Marketing for SME’s

By Shereen Shabnam

 

The marketing teams of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) today find themselves thinking beyond conventional marketing strategies and look for alternative marketing mediums, networks, social networks, e-commerce tools, B2B portals, business group networks.

 

While marketing research can give SME’s indications, it is not able to provide complete answers but helps to make marketing decisions based on the best, most up-to-date information available.

 

Companies are depending heavily on Social Media and the role it plays hence SMEs today need to clearly define their audiences and focus their limited resources on reaching them.

 

Linkedin

For me, LinkedIn has proven to be the most dependable and authentic platform for connecting with the right people. With more awareness of its credibility, I find more and more marketing teams connecting with me as a journalist because they find it rare these days to find a media personality or an influencer who has not bought fake followers. The fact that I have 5 times more connections on Linkedin than Facebook, twitter or instagram reflects that most of my connections are authentic and people who I have worked it or know me personally.

It also shows maturity amongst marketing specialists who are now over the hype of fake followers on social media and are showing their intelligent side in actually thinking ttheir marketing strategies through and keeping things real.

Linkedin is however the most under utilized resource by SME’s. In addition to being an online networking tool, it gives you access to a database of over 400 million business professionals and the best part is that influencers are not able to buy fake followers here so every relevant connection you make as a business has a value at some stage of your company’s growth.

 

Promotional Videos

Cisco predicted recently that video will account for 80% of global Internet traffic by 2019. Video streaming mediums such as snapchat, Periscope and Meerkat allows you to stream content directly to your followers. Facebook Live is beckoning popular while Twitter is always been an all time favorite foe mini clips. YouTube however remains the best platform for longer videos.

 

Twitter

Twitter is my real time go to platform for one-liners and images. It has over 300 million monthly active users worldwide and one billion conversations take place every two days.

The new rave on twitter is Twitter chat which is essentially a group of people coming together on Twitter for about an hour each week to have a conversation that revolves around a pre-determined hashtag. As long as people include the hashtag in their tweet, they’re part of the conversation for the subject they are passionate about.

 

Images (Instagram, Google+, Flickr)

Sometimes SME’s do not have time to upload information while at an event they are hosting so the easy way is to upload images online under the name of your activity as it happens. Instagram is the most popular in the region but flikr and google+ are also easy to use.

 

Blogging

Blogging can provide an excellent way for you to promote your business. If you do not have time to maintain a blog, guest blogging can give your business-targeted exposure, if you are able to seek out the established blogs in your niche business.

 

Facebook

I use Facebook more for family and photos than business – As an SME, find out if your customers expect to find your business there. If you have consumer-facing enterprise, such as a café, a shop, a plumbing business or an ecommerce website, some customers may want to keep in touch on Facebook.

 

Most SMEs have to face the fact that online marketing can be a cost-effective, measurable and targeted advertising channel. SMEs should have a digital marketing strategy to not only showcase its products, but also to easily get inquiries from local and international markets.

 

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