5 DIY strategies for marketers at small businesses

5 DIY strategies for marketers

Getting the most out of your small business marketing.

Small businesses are no strangers to bootstrapping their way to success. For marketers in these organisations, doing more with less is an art form. Which is only more impressive when you consider that a third of these companies spend less than $10,000 annually on advertising, according to a survey from The Manifest.  For marketing professionals who are employed by small businesses, the challenge is to make their brand stand out, drive traffic and build customer loyalty — with a fraction of the money, time and resources of larger competitors.

Fortunately, small businesses don’t need big marketing budgets or agency support to win in marketing and help their businesses stand out. By focusing on the following five potent do-it-yourself marketing strategies — and armed with the right tools — scrappy marketers at small businesses can pack a bigger punch, where it counts most.
Create a marketing plan.

What might seem like a must-have for marketers at well-established, large enterprises can often slip through the cracks for small business marketers. Ironically, no one needs a marketing plan more than small business marketers. A solid plan holds the power to align all team members around the same goals and strategies and channel every last dollar and hour of labour to the places where they will have the biggest impact.

A strong marketing plan will include a few critical components. It should start by stating the brand’s unique selling proposition and the benefits it offers to customers. This should be followed by a definition of the brand’s pricing and positioning strategy, which will help to inform everything that comes next.

With these two foundational pieces in place, marketers can proceed to outline the distribution methods they will use, how they will manage transactions with customers, sales strategies and advertising and promotional strategies. Through this process, the small business’s promotional plans become far more targeted and cost-effective and success becomes much easier to determine.

“While small businesses often have minuscule (or non-existent) promotion budgets, that doesn’t mean that small businesses can’t design and implement effective promotion plans,” says Susan Ward at The Balance Small Business. “No business is too small to have a marketing plan.”


Look to social media, email and video.

Any marketer at a small business who is unsure of where to start should consider social media and email — which are known for their low cost and high impact — and even video, which can be affordable with the right tools. The fact that 7 out of 10 small businesses use Facebook, half use Twitter and Instagram and 64% use email marketing, is a testament to how cost-effective these channels can be.

Small businesses can get a tonne of marketing mileage out of social platforms’ free features. They can connect directly and interact with their audiences, respond to questions, run online events and keep customers updated on their offerings. No wonder, then, that small businesses name social media as their biggest opportunity for brand awareness and their most effective medium for increasing sales and revenue.

Of course, each network comes with its own idiosyncrasies. Tweets need to be short and punchy, relying on links to provide additional information, while Facebook allows for longer posts. Instagram is highly visual. LinkedIn is professional, making it a good place for stats and Infographics.

For as old as email is, it is still one of the most cost-effective ways for small businesses to drive loyalty with current customers and pull in new ones. Using plain old email or affordably priced email automation tools, even the smallest operation can blast out messages to thousands of customers about upcoming promotions, offers for helpful pieces of content or announcements for new product releases. No wonder over half of small businesses plan to increase their email marketing spend this year, according to the Manifest report.

That being said, the one challenge that small businesses face in social media, email and video is in providing a steady stream of compelling content that users have come to demand. This is where having the right user-friendly tools — like Adobe Spark — becomes key. Spark allows a single marketer to create visually striking social images, web pages or short videos in mere minutes to quickly fill a social media feed or email blast with well-designed content that looks like it was designed by a pro.

Similarly, for small businesses struggling to produce quality video on a budget, Adobe Premiere Rush has quick and easy video-editing tools that are a godsend, including a host of video effects and the ability to work across video captured on a phone, tablet or desktop. These tools allow marketers to execute great-looking DIY marketing campaigns on social, email and video without relying on external agencies or contractors.


Cross-promote within and leverage the community.

Finding synergistic opportunities with adjacent companies or organisations can greatly magnify marketing efforts beyond what a single company can accomplish. Often, cross-promotions allow a small business to split promotional costs, reach a larger audience and mine the expertise another company may have.

The same could be said of partnering with or sponsoring local groups or charitable causes. This usually generates instant positive brand association for a small business — customers like companies that give back — and provides an opportunity for connection.

Tools like Adobe Spark and Adobe InDesign make it possible to churn out the supporting assets — like event newsletters, posters, social posts and emails — that these opportunities require and that drive traffic to the brand. Don’t forget to check out Adobe Stock for the right images to really make your content stand out.
Beef up your website.

