No matter how amazing your product or service, it can feel like a herculean task to get customers interested without a dedicated marketing team or plan to get the word out there. If you’re at the start of your small business journey, you may be facing this predicament. And you’re not alone: 50% of small business owners don’t have a marketing plan. Yikes.
While it may take some time to grow a marketing department, you can start today towards building a rock-solid marketing plan to fit your goals and budget. Keep reading as we reveal our top three tips for a small business-friendly marketing plan that won’t break the bank.
1. Research your market
The problem behind most ineffective small business marketing campaigns is simply a lack of information. You’ll never be able to successfully communicate and connect with your potential clients if you don’t understand them.
When you make decisions based on assumptions about your potential customers, you could be unintentionally ignoring their preferences and values. Any marketing “strategy” you’ve got will just drive them away!
There’s no marketing strategy without solid market research. You should aim for a clear understanding of your potential clients’ contact channel and messaging preferences, how your business compares to competitors, and your ROI with any current marketing efforts.
If hiring a professional to conduct this research isn’t in the budget, no need to despair! There are plenty of ways to DIY this research:
- Send out surveys
- Conduct interviews
- Look at industry reports
- Read case studies
…the list goes on! Any time spent on market research is time well spent, and there’s nothing wrong with starting small. After all, this is just the beginning! You should commit to regularly evaluating the success of any marketing efforts.
2. Create an email newsletter
A recent survey revealed that approximately 25% of a company’s revenue is driven by emails. The average ROI for email marketing? A mighty $36 for every $1 spent. That means no matter how small your budget, you can’t afford not to have an email newsletter:
But aren’t newsletters kind of…annoying? Not if you’re delivering the good stuff! Consistently providing useful content establishes you as an industry thought leader, and builds long-term trust. And, according to a recent marketing study, most consumers want to hear from you! A full 86% of Americans surveyed enjoy receiving promotional emails at least once a month.
Craft an attention-grabbing subject line and make sure your newsletter is easily scannable. If your message is complicated or overwhelming to read, your reader might not stick around! Your clients and leads need to be able to quickly peruse the headlines and click on the links they’re interested in without getting confused or distracted.
Some things to keep in mind as you get to writing your newsletter:
- Provide value & position yourself as the expert
- Include links to your social media accounts
- Consider adding a video or other interactive elements
- Don’t leave out a (tasteful) CTA to continue the conversation
Your email newsletter can be sent out weekly, monthly…it all depends on your clients’ preferences and your schedule. The most important thing is that you have one. Save some money, and watch your marketing campaign start raking in customers!
3. Start blogging (with SEO)
If starting a blog was ineffective…you wouldn’t be reading this. Blogs can be powerful tools to drive site traffic. Given the chance, nearly 50% of marketers say they’d focus on blogging if they had the chance to start their content marketing over. That’s pretty dang powerful.
If you needed another statistic to win you over, a whopping 60% of people cite purchasing a product after first reading a blog post that mentioned it. A good blog will drive site traffic and improve your lead generation, establish you as a thought leader, and make a strong impression on prospective and current clients. That’s the thing, though…the blog’s got to be good.
A few other things to keep in mind:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques are powerful. Research competitors to see what keywords and article lengths are ranking.
- Google prioritizes new content, so update your blog often.
- Make sure you’ve got clickable titles that’ll entice readers. (Psst…the titles are often more important than the blog posts themselves. No pressure.)
- Write a blog that’s easy to scan: lists and bullet points can be helpful here.
- Write a blog that readers won’t want to scan! Include plenty of personality. Your post should be as fun as it is informative.
- Be sure to include statistics to back up any opinions you may be sharing.
If you’re already feeling overwhelmed…we get it. Consider outsourcing this work to maintain your sanity! Share your expertise by hiring professional word-wranglers like Captivate Writers Collective who can turn your valuable industry knowledge into dynamic SEO blog content.
We hope we’ve convinced you that it’s absolutely possible to build a marketing plan to fit your budget…if you know what your budget is. If your budget is a little fuzzy around the edges, contact KYN today to connect with a team of financial experts ready to help. We’ll meet you where you are and set you on the right path for financial success.