Small business marketing with inbound
Wouldn’t it be better if your consumers found you, rather than the other way around? Inbound marketing is your best bet. SagaReach explains the necessity of inbound marketing for small businesses in this part, as well as how to get started and which channels to use.
Come on, let’s chat about how to bring in more perfect customers to your site. Numerous companies, both large and small, have benefited from this strategy; it may be effective for you as well.
What is inbound marketing?
At SagaReach, we refer to outbound marketing as “push” and inbound marketing as “pull,” since it’s easy to remember. It’s far better to attract clients by providing them with useful material that helps them achieve their objectives than interrupting them with intrusive commercials or unethical sales practices
To be more specific, there are three parts to it:
Relevant and informative material on your website and blog draws in new visitors and consumers.
Following that, you’ll communicate with them through email and chat, as well as by pledging to provide ongoing value.
To top it all off, you please them by being an empathic counselor and expert who cares about their needs.
By the way, the inbound technique isn’t only for marketing. Sales and service operations may both benefit from the same approach and mentality.
To put it another way, how exactly do you go about doing inbound marketing?
Inbound 101: The basics for getting started
We can’t cover all there is to know about inbound marketing since there are so many resources available. Instead, we’ll provide you with the 80/20 rule so you can get to work. You may always return to learn more about the process when you got your feet on the ground.
In order to begin started, what are the first few steps?
To begin, create a picture of who you want to reach, often known as your target market. What kind of customer are you hoping to attract?
Make an outline of the several channels you may utilize to get your target audience’s attention as well as keep it engaged. What are they up to while they’re not working?
Create content and message that will attract, engage, and please consumers at the end of the process. You’ll need analytics since you’ll be learning and updating your plan all the time depending on your outcomes.
Let’s take a closer look at each of them in turn.
Know your personas & target markets
Even if you already have your buyer personas developed and know your target market, it never hurts to go back and learn more about your clients. To be more effective, learn as much as possible about your target audience.
Your audience becomes more focused as a result of pinpointing a target market and creating a buyer persona for your message.
You develop a representational model of your prototype consumer while creating a buyer persona. You’ll have to decide between perfect accuracy and flawless usefulness, much as in machine learning. That is to say, you should collect enough facts and information to create a buyer persona that is somewhat accurate, but not so much that it becomes too complicated.
Describe the process you use to acquire data to help you create a buyer persona. A variety of strategies are available, some simpler than others depending on the stage of your business:
- Customer interviews (phone or in person)
- Digital analytics
- Surveys (on-site polls like Qualaroo and customer surveys)
- User testing
- Live chat transcripts and intelligence via sales and service teams
You’ll want to answer core questions about your ideal buyer, such as:
- What are their motivations and fears?
- How do they prefer to make purchases?
- How much research do they do and what kind of content is useful to them?
- How do they interact with brands? What do they prefer the relationship to look like?
- Who do they look to when they’re making decisions? Who influences them?
- Where do they hang out? How can you reach them?
- What type of language do they use?
Each one of these elements will assist you in a) making channel selections and b) creating message that works.
Create a buyer persona, but don’t give it a charming name merely for show. Also, whether you’re selling paint or pre-owned automobiles, it’s unlikely that your buyer persona’s preferred car color is important to your sales strategy. Focus on what’s essential and easy to understand.
Map out your channels and tactics
When you have a target market and buyer persona, you can look into different channels. There are only so many inbound marketing channels:
- Facebook Ads (suggested reading: Are ads inbound?)
No matter how hard you try, certain marketing channels will never provide results for your company. If you offer dish soap, virality is usually not a good idea.
The same is true for channels that have the potential to be effective, but will need so much effort and risk to pull off that you should put them on hold for the time being. The same is true for businesses like LawnStarter (which provides lawn care) and ProTranslating (which provides translation services).
In order to find your ideal distribution channels, ask yourself, “how does a buyer acquire this sort of product?”
Typically, people call for lawn care when their grass gets out of hand and they need someone to come out as soon as possible. This sort of demand is well-suited to SEO and paid search advertising.
Chubbies and Airpods, for example, have a built-in virality. Just work on the viral elements and give them a bit more oomph.
