According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 28 million small businesses in America that account for 54% of all U.S. sales. The emergence of small businesses and startups has grown in the wake of corporate downsizing with big businesses eliminating about 4 million jobs since 1990, and small businesses adding 8 million new positions.
To achieve success and longevity, small business owners must develop strategic plans to promote and establish their businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration notes how, as a general rule, small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8% of their revenues to marketing.
It is essential to understand and employ the foundations of marketing in your business strategy. First step? Conduct a SWOT analysis. To better understand the industry and learn how to devise your plan, begin by identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of both your company and its competitors.
Next, apply the 4P’s of marketing:
• Product: the good or service that your company will provide.
• Price: familiarize yourself with the market; this will impact your profit margins, supply, demand, and strategy.
• Promotion: advertising, public relations, social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization, video marketing and more.
• Place: where are you going to sell? Have you identified a demographic/geo target? Will you be selling in brick and mortar storefronts, online, or both?
LET'S GET DIGITAL
The digital marketing industry has experienced exponential growth YoY and now accounts for at least 30% of all advertising initiatives globally. Digital marketing gives small businesses the resources to cost-effectively compete on a scale that was previously only available to large corporations. Studies show that companies using digital marketing strategies have 2.8 times better revenue growth expectancy and 3.3 times better chances of expanding their business and workforce.
If you’re not advertising on mobile, what are you waiting for? There are over 4.6 billion mobile users worldwide, which is projected to grow to 6.1 billion by 2020. Mobile is expected to outgrow all other digital advertising platforms, at an exponential rate, and forecasted to exceed $80 billion in digital advertising revenue by 2018.
Services like Marketo and Pardot make it easy to track all of your projects, seamlessly measure ROI and set benchmarks for future campaigns. The pros are ease of use, organized management, in-depth analysis and reporting, and built-in web, social and Customer Relationship Management tools. However, the cons are these services can be costly and you need to train employee(s) who will be responsible for managing these initiatives. Alternatively, building a thoughtful monthly task calendar using free apps, like Asana, can help you stay on track, delegate assignments, and get the job done.
Earn your audience through content development by creating blogs, videos, webinars and a social media presence. Paying for followers doesn’t translate to a loyal customer base; plus, your account will likely get flagged for spam! According to a survey by HubSpot, companies are three times as likely to see a higher ROI on inbound marketing campaigns than on outbound, regardless of the marketing budget.
Yashi has always firmly believed in targeting your audience where they live, work and play to generate the most substantial ROI. Successful companies don’t appeal to 100% of the population; rather they've identified their consumer and strategically target them. Developing customer profiles and implementing strategic distribution methods is essential. Some unique targeting features built into our platform include targeting by geography, demographic, contextual relevance, device, sequential distribution, weather event, operating system, and browser. Through our integrations with industry-leading data providers, we have access to 1st and 3rd party data which ensures your ad gets in front of the people it matters most to. Another digital advertising tactic is retargeting. By tracking your site’s visitors and serving your retargeted ad elsewhere on their web-surfing journey, you’re able to connect with prospects several times, which will increase conversion rates.
According to Entrepreneur, by 2019 an outstanding 80 percent of online content will be video. From formal webinars to quick tutorials on Facebook Live, we’re a firm believer in the power of captivating video content. Finally, don’t forget about your website. Responsive web design is a major key to success and is often the first impression users will have when visiting your domain. To enhance user experience and project your message, it is important to be consistent, aesthetically appealing and engaging.
Above all, be sure you have a quality product or service that you are proud of and, of course, good old-fashioned customer service. Yashi started out as a small business founded by a husband and wife in 2007. Today, approaching our 10-year anniversary, we’re part of a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate, Nexstar Media Group. To learn how you can enhance your marketing strategy, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.