Small Business Marketing
AN INTRODUCTORY GUIDE TO MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESS + all the Marketing Terms and resources you need to know
TABLE OF CONTENTS
An Introduction to Small Business Marketing
In this guide I am outlining an all you need to know Introduction to Small Business Marketing and all the elements to consider as you build your plan, as well as showing you the key terms and resources that can help you cut through hours of research and ensure that you are on the right track – quicker.
Sure, you may have run your business successfully for years without any set marketing plan or strategy. So why do you suddenly need to start taking it seriously now? Well, with modern business comes digital transformation. We have already seen traditional markets such as hotels and taxi services flipped on their head as a result and it is going to happen to more industries soon…only those that are established in the market will survive.
WIth a well thought out plan your business will benefit from
- Increased sales: Sales and marketing go hand in hand and a well through through marketing plan will boost sales – no question!
- Really understand and knowing your customers: A central part of your marketing plan is understanding ane knowing who your customer are. If you need to work on really understanding your customers.
- Consistent and clear brand vision: Lets be frank – there is a reason you buy one brand or service over another. I mean why shop at Starbucks when you could just go to any coffee shop? Most often this is down to their vision and their subsequest brand positioning. Check out this blog for mapping out your vision.
- An edge over your competition: When you understand you vision and your customers it automatically puts you ahead of your competition and you are no longer working in a vacuum.
- Great listening skills: Once you start marketing on a regular basis you will be much more aware of what is happening in the market and what your customers might be in search of so you develop your offerings accordingly.
2021 Key marketing trends to consider
Running a small business takes a lot of coordination and expertise on your part. You have to learn how to navigate through the business world while managing your entire business. This past year has changed the business world even more. Taking the time to learn about the top 2021 digital marketing trends that will lead to sustainable growth for your business will help you stand out.
- Digital is the New Normal
- Brands with Purpose
- Email Marketing
- Audio Marketing
- User Generated content
Know your why
Question – what do you do as a business?
Maybe you answered “we do Facebook advertising”, “we make really cool socks” or “we clean people’s ovens for them” (awesome business, nobody likes cleaning their oven).
Perhaps you answered “we believe businesses should look the best they can in the digital world”, “we believe men should dress sharp and look cool as an ice cube” or “we believe people should spend more time with their families and less time doing rubbish tasks around the house”.
But why is this so important
- If you don’t know your why then how will your customers
- Helps you define who your customers are
- Allows clear and consistent communication
- Allows you to stay on a clear path
Read the full blog post on the importance of knowing your why in your business here.
Know your numbers
Seems to be all the big marketing and agencies can talk about these days. What are your analytics saying? What is your engagement rate? What was the CTR of your latest campaign?
You don’t have the time to dive deep into numbers, let alone take the time out to understand all the intricacies of what they mean, do and what they are worth: So we have created a handy checklist for you.
- Website Unique Visitors or Traffic: This is the number of unique people that are coming to your website each moth. This is important because the more ( relevent) traffic you have. the more chance you have of getting your business in front of the right people
- Bounce rate: This tells you how many people are coming to your website and not interacting in any way before clicking off. This is important as it tells you how well your website is performing at grabbing peoples’ attention.
- Conversion Rate: Simply put this is the amount of visitors to your website that complete a desired goal (a conversion) out of the total number of visitors. The higher the conversion rate the more indicative that your wwebsite and messaging is getting to the right people. This is important because once we know this we can determine how many of the people seeing you. Check out Average Conversion Rates for your industry here
- Lifetime Value of a customer: Once you have a paying customer howe much are they worth to you over their lifetime as customer. Once we know this we know how many new customers we need to meet your revenue goals
Read the Full blog post about Knowing your Numbers here.
Do I need a marketing budget?
If you have ever been in a meeting with the marketing team of a big business you may have heard them chatting about budget allocations for ‘this project’ or ‘that element of the marketing plan’.But budget allocations aren’t just for the big businesses. Using allocations can help small businesses stay on top of their finances, monitor their spend, highlight their return on investment for marketing activities and ensure that no areas get left out or abused as focus shifts. Here are some things to consider when allocating budgets
- Understand goals Before you can allocate any budget, you need to understand your goals. This may have been defined during a business planning process, although many small businesses do not do this so will have to understand their goals at the beginning of the budget setting stage
- Data: We already talked about numbers in the above section but this is where you look at your number data and figure out how many visitors you need to convert to paying customer and at what value. This will then determine how much you can invest to increase these numbers and in doing so will help determine your budget.
