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Small, But Mighty

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Mighty Mouse

Big brands can easily make a far-reaching impression with large marketing budgets and staff dedicated specifically to that work. Small businesses don’t typically have that luxury — they have relatively smaller marketing budgets, smaller staff, and often shorter reach. But don’t count them out. The number of marketing resources for smaller companies is expanding, proving that the cards are not stacked against them; a big impact is not impossible.

Find your target. Determining and getting to know its target market can help a small business ultimately reach the right people.

There are services available that will formulate targeted contact lists based on specific criteria, including demographics and buyer type, for a fee. Working with an industry publisher to build a budget-wise plan that utilizes its highly targeted audience list also is a good option. In the case of a tighter marketing budget, a smaller business can create and utilize its own contact list.

Examining the efforts of more established, successful companies in the industry can help, as these provide an example of best marketing strategies. Taking a look at competitors, too, is an effort that can help to formulate a marketing game plan.

“If you spend time analyzing the competitive field to look for their areas of weakness or gaps in the marketplace, you can discover opportunities where your business will have the best chance to grow,” according to Entrepreneur Online.

Be creative. With advances in digital graphics and high-tech video and imaging, we live in a very visually stimulating world. Photos and video tell a story in ways that text alone simply cannot. There are marketing promotion services available through a variety of outlets — including publishing companies that can assist small businesses in designing, recording, hosting and even marketing to a broad audience with compelling, eye-catching messages in a variety of formats.

Small, But Mighty

Working with an established industry publisher such as Photonics Media can provide access to marketing and advertising services not available elsewhere. With website and mobile services, video promotion packages, and high-quality images and advertisements, small businesses gain access to thousands of readers worldwide. Placing an ad with a link to your website in a publisher’s e-newsletters can be a smart way to go, too, as media companies have access to many thousands of industry readers.

Gauging the impact of a small business’s creativity is almost as crucial as the conveyed messages themselves. It’s important to pay attention to statistics and data to determine a marketing campaign’s strengths and weaknesses. This will assist with the success of future marketing initiatives. Soliciting feedback — embracing both the good and the bad — can serve as a key learning tool. It’s a way to ultimately help smaller businesses to grow and succeed.

  — Even the best content needs proven ways to drive prospects to see it.

Get connected. Social media isn’t just for watching cat videos and reconnecting with old high school pals. An increasing number of these sites — including LinkedIn — cater to the business world and can help smaller businesses get their marketing messages out to large and targeted audiences. As this site’s presence in the business community continues to expand, it can be useful for content promotion and brand building. Such platforms are free, too, although most do offer additional fee-based services.

Utilizing sites like LinkedIn does take some effort, though, according to WordStream, a search marketing company. Active interaction is necessary to make LinkedIn and similar platforms worthwhile. It’s more than just adding network connections — it’s important to join different groups, mingle with those you’re connected to, and share news and information relating not only to your business, but also to your industry as a whole.

For a cost, LinkedIn further enhances a company’s social marketing initiatives by way of sponsored and promoted posts, and can heighten brand awareness and web traffic. Other social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter can produce similar effects for small businesses, while potentially reaching even larger audiences.

Creating marketing messages for mobile devices and apps is a strong way to reach the masses. Smartphones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices are everywhere in this fast-paced world, and it’s where people first see social media feeds, and now — frequently — advertising messages.

In January, in Business News Daily — an online resource for small businesses along their entrepreneurial journey — Bill Burnett, founder and CEO of PointDrive, a sales-oriented company that helps professionals present content via numerous devices and platforms, notes that an increase in buying decisions is happening with mobile devices, namely in B2B.

“Companies across all industries need to adapt, or they will get left behind,” he said.

Blogging and email are other opportunities to deliver marketing messages. Email is commonplace, Entrepreneur Online notes, with millions of people checking their accounts daily. Similarly, writing a blog allows you to “create information for your followers and will help you be seen as an expert in your field,” according to Social Media Today — an online resource for those in marketing, content marketing, digital strategy, and others — adding that blog posts are also easily shareable online. Once you have a series of blog posts that will be of interest to your target audience, consider the broad range of ways to drive prospects to your website and the blog. Even the best content needs proven ways to drive prospects to see it.

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