What are the most common questions asked about small business marketing?
Ahhh, small business marketing. It's the bane of many entrepreneurs' existence and the source of much confusion. That's why I'm here to answer all your burning questions about small business marketing!
And I'll be up front here – I've actually left out the most common question I get asked, because I've dedicated an entire article to it. The question is “How do I know who my target market is?”. You can read the article here.
Q1 – Why do I need a marketing strategy?
For a start, marketing is one of the best investments you can make in your business.
Sure, it takes time and effort – and maybe even some money – but it can pay off big time in the long run! Not only does small business marketing help you reach more customers and stand out from the competition, but it also increases brand awareness and builds trust with potential customers.
Plus, if done right, it can generate leads and increase sales – which is awesome!
However, to do marketing right you need to start with strategy.
Whether you're just starting out or already have an established business, investing in a proper marketing strategy is a great way to take your business to the next level.
A marketing strategy really is the starting point for any marketing you do. Without a marketing strategy, it’s like throwing marketing spaghetti against a wall and hoping some of it sticks.
While you might see some success (sticky spaghetti 😊), chances are you’ll end up wasting a lot of your time and money on strategies that just won’t work (spaghetti on the floor) ☹.
And do you even know why the sticky spaghetti stuck (the successful marketing worked)? Or why the floor spaghetti didn't stick (why your marketing didn't work)???
When you have a marketing strategy in place, you're clear about what you want to achieve (sticky spaghetti) and how you will get there (knowing how to make sticky spaghetti). That's why you need a marketing strategy.
Q2 – What kind of marketing is best for my small business?
The answer? Well, it depends on your ideal clients, budget and goals, which all play a part in developing your all-important marketing strategy (refer Q1).
Let's start with ideal clients.
When it comes to marketing, it's all about knowing who your ideal clients are and tailoring your message accordingly to help you achieve your goals.
No matter what your goal is, whether you're trying to:
- drive traffic to your website
- generate more leads
- or build your customer base
knowing your ideal clients and speaking to them in their language will help you reach, connect, and engage them – as well as building that all-important, Know, Like, & Trust factor.
When you are clear on your goals, and who your ideal client/s is/are, you'll need to look at your marketing budget.
A marketing budget helps you choose the best marketing activities to invest your time, energy, and $ in. A marketing budget also helps keep you focused on activities that will deliver the best return on investment (whether direct or indirect financial return or something else). Read about setting your marketing budget here.
Knowing your goals, ideal clients, and budget means you can create an awesome marketing strategy and plan that will help you stand out and reach more potential customers than ever before.
Q3 – What marketing should I do?
When it comes to marketing your business, the answer can often be a bit tricky. There are many different strategies and techniques that you can use to reach your ideal clients, increase brand awareness, and generate leads and sales.
From social media marketing and email blasts to paid advertising and traditional PR tactics, what's the best approach for your specific business?
First (as mentioned in question 1), developing your marketing strategy is the best way to figure out what marketing will work for you.
In other words, know your ideal clients and choose the marketing activities most likely resonate with them. For example, a social media campaign might be a great fit if you're targeting young professionals in the tech industry. Or, if you're trying to reach busy parents looking for quick and easy dinners, email marketing or paid advertising could be more effective.
Ultimately, the key is to experiment and test different marketing activities until you find what works for your business.
However, to help you get started, some common marketing activities you might like to consider include:
-Social media: This can take the form of paid ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, or organic content that helps you build your brand and establish connections with potential customers
-Email marketing: This is a great way to build a strong relationship with your ideal clients and keep them informed about your products or services. You can use email marketing software like MailChimp or Constant Contact.
-Content marketing: This involves creating blog posts, videos, podcasts, and other forms of content that help you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. The great thing about content marketing is that it can be repurposed across multiple platforms – making your marketing much easier.
There are many other types of small business marketing strategies out there, so it's important to do your research and find what works best for you! Whatever marketing activity (or activities) you choose, keep in mind that you should be consistent and strategic in your approach, so you can consistently reach and engage your ideal customers. And they should always be within your budget.
Q4 – What type of content should I create for my small business?
When creating content for businesses, I always suggest focussing on topics that relate to your ideal clients.
Think beyond your product or service and provide valuable information that your ideal clients will find helpful. Tell stories that they will connect with. Share, share, share!
This could include:
- blog articles with practical advice or tips related to your industry
- interviews or stories featuring customers who loved using your products/services
- tutorials about how to use certain features etc
- behind the scenes videos and stories
- the list goes on
Additionally, try experimenting with different types of content, such as videos, podcasts or infographics; this will help keep engagement levels up while providing more engaging content for your ideal clients.
Q5 – How do I know when my marketing is working
The truth is there’s no one size fits all answer here – different businesses will have different goals – and measuring your goals is how you know if your marketing is working.
It's one of the reasons to make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).
However, generally speaking, some indicators that your efforts might be paying off include:
- increased website traffic/engagement rates
- higher numbers of customers/clients
- improved customer loyalty
- more word-of-mouth referrals from existing customers
- more leads generated
- etc, etc, etc
And there you have it!
Those are just a few of the most common questions asked about small business marketing! I hope you've found them helpful.