Companies like Wordable or Mutiny, B2B software providers, are ideal candidates for content marketing. These products often need some training up front, and their intended audience is used to studying via blogs, webinars, and ebooks anyhow.
To be on the safe side, think about it and talk to your coworkers about it before you leap into a channel. Joining a channel only because your rivals have done so, or because it is fresh and exciting, is not a sound business strategy. No more gurus or companies attempting to make it big on Snapchat, and no more firms trying to become viral on Reddit. We don’t need them.. Follow your instincts and do what seems right to you.
Create content and execute on the playbook
Any inbound channel, in fact, any marketing channel, will need a message plan of some form. The effectiveness of the channel will be mainly determined by how well you execute messages.
Let’s assume our inbound strategy calls for the utilization of blogging and SEO. Due to being a privately held channel, you can compete with much larger players and win a lot of the time if you use quality and 10x material as your foundation.
Now, what do you blog about?
Despite the fact that there are numerous appropriate methods to answer this issue, we choose to use the Pillar + Cluster model instead.
Simple English: The large subject you’re targeting is called your “pillar content,” and the smaller topics that support it are called your “cluster content.” By connecting pages together, you’re telling Google that they’re connected.
Let’s suppose “personalization” is your major theme. Create a pillar page with the title “The Ultimate Guide to Web Personalization” to help with this.
In order to support the main page, you might write multiple cluster content blog entries. The following are examples of possible subjects for these:
- How to personalize email newsletters
- Top personalization tools in 2019
- Personalization examples
- How to measure ROI from personalization
…And on and on.
We like to work our way backwards from the end result and then expand. In other words, what are we trying to accomplish? Come up with ideas for high traffic pillar pages that can support the product page you’ve defined first. After that, use your pillar page’s subject suggestions to generate long-tail blog pieces. Searching on Answer The Public might help you come up with long-tail ideas.
Your site will be inundated with visitors in no time. Your only concern then will be converting that traffic into leads, customers, or other conversion targets.
There’s a lot more to inbound marketing than what we’ve covered here. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll say, “Define your target. Go where the fish are. And design a message that connects with them.” That’s really all there is to it.
This may seem simple, yet it requires much effort. Finally, we’ll stress the need of continuing to learn and improve.
Keep improving and optimizing your inbound funnel by making sure you have the right analytics.
Whenever it’s working properly, it’s actually working well. And if everything works flawlessly, you can create an impenetrable moat.
Small business marketing with video
Does your expanding company want to take use of video’s power? Therefore, your search ends here. Section on the relevance of video marketing for small businesses and how to overcome video marketing obstacles. The article concludes with some suggestions for developing your own plan.
A recent survey by Forbes found that 90% of people claim videos have influenced their purchasing choices. A whopping 64% think viewing videos increases their likelihood of making a purchase. A 41 percent boost in search traffic is reported by Forbes for companies who employ video in their marketing.
With the advent of video, social media and marketing as a whole have been revolutionized.
This might be intimidating for small company owners and marketers. Several small company owners already wear many hats, as SagaReach has learned from talking to them. Addition of video may seem daunting if you don’t have the time, finances, or technical know-how required for video production.
However, you’d be surprised to learn. Using video for marketing isn’t as complicated or time demanding as you would expect. You may use this fast start guide to help you get going on your project (and show you how easy it can be). Next, here’s what we’ll talk about:
- Why video matters for small businesses
- How to overcome the hurdles to video creation
- Small business video ideas
- Tips and tricks for small business video creation
- How to get started with video marketing today
Let’s dive in!
Why Video matters for small businesses
Marketers at companies of all sizes have a tremendous potential to use video in their campaigns. The use of video in social media, YouTube, your website, emails, and even in-store or at an event will be briefly discussed.
Social video for small business
93 percent of marketers that use video on social media think it’s gotten them a new client, according to a recent SagaReach poll. Consumers like to view videos from companies on social media.
Images and text combined create just 600% of the number of social media shares generated by video. Video may be used throughout the consumer experience in your social marketing to help your campaigns succeed.
YouTube video for small business
After Google, you’ve probably heard that YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. Do you know what this means for you personally? Customers (including your own) are turning to YouTube in greater numbers than ever before to get product reviews, how-to videos, and other useful content.
