Marketing is a landscape that changes so quickly that keeping up with the best practices is challenging.
Here are ten marketing top tips for small businesses to optimise their strategy this year:
1. Look for opportunities to diversify
Most marketing budgets today only allow businesses to pursue some distribution channels simultaneously. You must carefully select channels most likely to bring substantial returns from your investment.
Look for opportunities to diversify your strategy by first researching your audience. Identify niche sub-channels where you can cut through the marketing noise, such as YouTube, social media groups, etc. Then, you can diversify your strategy, knowing the payoff will be worth the investment.
2. Embrace paid social
Marketers can reach a total potential audience of 2.249 billion users through Facebook ads – as of April 2023. That's an increase of 108 million from 1.983 billion in April 2022. Meanwhile, paid advertising options continue to gain users at differing levels on Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, X, and elsewhere.
Social media platforms are tweaking their algorithms, making it clear to brands that paid promotion is necessary for visibility. If you want your social strategy to maintain or gain momentum, then embracing paid social is a must.
3. Focus on your existing content
Most marketers today understand they need to produce content to build a traffic base. They often focus on creating new content, overlooking the value of their existing assets. However, using your current content to its fullest potential is essential to keep up with today's competitive markets.
For example, you can:
Identify your most popular content and use these insights to inform future content you create.
Update old content with new data, visuals, or perspective, then republish for more reach.
Repurpose old content as an infographic, video, slide deck, etc. You can also turn a series of blog posts into an ebook guide or report.
4. Nurture brand advocates
People look for recommendations from their peers to make purchase decisions. Your customers are a powerful resource to help you reach new audiences and drive conversions.
To make the most of your brand advocates, create campaigns to incentivise them to spread your message. Create an online community or offer rewards for referrals, for example. You can also create a branded hashtag and encourage audiences to use it.
5. Constantly optimise user experience
Creating a message that speaks to your target audience is only the first step to success in online marketing. It doesn't matter how great your content is; it will only drive conversions with excellent website user experience (UX) to go with it.
So, ensure you're constantly testing and optimising UX to drive marketing goals. This testing includes improving site speed and navigation, making your content easy to consume on mobile devices and more.
6. Connect online and offline strategies
Creating a consistent customer experience online and offline is an essential aspect of memorable marketing. More and more businesses use virtual and in-person 'events' to influence audiences and drive sales, but they often consider them isolated from online marketing initiatives.
To get the most out of virtual and in-person marketing, identify what steps you want your audience to take after the event (e.g., engage with your emails, sign up for a free product demo, react to an offer, etc). Then, create a virtual or in-person experience that nurtures them on this journey.
7. Prioritise authenticity
This is one of our most important marketing tips. Consumers today are well aware that the content businesses create is agenda-driven. They're likely to respond negatively to salesy content, so brands must develop better strategies to build authentic relationships with their audiences.
For me, good examples of authentic businesses are:
There are heaps of small businesses or brands which you use because you trust them, their services or products and understand their marketing message meshes it all together. It's an interesting exercise to consider why the businesses which mean most to you resonate.
8. Create a memorable message
There are only so many ways to promote your products and services through marketing directly. Sometimes, it's worthwhile to stray from your main marketing agenda to tell stories that make your brand more memorable and likeable.
The more creative you get with storytelling marketing, the more likely you'll stand out and improve your brand image.
9. Build partnerships
Advertising is a great way to broaden your social media and web reach. However, it differs from the power of a strong recommendation from knowledgeable influencers.
Collaborate with other major players in your industry to reach a new audience and gain social proof for your business. You can also enlist the help of micro-influencers to serve as your brand advocates on social media and the blogosphere.
A great example of building a partnership is between a restaurant and it's local suppliers. If they choose to co-promote each other, their reach expands and both benefit from the authenticity and trust their audiences have in their products. For service businesses, an accountancy firm offering payroll services may link up with an HR specialist to help widen their offering - and also their audiences.
10. Make performance analysis an ongoing strategy
Any seasoned marketer knows the importance of performance analytics to optimise their strategy. But waiting until the end of a marketing campaign to analyse and adjust seriously limits the potential benefits of performance analysis. Top marketers don't rely on past performance to inform future efforts — they make real-time adjustments to their campaigns based on the latest insights. Your marketing automation platform should offer you many ways to analyse the performance of your marketing efforts.
Get in touch if you would like to talk about your 2024 marketing plans and how best to make the most of your time and resources.