Acquiring new customers is and remains a time-consuming and sometimes tedious job for many entrepreneurs in the SME segment. After all, you have often become an SME because you love your work and are good at it. To tap into new clients, however, a different approach must be taken: marketing. But how do you do that? How can you, as an SME, grow, which forms of marketing do you need for this and which forms can you better ignore?
Choosing the right marketing services that perfectly match your products and services is vital for growing your business. After all, you want to (be able to) reach your target group and also leave the right impression with that target group. Finding the perfect marketing mix for your company can often come down to looking for a pin in a haystack, especially if you do not have a lot of marketing knowledge yourself.
Many smaller entrepreneurs focus exclusively on online marketing. That is a logical choice, because it is often free, you can do it from your own office and the internet is almost bursting at the seams of online marketing tips. Creating a few social media accounts and writing a blog from time to time, after all, isn't that anyone?
Marketing is a profession
Unfortunately in the Netherlands there is a persistent misconception that 'everyone' can keep a blog and can do marketing via social media. Without knowledge you don't just become a car mechanic or physiotherapist, so why do you become a marketer? It is appalling how excellent, skilled professionals sometimes skilfully ignore the potential of their own business by dealing with their own marketing in an amateur manner. Poor marketing leads to low exposure, few leads and a low conversion. Then you can still be so good at your job, without customers no one will sail.
Every good marketing campaign starts with a sound strategy. Many successful SMEs choose to hire a marketing consultant for marketing advice. With the help of a marketing consultancy you can add focus and coherence to your campaign, which often runs over a longer period of time and through various media and platforms. Despite that multitude of expressions and platforms, it is very important to always address your target group in the right way with a uniform story. A marketing consultant can support you in all aspects from the very beginning.
How Bloeise grew
Bloeise itself is of course also a company with which I want to grow. So how did Bloeise grow itself? These three milestones made a big difference for me:
- Blogging: From the start I wanted to focus on blogging. I reported that to the right person, who then linked me with DutchCowboys. Emerce followed later. Both are large platforms that enabled me to build my name quickly. By blogging I also keep learning about my field.
- Facebook: B2B works very differently from B2C on Facebook. My own Facebook page Bloeise, aimed at companies, did not grow very fast. While I do Facebook workshops and support for that Facebook marketing offers. How could I show that I understood? Thanks to my private page Love Den Helder, aimed at residents of Den Helder with around 1700 likes.
- Downloads: My site had a lot of traffic thanks to the blogs, but little conversion. So I learned about offering downloads to newsletter subscriptions to bring in. Before that, after a year, I was still in 75 registrations. Now there are an average of seven registrations per week.
Optimize marketing resources
Although finding the perfect marketing mix is a close listener and really is a profession in its own right, there are some tools that can help you get a better grip on your own marketing campaigns, even if you choose to outsource it:
- Whatever medium, platform or resource you choose, be aware that marketing is one continuous process is. You are never done with it. Marketing is a recurring task that needs to be refreshed on an almost daily basis. If you choose to do everything yourself, keep this in mind in your workload and agenda.
- It's no use crying over spilled milk. In other words: a potential customer that you have chased away will not come again one month later to see whether you are now showing better. As a starting SME in particular, it is important to tackle your marketing properly, professionally and seriously in one go. You often do not get a second chance.
- Hold one target for eyes. A marketing consultant will also want to know the purpose of your campaign. Do you want more profit? Higher conversions? Work on your image? Many entrepreneurs want to grow their business; but what does growth mean to you? With this in mind, you will undoubtedly come up with great initiatives together with your marketing consultant.