WRITTEN BY: SOPHIE COMAS FROM RIMU MARKETING
The last year has been a challenge for many, with some industries struggling more than others, it is welcome news that the pandemic numbers are positive and we are on a firm path out of lockdown. In a survey by Goldman Sachs, last September, they state that nearly two thirds of small businesses saw their revenues decrease in 2020, but anticipate 99% of them will survive, the impact of the last four months has yet to be seen. There is no doubt that this year we will see further significant impacts to the UK economy.
However, small business owners are resilient and it has been amazing watching many pivot, shift their business focus quickly and in a positive way to enable their businesses to survive. With this in mind and in anticipation of what is to come, it is going to be really important to get your small business marketing up and running. In our article below we share ten tips to get you started:
1. Be clear on your objectives. It is key to start here, by defining what you wish to achieve with your business, your marketing activity can reflect this. If for example, you are a personal trainer and wish to focus on promoting your online classes, you would shift the focus of your content in this direction, driving that action.
2. Define your target audience. Understanding your audience under pins all of your marketing. It helps you define your content plan, select your images, choose which social media channel to use and even which media to work with. Understanding this can help you to become more time and budget efficient.
3. Update your website. Think of your website as your shop window. Given how much things have changed over the last year, it is worth taking some time to update and refresh your website, ensuring it still correctly reflects you and your business.
4. Write a blog. Writing a blog can be a great way to share your knowledge and demonstrate your expertise, answering frequently asked questions by your clients. It can also help to boost your SEO, demonstrating to the search engines that your website is active.
5. Write a newsletter. For me email marketing is a gift for any small business owner. Enabling you to take control of your data and connect directly with your clients – is a great way to connect with your audience. With marketers citing a 40:1 ROI it is no wonder that this media continues to form a key part of the marketing mix.
6. Get social. Social media is a must in today’s digital world, ensuring that you know your target audience, where they hang out and then answering the questions that they have will help you effectively connect with them.
7. Pick up the phone. I know, slightly controversial, but in a digitally driven world, speaking to someone and reconnecting with them in person can really make a difference. It will certainly help you achieve stand out and during a time when many feel isolated it could be just the thing that both you, and your clients need.
8. Be consistent. Marketing works best when you consistently engage with your audience, it is not effective if you do a lot of stuff for two weeks and then when you get busy – nothing for six months. With marketing you need to keep chipping away at it, letting people know that you are there. I often say to my clients to consider the frequency, you can maintain when they are at their busiest and start with that. There is no harm in increasing activity if you are quiet, but keeping that consistent conversation going is important.
9. Get personal. If you look at some of the macro marketing trends over the last few years, making things as relevant and personal to your individual audiences is important. That is in part why social media marketing has been so successful. The data that the networks hold on their members is immense. As a small business owner, looking around you, being aware of your customers and what they engage with, will help you tailor your content accordingly.
10. Track and measure everything. The last tip is to always put a benchmark in place to assess if something has been successful. We are lucky that in today’s digital world we can fairly instantly see if a social media post has been well received, someone has visited our website or read and opened one of our emails. As an accessory business for example, it is not helpful to just say “I want to sell more scarves.”, but to be specific eg: ”I would like to generate a 50% increase in scarf sales by 31 May” (assuming this is one of your products). It will not only help you to focus your content but also let you know if it is working.
The final point to note, is be creative with your marketing, there are many great ideas all around you and lots of free resources and tools to help a small business owner get set up and established. Enjoy, have fun and let the passion for your business shine through.
Thank you to Sophie for sharing her tips on how small business owners can kick start their marketing post lock down. If you would like some help in getting started, why not join her FREE five-day marketing challenge, starting on 19 April – www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rimu-marketing-free-5-day-marketing-challenge. Sophie is an award winning freelance marketing consultant working with small business owners to help them achieve their business growth ambition, to discover more visit her RIMU Marketing website: rimumarketing.co.uk