With the help of YouTube videos, you’ll be able to reach new clients who are looking for videos that connect to your business and its offerings.
Website video for small business
A video-rich website sees an 88% increase in average consumer time spent. That’s very remarkable, isn’t it? Video may be used into your website in a variety of ways, including an introduction video on your page.
- Product videos
- A personal video for your about page that showcases your small business story
And guess what? These videos can also be repurposed to share on YouTube and social media.
Email video for small business
Including video in email may raise open rates by up to 19 percent and click-through rates by up to 50 percent.
What’s even better, though? It’s not as difficult as it seems to include video in your emails. In reality, the videos in your email aren’t required to play. Instead, link to them and use the word “video” in the subject line of your email to begin getting results.
In-person video for small business
Online video isn’t the only place you can get it. You may also use it in your store, at events and trade exhibits, as well as in sales sessions, for your in-person marketing. Make presentations more interesting by playing a video loop on a screen to draw people in.
Myth #1: Video is too time consuming
There’s a widespread misperception that making a single film takes days (if not weeks). In reality, this may be true for commercial projects with large crews that are intended to be shown on television. However, making films for social media or to post on your blog or website does not have to take a long time.
You just need a few hours a week to begin started, and as you improve as a videographer, your time requirements will decrease. You may save time on production by repurposing existing images and films or by using stock photography.
Moreover, even huge firms with enormous resources have begun to choose less polished social videos for a more genuine appearance. Video doesn’t have to be time-consuming in order to be beneficial.
Myth #2: Video is too complicated
Even if they have the time, many small firms still refuse to employ video because they think they lack the ability. Yes, there are video editing applications that need sophisticated technical skills. Non-professionals may still use a broad variety of video editing tools. You may also use these tools to produce your own high-quality films. We’ll keep our end of the bargain.
It’s also worth noting that substantial production isn’t necessary for social video in particular. In many cases, the most interesting movies are composed of just a few frames or a single clip with text on it. Begin with the basics and work your way up as you gain experience with video production.
Myth #3: Video is too expensive
Finally, you don’t have to go broke making a video. As previously noted, chances are you already have the photographs and videos you’ll need to get things going on your blog. Otherwise, you may save money by filming using your smartphone instead of a dedicated video camera.
Audio equipment isn’t necessary when you add text over your video footage (85 percent of people watch with the sound off anyway). And a simple, low-cost video editing program may bring it all together.
Small business videos ideas
Now that we’ve persuaded you, let’s go on to the next step. Which videos should you produce? This is a common concern for small company owners who want to begin using video in their marketing efforts. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of small business video ideas and examples.
To make it easier for you, each of these video samples comes with a customizable template.
About us video
Tell the world about your company’s origins. What is your company’s name and what services or goods do you provide? With an About Us page, you can tell your customers and potential customers more about your company and its staff. This is particularly useful for start-ups and small enterprises.
Product story video
When you want to complete the deal and make a sale, you should use a product video ad. Instead of just listing features and benefits, presenting a narrative about your product or service may excite and enthrall people on a deeper level. As you can see in this example, telling the background of a particular product may make for shareable content. Offer a product with a compelling background, if possible.
The length of a video commercial should be kept to a minimum. It tells your target audience about your product and gives them a clear call to action (CTA) so they can buy it.
Fun social video
In need of a fast social media video idea? Consider using a quotation as a starting point. Making a quote video is quick and easy, and it gets plenty of views and shares on social media. Simply combine an eye-catching image or video with a thought-provoking remark that pertains to your company or sector.
Making a how-to video allows you to demonstrate your knowledge in a professional manner. Answer a common client query or provide an insider tip based on your knowledge of the sector. Promote it on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, where people are looking for solutions. A list or instructional video might also help you convey your knowledge.
Blog teaser video
Create a teaser video for your blog or other online material if you haven’t already. Include a clear call to action with a link to further information so that viewers know what to do next.
You may use testimonial films to demonstrate your expertise and build trust with prospective consumers. Creating testimonial films doesn’t have to be as difficult as shooting interviews with your consumers. Make use of testimonials and images of your business, yourself, or your product from Yelp, social media, or customer emails.
Video tips and tricks for small businesses
We hope this has given you some motivation to start shooting videos of your own. Here are a few pointers to help you get the most of your video marketing before you get started.
