There are 6 core building blocks of small business marketing success. Here’s the breakdown.
#1. A Single Management Platform
At Marketing 360®, we believe SMB digital marketing is inexorably moving towards a single platform solution. This is happening because there are so many separate channels and tools needed to market a business that it’s not feasible for a small business to organize it all without a unified management interface.
With this platform you’ll manage your online content, design work, analytics, ad campaigns, email marketing, and customer database. The platform will integrate your marketing to simplify management and clarify how all your work is winning you new business.
Online marketing without a management platform will be like trying to juggle a dozen flaming bowling balls. Make sure you have this in place.
#2. Access to a Marketing Team
Platforms and automation are going to do an increasing amount of tactical work, but you’ll still need strategy, copy, and creatives to develop marketing that connects with and motivates your audience.
You need to know your competition and have a plan to beat them. You’ll want to create ad copy, videos, and social media that tell your brand story.
A marketing team is the key to campaigns that excel. Work with a team you know, trust, and can communicate with.
#3. Reputation Management
Online reviews are so important for SMBs today that they’re now a stand-alone building block for success.
Your potential customers will check your reviews and compare you to the competition. It’s a certainty. The story portrayed by your customer reviews will be one of the most influential pieces of content in your marketing.
Obviously, you need this portrayal to be positive. Reputation management ensures that your reviews are not only positive but also updated.
Make sure you have a plan to manage your all-important online reputation.
#4. Content Marketing
If there are bricks to the foundation we’re describing here, it’s content. You can’t market without it.
Most people get that, but creating content that both builds trust in your brand and motivates conversions is probably the biggest challenge in marketing.
Content marketing professionals integrate SEO, ad copy, and brand stories into your website, blog, ads, and social media.
Digital platforms have powerful reach, but they’re also excellent for keeping your message cohesive. The best content creators help you rank in search results, build affinity with a relatable storyline, and motivate with conversion-focused content.
This work takes skill and time. When it’s effective it leverages your competitive advantage while making a connection to the lifestyle aspirations of your audience.
#5. Social Media Management
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are places where people live-out their digital lives. The social media feed connects people to their networks and news of the world. It broadcasts scintillating, extraordinary, and strange human events. And it exposes them to commercial brand stories from businesses like yours.
You can execute direct-response advertising on social media, which works particularly well with retargeting audiences. But moreover, you want to be on social media because it’s where the party is happening. If you’re visible and active on social, it’s similar having the prime location for a physical business. Strong social media is like being located on the busiest street in town.
A phenomenon called social proof occurs. When people see you’re active and have a strong following, they assume you’re doing something right. Just like when you see a crowded restaurant and assume the food must be good. That many people can’t be wrong.
This is why social media management is a building block of marketing success. Similar to having a strong reputation, active social develops a positive perception of your business.
Most business owners realize this but struggle because they don’t have the time to execute a social marketing strategy. Use a social media marketing service that manages content curation and creation, strategy and research, post scheduling, social monitoring, commenting and engagement, boosting and promotion campaigns.
#6. High-Visibility Multi-Channel Advertising
Digital marketing is intrinsically multi-channel. It’s part of the interconnected digital web.
The top building block on this pyramid is built on those below it.
Everything we’ve discussed helps you build a presence across the web. Sometimes that presence provides information and builds affinity, other times it’s a direct response ad. It happens on search, social, and video platforms. You build it offline with PR and digital billboards.
The days of a business being able to advertise in one place (like the Yellow Pages) are over. Today, you need to create a presence across the web, integrated with your target audience’s buying journey.
To do that you need a robust marketing platform. You need a marketing team with skills in each channel.
Your reputation must be working for you – or it will work against you. You need content that speaks the language of the channel you’re working. You must be engaging and persuasive on social channels.
It all comes together as building blocks for marketing success.