Small businesses want to be able to compete with and win against larger organizations. However, a lack of resources, including budget, can hinder their ability to do so. Advanced used of available marketing solutions can level the playing field for small businesses. A BtoB Online report, "Defining the Modern Marketer: SMBs Driving the Results," found that many small and medium business (SMB) marketers are reliant on the technology available to them. Many SMB marketers are active on social media and are more likely to rely on content, email, search techniques and webinars than marketers overall. According to the BtoB report, small business marketers rely on digital, automated and email marketing.
Digital marketing platforms and solutions provide small businesses with the resources they need to more effectively reach their online audiences. However, some of the options available require more time or more budget than small businesses can afford. Nonetheless, 75% of SMB marketers are currently using digital marketing technology (Tweet this!), compared with 71% of marketers overall. Here are some of the options and what your investment would be.
- Social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) require more time than budget for SMBs
- Email marketing requires equal investment in terms of time and budget
- Lead generation services require more budget and content for nurturing, but often need less time
If you have a lot on your plate and are looking to save time spent on marketing activities, consider different marketing automation tactics and solutions. 49% of SMB marketers reported to BtoB Online that they are "strongly" or "completely" integrated with modern marketing techniques (Tweet this!), compared with just 42% of marketers in general. Marketing automation is one of those techniques. Some of the benefits that often come with marketing automation solutions include:
- Cross- and up-selling capabilities
- Customer relationship maintenance and behavior tracking
- Reduced resource (e.g. time, budget) strain and marketing efforts reporting
Email is a key distribution channel for many marketers and though many have doubted the longevity of this platform for distribution, email is still alive and producing results. Email is by far the favorite for SMB marketers, cited by 71% as most important, compared with 64% of marketers overall (Tweet this!). Email marketing allows for press release and product announcements, newsletter campaigns, sales nurturing, and more. Some basic best practices are:
- Only sending emails to those who have granted you permission, keeping in mind the CAN-SPAM Act
- Providing those who are subscribed value and a simple opt-out process
- Consider delivery consistency, content and your audience segmentation strategy
Email marketing, marketing automation software and digital marketing platforms and services provide small businesses with the opportunity to compete for and win customers. While having great products and services are a great place to start in reaching new audiences and increasing recurring revenue, modern day businesses need to be able to connect with and engage their customers online. The right technology and tools can help you do just that.
(Image: jannoon028 via freedigitalphotos.net)