Now that you’re driving traffic to your site, make sure there is something there for your visitors to see and do. The data shows that responsiveness, speed and rich, valuable content are critical to getting people to convert — whether that’s filling in a form, making a purchase or clicking through to another page.

Every small business should also invest in a responsive website. Mobile-friendly sites are a must, according to 72% of users, while those who encounter non-mobile-optimised sites are five times more likely to abandon the site altogether.

Bottom line: mobile or non-mobile site visitors need to be able to find what they’re looking for as easily as possible. All layouts and navigation should be optimised to this end. The same goes for page load times. If a page takes more than three seconds on average to load, more than half of visitors will abandon it. So smart small businesses should invest ample time to optimise their site, including images, to shrink page load times.


Re-purpose, re-purpose, re-purpose.

Great content means an investment of time, talent and money. Maximise that investment by finding ways to re-use, recycle and reimagine content. For example, a blog post can be re-purposed into an infographic. An infographic can be re-purposed into a dozen social media images or a motion graphic video.

When a small business has access to quick and easy tools like those in Adobe Creative Cloud (including Spark, Premiere Rush and InDesign), this kind of re-purposing can be done DIY by a small (or even one-person) team, reducing the need to draw on more expensive contractors or agencies.


Doing more and doing better, with less.

These five strategies will do wonders for marketers at small businesses with limited resources — not only by allowing them to deliver more with what they have, but also by empowering them to put those efforts in the right place to maximise the return on their investment.

Read more about how Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, with access to Spark, Premiere Rush, InDesign and more, can make marketing easy and cost-effective for your small business.

Spotlight

DDB Canada

It's our fundamental belief that creativity is the most powerful force in business. Our strength lies in our individual areas of expertise, and how we best utilize them to deliver effective business results for complex problems.

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DDB Canada

It's our fundamental belief that creativity is the most powerful force in business. Our strength lies in our individual areas of expertise, and how we best utilize them to deliver effective business results for complex problems.

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MyTradeZone.com, a trade and Social Networking for businesses, is pleased to announce its upcoming visit to Hong Kong from December 4th to 8th, 2023. Bachir Kassir, founder of MyTradeZone, will join a delegation of American companies to Hong Kong as part of a U.S. Department of Commerce Certified Trade Mission organized by IBS Global Consulting with the support of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and the U.S. Commercial Service. The delegation, comprising a diverse group of American companies, aims to foster cross-border partnerships, explore export opportunities, and deepen economic ties between the United States and Hong Kong. The visit to Hong Kong presents an exciting opportunity for MyTradeZone.com to expand its global reach, tap into new markets, and establish key connections with Hong Kong's dynamic business community and trade associations. With Hong Kong's strategic location as a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region, robust financial services sector, and reputation as a major international trade hub, this visit holds immense promise for American enterprises looking to navigate the Asian market. Led by Tonya McNeal-Weary, Managing Director at IBS Global Consulting, the delegation will engage in a series of high-level meetings, networking events, and industry-specific forums during the five-day visit. These activities are designed to facilitate mutually beneficial partnerships between U.S. and Hong Kong businesses across various sectors. [MyTradeZone.com] is a disruptive business networking platform, and is like an always open trade show: • Businesses: Add company profile page. Showcase products & services. Network locally and around the world • Event Organizers, Trade Associations, & Networking Groups: Provide value-added offering to members & sponsors in a public or private setting • Creators & Group owners: Monetize your creations via peer-to-peer payment enablement • Advertisers and Marketers: MyTradeZone's B2B search engine offers highly targeted and cost-effective advertisements to both buyers and sellers • Business Professionals: Grow your professional network, chat, connect, follow, takes notes, share and collaborate As an official member of the delegation, MyTradeZone will have the opportunity to gain firsthand insights into Hong Kong's business landscape, explore regulatory frameworks, exchange best practices, and forge lasting relationships with key stakeholders. Additionally, the itinerary includes tailored site visits to cutting-edge facilities and industrial parks, showcasing Hong Kong's commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. The visit to Hong Kong aims to enhance trade cooperation and seeks to highlight the enduring friendship between the United States and Hong Kong. As both economies continue to recover from the challenges posed by the global pandemic, this visit becomes even more crucial in reinvigorating trade ties and promoting long-term economic growth. About MyTradeZone.com MyTradeZone is a social networking platform for businesses. We are working on the next thing to disrupt business networking. MyTradeZone is a forward-thinking B2B media technology company reshaping how businesses connect and network. MyTradeZone's B2B search engine offers highly targeted and cost-effective advertisements to both buyers and sellers. MyTradeZone is also a perfect companion offering to trade show organizers and networking groups offering value added benefits to both members and sponsors.

