As a female small business owner, fighting to make a difference and grow your business (whilst probably juggling husbands, partners, kids and a ton of housework) undoubtedly marketing features fairly high on your list of priorities. But, with time a precious commodity for us working women sometimes it helps to have an idea of where to start on certain tasks. You may have previous experience in marketing, or have never even attempted it before.
So, where do you begin? What should the focus be? This is a question I get asked a lot – especially by my female clients who are trying to fit it in to an already hectic schedule.
To help you get the most out of your marketing, here are six small business marketing tips to get you focused:
1. Get blogging and focus on quality content
A steady stream of relevant and helpful content will engage your audience and significantly help your search engine ranking. You might already have a blog but how frequently are you updating it? What tips and insights are you offering your readers (and potential customers) which might help them solve a particular problem? Get your content right and the traffic – and conversions – will follow. And don’t forget to promote them on social media too
2. Think mobile
More and more content is being accessed via mobile than desktop PC – especially on commutes, school runs, waiting in queues – we want to fill every moment…and so we browse! Research has found that there is little or no gap in UK users accessing websites from a mobile or desktop. Google also released similar findings. So, whatever you do online, think mobile. Make things easy to access, click on, submit and read on a mobile.
3. Email marketing
It’s easy to dismiss this as an option because of the perception that it is no longer relevant or will just be viewed as spam. Actually, the complete opposite is true. Email marketing is one of the most successful strategies available. The key to success is to make sure that the content is helpful and valuable, that it’s clear and that you are not seen to be spouting sales pitches at every opportunity. This isn’t about you, it’s about your customers. Give them what they need and you will drive engagement organically.
4. Combine data and knowledge
There is a trend right now to become more data-driven and use analytics to inform all sorts of business decisions. While having data is no bad thing (see point six below), small organisations don’t tend to have high-end sophisticated data sets to use – but you don’t need it. Just be a little bit informed about your customers, their behaviour, what they like and don’t like. Use the data to enhance, verify or dispute existing knowledge and insights that you have. Use the Deliver, Learn, Refine process to get better all the time.
5. Lights, camera, action!
Research suggests that video content generates 41% more web traffic than non-users of video. Almost 80% of small-business owners who have used video have said that it has had a positive impact on their business. The trend in increased video usage is only expected to continue. Camera-shy? Don’t worry, animation works just as well too and it needn’t cost a fortune. There are many websites which can help you do this or you can even use a freelancer to do it. In fact why not check out the #connecttoher directory and see if anyone can help!
6. Get better at listening to your social feeds
Most businesses today have a social media presence. In most cases small businesses are great at responding to customers, posting updates, sharing useful insights and so forth. But, if you’re not using the analytics the sites can offer you, you may be missing out on valuable information that can help inform your business and marketing strategy.
If you haven’t already, get going on your marketing! If you are already working on some things, try something new. Be confident, make time for marketing and grow!