SME Marketing: How to make your mark

SME Marketing

We’ve all marvelled at the quality of the multi-million pound marketing campaigns implemented by the world’s largest brands. Making use of far-flung locations as the backdrop for your advertising campaign, securing pricey celebrity cameos and showing ads during the Super Bowl are tactics that only the top percentage of firms can employ. These brands may spend more on a single marketing campaign than your firm spends on marketing over a ten-year period. However, you don’t need the finances of John Lewis, Coca Cola or Apple to use marketing to your advantage. SMEs can benefit hugely from well-crafted marketing strategies, provided that they are created and implemented with care. Our team of SME marketing experts have put together a series of top tips for SMEs looking to improve their marketing efforts.

#1: Prioritise spend

You probably don’t have the budget to create masterful marketing campaigns across every channel imaginable. Instead, it’s often best to start from the foundations. In digital marketing, this means increasing and improving your online profile. A website overhaul is usually a worthy investment. Evaluate your approach to social media. Choose one or two channels (at the most) to concentrate your efforts on. Delete all other accounts – abandoned social media profiles with no updates in months or years implies that your company isn’t doing well.

#2: Take a holistic approach

Create a thorough marketing strategy that details your overall aims and how you’ll reach them. Individual marketing campaigns are far more powerful if you can integrate them with each other and your overall marketing plan. A good marketing strategy ensures that all advertising campaigns and communications stay on brand. Look at the big picture rather than its separate components.

#3: Recognise the value of time

You’ll often hear that social media is a free form of online marketing. That’s simply untrue. Time is money, and managing social media accounts can be time consuming. By focusing on a single social network, you’ll make this process far easier. Use tools to help you schedule tweets or Facebook posts throughout the week. By taking this approach, you’ll only have to dedicate a few hours to social media management each week, instead of having to hop back in to refresh the content several times a day. Set up email notifications to tell you when you receive tweets. This will help you respond to queries quickly – but you won’t have to manually check your tweets and comments to do so.

#4: Implementation is key

There’s little point in creating a marketing strategy if you fail to implement it effectively. Ensure that the key players know their roles. Keep all parties informed of important dates. It is vital that you have enough time and money to spend on this key phase. Don’t forget to include a mechanism or system that allows you to measure the effectiveness of each component of your marketing strategy and campaigns.

#5: Creating content

Content marketing dominates digital marketing. Learn how to harness it. In short, content marketing involves the creation and publication of content that’s useful, entertaining or engaging to your target market. It shouldn’t be a sales pitch or an instruction manual. Content can be published via your blog, on social media channels or on other blogs. Low-cost content ideas include behind-the-scenes glimpses of life at your company (profile new staff members, carry out Q&As with employees) and analysis of recent industry developments, such as new technologies, new legislation or a particularly controversial issue that’s raised its head. Get involved in the discussion and use social media to extend this buzz, improve your brand’s reach and direct traffic to your website. A single blog post every week or fortnight will be sufficient, as long as it’s high quality and provides real value to your readers.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.