What the 91% of Small Biz Owners Who Do Their Own Marketing Need to Think About in 2014
According to results from an AWeber survey, 91% of small business owners are also the primary marketers for their companies. Whoa! Marketing in itself is challenging and time-consuming, but even more stressful and daunting is when it’s one of many other business-critical responsibilities on your overflowing plate.
So much to do; so little time. Where should you put your efforts in the limited hours you have to market your business?
The marketing tactics small business owners say they will focus on in this year:
Data and infographic by AWeber
There’s no such thing as “one-size-fits-all” marketing, but there are some universal considerations nearly every small business owner should make top of mind…
- Make sure you have adequate time to plan and execute effectively. Not all social networks and tactics take the same amount of time and attention. If you don’t have the capacity to keep up with them, either look to do something different, or hire someone/outsource the responsibility.
- Go where your audience is. As of December 31, 2013, Facebook had 1.23 billion monthly active users.* That’s a bunch, but if you’re a B2B consulting business targeting mid-size company CEOs you might be wasting your time with a business Facebook page. Don’t squander your time on social media channels that won’t reach your target market.
- Don’t treat online networking and face-to-face networking as two separate initiatives. If you do, you’ll miss out on opportunities to build relationships and trust. Nearly every professional you meet at an in-person networking event will have – at the very least – a Linkedin account. Connect so you’ll have an easy and noninvasive way to maintain contact long after the networking event is over. And don’t forget to find out which other social networks they – or their companies – have a presence on. Social media can help you stay on the radar and generate goodwill when you show support via your interaction. Likewise, seek to strengthen online networking with face-to-face conversations whenever possible. Reach out to local contacts to see if you can connect at an upcoming chamber mixer, industry trade show, seminar, etc. Those multiple touch points can result in strong business development outcomes.
When you’re a solopreneur or small business owner who does it all in your business, it’s impossible to do it all in marketing. Be smart and selective when choosing where to devote your time, energy, and hard-earned money. You’ll find it’s better to do one or two things well than to spread yourself too thin and flounder while trying to do five or six.
Your turn: What marketing tactics are you focusing on most in 2014? Have you given any up since 2013? I’d love to hear from you!
By Dawn Mentzer
*According to the Facebook Newsroom – accessed January, 30, 2014
I’m ‘spreading myself too thin’ when it comes to marketing. Sometimes i think I’m registered on more social media platforms than i can count or remember without referring to my notes. It’s not easy to navigate them all at all times and some i don’t even use, ever. For now I’m focusing on G+, Twitter & Facebook. LinkedIn is still a mystery that I’m hoping to solve soon :-).
Hi Priya! It is easy to become overwhelmed by social media – Especially when you sincerely want to interact and build relationships as opposed to simply having a presence. My focus is very similar to yours! Linkedin has been most effective for nurturing local connections. I’m connected with people nationally and internationally there, but have found through personalized invitations, responding to invitations with a personal note, and through participation in Linkedin groups in my area (local chambers of commerce, etc.), I’ve been able to get face time via coffee meetings etc. with local business owners…and that’s led to quite a few referrals and projects over the past several years. Maybe a similar approach would be effective for you. I’ve found in my geographic area, there are a fair share of professionals who use Linkedin, but not other social networks.