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Read More

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Business Wire | January 29, 2024

Trellix, the cybersecurity company delivering the future of extended detection and response (XDR), today announced it has achieved the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Small and Medium Business Competency, recognizing the company as an AWS Partner with a unique focus on small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Achieving the AWS Small and Medium Business Competency differentiates Trellix as an AWS Partner, demonstrating proficiency and proven success in helping SMBs solve their business and technical problems. Trellix is equipped to handle these challenges with solutions designed around customers’ unique needs in mind, including consideration for SMB’s typical deployment models, level of IT capabilities and financing preferences, and local and industry requirements. “Trellix is proud to achieve the AWS Small and Medium Business Competency,” said Jason Andrew, Chief Revenue Officer, Trellix. “Our team is dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes achieve their goals, and our combined offerings with AWS empower SMBs with the agility, support, and innovation needed to do so.” AWS is enabling scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solutions from startups to global enterprises. To support the seamless integration and deployment of these solutions, the AWS Competency Program helps customers identify AWS Partners with deep industry experience and expertise. Along with an extensive partner ecosystem, Trellix accelerates technology innovation through machine learning and automation to empower businesses to build cyber resilience and stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape. The AI-powered Trellix XDR Platform’s open architecture and broad set of native security controls integrates with over 500 third-party tools to create multi-vector, multi-vendor event correlation and context, enabling faster detection, investigation, and remediation of threats. “We partnered with Trellix to explore new ways to automate investigations,” says Chuck Lerch, CXO Head of Cybersecurity, Cyberuptive. “In this groundbreaking work, we combined the Trellix XDR Platform’s rich data and investigative playbooks with large language models (LLMs) running on AWS to make comprehensive assessments of alerts. The results provide useful insights, demonstrating the value of focusing on security research instead of how to run an LLM at scale.” About Trellix Trellix is a global company redefining the future of cybersecurity and soulful work. The company’s open and native extended detection and response (XDR) platform helps organizations confronted by today’s most advanced threats gain confidence in the protection and resilience of their operations. Trellix, along with an extensive partner ecosystem, accelerates technology innovation through machine learning and automation to empower over 40,000 business and government customers with living security.

Read More

MARKETING AND NETWORKING, SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

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Read More

TECHNOLOGY

Zapier launches an all-in-one automation platform to transform operations at more than 600,000 businesses

PR Newswire | January 26, 2024

Today, Zapier, the #1 workflow automation platform for small and midsize businesses, announced the addition of two new products to its platform—Zapier Tables and Zapier Interfaces. Comprised of a suite of no-code tools, including advanced workflow logic, a database tool, and a no-code app builder, Zapier's automation platform empowers companies to modernize workflows and build tailored, complete, and reliable solutions, all without the need for a developer. "When you think of Zapier, you may think of us as an app-to-app integration and basic workflows, but with the Zapier automation platform, we're so much more," says Zapier CEO and co-founder Wade Foster. "With Tables, Interfaces, and Zaps, our customers have a custom and complete workflow builder that can scale to solve any problem." The Zapier automation platform offers customers a full suite of no-code automation tools, allowing users to connect more than 6,000 apps. This expansive integration library allows businesses to create workflows that connect all the tools they already use, streamlining operations and increasing productivity. Customers like Dan Dorato-Hankins, CTO of Vector Media, the largest transit ad company in the US, are leveraging Zapier's new tools to optimize operations. With Zapier Tables, Dan built a complete and customized workflow that automated much of the company's new employee onboarding all within Zapier. "For me, Zapier was originally the glue to hold all of the pieces together. Now, with new releases like Tables and Interfaces, Zapier is transforming into the whole toolbox," says Dan. By providing customers with new tools and an intuitive interface, the Zapier automation platform allows customers to unify logins, cut costs, and streamline operations with interfaces, workflows, and data storage all on a single platform. With its user-friendly design, no-code automation tools, and library of templates, combining Tables and Interfaces enables businesses to build custom, flexible, and reliable workflows, empowering them to grow and succeed. About Zapier: Founded in 2011, Zapier is the #1 workflow automation platform for small and midsize businesses. By connecting more than 6,000 of the most popular work apps, Zapier empowers its users to make the most of the tools they already use—and to focus on what matters most.

Read More

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