When it comes to your small business, are you comfortable with taking risks?
Have you ever experienced the thrill of successfully trying new marketing channels because of your competition?
Maybe you’re enjoying the comfort of your current, reliable campaigns?
You may feel overwhelmed by large business growth strategies, but marketing strategies are not one-size-fits-all.
Small business is different from big business.
By exploring tested, successful small business-specific marketing strategies, you give your small business a safe way to expand into uncharted, potentially viral territory.
We’re happy to share some good news – taking risks doesn’t have to be scary, especially if we look at how other SMBs craft their marketing plans and use them as a guidepost.
On July 13, I moderated a webinar with Amelia Northrup-Simpson, Marketing Manager at CallRail. She showed tested strategies that align with your small businesses to help you maximize marketing ROI.
Here is a summary of the webinar. To access the entire presentation, complete the form.
Why Small Businesses Should Try New Strategies
Businesses Like Yours Are Experimenting
CallRail surveyed 601 US-based marketers to see how they approached taking risks.
They found out that small- to medium-sized businesses were taking a gamble in the last 12 months. In fact:
- 91% of marketers have tested a new marketing channel or emerging trend.
- 80% of marketers have tried a new experimental marketing campaign.
As you can see, your competitors may be looking for new ways to get a leg up on you. From their perspective, the risk is worth the reward.
If you can uncover the successful risks they’ve taken, you can implement their newly-tested strategies with little risk.
Risks Are Worth The Reward
The risks your competitors are taking are proving to be worth the reward.
- 98% of marketers agree testing new channels is worth it.
- 86% of marketers agree experimental campaigns are worth it.
The result: 96% of marketers say their risky efforts have increased customers.
The Risk Of Not Experimenting
Our brains are wired to ask, “What if things go wrong?”
But, “What if things go right?”
Only 12 marketers out of 601 believe that experimental campaigns are too risky for their company’s reputation.
That leaves 589 marketers who are primed to outperform their competition.
It’s important to stay ahead of the game, like those risk-taking marketers.
For businesses that arenʼt taking risks, there is a real risk their competitors will take the lead.
The Biggest Barrier To Risk-Taking
Most marketers say leadership at their company is hesitant to invest more money into marketing, and it’s hard to get buy-in from leadership on potential new channels.
85% of marketers say that testing new media channels is a worthwhile financial investment for their company.
But 15% still think it’s not worth it.
What’s holding back would-be risk-takers?
Mitigating risk is as easy as making smart decisions when trying new strategies.
Campaign Strategies For Mitigating Risk
Data and organization are your friends for a successful new trial campaign.
Once you have your strategy in place, be sure you’re ready to track what’s working so you can pivot before a potential hurdle.
This is the key to navigating risk.
Better tracking capabilities would lead to more successful experimentation.
- 97% of marketers say they would take more risks if they had a way to see if their campaign was working immediately.
- 64% of marketers say they don’t have an easy/trusted way to prove if something is working.
- 59% say an inability to gauge which marketing channels are producing results is a barrier to pursuing experimental campaigns
Step 1: Learn Where Marketers Are Already Finding Opportunity
Marketers saw social media channels as a great opportunity to gain new business.
The top social media channels for acquiring new business are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok.
Marketers were also experimenting with other campaigns:
- 48% began using a new tagline.
- 41% revamped company colors.
- 41% started using a new logo.
- 41% launched a new ad campaign.
- 33% tried a new offer.
These are great, proven places to start.
Step 2: New Vs. Proven Channels – Adjust Budget To Where Competitors Are Spending Money
Take the guesswork out of what works and doesn’t work by looking at where your competitors are allocating their marketing budget.
Long story short, if a channel isn’t working for your industry, your competitors would not spend money and resources on that channel.
Put your money where your competitors are putting their money.
Here’s the approximate percentage of the marketer’s annual budget allocated per category.
Step 3: Have A Goal That Meets Your Business’ True Needs
How should you approach your goals?
- Set SMART goals.
- Set expectations with our colleagues – goal, pacing, and when to adjust.
- Set expectations for yourself.
Step 4: Implement A Tracking Plan & Know Your Attribution
Evaluate the marketing touchpoints a consumer encounters on their path to purchase.
- First Touch: a customer is aware of your company.
- Lead Creation: a customer has contacted your company.
- Qualified: a customer is qualified as a potential revenue source.
You’ll need lead intelligence to determine if the risk is working out and give yourself time to safely pivot.
- Small- to medium-sized businesses are willing to take risks on creative campaigns and new channels.
- The risks are proving to be worth the reward.
- Not taking risks is risky business.
- Playing financially safe isn’t as crucial as staying competitive.
- Marketers would take even more risks if they could easily measure the results.
Download the Marketing Risk vs. Reward report.
[Slides] Small Business Marketing: How To Safely Try New Strategies
Here’s the presentation:
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