We know how hard it is to run a small business: dealing with employees, customers, and vendors, consistently growing your business, managing current accounts, dealing with taxes and regulations, and more.
With all that work, it’s no surprise that marketing can take second place in everything else you have to do. And even when it doesn’t, it can be hard to know your company’s best small business marketing strategies.
So let’s take a look at some of the most common small business marketing pain points and suggest some ways that you can solve them for long-term success.
Pain Point #1: You Don’t Have Time To Market Your Business
Most of the best small business marketing strategies require a time investment. Generating organic business takes a strong SEO strategy and regularly posting content to your digital profiles. Unless you have an in-house team dedicated to your marketing efforts, keeping up with today’s ad-focused world can be challenging.
Outsource your marketing efforts to a sales and marketing firm. If you don’t have time to implement an inbound marketing strategy, you can outsource your efforts to a company that specializes in sales and marketing. Outsourcing gives you time to concentrate on your core tasks while maintaining a steady supply of potential customers.
Take advantage of automated marketing tools. Many great automated marketing tools allow you to input and schedule your content for the week. This process can save you a lot of time because you can do your marketing work in just a few hours per week with the correct setup.
Delegate marketing efforts between team members. Many business owners want to do it all to keep costs down, but sometimes learning a new skill takes you away from what you’re good at—running a successful business. Find ways to delegate specialist tasks to your employees or other professionals who excel in sales and marketing.
Pain Point #2: You Don’t Have Enough in the Marketing Budget
No business operates without financial constraints; a budget is one of the most significant small business marketing challenges. The cost of digital advertising is growing each year, making it hard for small businesses to keep up. However, there are some ways to keep costs low while also using marketing as a supplemental lead generator.
Measure your marketing ROI. Having the right tools to measure your marketing ROI accurately will help you in several ways. First, it will mean investing in channels that present results. Second, if a channel brings you more customers than another, you can justify upping the budget because you’ll know it’s driving revenue.
Practice SEO: If your budget is tight, consider making organic SEO marketing a big part of your customer acquisition. While it may take time to bear fruit, a good piece of content can deliver web traffic to your website, increasing the likelihood of converting users into customers.
Pain Point #3: You’re Not Practicing Lead Generation
Lead generation is one of the top pain points for small business owners. No matter how great you are at selling your product or service, you can’t get anywhere if you don’t have leads.
To get leads from your marketing efforts, you must share content that piques the interest of potential buyers in your target market. Sharing content for the sake of sharing content wastes time and effort that could be put elsewhere. Therefore, it’s essential to research what potential buyers in your target market are searching for and create content around that topic.
Create a blog that highlights topics that interest intended users. A blog full of helpful and valuable information can be a great source of website traffic and leads. However, it’s a long-term strategy that won’t help you here and now. If you’re looking to generate immediate inbound leads, pay-per-click (PPC) ads may be a better short-term solution.
Hire an outsourced lead generation provider. Lead generation companies can help you identify your target market and generate leads quicker than if you were to do it on your own. This is because they’re skilled in the craft of lead generation and can develop strategies based on your business’s growth goals.
Pain Point #4: You Lack Marketing Expertise
Many small businesses lack marketing expertise. As mentioned earlier, running a small business requires learning many different things. However, business owners often spread themselves too thin because they want to be a jack-of-all-trades.
Hire marketing professionals. You can’t be an expert in everything. There are just too many things to learn. If you feel like you don’t know what you are doing or how to implement small business marketing strategies, get some help from someone who does. Outsourced marketing professionals can help you create the best approach, or expert writers can craft copy that converts.
Use a data-driven approach. While you might not have the marketing experience of a professional, you use a data-driven approach to get a good idea about what is working. Google Analytics can offer some great insights into your website. Additionally, Google and Facebook Ads give you lots of data to test and analyze your ads to see what does and doesn’t work.
Experiment with different approaches. If you’re unsure what you’re doing, don’t let it put you off. Now, we’re not advocating that you set up a marketing campaign, close your eyes, and hope it works. But you should try small marketing campaigns, experiment with your ad creatives, and use the data you generate to fine-tune your approach to lead generation.
Pain Point #5: There’s More Competition From Larger and More Established Brands
Competing with more prominent brands is a significant pain point for many small business owners. Larger businesses have many advantages, from bigger budgets to immense bargaining power over suppliers, allowing them to undercut your prices. Therefore, making your company stand out from the sea of competitors can be challenging.
Use size and locality to your advantage. While you may not be able to outmuscle a big competitor, you can outthink them. Big businesses have more resources, but their decision-making process can be slow due to their management structures. So always be prepared to act quickly and decisively, and use size and agility to your advantage.
Express your brand personality. Today, many buyers prefer to support small businesses and stores that reflect their values. Take advantage of this by making your small, independent business a part of your marketing message. You can do this by engaging with users on social media, shooting behind-the-scenes videos, or even making your messaging more relatable to potential buyers in your target market.
