Marketing Challenges for Small Businesses
One of the most rewarding, but often frustrating aspects of running a small business is marketing. This challenge has been compounded over the last year as COVID has had a major impact on the way business is run. It's hard to focus one something such as marketing when you seem to be putting out fire after fire. But getting marketing correct can have both short-term and long-term effects on a small business. So, what are some of these challenges to be addressed?
One thing that companies need more and more of is leads. As a small business generating leads can become a major headache, if not a downright risk, if not approached the right way. Fortunately, there is an easy fix here if these particular actions have not been completed. Make sure that potential clients have a way to reach you when visiting the company website. Often this is overlooked as owners assume that potential clients will contact them with listed information on the site, or perhaps over social. This is a big mistake and an attractive form should be available on the homepage directly. Once filled out, this not only gives the company permission to contact the requester, but the requestor can add some specific questions or communication to the query. Blogs are also great for lead generation. Make the right content for your following and you will go far in building a brand over time.
A good marketing strategy that can be fairly evaluated is something that is often missing with small businesses. Simply trying many things and “seeing what sticks” is a recipe for failure and some real thought should be put into a constructive marketing plan. It's amazing how many small businesses know little about their competition. Any through marketing plan starts with an objective analysis of the competition. This can be done using your own time, or outsourced to a vendor for a more comprehensive approach. It's surprising how much can be accomplished by having the right information about the competition. Once a marketing plan is created, ongoing evaluation of the data will be important. This can be done with SEO metrics. Make sure you have a base understanding of SEO and are implementing a strategy. The metrics that come with the strategy will allow you to see who is visiting your website and the effectiveness of your advertising. You don’t need to be an SEO genius to do this, and be sure to read some basics online or purchase a book to form a basic understanding.