- Define budget: You can’t allocate your budget until you have a budget. As a general rule and rough guide, allocating 7% to 8% of your revenue to marketing is a reasonable figure. But this of course depends widely on industry accepted norms and the level of competition for your audiences’ attention.
Learn more about your marketing budget planning here:
Resourcing your marketing
When running and growing a small business you will inevitably come across a challenge around whether to outsource your marketing efforts or employ someone in-house to take control of marketing and do the majority of work for you. There are pros and cons of both these options:
- Cost: Possibly the biggest consideration. Outsourcing ma seem more expensive but the commitment to inhouse is large and should not be understestimated
- Expertise: In house Marketers often have to be have a large knowledge of a cross section of activities and sometimes you just may need s specialist. Consider on an adhoc basis
- Training: Freelance and outsourced marketers are used to picking up quicky the nuances of a business. However it may be worth ensuring that you choose someone who speciliases in your niche to ensure that you get someone who knows your industry. It’s a double whammy that way!
- Flexibility: The beauty of a freelance or outsourced teams is that you have flexibility built in and you can flex the team with workload.
Want to learn how to resource your marketing here.
Sales V Marketing
It is an age-old battle. Sales v marketing. Who benefits the business the most? Who is really responsible for the businesses income? Who has the best moves at the staff party? But in reality in todays world of Inbound marketing let’s get one thing straight.
SALES AND MARKETING SHOULD BE WORKING TOWARDS ONE CLEAR AND CONCISE GOALS – GROWTH.
So how do you get them working toegther?
- Transfer of knowledge:
- Everyone understanding their Value
- A well thought through sales process
“If we build it they will come”
Who remembers this from Field of Dreams. Sadly this is not true.
We all know that communication is what helps us builds long lasting and powerful relationships, and just because you have built a product or service it doesnt mean that customers are just going to show up. But often our schedules get so crazy with admin, meetings, sales and marketing stuff that ‘soft’ things like keeping consistent comms with others slowly slips to the bottom of the pile.
But this is such an important part of your marketing plan. Becuase you can be certain if you are not communicating with your customers then your competitors might be.
Not only will you be adding value and acting as a powerful reminder of your services but you will also be maintaining relationships too.
So think about ways to maintain consistent communication with your potential clients and do it over and over again.
- Social media
- Regular Email and newsletters
- Phone calls
- Events and seminars
- Blogs and other content
The full How to be consistent blog can be found here.
Lead generation, Inbound and your sales funnel
Without sales, your business would be nothing. No matter how awesome your products or services are, how incredible your customer service is, how clever you are at cutting costs and accounting…if you don’t make sales, you don’t make money and without money your business will suffocate and die.
As you know we are huge proponents of Inbound Marketing and this has always been an important part of generating sales. However, as data protection continues to become tighter and new laws are continuously being released to limit the use of outbound sales, inbound marketing will become an ever more important part of lead generation.
Filling your sales funnel with inbound marketing will mean focusing on one thing – value. By creating value for your potential customers with the likes of insightful blog posts, social
Ultimatley all the steps we have mentioned above are the core elements of inbound marketing. With a combination of Growing traffic to your website through.
A to Z of digital marketing terms
Digital Marketing is essential for small businesses. Understanding the key terms will allow you to compile and implement a successful marketing strategy.
Any small business owner knows why digital marketing is so important. Digital marketing allows you to reach a vast audience without spending a lot of money. With analytic tools, you can also target specific demographics and track progress. The level of specificity and engagement you can create with an audience is valuable and necessary.
While it may be obvious when it comes to the benefits of digital marketing, figuring out and implementing the best strategies for your business can be overwhelming – especially if you don’t have much experience in this area.
It is possible to learn to implement your digital marketing strategy, but it will require a little research. The digital marketing world is always changing, so it is vital to stay up-to-date on the current trends and methods to give your business the best chance possible.
While you are learning about the ins and outs of digital marketing, it is essential to familiarize yourself with common terms you may encounter.
