you will get valuable insights and feedback that can help you develop your overall marketing strategy.
Should I use Facebook advertising?
In short, YES you should. As we said, Facebook is the top social network for now. Even if many people doubt the benefits of being on Facebook, marketers and small business owners can’t afford to ignore this very powerful tool.
Facebook advertising is a cost-effective method to get qualified leads fast, thanks to its fantastic targeting features. You can segment your audience based on interests, demographics, and purchase behaviour. This way, you can narrow to that group of people that have a real interest in what you have to say.
Better than that, Facebook has intuitive tools that allow you to manage your campaigns in one place. You get to measure results and perform changes in real time to optimise your messages. Above all, you pay for what you get.
Should I hire someone to do marketing for my business?
We sell marketing services, so we can’t say anything but YES, you should. You can either hire an in-house specialist or contact an agency to guide you through various strategies and explain the benefits of the inbound marketing methodology.
A partner can help you to analyse your current situation with an objective eye and set SMART goals for your business. Moreover, a marketing expert knows how to build buyer personas and craft commercial messages that fit specific categories of people.
An extra pair of eyes sees the pain points and the solutions to cover them. Plus, working with someone who is a stranger to your business can help you to identify new opportunities in places you’ve never looked before.