By David Tomas, on 7 November 2022
Any company, regardless of its size, needs a good marketing plan, as this is the only way to achieve success. This plan would be a document that specifies the actions to be carried out within a certain period of time, as well as the objectives and relevant data. But what should an SMB marketing strategy look like?
How to Make a Marketing Plan for an SMB Step by Step
To design a good SMB marketing strategy, follow the steps below.
1. Analyze the Company's Situation
It is essential to analyze your company's situation in terms of personnel performance, systems and organization, communication with customers, sales and promotion methods, etc.
It’s also important to identify what message is being transmitted by your brand, what products or services define you, and what is your target.
2. Analyze the Company’s Situation in the Market
It is also necessary to analyze the company's role in the market or the role it could have, taking into account consumer trends, competition, and demand or purchasing contexts, among other factors.
3. Identify the Opportunities and Threats the Company Faces
It is necessary to be realistic about your company's position in the market and the position it could have, taking into account both opportunities and possible threats. This way, more precise decisions can be made and more realistic planning can be done.
Here it is important to determine what the company is offering, what customers think of the brand and its products, what the competition has and why it is successful or what could be done to be better, among other things.
4. Set Objectives
Once this is clear, it is time to set realistic and achievable objectives. These should be reviewed on a regular basis to see if they are being achieved and to make any necessary adjustments.
5. Create a Plan of Action
Now it’s time to design an action plan. Determine the actions that need to be carried out to achieve your objectives, always establishing an order and alternative itineraries. You should specify in a very detailed way what each action will consist of.
The results of the marketing strategy that has been implemented should always be measured, as this will show its effectiveness. From here, you can decide whether or not changes should be implemented to improve the results and achieve the proposed objectives.
The 15 Best Marketing Strategies for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
Developing a good marketing plan is key, but so is choosing one or more of the best marketing strategies for your business. Here are the ones that can get the best results for an SMB.
1. Design a Brand Identity
Every brand must have a logo that represents the company, that people can identify it, and that serves to differentiate it from the competition. Take into account which colors best define the brand. For example, green tones are usually associated with nature, ecology, and health. So if your company offers a product or service that can be associated with these adjectives, green would be a color to take into account.
Brand identity is also defined through language, tone, and voice, which should be reflected in the messages and the content that is published both on the website and on social networks.
2. Have a Website
Having a website allows the public to find your brand, as well as to buy your products or hire your services.
Your website must be very well structured and must contain clear and precise copy as well as contact information. The website can also be used to create content that may be of interest to your audience and that will help you position on search engines. You can even publish the opinions of other customers, as well as any other information that can generate confidence in the company.
3. Have a Profile on Social Networks
Social networks are a great tool when it comes to connecting with your audience. In this case, it is important to find the social media platform where your target audience spends time and carry out a content strategy. This involves posting on a regular basis, seeing what type of posts work best, responding to people, and maintaining a two-way relationship with them.
4. Generate Engagement
Social networks are the perfect channel for generating engagement. In addition to interacting with users, you can encourage them to share content, create challenges or participate in contests where prizes are offered to the winners. The goal is for the public to share content, to have more reach, and capture more leads and customers, so any formula that encourages this can be implemented.
5. Content Marketing
To get people to find your brand, a content strategy should be carried out. In addition to the creation of a blog (which is very common) you can use webinars, online courses, podcasts, contests, ebooks, infographics, etc.
For this strategy to be successful, it is essential to offer content that interests the target audience in a format that fits them.
6. SEO Optimization
All published content, regardless of where it is published, must be optimized for search engines.
SEO is what helps generate web traffic and increase your position on search engines, so it should not be neglected. It is essential to be able to compete with other brands in the sector and become a reference in your industry.
7. Try PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising
Many SMBs use PPC advertising, which is very popular with online businesses as it allows them to be visible on platforms such as Google or on social networks. In this type of advertising, the advertiser pays per click, which makes the cost lower than other forms of advertising. In addition, it helps to create brand awareness and increases visibility and reach.
However, it is important to bear in mind that an ad must be designed for each platform, since advertising on Google is not the same as advertising on Facebook.
8. Use CTAs
CTAs are used to tell people what action they should take. Including these your content can help generate more web traffic or increase the number of leads or sales. It should simply be a direct, clear, and convincing message. If possible, it should stand out from the rest of the content in some way, either by color or font size.
9. Make Yourself Known Locally
Many companies focus exclusively on digital marketing strategies and forget about the offline part. Whenever possible, and especially for brands that do not sell exclusively through the internet, it would be useful to do offline marketing.
Participating in local events, holding workshops or activities, collaborating in festivals or local events can be some ways to reach the public and make yourself known.
10. Build a Community Around Your Brand
A community consists of customers and/or followers who share values with a brand. With a community, you can create a much closer relationship with customers, build customer loyalty and get people to talk about your brand.
A community can be created through Telegram, social networks, or other platforms.
11. Offer Free Samples
Offering free samples is a way to convince people who, despite being interested in a product or service, have not yet made the decision to buy. Through free samples (and without being too invasive) you can get them to take this step.
12. Ask for Customer Feedback
The opinions of satisfied customers have a great value to people who are thinking of buying, as they generate confidence in the brand. It’s helpful to send a short form to customers or invite them to give their opinion and then publish it to increase the reputation of your company.
13. Use Face-to-Face and Online Networking
You can take advantage of social and professional face-to-face and online events where the brand can promote themselves. Seminars, workshops, or other activities can be good ways to make yourself known and to connect with other entrepreneurs.
14. Seek Co-Marketing Opportunities
Collaborations can be made with other companies that are compatible with the products or services of the brand and with its values and image. Through these collaborations, you can reach more people quickly and easily. Just make sure to look for companies that are not competitors.
15. Building Relationships Built on Trust
Building trusting relationships is a fundamental part of growing your company. This means that regardless of whether you have done or will do any collaboration, contacts who appreciate the work of your brand should not be lost, as they could be useful.
How to Measure the Impact of Your Marketing Actions
Whenever an SMB marketing strategy is implemented, it is important to measure the impact it has and decide, based on this, whether to continue with it or make changes.
Results should be measured through:
Visits: checking whether web traffic increases, stays the same, or decreases can give important clues about the overall success of a campaign. It is also important to determine where these visits are coming from, as this will indicate which strategy is getting the best results, and whether they are new or returning users.
Average session duration and interactions: knowing the average time a user spends on a web page tells you if the information on the page is really of interest to them. It is also a way of knowing what type of content is most important to your audience.
Reach on social networks: the more people share the content, the higher the reach. Knowing the reach of your posts is key to knowing what type of content is more interesting. This will allow you to reach more people and attract new followers.
Click-through rate: this allows you to know the number of times a user has clicked on a link and, consequently, what they are most interested in.
Conversion rate: this is one of the most important metrics, since it lets you know the number of users who have performed the expected action, which can range from a download to a purchase. The higher the conversion rate, the more successful the campaign will be.
Cost of Customer Acquisition: this is another important metric, since it lets you know how much it cost the company to acquire a customer and determine whether it has been profitable or not.
Return on Investment: this is used to know if marketing efforts are profitable or not. If they are not, adjustments should be made and only actions that are really getting good results should be kept.
It is clear that designing a good marketing plan for an SMB involves effort and work, as well as organization. However, with several of the strategies mentioned above, good results can be obtained!