While it is true that major conglomerates and SMBs both need marketing, there is a huge difference when it comes to the approach. The first ones have an almost unlimited marketing budget and an already established brand name, while SMBs have neither of these things. This is why people behind their marketing campaign need to be extra resourceful and find the methods that yield the greatest ROI and are not that expensive to begin with. With this in mind, here are several marketing strategies that are universally deemed as the most suitable for SMBs.
Social media marketing
The first step an SMB must take in order to establish its online presence is get registered on several major social networks. Sure, you may already have a profile there and although personal branding may be quite useful, it is vital to also have business accounts on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and other similar networks. Using these networks is one of the best ways to ensure that your words reach the largest possible body of an audience at any given moment. In fact, at the moment, Twitter is more of a news medium than it is a social network.
Focus on your email marketing
Email marketing is still a preferred tool of communication for professionals all over the world, and it has a surprising impact in the world of B2B marketing. Furthermore, it is the strongest technique for post-sale follow-up, which is vital in generating return business. These return customers will in time start developing an astounding amount of brand loyalty and might even become brand ambassadors. Keep in mind, however, that the world of email marketing is also notorious for all the spam-bots circling around, which is why you need to learn how to write simple, effective and, above all, organic emails. Finally, due to the fact that most people access their emails through their phones first, make sure that the content of your emails is optimized for mobile.
Another great way to establish yourself as a figure of authority in your industry is through content marketing. By creating quality content that actually brings some value to your audience, you are A) establishing a level of trust between you and your customers and B) inviting them to visit again in order to learn more about that topic. Nonetheless, in order for this to work, you need to do two things right. First, you need to write quality content, which requires a lot of effort, skill and talent, and second, you need to constantly post so you’re not forgotten. In order for this to work, you would probably have to find a way to exploit the idea of guest posting to your benefit or look for regular contributors.
Start a contest
In the previous section, we mentioned that writing quality content provides value for your audience, but there is another way to achieve just that with a bit less effort. What you need to do here is simply start a contest of sorts and lure in more people by promising them a valuable reward. Of course, depending on the prize, this can be quite expensive, but the ROI usually makes it worth your while.
Turn towards traditional marketing
Finally, while digital marketing strategies usually require smaller investments, they are also somewhat less subtle than some of the traditional marketing methods. For instance, if you were to paint a company logo on your corporate vehicle, most of your audience would see this as a direct form of advertising but would not perceive it as invasive in any way. This especially goes for promotional products like branded T-shirts or personalized umbrellas. Due to the fact that these items actually add material value to their recipients, they are known to be quite effective in helping you create a positive public image.
Even though you may be restricted by your budget, this will only give you a chance to show your creativity and resourcefulness. By setting the right long-term goals, identifying your target audience and doing extensive research on your competition, you can easily determine which of the above-listed ideas sound the best.