Sometimes the choice is overwhelming. If you had followed every bit of marketing advice you’d been given so far, you would have a YouTube channel, a meetup group, a web shop, speaking opportunities at major trade shows, a customer magazine and your own franchise. And you’d be the first one to engage loyal followers on the latest social media platform.
It’s up to you to decide what marketing channels are worth investing in to grow your small business. So here are three simple questions that can help you with that!
In the early stages of setting up sandstonecastles, I put together a list of every marketing channel that I could think of with examples and matching platforms. And I was amazed by how much is actually out there (click to enlarge)!
But where to start? To be honest, I always wanted a branded company car, and how cool is it to have pens with your own logo on it or imagine being featured in THE industry magazine…
This is usually the point where reality kicks in. Let’s discuss the criteria you should use to choose the ideal marketing activities for your small business.
Question #1: Is Your Audience There?
This is the key to marketing. You want more clients or customers, so get in front of them to advertise your services or products in the most appealing way.
Whether you’re considering exhibiting at a trade show, trying a new social media platform or attending a local networking event, ask yourself if you’ll be reaching the right kind of people.
Make the best of your precious time and money, whatever marketing activities you engage in, to give yourself the best exposure. This can be ideal clients, potential collaboration partners and franchisees or potential new team members – or a mixture, depending on what you want to achieve.
Question #2: Is It Worth It?
Keep in mind that while money is an important factor in all marketing decisions, you are investing a lot more than that. Never forget the time, expertise and other resources, like your staff, that you’ll to pull off a stellar customer event, for example, or the disruption re-decorating your premises can cause.
When defining your goals for your marketing project, compare potential profit with the resources needed to pull it off, and take the whole lot into account: For a mail shot, for example, you won’t just have to pay for the copy, design and print, but also for postage and addresses if you don’t have them already.
When deciding if a particular marketing idea is worth investing in, ask yourself if it’s effective enough to justify the effort required to make it work. Don’t just think about immediate return; consider what this could mean for your business in the future.
Question #3: Do You Have What It Takes?
Before you start, check you have everything you need – infrastructure, budget, staff, goods, equipment – to make it happen. Also, make sure you’re able to deal with the outcome of your marketing.
Apart from having the time and money to get the show on the road, you must be able to cope with the response of your advertising campaign or social media prize competition. If a product campaign results in hundreds of orders, can you handle them?
Most marketing campaigns drum up interest for your services or products, but never forget that this interest only gains momentum and turns into new business if you can actually deliver. So make sure you’re all set before starting.
Over To You
These three questions have guided me through my own marketing for the past years. So, next time you’re considering an opportunity, see how they can help you decide if something is worthwhile or not.
WANT TO READ MORE?
To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
5 Steps to Make Your Marketing Work – Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses
How to Do Marketing Your Way
Marketing for Small Businesses: The Ultimate Checklist
7 Marketing Checks for Your Small Business