Start with the resources you already have. Making your first video doesn’t have to be difficult if you already have photographs and video clips to work with. Start with material from your phone, PC, website, and social media networks.
Make preparations to silence the surrounding noise. Always keep in mind that the majority of people who view videos on social media do so with the sound off while generating content for those platforms. Tell a tale with text that works whether or not the sound is on.
Keep the idea of portability in mind. Watching videos on mobile devices is becoming more popular among viewers. When creating movies for mobile or social media, make sure the content is legible and the video is square or vertical in format.
Your video adverts should be targeted to the right people. You may reach the people who are most likely to be interested in your company or product by using Facebook Ads Manager and other social media platforms’ targeting features.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Making a Facebook video? If it’s for your Instagram account? Twitter? What about a post on Instagram? Plan your video material according to the platform you’ll be using. Different formats and kinds of content perform well on different platforms.
Make use of your mobile device. To begin started, you don’t need a lot of expensive gear. In our pockets, everyone of us carries a top-of-the-line professional camera. You’d be surprised at how good the video quality is on your phone.
Pay close attention to the way things are lit. The quality of your movie may be made or broken by the presence (or absence) of good lighting. You don’t have a lighting rig? That’s okay. You might also try taking your photos near to a window or outdoors if the weather permits.
Pay close attention to what is being said in the recording. As with video, the quality of your audio will have a significant influence on the overall look and feel of your film. Check the sound quality of your recording by wearing headphones while you’re doing it. But even if you intend to utilize audio, be sure to provide text or closed captions for viewers who want to see without sound.
Small business marketing with email
Despite the fact that email marketing is a must-have for every organization, mastering it may be difficult. SagaReach covers the importance of email marketing for small businesses in this part, as well as how to send effective emails and how to grow your efforts.
Whether you’re starting your own company or working for someone else, you’ve certainly worn several hats throughout the years.
However, if your company expands, you will have to wear additional hats, some of which may not be as comfortable to wear, like email marketing fanatic.
SagaReach’s goal is to provide you with strong but easy email marketing tools and recommendations so you can focus on what you do best.
Email marketing is still very much alive and kicking today.
As a young and developing firm, it may be difficult to know where to put your marketing efforts. According to the data, email marketing should be given top priority. Check out these numbers:
Currently, there are over 3.7 billion people using email on a daily basis, and that figure is expected to rise to 4.1 billion by 2021.
Email, according to 59% of marketers, is their primary source of return on investment.
For every dollar spent on email marketing, $44 in revenue is generated.
Email is the key medium for lead generation for 89% of marketers.
Before your first send
You’ve made the decision to use email marketing as a tool for your business. What’s next? Your first goal should be to build, develop, and nurture connections with your customers.
Increasing customer engagement and ROI are excellent objectives to have along the route, but don’t forget about the individuals whose inboxes you’re delivering to. As a result, we’ve developed a list of pro advice to help you succeed.
1. Start with a plan
There’s no right or wrong formula for your first email marketing plan, as long as it answers the following questions:
- Why am I sending emails?
- Who am I sending them to?
- What value can I offer subscribers?
- What are my email marketing goals?
It’s time to create a client journey map after you’ve answered these questions. Like planning a marathon course, make sure the road is free of obstacles and the signs point in the proper direction. This is how you’d do it. This can help you anticipate any demands or questions that your clients may have as they go from lead to conversion.
2. Segment your audience
Consider what information you’ll need in the future while creating your email subscription form. However, gathering more demographic information can let you divide your audience into different age, gender, geography, or other groupings. Name and email address are the conventional options.
In place of sending the same generic message to everyone on your list, segmentation enables you to offer more personalized and engaging content to your subscribers. Email list segmentation, after all, has the potential to increase open rates by a factor of two.
3. Personalize your messages
It’s time to develop material for the individuals in each category based on their purchasing history, interests, or other factors. This might be because a certain item they expressed interest in has gone on sale, or because you want to call them by name and propose something they’ll like.
Inserting dynamic material into your message using SagaReach is one of our favorite methods to achieve this. By doing this, you’ll demonstrate to your audience that you care about and understand them, and you’ll also add a “wow” element that delights and surprises them. Furthermore, according to MarketingSherpa’s findings, using a customised subject line increases open rates by 41%.
