6 Actionable Tips for Effective SMB Marketing

March 28, 2017

SMB marketing is tough, especially in an industry where enterprise-level competitors can have multi-million dollar marketing budgets. SMBs need to be scrappy, precise, and innovative to drive truly effective marketing without depleting too many valuable resources. Here are six tips to drive powerful SMB marketing results.

1. Set Clear SMB Marketing Goals

This may seem like a no-brainer, but all successful marketing efforts start with setting clear, measurable goals. Using a SMART goals framework will help you establish clear, attainable, and measurable goals.

  • Specific – Document a clear, specific goal to keep you focused
  • Measurable – Make sure there is a way to measure and track that goal
  • Attainable – Set yourself up for success by setting a realistic and achievable goal
  • Relevant – Your goal needs to be worthwhile and positively impact business goals
  • Timely – Every goal should have a due date, and milestones to measure success

For example, a weak goal would be “I want to grow my business this quarter.”

A SMART goal would be “I want to increase sales by 10% this quarter by launching a paid ad campaign on Google, improving inbound marketing initiatives on my website, and networking in the community. This will grow my business and increase my quarterly revenue.”

2. Determine Your Key Metrics & Track Religiously

There is so much data available these days, it’s difficult to know where to focus. Don’t waste your time trying to report on everything. Identify a handful of key metrics that make the most sense for your business, and track them regularly. Monthly funnel metrics are a great place to start measuring your marketing and sales efforts.

Marketing budget permitting, a tool like HubSpot can help you easily track your metrics so that you can quickly gain insights and make decisions. If your budget is limited, you can use Google Analytics to measure traffic, and manually track your key performance indicators (KPIs) in a spreadsheet. Here are some key monthly funnel metrics we recommend you evaluate.

SMB Marketing funnel reporting example

Determining which metrics matter most is only the beginning. Once you identify which KPIs are core to business success, you must develop a regular review cadence. For some SMB leaders, this means reviewing once a week with your firm’s key stakeholders, while for others it means relentless monitoring multiple times a day. Using a data visualization and dashboarding tool like Databox helps you ensure your KPIs are all in one place, for efficient tracking and monitoring.

3. Build Awesome Buyer Personas

An intimate understanding of your target customer is one of the most important aspects of successful marketing. We recommend creating buyer personas to accomplish this. A buyer persona is a somewhat fictional representation of your ideal customer. Building buyer persona profiles is an excellent way to map out your customers’ interests, needs, pain points, challenges, and common objections.

We’ve found that SMBs who take the time to truly understand their buyer personas tend to have better-defined value propositions and more concise messaging. For this reason, they experience better marketing and sales results. Below is an example persona profile for one of our SMB clients.

SMB Marketing persona framework

Be sure to include team members from across the company in your buyer persona development. A cross-functional team will provide the most comprehensive view into who your target customers are. SMB marketing leaders can have some fun building out their persona profiles. Try using the persona development exercise from HubSpot to get started.

4. Create and Share Customer Success Stories

According to the Content Marketing Institute, small business marketers say case studies are still one of the most effective SMB marketing tactics. Now, more than ever, consumers are researching their purchasing decisions by reading product reviews and case studies. Not only are testimonials, reviews, and recommendations fantastic sales tools, they are also a great way to grow personal relationships with your customers.

Set a goal to acquire a specific number of reviews or recommendations this quarter. If you’re a B2B company, ask your customers to leave a review on LinkedIn, or interview them about their experience so that you can write up a case study. If you’re a B2C marketer, engage your happy customers and ask them to leave a review of their experience on Yelp or Facebook. Cultivating customers who may have been early adopters and grooming them into advocates is an excellent way to kickstart your SMB sales and marketing efforts.

5. Capitalize on your Industry-Specific Knowledge

Your business exists because you are passionate and have an intimate knowledge of the niche, so share your industry knowledge and become a trusted authority and true leader in the industry. The Internet has made it much easier to become a thought leader. Before the rise of blogging, you could only be considered a thought leader if you published articles or spoke at industry events. Blogging has created an environment where anyone with a set of skills and expertise can build a forum and, when done correctly, become an industry thought leader.

Take advantage of the digital age and work to become a thought leader in your space. Develop and manage a blog in which you write about trends and current events in your industry niche. Sharing your blog content on social media and in email marketing campaigns will keep your business top of mind, and position you as a helpful authority on the topic. Blogging is also extremely valuable for search engine optimization, and will enhance your business’ ranking in Google searches for industry keywords.

Here’s an article from Forbes that can help you kick off your thought leadership initiatives.

6. Outsource to Add Horsepower

We recognize that most SMBs cannot afford to hire a robust marketing team with all of the skills required to build and execute effective marketing programs. Many SMB marketing leaders find that outsourcing marketing initiatives can help achieve the desired results without the headache and cost of recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining rockstar marketers.

BSTRO has been working with SMBs for over 13 years, helping business owners and leaders drive success through effective marketing. If you’re looking to kick off your SMB marketing efforts with an agency partner, let’s talk about how BSTRO can elevate your marketing efforts.

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