CPM: Cost per mille (CPM) is a term that you may encounter when using paid advertising. You will pay a flat rate for every 1,000 impressions that an advertisement gets over a period of time. An impression is every time someone sees the advertisement on social media, a search engine, or other sources.
ROI: Return on investment (ROI) is crucial to understand if you are going to be using paid advertising. It lets you know how much revenue you receive is coming from an advertising campaign so you can determine if it is a valid use of resources.
CPC: Cost per click (CPC) is similar to CPM, but instead of being paid for each impression an advertisement generates, the pay is based on how many people click on the advertisement.
ROAS: Return on ad spend (ROAS) is a metric used to measure the amount of revenue to your company based on each dollar you put into advertising. The amount of money you spend on advertising should be viewed as an investment to track and analyze frequently.
Facebook Pixel: Facebook has an analytics tracking tool called Pixel which can help you identify how well an advertising campaign is doing. You can view the actions people take on your website and customize advertisements to reach a specific demographic.
Cookies: Small pieces of code that get added to a user’s browser when they visit a website are called cookies. Cookies collect data from the user like what websites they frequent so targeted ads can be more valuable.
Audience: An audience is simply the group of people who see your advertisement. Terms like target audience or target demographic are usually used to refer to the specific group of people you want to see your advertisements because they are most likely to buy your service or product. A target audience can be defined by their gender, age, income level, location, or interests.
H1 Heading: H1 is a specific HTML tag given to a heading on a website to differentiate it from other text on the page. Having this tag on your posts helps your website rank better in search engine optimization because it makes a page easier to navigate for users and search engines.
Meta Tags: A meta tag is a small paragraph of text that describes the page’s content. This text doesn’t appear anywhere on the page for the user but is hidden in the code for the page. They are essential because they help search engines learn about your page and rank it more efficiently.
Slug: The slug is the last part of a URL that separates it and identifies it as different from the other pages on that website. It is best if it is written in an easy to read form for easier navigation and should explain what the page is about to the user.
Keywords: When a user is searching on the internet to find something, they use a word or group of words in the search engine or search bar. Understanding the keywords that your target audience is using when online is an important part of your digital marketing strategy. Using the keywords in your content, titles, and other SEO elements will help you become more accessible to your target audience and rank higher in search engine results.
Backlinks: A link that appears on your website that links it to a different website is called a backlink. Backlinks help your search engine optimization because they signal a higher level of authority to search engines. They help to increase the quality of your content marketing and can often provide a greater level of usefulness to your audience.
Google Analytics: Google Analytics helps you track and understand the behaviour of your customers. You can learn from their experiences, age, gender, interests, locations, and devices. This information can then be used to create content and improve website functionality to help drive traffic to your website.
Bounce Rate: A bounce rate allows you to see the percentage of people who leave your website after only viewing one page. If your bounce rate is high, this can be an indication that your landing page or homepage is boring or your website is hard to navigate.
Site Map: The site map for your website is the file that has all the information about all pages, videos, and files on your website and how they are related to each other. Search engines use the site map to crawl your website, so the more detailed it is, the easier it is for the search engine to rank.
Quality Score: A quality score is a number between 1 and 10 that estimates the quality of your keywords, landing pages, and ads by evaluating the clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience of users. The quality score of your website matters because it helps determine which ads can be used on your website, how the ads are ranked, and what CPC the advertiser will need to pay. The higher your quality score, the better it is for your revenue stream from advertising.
PPC: Pay per click (PPC) is the advertising model where an advertiser gets paid each time a visitor to their site clicks on an advertisement.
Metadata: Metadata is used to directly communicate with search engines to provide them with all the information about your website like the details of your brand, assets, and target audience.
Themes: The theme of your website is the look, feel, and style that is presented to the user. It can include the color scheme, layout, and design elements. It should correlate directly to your brand and improve the user experience.
Page Builder: A page builder plugin is a component of your website that allows you to create, structure, and design new pages efficiently and easily. Elements are formatted into a grid that can be rearranged to fit your needs quickly.
Plugins: A plugin is a piece of software that can be added to a website to help increase efficiency or functionality in some aspect. They can add new features, make the pages easy to navigate, track data, and many other functions.
Email Marketing Terms
Open: The open rate in email marketing refers to the percentage of emails that were opened as it relates to the number that was sent. This data can be seen for each email marketing campaign. It shows how many of your subscribers are actively interested in your content, if your subject lines are engaging, and if emails are going to inboxes or spam folders.
