Many of us believe that great products or services = customers.
While this is true, having a marketing strategy is the only way to get those customers through your doors and into your books.
Sure, coupon mailers, print ads, and outdoor advertising can trickle in some customers, but if you want exponential growth, you’ll need more than traditional advertising.
The internet affords you access to a global marketplace of online prospects that you can target using an array of digital marketing strategies. No SME, no matter its size or experience should overlook digital marketing in their quest to generate leads and make sales.
To that end, we’ll delve into five digital strategies that small businesses can consider to achieve their business goals.
Table of Contents
1.Do Local Marketing
Here is an interesting statistic about local marketing—21 percent of the consumers surveyed indicated that they go online to find local businesses daily.
Not only does local marketing create brand awareness among potential customers in your locality, but also helps drive them to your website and location. It also facilitates opportunities to build relationships with other B2Bs in your area for future partnerships or promotions.
Here are top tips to help you get it right:
- Maximize your online visibility. Create business listings on online directories to maximize the chances of being found within a specific area. Leverage local SEO by sharing local events, using location hashtags, and creating location-specific posts.
- Get involved in your community. Join online professional groups in your area to network and share expertise. Invite or co-host webinars with related but non-competing businesses and consider participating in non-profit activities to boost positive brand exposure.
- Showcase your clients. Showcasing existing local customers on your website allows prospective customers to see that others have worked with your company successfully. Be sure to ask permission first.
- Cross-promote with other B2Bs. When running a special promotion, you’re likely to reach companies that already know you. Partnering with another business and promoting together means customers from that brand will also hear about you.
2. Make Cold Calls
Yes, absolutely, pick up the phone and call up potential customers. A survey by RAINGroup on 489 B2B sellers revealed that 27 percent of the respondents found considerable success in cold calling.
This strategy serves multiple sections including generating leads, prospecting, qualifying leads, boosting awareness, and driving sales.
You can hire a sales development rep and do things in-house or partner with a professional agency that will take care of the hard stuff.
Either way, cold calling requires planning to be effective and we have some tips you can consider:
- Research your prospects. Data shows that up to 50 percent of the people on your list are poor fits for your business, translating to wasted time and resources. Research your prospects to establish those who are most likely to need your solutions.
- Prepare scripts for various scenarios. You’re likely to encounter gatekeepers and voicemail, so it’s wise to keep a script handy for dealing with these. You’ll also need different scripts when speaking to referrals, qualifying prospects, and setting appointments.
- Reach out immediately after an inquiry is submitted. Your chances of connecting with the lead are 11 times higher if you call them within the first hour of their inquiry. Your chances diminish as time goes by.
- Look for sales triggers. Google Alerts, LinkedIn, industry news, and intelligence from sector analysts may help point out sales triggers (like expansions, mergers, and new legislation) you can leverage.
3. Showcase Your Value Proposition
It’s rare to find a company that stands alone in its field. There will always be another brand offering something similar.
Faced with much competition, what is it about your business that will compel potential customers to work with you?
A well-thought-out value proposition.
It’s the distinctive marker that tells prospective clients why they should choose you over other brands.
Here are several considerations for creating your value proposition:
- Understand your target audience. Which key decision-makers do you want to influence? What are their motivations? Ops may look at workflow efficiency, while CFOs will be interested in reducing overheads or increasing output.
- Clearly define the problem. You’re in business to find the pain and ease it. Gain a solid understanding of your customer’s problems so you can suggest the most appropriate solutions.
- Provide proof. As your B2B prospects move along the funnel, they will look for proof to justify the purchase decision. Put together propositions that showcase quantitative and qualitative benefits.
- Check what the competition is offering. The best way to articulate your differentiators is by knowing the features and benefits the competition offer.
4. Create or Revamp Your Website
Did you know that 35 percent of small businesses consider their operations too small to require a website?
That’s rather sad, considering today’s customers frequent company websites to locate information, products/services, or engage a representative.
Creating a website or ensuring your existing is appealing may help boost traffic and linger time, as well as conversions.
Best practices include:
- Give site visitors a compelling reason to stay. B2B researchers rarely casually browse websites. If they don’t provide the information or solutions they need for their team, they will seek an alternative.
- Use chatbots to facilitate conversations. Chatbots help fast-track your visitor’s ability to find what they came in search of. The information your bots collect will help you qualify the lead and determine their propensity to buy.
- Add videos to persuade potential customers. Explainer videos, customer testimonials, and overview videos may help generate interest and carry the prospect toward the final leg of their decision.
- Focus on providing a great user experience. UX plays a significant role in conversions and can even be the key differentiator between your brand and the competition. Facilitate fast loading times, good quality visuals, informative content, and easily clickable navigational/CTA buttons.
5. Engage Through Email
With a smaller budget and team on hand, email marketing is an affordable and effective way to sell and upsell to new and existing customers. You can get granular with your customers to devise custom solutions and strengthen your relationships.
With inboxes brimming with promotional emails, people are very choosy over which emails they open—their subscription notwithstanding. Here are tips to help give them a reason to open yours.
- Prioritize quality over quantity. I have seen businesses that offer solid solutions lose subscribers because of email overload. To keep you on point, ask people what content they’re interested in as they sign up, then craft emails they actually want to read. Remember to limit your emails to 1-5 times monthly.
- Embed sign-up forms in your email. It’s easier to get readers to take action if the form is in front of them compared to asking them to click on a link.
- Automate emails. From welcome emails to newsletters, you can automate emails to build and bolster customer relationships while saving you the trouble of crafting each one individually. Be on the lookout for responses from your subscribers so you can attend to them accordingly.
- Analyze data. Check crucial metrics like delivery, opens, conversions, and unsubscribes to ascertain the email content that gets people moving and the ones that need improvement.