Pain Point #6: You’re Not Targeting the Right Audience
If you’re speaking to everyone, you’re talking to no one. While small business owners want to target anyone and everyone who may be interested in their product or service, they’re missing out on a significant opportunity to personalize messaging based on their buyer personas. Targeting too large of an audience dilutes your message and results in poor leads (if any).
Know the audience you want to target. Do the work to identify your target audience. By using existing customer data, running surveys, and doing market research, you have the opportunity to find out more about the type of people who buy your product or service.
Building customer personas and figuring out how these people think and talk about your niche is ideal for generating the best leads for your sales pipeline. Once you identify your target audience and buyer personas, feed all that information into your marketing materials so you can speak to your prospects about their pain points from their perspective.
Pain Point #7: You Have Low Brand Visibility
Too many small businesses feel that branding is something only big organizations can do. But every brand, no matter how big or small, should have a consistent brand known by potential buyers in their target market. Branding your small business enables potential customers to further connect with your company and drives loyalty.
Use social media to drive brand awareness. Social media is a great place to grow your brand. However, if you want to gain traction, you need to stand out. One of the best approaches you can take is engaging your audience. You can do this by answering any questions they may have, participating in social media competitions, dropping exclusive content for loyal followers, or asking them to create and share content that drives brand visibility.
Focus on local marketing and SEO. There are a lot of great ways for local businesses to gain customers. For instance, using local SEO to take advantage of the shift in how people search for products and services on their mobile devices. A Google My Business account encourages customers to leave reviews to increase visibility.
Pain Point #8: You’re Not Writing SEO-Focused Content
A good SEO strategy is a way to generate long-term, sustainable growth. But few business owners have time to sit around and craft blog posts every day, especially when they’re meant to be running a successful business.
It’s important to remember that it’s not just the writing you need to get right—it’s also about knowing what subjects your readers want to read. This includes extensive research into your target market to learn about their interests and selecting keywords they are more than likely using to find solutions to their pain points.
Outsource your SEO content writing. There are many great options when you’re looking to outsource your SEO content writing. SEO content writers are skilled in writing high-quality content and have the expertise to implement high-density keywords that are relevant to your business. While many small businesses are concerned about the quality of the content and fear that writers won’t represent their brand voice well, working with them hand in hand can reduce the risk of poor content.
Conduct research to learn what interests your target audience. As mentioned previously, it’s essential to consider your target market’s wants, needs, and interests. As you think about your product or service, consider writing about the pain points it relieves.
If you’re stuck on what to write about, go to a social media platform your target audience typically engages with and see what questions people are asking. If there are a lot of similar questions, this may be a topic worth writing about.
Pain Point #9: You’re Not Engaging Potential Buyers on the Right Platform
Marketing isn’t just a button you turn on so you can sit back and reap the rewards—it takes a lot of work to identify and engage your audience. Therefore, it’s no surprise that resonating with users is one of the most common small business marketing challenges. To do this, it’s essential to consider their buyer personas and which platforms they engage with most.
While some small businesses choose one communication platform over another, you must have a solid mix of communication channels. This could include cold calling, emailing, and engaging with potential buyers on social media platforms.
Use email marketing. Everyone uses email these days to connect with one another, and it’s a great way to communicate with decision-makers if they’re not easily accessible over the phone. Email marketing can be used for both inbound and outbound, so you can easily reach new leads or nurture existing leads in your sales pipeline.
Implement warm calling into your outreach efforts. If potential buyers are hard to connect with via email, warm calling may be your next best option. Depending on their industry and job title, they may not be available to check or respond to email immediately. If they’re on the go a lot, they’ll likely have a work cell phone people can use to contact them, making it easier to have a productive sales pitch.
Learn what social media platform they engage with most. While social media is an excellent tool for connecting with potential buyers, you must use the best platform for their buyer personas. For instance, if decision-makers in your target market are most engaged on LinkedIn, using Instagram to connect with buyers wouldn’t benefit your growth efforts. Once you learn what platform they engage with most, you can start creating content that resonates with their wants, needs, and interests.
Pain Point #10: You Have a Fear of Letting Go of Old Sales and Marketing Tactics
Last but not least, one of the top pain points for small business owners is switching off and letting go of old-school sales and marketing tactics. However, while you may not need to let go of old-school marketing tactics, you must stay up to date and learn how they’ve evolved over the years to ensure you get the most out of your business growth strategy.
Outsource sales and marketing to professionals. As we mentioned earlier, outsourcing areas like sales, marketing, and lead generation can help you concentrate on what you do best—run your business.
Speaking with sales consultants and marketing experts can help you identify revenue streams and markets that you didn’t know existed, learn about new tools and technology, and understand and set KPIs and other metrics to measure and excel your marketing ROI.
While there are many small business marketing pain points to consider, you don’t have to do it alone. There is a wide range of solutions to help you advance your sales and marketing strategy, such as outsourcing your lead generation efforts to companies that have proven effective strategies for business growth.
At Sapper Consulting, we collaborate with small businesses around the country to help them grow their sales pipeline through outbound email marketing efforts. When you’re ready to eliminate those small business marketing pain points and generate high-quality sales opportunities, contact the experts at Sapper Consulting!