Click-through: Another important piece of data to track with email marketing is the click-through rate. This lets you know how many people clicked on a hyperlink or image within the email.
Bounce: An email is called a bounce when it cannot be delivered to the user and is returned to your inbox. When an email bounces it should return with an error message that explains why it couldn’t be delivered.
Essentials tools for running marketing for your small business
When starting your own business there are so many things to think about. You are the accountant, the sales director, the marketing manager, the list goes on. So if you can ﬁnd a shortcut to some tried and tested apps that are guaranteed to save you time then you are gonna want that right?
Now you know all the key terms you might need some key tools to help you. I have gathered together a list of my favourite tools that I recommend when starting out.
Acuity: Online appointment scheduling software. Clients schedule appointments, pay, and complete intake forms online 24/7.
Calendly: Schedule meetings without the hassle. Never get double-booked. Calendly works with your calendar to automate appointment scheduling.
Siteground: Web hosting services are crafted for top speed, unmatched security, 24/7 fast and expert support.
Kinsta: A managed WordPress hosting provider that helps take care of all your needs regarding your website.
Databox: Business Analytics platform built to help you understand what’s going on with your business.
Google Data Studio: Google Data Studio gives you everything you need to turn your client’s analytics data into informational, easy-to-understand reports through data visualization.
Ubersuggest: Track and improve your SEO traffic.
YOAST: Yoast helps you with your website optimization, whether it be through their widely used SEO software or their online SEO courses.
AnswerThePublic: Search listening tool that can provide uncover hidden niches.
Keywords Everywhere: Great browser add-on. It shows search volume, CPC & competition in an easy way.
Google Meet: A video-communication service that replaces Google Hangouts. Connect withfriends across computers, Android, and Apple devices.
Zoom: Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars .
Crowdcast: Simple & powerful Q&As, webinars, live courses & online summits with your audience.
Whereby: Easy video meetings with no app or installs required, and the same meeting link.
Mailchimp: MailChimp is a marketing platform for small businesses.
Converkit: Email marketing and automation tools you need to grow your blog and business.
HubSpot: HubSpot is an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers.
Active Campaign: Integrated email marketing, marketing automation, and small business CRM.
Mailerlite: Email marketing & automation made easy for small businesses, professional bloggers and authors.
Ontraport: Marketing automation, email marketing, small business CRM & sales funnels.
Flodesk: A new email marketing service provider used to design and send on-brand marketing emails, create opt-in forms and build powerful email automations.
Xero: Xero is an online accounting software that connects you to accountants and bookkeepers and your bank.
Freshbooks: Small business accounting software in the cloud.
Quickbooks: An accounting software package geared mainly toward small-and-medium-sized businesses. It is used to accept business payments, manage and pay bills and payroll functions.
Leadpages: Leadpages allows you to easily create high converting landing pages. The easy way to create landing pages, sales pages and membership portals inside WordPress Elementor.
Ontraport: Ontraport is an all-in-one business and marketing automation platform that removes the burden of technology for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Offers you CRM, membership sites landing pages and email automation. Ontraport is a great entry-level landing pages solution.
HubSpot: HubSpot is an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. The basic version offers you email and landing pages alongside your CRM but you need PRO for full marketing automation features.
Capsule: Online CRM for individuals, small businesses and sales teams wanting a simple, effective, and affordable solution.
Insightly: A CRM solution for small and mid-size business users to build relationships, accelerate sales and deliver projects.
HubSpot: Free CRM version available of HubSpot that integrates with many other of your business solutions.
Active Campaign: Integrated email marketing, marketing automation, and small business CRM.
Proposify: If you are a service-based business and if you need to write proposals for your clients, we love this platform. Pre-made templates and you can also create your own this gives you insight as to if the proposal has been read. Client can accept right from within Proposify and you can also add T and Cs for acceptance. Also integrates with many other apps such as Xero and Quickbooks so you can link to your invoicing.
Dubsado:Client Management System for Creative Entrepreneurs. Send contracts, invoices, questionnaires and manage all things business in one system!
Monday: Monday.com is a tool that simplifies the way teams work together – Manage workload, track projects, move work forward, communicate with people.
