Driving awareness and generating leads for small businesses may seem like an uphill battle. You know that marketing is essential for businesses of all sizes. Unless customers know about your offerings, they probably won’t find your brand, let alone buy your products/services. Therefore, use the right SME growth marketing strategies to improve the brand’s visibility and attract more customers your way.
How growth marketing is different for SMEs!
There are many differences between small and large firms, but the business scope, audience size, and leverage are major ones. A growth strategy for small enterprises, therefore, differs from a growth strategy for large corporations. For instance, consider that you’re selling to a 100-person audience with no leverage (with no access to distribution channels). In such a situation, your strategy will differ greatly from one that utilizes significant distribution channels and targets millions of individuals.
Furthermore, whereas small enterprises only have a few target markets and revenue sources, large corporations often have many of both. As a result, a large corporation’s growth strategy might solely aim to expand one division. On the other hand, a small business growth plan will probably aim to expand the entire business.
Use the following tried-and-tested SME growth marketing tips to drive business growth and take it to new heights!
Learn from competitors
Doing competitor analysis allows SMEs to learn from their failures and successes. Compare your business offerings with competitors’. This analysis will reveal gaps in the market where particular users’ needs aren’t addressed. When you understand those audiences’ preferences, you can customize your marketing plan to make them potential customers.
Nurture potential customers with personalized email campaigns
Just because someone didn’t buy anything from your business’s website doesn’t mean they’ll never turn into a customer later. Use email campaigns to nurture leads and encourage them to buy at another time. Marketing managers for SMEs can effectively utilize marketing budgets with email campaigns. That’s because, with email marketing, there’s no need to send direct mail to users or invest in ads in print publications.
Besides that, to run a successful email campaign, start building email lists. Ask people to subscribe to email newsletters. Use CTA buttons throughout the website and within the content to encourage email sign-ups. Provide enticing offers in exchange for customers’ email addresses, such as a special discount code. Even if it’s the first email campaign, start measuring its effectiveness. You can use the data to build a baseline. Start tracking trends, analyze customers’ buying behavior, and their preferences to determine what’s working. Click here to learn more about when you should send email newsletters.
Leverage social media platforms for networking and advertising
Compared to email, social media has the advantage that you can buy attention through advertising. Note: DO NOT purchase email lists. If your emails are flagged as SPAM too frequently, your account can be blocked. Moreover, people see how others respond to social media posts and increase engagement that way. This makes social media the ideal channel for getting in front of the potential audience. These days, people expect all consumer brands to have a social media presence. The audience views it as a way to understand the personality and purpose of the company better.
Produce persuasive blog content
This is another crucial SME growth marketing strategy to drive significant results. If your business is in a competitive niche, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll rank on Google’s first page if SEO isn’t part of your strategy. That’s where persuasive and SEO-optimized blog content comes in. It will not only help you get your offerings in front of the right customers, but it’ll also give you content to share on social channels. Blog content allows you to showcase your knowledge and forge a deeper connection with customers.
Collaborate with local influencers
Influencer marketing isn’t reserved for large businesses. Nor is it limited to the fashion industry. Collaborating with influencers to showcase business offerings to their followers is an effective way to drive growth to SMEs. For instance, marketers for a restaurant could partner up with local food bloggers to raise significant brand awareness. Marketing managers for a gym could collaborate with local fitness influencers in exchange for publicity.
From brand ambassadors and giveaways to collaborations and discounts, influencer marketing campaigns take different forms. Firstly, define your marketing goals and business objectives. Having clear goals allows SMEs to connect with the right influencers and craft an effective campaign.
Don’t forget personalization
Customers expect personalization with 59% claiming it is a major factor in influencing their buying decisions. By investing in personalized marketing, businesses can develop relationships and offer personalized user experiences. The rewards are significant for small businesses as it helps them attract new customers and retain existing ones.
Organizations that are not making an effort to offer personalized experiences are at risk of falling behind as the majority of businesses concentrate on enhancing their personalization efforts. To determine the best channels for communicating with customers, conduct research, and evaluate consumer data to improve the user experience. Promote relevant products if you run an online business to increase cross-selling opportunities. Use behavioral data to personalize emails you send to your consumers.
Why is growth marketing essential for SMEs?
SMEs lack vital knowledge about their clients and the markets in which they compete, in contrast to more established businesses. For instance, small businesses may not have the following forms of information:
- Insights about customers’ purchasing behaviors, including budgets, seasonal preferences, typical deal sizes, purchasing processes, and purchasing considerations
- Partners who could help you get the credibility and attract more customers
- Competitors and their pricing, value propositions, revenue model, sales processes, and key channels
Based on how far along your small business is, you might have some insights as a function of your value proposition validation, but you won’t have all of the data. If you are in the early stages, most of the above insights are vital for determining your product-market fit and developing a scalable business model. Growth marketing helps test the effectiveness and viability of messaging and channels. It also provides valuable data that support the creation of optimized strategies going forward.
However, growth marketing isn’t only for early-stage SMEs. As your small business expands, your strategic business goals will evolve. Your SME growth marketing practices are crucial to help you meet those business objectives. For example:
- As marketing channels become crowded, you must test and find new ones.
- You want to grow your business by entering new geographic and vertical markets, each with its different market dynamics.
The two problems listed above are typical for businesses that grow beyond $2-3 million, and they must be resolved repeatedly to keep the growth trajectory going forward. This indicates that growth marketing is a strategic practice for any ambitious and growth-oriented firm.
Principles for managing SME growth marketing
Every company will have a different growth marketing strategy because the product nature and the responsiveness of your specific market will affect your planning and execution processes. That said, it’s essential to follow the guidelines listed below to ensure that growth marketing delivers desired results for your business:
- When implementing your growth marketing strategies, strive for consistency. Set high standards for the way you plan and conduct tests. Better tests produce better data, which in turn enables more precise insights that guide your business decisions. Additionally, consistency in execution enables you to develop growth marketing as a strategic capability. From our experience, the key to establishing consistency lies in your retrospectives and ability to follow the recommendations and insights from the retrospective sessions.
- SME growth marketing managers are data-driven, which means they follow the data wherever it leads. If the data significantly deviates from the original expectation, instead of discarding the data, re-evaluate the objectives of the growth marketing initiative. This suggestion follows the general notion that recent data is more effective than old data.
- Dedicate 5% of resources to explore new channels. It’s a challenge for small businesses but it’s a key pillar of successful SME growth marketing. Revenue starts to decrease when channels get saturated. SMEs must find and test the next viable channel to prevent this situation. Furthermore, as you iterate and learn, continue to be in line with the overall business strategy.
- The saying “The medium is the message,” introduced by Marshall McLuhan, may not always be true, but it can give marketers an idea of how important channels and media are in comparison to key messages. The main idea is that a channel targets a certain audience and that finding the right audience comes before message optimization, which is done more effectively once you’ve found the right audience.
From social media strategies to insightful market analysis, there’re numerous SME growth marketing techniques that marketers can utilize without spending a fortune. SME growth marketing involves constantly gaining new insights and regularly responding to them. It’s a consistent quest for new insights; even if your small business has reached the growth stage, you’ll continue looking for new verticals, channels, and growth segments. Spending time and money at an early stage to create your SME growth marketing technique will pay off for your business in the long run.