Navigating The Small Business Marketing Minefield
By Jane Danser, Director at Pure Brand Media
When it comes to marketing your business at the moment, there’s one word that immediately springs to mind: minefield. There are just so many choices for a limited marketing budget – and so many questions..
How do we reach more customers and generate more leads? Should we invest in a new website? Would social media get a better response? Don’t we need to include some paid online ads now? Mind you, isn’t it all about video these days? Does media advertising still work? Although isn’t print making a comeback after GDPR? And what about Podcasts??
Phew! STOP…. And BREATHE!
Marketing can definitely seem overwhelming, especially if it’s not your area of expertise. So here are 5 steps to make putting together your strategy a little less daunting.
Identify Your Audience
There’s nothing worse than shelling out a sizeable wedge of your marketing budget on a shiny new campaign, only to find that it’s not generated you any new customers or potential leads. In my experience, one of the main reasons for this is that businesses don’t properly identify their audience.
Back in the day when I was working as a radio journalist, we spent quite a bit of time building up a clear picture of our target listener: their age, lifestyle, likes and dislikes. It helped us choose the best news stories to cover to keep them tuning in. The same applies to marketing. Carefully identify your target market, whether that be a consumer or a business. By building a clear image of who you’re trying to reach and what they respond to, you have a much better chance of getting your message across.
Once you’ve identified who you’re trying to reach, you can then look at the best way of reaching them. It just takes a bit of audience research. If they’re a business, what is their profile? How do they engage with their target market? If they’re a consumer, what age are they?
There’s arguably little point in spending a fortune running a paid-for Instagram campaign if you’re trying to reach over 65s. Equally, a radio advertising campaign on a station that plays music from the 70s is probably not the best channel if you’re trying to target millennials. Make a list of the channels that best reflect your audience’s profile and buying habits and set your budget accordingly.
See The Bigger Picture
Apart from not having a clear idea of your target audience, the second biggest reason I encounter for an unsuccessful marketing campaign is businesses not seeing the bigger picture. By this, I mean businesses running different marketing channels in silo. I’ve seen many examples of companies doing just this – then stating that their marketing isn’t working! Their approach was not at all joined up. They were sending out press releases, creating new website features, running paid-for advertising campaigns and creating great video content – but none of it was co-ordinated and the impact was getting lost in the overload.
The key to making your marketing budget work harder is to set a goal and make sure all of your different marketing channels are working towards it.
Getting the Content Right
Now that you’ve identified your channels and target market, it’s time for the fun part – creating your content! Depending on your strategy, this can include website content, press releases, blogs, newsletters, short videos, podcasts, social media posts, infographics, flyers, brochures… the list is pretty endless!
Create a list of content you’d like to create and set a timetable. If you’re struggling to decide which would work the best, go back to your research and look back at your audience.
When you’re creating written content, think about your key messages and the points you want to convey. And think carefully about the language that you’re using. Does it resonate with your audience? With images, do they connect with the audience you’re trying to reach?
Get Some Help!
Creating your marketing campaigns using a targeted approach is definitely the key to getting the best return on investment – but when you’re rushed off your feet, sometimes it really is best to speculate to accumulate!
If you need help with working through the steps we’ve identified in this blog, then getting in a marketing professional really can pay for itself. A robust strategy combined with killer content can really reap rewards and give you a much better return on investment.
Marketing may well be a minefield, but diffusing the situation is only a phone call (or click!) away.
Pure Brand Media is a video production, PR and marketing agency for business run by experienced broadcast journalists. We specialise in marketing strategy, content creation, video production and media campaigns for small to medium-sized businesses.
Jane Danser is the Director of Pure Brand Media, is a former radio news editor, producer and PR manager with more than 20 years’ professional experience in the national and local media.
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