As any entrepreneur knows, effective marketing is essential to running a successful business. You can have the best business idea in the world, but if nobody knows about it, it’s never going to grow to its full potential.
When it comes to small business or start-ups, a well thought out marketing strategy can be the determining factor in whether your business succeeds or fails in those first few crucial years. If you’re a small business owner who’s new to the marketing world, you may not know how to create and manage an effective digital marketing strategy for your small business. This is where Springboard can help. In this article, we’ll explore how to market your small business effectively, including key tips to create a strategy tailored for your business and your goals.
Set Your Marketing Goals
The first step in how to create a marketing strategy for small business is to assess your current business situation and set realistic marketing goals. Are you still in the “start-up” phase, with fairly limited resources and money to work with? Or maybe you’ve been in business for a few years, but aren’t growing as fast as you’d like to be. Or are you an established family business that’s been around for generations but struggling to keep up with the constantly changing and complex digital ecosystem? Once you’ve determined what stage you’re at, this will help you set your goals, as well as an appropriate strategy to help you achieve them.
For example, if you’re just starting out as a new business, you’ll probably need to focus on generating brand awareness. From a digital marketing perspective, this can be measured through metrics such as reach, impressions or engagement with your ads.
On the other hand, if you’re a more established business, you might want to focus on hitting specific revenue or ROI targets. You may also have the benefit of being able to use historical data to set benchmarks, or could also leverage your existing customer base to help you reach your targets. If you’ve got enough stable cash flow to invest a reasonable amount of funds in your marketing, there’s a wide range of channels and platforms you can leverage to reach your goals.
Consider Your Budget
Knowing your goals is also the first step towards setting your marketing budget. This is because once you know what your goals are, you can select the best channels and platforms to help you achieve them, which will inform what kind of budget you need.
Some of the key factors that will impact your marketing budget include: the industry you’re operating in and the competition within that industry; which demographics or geographic locations you want to target; and your expected timeframe for generating returns. For more information, you can check out our blog post on How to Allocate Budget for Digital Marketing.
Assess What Channels Will Help You Achieve Your Goals
As mentioned above, part of allocating your marketing budget is determining what digital marketing channels are best suited to your goals. The three key channels we utilise at Springboard are Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Search Engine Optimisation. Each of these offer their own advantages in terms of generating results for your business.
For example, Facebook is generally best for building brand awareness, as it allows you to get in front of new audiences within your target market. If you’re looking to get immediate returns from your digital advertising, we’d recommend running Google Ads alongside your Facebook Ads, as this will capture users who are actively searching for your products or services. Bidding on keywords related to your brand, products or services through Google Ads will ensure your website is one of the first that people see in the search results. If your campaigns are built to best practice and your website offers a great user experience, you should see fast results from Google and Facebook ads.
If your goal is to drive more people from Google to your website over the long term and improve the user experience of your site, we highly recommend all businesses invest in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) alongside other digital advertising efforts. SEO encompasses a wide range of activities that are performed on both the front end and the back end of your website, to make it appear better in Google’s eyes. The more authority your website has, the higher it will appear in Google’s “organic” or free listings, and the more quality traffic you’ll receive.
If you’re not sure which channel is right for you, our team here at Springboard can help find the best digital marketing solution for your business.
Measure The Results
Once you’ve chosen the right approach for your business and your digital marketing strategy has been implemented, it’s important to monitor the results and adjust your strategy accordingly based on performance.
Any decent digital marketing agency should implement tracking that will allow you to accurately measure your digital marketing performance. This will include metrics such as how many sales, enquiries or website visits you’ve received, as well as how many people have seen or clicked on your ads. What classifies as success will differ depending on your business and your goals, so it’s important to know what the different metrics mean and how they’re impacting your business.
It’s also worth noting that some digital marketing strategies will take longer to yield results than others. For example, it will often take at least three to six months to start seeing the impact of SEO efforts, as this is a longer term digital strategy. If this is your first time running digital campaigns, it may also take some time for Google and Facebook’s AI to learn who to show your ad to, to generate the best results.
Every Facebook campaign will progress through what is known as the “Learning Phase”, during which the ad delivery system learns about the best people and best places to show your ads across the Facebook network. Because the ad delivery has not yet optimised, campaigns are less stable during the learning phase and this is usually when the Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is at its highest. This is represented in the graph below.
So, while paid advertising efforts will often generate more immediate results than organic strategies, it may still take a few months before you start seeing a meaningful return on investment.
We Hope This Helps!
No matter how long you’ve been in business, marketing should be a key consideration for any business owner, and can be pivotal in generating business growth. If you’re unsure how to market your small business effectively or don’t have the resources to do it yourself, engaging a marketing agency that aligns with your business and your values could be hugely beneficial.
At Springboard Digital, we’re experienced in helping small businesses reach their goals. We’ve worked with businesses across a range of industries and have the benefit of being backed by one of Australia’s leading digital marketing agencies, Alpha Digital. Check out our blog article about choosing the right digital marketing agency for your business here.
If you have any questions on how to market your small business online, get in touch with the Springboard team today!