Choose Your Weapon
While many small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) buy into common misconceptions that digital marketing can only be utilized by big brands who can afford to score Super Bowl commercial air time, SMBs can effectively use digital marketing to drive awareness, engagement and most importantly, revenue.
When launching digital marketing strategies for an SMB, many owners mistakenly take a “shotgun” approach to marketing. Like pulling a shotgun trigger to send a large number of pellets to increase the chance of hitting a small target, this type of mass marketing attempts to reach as many people as possible through different digital outlets with the hopes that one of them will hit the target market. In contrast, a “rifle” marketing strategy concentrates marketing efforts on a narrowly defined target, much like a marksperson would concentrate on aiming and then firing just once to hit their target bullseye. Many SMBs have niche markets, from home care to medical specialists, and can meet only narrowly defined needs.
With such niche audiences, which approach does your marketing team choose to take? Does your business send multiple marketing messages over many different channels with the hopes of reaching your small audience? Or does your team research which digital avenues your small target market uses to find out which messages they will respond to, giving them the ability to use a defined strategy with a high-probability of reaching potential clients or customers?
Take Aim at your Target
Many SMBs do not have the manpower or budget for shotgun marketing, but still attempt to present themselves on every digital channel they can. Instead of focusing on being present everywhere, encourage your team to perform market research and analysis of the most effective channels in your industry. For example, are you spending time and money on Twitter with very little return on that investment of that time and money? Do you know that your audience uses Google search often, but you are not aware of what exactly they are searching for? Is your recruiting team attempting to market your company to candidates using Facebook, but booking interviews with very few qualified applicants?
When targeting a narrowly defined audience, we encourage you to find out exactly which channels your audience responds to. By doing this, your marketing team will be prepared to take aim at your target with a statistically probable chance of hitting the bullseye, or delivering your message deliberately to individuals who are in need of your product or service.
Pull the Trigger
When your business has made the wise decision to target only potential clients or customers with a rifle approach to marketing, your team will spend more effort on tactics that work and less time on those that may not be as effective. By narrowly targeting only those channels and individuals that will bring you revenue, your digital marketing efforts will become more fruitful while also saving your business time and money.
Now that you know where your target audience is, shoulder your marketing gun, take your time to aim, and then fire with purpose. After the thought and consideration put into your marketing strategy, you will not be surprised when you hit the bullseye and watch leads and revenue come pouring in.
About the Author
Sara Smith is a Digital Marketing Specialist at ChoiceLocal focusing on search engine optimization and fun. Along with her involvement in a few non-profit organizations, outside of work you will find her daydreaming about traveling or doing outdoor activities with her family, friends and dog.