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How SMEs can boost their Marketing through Technology

By | Kyle Moore

Few business functions have changed as much or as quickly as marketing. Long gone are the days of putting an ad in the local paper and simply hoping the right people take the time to read it. In today’s ultra-connected world, marketing needs to be laser-focused on the right target audience, find them at the right time, be compelling enough to grab their attention and hold it long enough for your message to stand out. Technology may have made marketing a whole lot more complex, but it also holds the key to getting it right. Here are some great tools to get you started!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools:

When it comes to services or big-ticket items, a whopping 87% of shoppers begin their quest with an online search. If that search leads them to your website and provides them with the info they’re looking for, then there’s a good chance you’ll get the sale. That’s where SEO comes in – making sure your website ranks for the right search terms and attracts the right traffic. One option for SMEs is to outsource their SEO to a dedicated firm – and that’s a good option for businesses without the time or technical know-how to learn the ins and outs of optimization themselves. With a little dedication and some pretty awesome SEO tools out there to help you though, learning to tackle it yourself can be incredibly rewarding. Just getting familiar with the basics so you know how to structure any new content you create for your website and use the best keywords can be beneficial.

Create killer visual content that stands out

Human beings are highly visual creatures – and that shows in the kind of content which best attracts our attention. Creating captivating marketing graphics, videos, gifs and presentations are excellent ways to draw in potential customers, strengthen your brand image and add spark and interest to your text content.

Whether it’s highly shareable infographics that help boost your reputation as an industry expert, captivating tutorials and explainer videos, gifs to add a little levity to a blog post, or stop motion videos for your Instagram, there are a plethora of visual content tools available to help you.

Email marketing

Did you know that email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing strategy? At an impressive 4400% (or $44 for every $1 spent) email marketing is definitely a string you should add to your marketing bow. There are a variety of tools and technologies out there, each with their own unique selling points. Our best pick for small businesses and startups is Mailjet – which is entirely free for up to 6,000 emails a month – but can be scaled up to a paid plan as you grow and want to try out more advanced features like A/B testing. Other platforms like Drip offer easy integration with website builders like WordPress and WooCommerce, and AWeber offers detailed email tracking as well as excellent support for medium-sized businesses.

Free up time and resources by automating and streamlining administrative processes

Marketing takes time and effort, and for this reason it’s all too frequently put on the back burner. This means many SMEs lose out on potential new customers simply because their time is tied up with tedious administrative tasks which could be a whole lot more efficient – or even automated entirely. Partnering with a company that offers managed IT services (meaning they can identify inefficient processes, and even monitor your system’s health remotely) is a great way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your IT resources and can better focus on growing your business.

Artificial Intelligence

Another effective way to boost your marketing efforts is to let the machines do the number-crunching and analyzing while you focus on creating great content. If you advertise on social media, AI platforms like Zapster and Trapica can provide invaluable insights while helping you optimize advertising bids and budgets, perform revenue forecasting and detailed target group analysis, and even run split tests to fine tune your messaging. While they aren’t free, they quickly pay for themselves and then some thanks to increased conversions.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software

Every business owner and marketing manager knows that it costs a whole lot more to win a new customer than it does to retain an old one – and with so much choice out there, encouraging clients to stay loyal to your brand can be tricky. Making use of suitable CRM software can help you on both fronts – ensuring your existing customers and your new prospects receive truly exceptional customer service every step of the way.

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Ramesh Ranjan

A Business Consultant, Executive Coach, Visiting Professor, Content Manager & Editor. Ex IIM NASSCOM LRC, ex VP NHRD Bangalore Chapter, ex VP-HR@Schneider Electric, Head HR@ APC, Caltex,Co Systems, Natural Remedies. https://www.linkedin.com/in/rameshranjan/

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