So if you follow us or are regular readers of our blog, you will find that we champion online marketing and the whole social media thing quite a lot. Namely because this is an area that we feel many businesses 'think' they understand, yet when digging under the surface the way that they understand it sometimes lacks perspective.
(Warning: Huge generalisations may follow…)
By 'perspective' we mean, there is
consideration for it in their marketing mix, but many businesses feel it needs to dominate
over all other marketing activity.
Granted when a time of austerity is being promoted by the government and businesses need to spend wisely, a FREE marketing tool such as social media appeals to the better nature of the finance director and little else gets signed off.
What we would say to any business that thinks social media marketing alone will get them through the storm, if they just batten down the hatches and keep tweeting… have a re-think
There are many other ways to generate interest in a brand and sell products that don't cost the earth. Granted they may need a little bit more of your time and energy, but if your marketing budget is tight, don't cut back on marketing activity, optimise your spend.
5 Quick Tips
1. First up, check that people can contact you quickly from anything that they get given (business cards, brochures) or when they visit your website. Clever marketing sometimes confuses people and a difficult website to navigate though can be a huge problem if you are an online retailer - help them find things easily.2. The £5,000 budget for a trade show may need to be swapped for a £100 stand at a local business expo.3. The £1,500 full page advert in a trade journal may need to be cancelled in favour of a £95 piece of PR from a local PR specialist.4. Your £1,000 a month budget for Google adwords could be optimised to make you more money (by being more targeted) than making more money for Google (when they tell you to be very generic).5. And the £500 a year membership plus the monthly costs for a networking group may need to be swapped in favour of FREE local business networking events and seminars or even SEO work to get you to the top of Google.
There are ways to cuts the spend without cutting the activity. They just need to be worked out.
Social media is not the saviour of small businesses - it is just another tool that you can use. When used effectively it can yield great results.