Think you’re too small to learn from the Big Guys? Sure, they have big budgets and lots of resources, but you need to look past that. Inside most successful big ideas is a little kernel you can use to grow your own marketing adaptation that’s perfect for your type and size of business and your budget.
With that in mind, check out these 3 key trends in how the Big Guys are reaching out to their audiences. There’s a marketing lesson lurking inside each one:
1. Have a content strategy.
Small business owners are notoriously lax about planning. The fact that you’re juggling myriad tasks – all of them important – is no excuse for giving your marketing short shrift. Without promotion, your other efforts will be wasted. And without strategically-targeted promotion, you’ll waste time and money.
2. Promote your content.
Creating interesting, timely content is just the first step. Some of the world’s largest organizations are using advertising and promotional campaigns to help prospects and customers connect with the content they’ve produced. As a small business, you could use a simple technique like postcard marketing to drive people to your website or a specific landing page as well as to your restaurant or store or office.
This matters because the vast majority of people now search online for business information. If they can’t easily find you via search, they probably won’t find you at all – even if you are located just a few streets away. Smart integration of online and offline marketing resources is the only way to reach your best people.
Of course you can’t promote content you don’t have. The single-smartest way you can emulate the Big Guys is by teaming up with a marketing expert or team that can help you make the most of your resources every step of the way without pulling you away from your million other urgent tasks. Marketing pros have expertise and skills you do not have, so they can do a better job. When the content you produce is high quality – pertinent, interesting, specifically valuable for your audience – you’ll get the strongest return. The ultimate test is your bottom line, whether you’re a local hair salon or an international giant.
3. Use social media wisely.
It may seem like the biggest brands incessantly use every social platform at their disposal, but that is not the case. They have learned – write this down – that, generally speaking, there is one platform that performs best for them. That doesn’t mean they don’t use others, but zeroing in on one is more efficient as well as more effective. Focus conserves resources while enabling you to take full advantage of the platform.
You can experiment to see which is best for you, but most likely it will be Facebook or LinkedIn.
You’ll stimulate more sharing by targeting your posts to your prime audience target segment(s), whether that’s an age group, gender, pool owners, etc. People also love to share surprising informational tidbits about your industry, products or services and self-improvement. Pictures and video are always top-performers.
Social sharing helps you reach a broader audience to build your brand awareness, but even more important, it allows you to start two-way conversations with prospects, planting the seeds for a future buyer-seller relationship.
You have something they don’t.
The big guys could learn a few things from their “little sisters” like you, too. Typically small businesses are more agile because they have less “bureaucracy.” That puts you in a better position to seize last-minute opportunities to promote your business.
Never overlook the importance of timeliness or neighborliness or local relevance – people prefer to do business with someone they know, and in many ways it’s easier for you to create those valuable one-on-one relationships.