4. Scale your efforts
As a result, you’ve drawn out a strategy, segmented your list, and generated engaging customised content. It’s time to scale up all of the strategies and methods that are working and reach a wider audience. Automation is your best bet at this stage.
You can keep your content fresh and suit your clients’ demands by planning emails to meet them at each stage of their customer journey (which you just sketched out in step #1). Additionally, 70.5 percent more people will read your emails when they are sent by automated means.
5. Measure your success
You’ve made it all the way to the end! Looking at the data and discovering what works, what you might do better, and what you can do without is the ideal approach to keep improving and refining your email marketing abilities.
To guarantee long-term email marketing success, monitor your KPIs, retarget inactive subscribers, and maintain high deliverability. Segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns account for 77% of ROI. Figure out what works for you and let it thrive in the process of helping it expand.
What to look for in an email marketing platform
There are several email marketing platforms to pick from and ideas to take into account. Now that you know how to get started with email marketing, it’s time to choose a service provider that can help your company expand.
Small business marketing with social
Growing your audience is vital to your business, as is displaying your company and building long-term connections with your consumers. We’ll talk about how to get started on social media in this area, and we’ll also give you some pointers for more experienced users.
In addition to helping thousands of small companies improve their social marketing strategies, SagaReach also saves them valuable time online. Working with so many groups has given us a lot of experience in assisting them with their social strategy.
Our approach to social media marketing for small businesses covers the fundamentals, but if you’re looking for additional information, check out our complete guide to social media marketing for small businesses.
A small business’s worth in social media
With social media, your inbound marketing approach will be driven by promoting your videos and growing the number of people that sign up for your email list.
Social media, on the other hand, is significant on its own.
Any company, no matter how big or little, may benefit from using social media to attract clients and increase sales.
People who follow you on social media are 57.5% more likely to make a purchase from you.
But that’s not where it ends. This figure rises to 71% if you can create a wonderful positive social media experience.
As you can see from the data above, social media may be an effective tool for small company marketing.
For those just starting started, we’ve included some basic information, while those with a more established social media presence will find more advanced advice in the following sections.
Getting started with small business marketing on social
1. Define your social goals
In the absence of a clear goal on social media, you’ll never know whether your efforts are successful or not. If you don’t have this, you’ll have a hard time keeping up a flexible plan.
Industry-to-industry, goals might be very different. Direct purchases via social media may be important to a retail organization, but new enrollment rates are important to higher education.
In our most current SagaReach Index, we inquired about the most important objectives of social marketers. Their replies may assist you in determining your first social media objectives, which you can fine-tune as you learn more about the benefits that social marketing can provide your company. Each thing in the list below has a definition, which we’ve provided as a cheat sheet.
Boost customer awareness of your brand: your brand’s familiarity amongst social media users
Raise the level of involvement in the community Conversing openly and honestly with your audience
Boost the volume of visitors to your website: The amount of people that came to the website after hearing about it on social media
Sales/leads generated via social media: People who buy your products or services or who fill out a website form.
Material distribution is the act of making your content available to others via the use of social media.
Boost consumer advocacy for the brand: How to get satisfied consumers to spread the word about their positive experience
Responding to client queries on social media may help you provide better service to your customers.
Expand your influencer marketing campaign by getting more people to talk about your business on social media.
2. Define your core metrics
To help you get there, think of your social objectives as the destination and your key metrics as a map to follow along the way. Here’s a quick reference to some important social media marketing stats.
Impressions: The number of times that a certain person has seen your advertisement.
Engagements: When a person has engaged with your message a certain number of times, they include:
Engagement Rates: Percentage of people that interact with a brand after seeing a single ad.
Site Visits: The number of people who are following you on social media, commonly represented as an increase or decrease over time on your profile.
Mentions: There are how many times your username or brand was referenced on social media.
Followers: The number of individuals who follow you on social, usually shown as an increase or decrease over time
New Sales/ROI: Revenue from social visits, which may be tracked via UTM tagging and website analytics (new revenue).