Asana: Track your teams work and manage projects.
Trello: Project management and collaboration tool.
Blossom: Blossom is a lightweight project tracking tool for modern teams that love continuous delivery &simplicity.
Airtable: Airtable works like a spreadsheet but gives you the power of a database to organize anything and easily collaborate with others.
ClickUp: Manage sales, docs, resources, people, projects and more. You can embed other apps in ClickUp to keep all your work in one place.
Toggle: Time tracking system for a small business. A simple online timer with a powerful timesheet calculator.
Harvest: Simple time tracking, fast online invoicing, and powerful reporting software. Simplify employee timesheets and billing.
ClickUp: A great tool that promises to track time spent on projects and helps you save one day a week. Increase your team productivity, identify bottlenecks, improve project estimates.
The eternal quest for stock photography for your business. Here are a few of our favourites. For a more complete listing check out our blog.
- Burstby Shopify
- Foodies Feed
- Nagative Space
- New Old Stock
- Raw Pixel Image
- Stocksnap Splitshire
Paid Subscription Sites
- Kate Max Atele
- Rosemary Watson
- Haute Stock Twenty 20
- Stock that rocks
- Death to Stock
- Styled Stock Society
- Fempreneur Styled Stock
- Creative Market
Design – Graphics, eBooks
Canva: For those that are design challenged this is a fabulous tool. Free at basic level or for Canva for work on annual subscription this has revolutionized the way businesses can great graphics.
Pic Monkey: Create beautiful photos, logos, social media graphics, and Facebook covers with PicMonkey’s easy yet powerful photo editing and graphic design software.
Creative Cloud: Creative Cloud gives you the entire collection of Adobe desktop and mobile apps, from essentials like Photoshop CC to next-generation tools like Adobe XD CC.
Designrr: Point Designrr at any web page or upload from MS Word and it will create a stunning ebook and convert it to PDF, epub, Kindle or Flipbook – used to create this ebook!
Adobe Spark: Adobe Spark is a free online and mobile graphic design app. Easily create beautiful images, videos, and web pages that make you stand out on social.
Typorama: The easiest way to create amazing graphics on your iPhone & iPad.
Wordswag: Now you can create beautifully custom text layouts that would normally make minutes – or even hours – with just a tap.
PicTapGo: PicTapGo is the flexible, fast, fun photo app that can transform your images in seconds. With dozens of stackable filters, an intuitive crop tool, reusable recipes.
Hyperlapse: Hyperlapse is a technique in time-lapse photography that allows the photographer to create motion shots.
Business Management Tools
Dubsado: Client Management System for Creative Entrepreneurs. Send contracts, invoices, questionnaires and manage all things business in one system!
17 Hats: Our all-in-one suite of business tools from time tracking to invoicing.
Basecamp: Basecamp organizes your communication, projects, and client work together so you have a central source of truth.
Chat and Messenger
Quizzes, Online Calculators & Polls
Outgrow: Boost your marketing with highly converting interactive calculators, quizzes.
Try Interact: Create quizzes you can use to grow your email list, drive sales, and increase your social media presence.
Thrive Quiz Builder: Thrive Quiz Builder gives you the ability to create extremely complex quizzes.
ScoreApp: Enables you to get personalized data from your quizzes and triggers follow-up campaigns.
Shipping Cart & Payment Processors
ThriveCart: ThriveCart is the only cart with everything you’d need and no ongoing fees.
Stripe: Online payment processing for internet businesses.
PayPal: Online payment processing for personal and business payments.
Feedly: Your central place to organize, read, and share the information you need to stay ahead of the next big trend in your industry.
Flipboard: Flipboard curates the world’s stories so you can focus on investing in yourself, staying informed, and getting involved.
Headline Analyzer: Free headline analyzer from co-schedule that will score your overall headline quality and rate its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value.
Wave: Make a video online with Wave.video, a powerful video maker. Can make and scale videos for all social platforms.
Lumen 5: Lumen5 is a video creation platform powered by A.I. that enables anyone without training or experience to easily create engaging video content within minutes.
Promo: Promo gives you access to millions of premium video. Clips and handpicked music complete with lifetime licensing. With Promo, you can promote anything anywhere on the internet.
Ripl: Create eye-catching animated videos that help your business stand out on social media and improve customer awareness.