Marketing for SME’s is certainly not without its challenges. Issues like limited resource, time restraints, budget & lack of structure can often mean that marketing gets drafted to the ‘to do’ list.
In 2020 more and more SME’s will look to take marketing from the shelf & roll out a robust strategy. Sure, maintaining profitability & attracting new business are often cited as years target but without structured marketing planning these often float in a perennial limbo state known to most SMEs as ‘the next quarter’.
Here are: 6 Marketing Tips to Kick Start Your Small business in 2020
1. Connect with social media advertising
It’s common knowledge that most small businesses have small marketing budgets. What sometimes slips through the cracks is that it’s possible to create an effective social media advertising program on a restrained cash resource. For less than 5 sterling or Euros a day. Whatever the currency, the key message is, it’s cheap. The key is to take advantage of the localised & filtered targeting options of social media platforms like; Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn & twitter to reach your particular audience. Most of these large social media companies have online support, call centers & lots of reading.
Get proactive & remember be ferocious in your endeavors.
Top Tip: In 2020 performance & productivity is key. Use social media dashboards to maximize social media advertising spend by targeting audience by interests, locality and demographics.
2. Email is still relevant but you have to stand out
In 2020 the fundamentals of creating effective email hasn’t changed. The basics are still the bedrock of any email campaign worth their salts. Strong subject lines equal high open rates.
Personalisation is set to top of the list in 2020. Back this up with asking thought provoking questions & your charity is onto a winning email campaign. The subject line is often the forgotten gateway. It fosters engagement and gets the email body read.
Factor in high quality content marketing in to your email process. Look to humanise your brand with personalised video. There’s no need to talk to large numbers of prospects individually, something which simply isn’t practical anyway.
Be precise. People get confused & when they do, they disengage. It’s your responsibility to ensure the message is undoubtedly clear with only one single CTA, (call to action).
Top Tip: People are simple creatures by nature, let your emails reflect that.
3. Branding: Your SME’s secret weapon
In 2020 brand strategy will become more important than ever before.
Experts predict that SME’s are beginning to transition to see the value of an effective brand strategy.
In my opinion the idea of giving your business a brand is still met with a certain degree of hesitancy in SME circles.
Branding doesn’t mean hiding behind a corporate logo or robotic slogan. break it down. Why not create an image that your target audience can resonate with.
Top Tip — Ask yourself these questions:
- How do you approach your overriding mission?
- Do you have a code or a set of guiding principles?
- Is there an ethos ingrained with your core offering?
- Find what makes you different.
- Amplify the ways in which you are genuinely different buy in to these traits.
4. Tighten up your website
Attracting website traffic is often top of the priority list in most marketing teams but more often than not this isn’t directly translated to bottom line.
But what happens when you attract prospects to your website?
The shuffle for a win in this instance is easier than you think. Once you have people on your website, it’s important that you draw their attention to your core business offerings. Think clear, CTA — clear, call to action.
When looking for inspiration, look to those who do it best. HubSpot have already scanned the internet for 23 of the best website homepage design examples out there.
‘’A good website clearly answers “Who I am,” “What I do,” and/or “What can you (the visitor) do here.” It also resonates with your audience, has a value proposition, calls visitors to action, is optimized for multiple devices, and is always changing to adapt to new design trends.’’
— Lindsay Kolowich, HubSpot.
- A visit to your homepage should leaves little doubt as to what the customer needs to do. A clear CTA button, should await the visitor.
- Address your value proposition & make it the most important element on the page.
- Be crystal clear: what do you want the prospect to do?
- Use A Strong Call to action. CTA is backed by a striking button.
- Add a chatbot or live chat widget to capture leads on high traffic landing pages. HubSpot offer a great free starter bot.
5. Embrace your Smart Phone to market your SME
Sharable content —
You wake up, it’s January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs is announcing a game changing device dubbed the iPhone at the Macworld convention, receiving substantial media attention. Life is good, you eagerly anticipate the final season of HBO’s Sopranos, coming soon this April. So many questions will Tony make it to the finale, what’s an iPhone, where is your notepad of journalists phone numbers?
Flash forward 13 years —
Fortunately, the year is now 2020. Tony Soprano’s fate is the debate of many YouTube clips & the iPhone is now well into it’s umpteenth iteration & you can do more than just call journalists using your old fashioned notebook.
Smartphones make marketing accessible for any SME in 2020.
Think sharable content. People prefer short, visual content they can share instantly. That could mean a video for their social media accounts, photographs and audio. If you’re on a tight budget you can produce them all on a smartphone.
Top Tip: Smartphones put a complete production studio for marketing material and social content in your pocket. Mobile marketing makes content productions more affordable, flexible and faster helping your charities make headlines. Try use some mobile in your 2020 SME marketing strategy.
6. Use chatbots..or live chat
Use bots aka conversational interfaces to get closer to customers by offering the right option at right time. Capture leads, answer FAQ’s, welcome people to your site… there are lots of options that don’t hurt your marketing budget.
It’s like I always say, you should try to delight, ignite and engage your audience. Make sure that your bot is relevant to what your site visitors need and importantly, resonates with the people who make up your customer base.
Use existing user data from your CRM or simply, old sales records, emails, social media engagements — data is your can opener to better customer conversations.
Here are some great free bots kits to easily add to your website.
HubSpot allow you to create and customise chatbots yourself — no coding skills required.
Drift will let you take their bot for a test drive without installing any code on your website
Webio offer great chatbot and live agent customer conversations in any messaging channel at scale. If you want to ever loop in some messaging channels like Facebook, Skype or WhatsApp. Check them out.
Top tip: Put an human handover path in place
Where chatbots add most value for businesses is in answering routine questions quickly. Once things get tricky often a human is needed. HubSpots
Head of Conversational Engagement Connor Cirillo argues to err to the side of human before it’s too late.
The human should be able to pick up the thread of what has gone before and switch the call from a chat window to a call or a least take over from the overworked bot..
Now it’s 2020, it’s clear to see the impact that marketing came have on your small business strategy. Looking at the facts. SME’s need to raise their game around marketing and think about:
Connecting with social media advertising
Email: are you have standing out?
Branding: Your SME’s secret weapon to success
Leveraging your Smart Phone to market your SME
Embracing the Bots
Or if you need a hand with it, just get in touch.
Daniel is a Marketing specialist working currently in SaaS in Dublin City, Ireland.
A 3 time graduate of National University of Ireland, Galway. Daniel is passionate about marketing strategy, tech, SaaS & eCommerce & all sport.