A guide to content curating

Picking the right marketing channels for your small business

Small businesses can be spoilt for choice today when it comes to selecting marketing channels that will attract new customers and retain existing ones. But with this world of choice comes a difficult decision: which marketing channels to actually utilise. Depending on your small business’ industry and target customers, there can be some marketing channels that are likely to deliver the results you seek, and some that may be more redundant for the purpose of your business. Selecting the channels that are the right fit for your small business can be crucial to sustaining long-term marketing performance.

Here are some tips to help you choose which channels to consider for your small business.

  1. Optimise your social media presence

Using social media to gain traction for a business is something every small business owner may feel they should be engaging in. It can be intuitive to think you should cover most social media channels in order to maximise your marketing strategy, but there may only be a select few that are suitable for your particular business. Keeping your target audience in mind, research what platforms can be appropriate to reach your target customers. Focus your energy on optimising the performance of those channels, rather than spreading your efforts amongst every possible social media channel platform available to you. Approaching your social media strategy in this way can likely help you save a lot of precious time and resources.

For instance, Instagram is a great tool for fashion-focused businesses, as it is used as an inspiration platform for fashion-conscious consumers. This idea applies to many products or services that can be promoted by being visually showcased. Instagram’s tools are also conducive to customer conversion. It now offers businesses “hot spots” and “swipe-up-to-shop” options, for users to click-to-shop. Be mindful not to let new features persuade you to use a particular platform; remember that it must be the most appropriate channel platform for your product or service based on your target customers. Alternatively, Facebook can be better for generating click-through traffic to your site, and hosting website content like your blog posts and links to booking platforms.

  1. Remember how powerful word-of-mouth can be

Three-quarters of consumers say their purchase decisions are primarily influenced by word-of-mouth, according to research conducted by Deloitte.

Whether it’s positive or negative, what customers say about your business, products and services can be more impactful than what you say about them yourself. Brands who can successfully employ word-of-mouth in their marketing strategy can essentially have their customers market their business for them. For example, social media can be a great platform to encourage word-of-mouth. It provides customers with an opportunity to open up a multi-way conversation and spread their positive sentiment about your business amongst their peers. The success of this idea can help you save money on marketing efforts in the long run. Whether your unique value offering is exceptional customer service, using quality products or executing your craft to a very high standard, the power of word-of-mouth marketing is a reason to put in that extra effort to generate a conversation between your customers and their peers.

Focusing on word-of-mouth marketing is great for service businesses as they offer an intangible product. Hearing that a service was delivered at a high-quality standard provides consumers with peace of mind and assurance that choosing that business can be the right choice. A good strategy is if you receive great feedback from a customer, see if you can encourage them to share that feedback on social media, review sites or other valuable mediums.

  1. Use content marketing to show off your products and expertise

Creating purposeful content is an effective way to keep your existing customers engaged and show prospective customers that your brand conversation is relevant and interesting. It’s also a great way to demonstrate to consumers that your brand is an expert in your field and passionate about the business it conducts. This content can come in many forms: blog posts, video content, images and infographics, interactive social media posts and even podcasts.

The amount of digital content being produced is increasing every day and shows no signs of slowing down. Facebook alone processes 2.5 billion pieces of content every single day. You need to make sure your content stands out from that of your competitors. It should be accessible and easy to consume, as well as being directly relevant to your target audience.

When creating content, ask yourself: does the piece entertain? Is it interesting? Informative? Does it provoke emotion? How is it going to benefit the reader?

Create content that is relevant to your craft rather than generating content for content’s sake. This is a trap that many businesses so easily fall into. If you have a niche or specialty, use this to show off your expertise through instructive content while demonstrating the use of products you may sell. Be sure to offer practical information in the best interest of your stockists and consumers, that isn’t overtly sales-y.

“Selecting the channels that are the right fit for your small business can be crucial to sustaining long-term marketing performance.”

  1. Use the right tools

There is a wide variety of tools available to small businesses to assist them in their marketing efforts. You should set out to select the right ones that will set a foundation from which you can easily and quickly update information and create and manage promotional material.

Thankfully, you don’t need to be a tech expert to build an email marketing campaign or to ensure that your social channels and website are up to date with fresh content.

Particularly if you’re a one or two-person business, reaching the thousands of potential customers can be costly and time-consuming to conduct on your own. Technology providers like GoDaddy make it easy and affordable for you to run your small business online – from building a professional website to house your content to creating engaging email marketing content EDMs and ensuring seamless integration with your social-media channels. Such tools from these providers can save you money and time, leaving it to the experts to support your small business in a most efficient manner.

When your small business only has so much time on its hands, paired with a limited budget, the channels you select to market your business are crucial. Consider the needs of your business and what your target customers would be receptive to. With the right channels and tools in place, you can ease your mind as a small business owner, knowing you have laid the foundations, which can mean your business can have an effective and sustainable long-term marketing strategy.

Tracy Hall, marketing director, GoDaddy Australia and New Zealand

This story first appeared in issue 22 of the Inside Small Business quarterly magazine.

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