3. Target your audience and social networks
While social media is a great tool to reach a wide audience, it’s important to know who you’re trying to reach before you start using it. Consider the following examples:
It is important to keep in mind that the more particular you are, the better. You’ll be able to build a solid social media marketing plan around these folks and use a targeted approach to contact the appropriate people at the right time this way.
Knowing who you’re trying to contact and where they are can help you narrow down your search. For example, as SagaReach pointed out earlier in this tutorial, not all inbound channels are suitable for small company marketing purposes. In the same way, not all social media networks are appropriate for your company. The number of people using social media sites varies greatly. Be wary of making investments in networks where your target market is concentrated.
Before choosing a platform, ask yourself things like:
- Which platform best fits your B2B or B2C interactions?
- How often do you publish content?
- What’s the lifespan of your content?
- Are you using social media for customer service?
- Are you engaging with user-generated content?
- Can you automate parts of your social media?
The answers to those questions will inform the networks you should choose.
4. Figure out what to share
Search for prior successful material to help you decide what to publish. To further understand your audience, use tools like Twitter or Facebook Insights if you’ve already published content to social media.
You may view the most popular posts for a certain measure by sorting your messages according to that metric. Analyze a few to see if there are any patterns, then use that information to guide your publishing decisions.
5. Build your publishing calendar
With the right material, you can schedule your social media posts so that they go live at certain times and days. You may also use a social media publishing tool such as SagaReach to see your complete Publishing Calendar across all of your networks and profiles at the same time..
Create a PDF version of your calendar that you can distribute to other important stakeholders within your company.
6. Respond to inbound messages
Your consumers are likely to talk about your product (and you) on social media unless you offer a specialized niche product. It’s your obligation to reply to their messages in order to provide a better user experience, whether they tag you directly or use certain keywords and phrases related to your business.
Keep an eye out on your social media accounts for anything that requires a reaction. Using a social media engagement tool, you may find out what others are saying about your company or yourself on social media.
7. Analyze your results
This will be much easier to do if you’ve identified the metrics that are most important to your company, as well as spent time posting and participating on social media sites.
The frequency with which you examine the outcomes of your social media activities will be determined by the amount of time you have available and how often you use social media. In order to improve your approach, keep an eye on key performance indicators (KPIs). If you’re pressed for time, a social media analytics tool may generate high-level or detailed reports for you automatically.
Advanced tips for small business social
1. Search social for new opportunities
So far, we’ve established that small company marketers are responsible for responding to social media postings that reference or tag them. More sophisticated strategies include keeping an eye on social media for relevant discussions about your brand and then participating in.
Let’s imagine you’re the owner of a Chicago-based pizzeria known for its gluten-free menu. A social media listening tool allows you to keep tabs on everyone in the Chicago region who uses a keyword like “gluten free pizza.”
Real-time email notifications will show up when people start talking about your business. You may reach out to them and offer your restaurant as a suggestion.
2. Run competitive analyses
Be on the lookout for the social media strategy of your competitors. With that knowledge in hand, you’ll be better equipped to assess your place in the business and generate new concepts that will set you apart from the competition. For your convenience, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on doing a competitive analysis, including with a free template to get you started.
3. Leverage relevant hashtags
You may reach a wider audience on social media by using hashtags. Having trouble deciding on which to use? There are plenty of suggestions in our Hashtag Holiday calendar that you can download for free. Use hashtags, but be careful not to overdo it or force your business to use them.
4. Create great visuals and videos
Video has grown more essential on social media, as it produces 1200 percent more shares than photos and text combined. When used effectively, video can be a powerful tool in your social marketing strategy across the consumer journey.
They also provided some advice on how to make video production less stressful for your group. Make sure to publish any videos you generate with their assistance on your social media networks now that you’ve paid in.
5. Get your teammates on social
With so many possibilities on social media, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. If you’re a small company marketer with limited resources, consider enlisting the assistance of anybody in your organization who can help you stay up.
If you’re worried about increasing your security efforts or decreasing the level of security on your accounts, have no worry. Using social media collaboration tools, you can keep your online presence under control as a group.
6. Boost your content with paid ads
Pay-per-click advertising may help you promote your content. If your social media presence isn’t gaining the traction you expected, you may want to consider paying for advertising in your postings until it does. You may use a paid social tool to swiftly increase your posts on each native network’s paid social capability or a paid social tool.