Marketing is a critical driver of new business and revenue for most any business. And yet, marketing budgets generally comprise only 7 to 8% of a small business’ overall revenue. In a world marked by a near-constant stream of advertisements wherever consumers go, great marketing campaigns are vital to getting your message heard above the noise of other brands, products, and services.

With the rise of the internet, vying for a buyer’s attention has become much more complex than ever. While some businesses try to stick to the same marketing strategies that made them successful in pre-digital times, it’s the ones that learn to adapt to today’s trends that find the most success.

It’s no secret that technology has influenced and changed marketing techniques in recent years. Digital marketing is now its own sub-category of advertising, and can account for a large portion of a business’ overall marketing budget. In fact, U.S companies are projected to spend more than $103 billion on digital marketing in 2019. That’s nearly double what was spent only five years ago. This is because digital platforms are where the customers are! Businesses are quickly embracing the worlds of social media, email, display, and search marketing in order to stay engaged with their audience, educate potential customers, foster brand loyalty, and, of course, sell their products.
Small businesses don’t often have the luxury of increasing their marketing budget to keep up with the latest trends. Marketing budgets are often the first to be cut when money gets tight at a small business, even if the marketing strategies have proven successful. Small business owners are looking for smarter, more cost-effective solutions to marketing and advertising their businesses. Although digital adds a whole new segment to a marketing strategy, it also allows low-budget small businesses to stay competitive with their advertising.

Many small business owners are turning to digital marketing as their long-term marketing solution. The automation and artificial intelligence features in Salesforce Pardot help campaigns stay on track and adapt to ever-changing marketing trends, and the subscription-based purchasing model keeps things affordable for small businesses.
With 73% of the U.S. population using one or more social media platforms, businesses are smart to engage with consumers in this way. Not only are consumers widely accessible through social media, but many engage with their platforms of choice on a daily basis. A majority of users log in to a social media platform at least once a day. Half of all Facebook and Snapchat users log in several times a day.

Each login provides businesses with an opportunity to engage their audiences, whether for building brand awareness, fostering brand loyalty, or providing purchase opportunities. Many social media sites have made it easier for companies to sell directly through the platforms. For example, Facebook users don’t even have to leave the platform to complete a purchase on a company’s website. Transactions now take place in Facebook itself.

While Facebook continues to dominate in social media use amongst all Americans, younger generations are also viewing YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram much more than the older generations. Keeping up with all of these social media channels can be a burden for the small business owner. Some don’t have the tools or resources necessary to track which platforms their target audience uses most. Others just don’t have the time to interact directly with each potential customer. Luckily, there are software solutions that make tracking, analyzing, and engaging customers a much more manageable proposition for the busy small business owner.

Tools like Social Studio help make it easy for small business owners to listen to consumer conversations across various social media platforms, and analyze what people are saying about their brand. Social Studio also helps simplify engagement and customer service by combining various social media accounts into one easy-to-use platform. Small business owners can use Social Studio to run campaigns across multiple channels and then track user engagement to see which types of posts are proving most effective.

Social media marketing is becoming necessary to stay relevant in the marketplace, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Small businesses use tools like Social Studio to run and track top-notch social media marketing campaigns without overstretching their resources.
Email marketing is a great way for small businesses to interact regularly with their customers. A given customer may not see your social media posts, but they will see your email in their Inbox. Email marketing differs from social media marketing mainly in how users engage with the content, so small business owners can repurpose much of the same content for both social media and email efforts by tweaking it to fit each platform. Much as with social media, businesses are wise to leverage Email’s popularity to better reach their audiences.

There are currently 244.5 million email users in the United States, with that number projected to increase by the end of 2019. Nearly half of internet users in the U.S. prefer to receive weekly emails from their favorite brand, with 65% of those favoring emails that include information about special offers and discounts. Don’t over do it, though, as many users will unsubscribe if they receive too many Emails too often.

Email campaigns can take a lot of time to do right. Crafting content, filtering subscriber lists to target the most relevant audience, and sending follow up emails is a lot for a small business owner to take on. Software solutions help make email marketing simple, effective, and more efficient for small business owners. Tools like Engagement Studio let small business owners target the right audiences, build engaging messages, and automate delivery schedules for email campaigns.

Small businesses are using email marketing to educate their audiences, especially when it comes to current deals and upcoming promotions. Small business marketing tools help those businesses create smarter email campaigns, more efficiently.
Advertising remains a tried and true way to get the word out about your business. Most small businesses will turn to advertising at some point to generate more leads. Small businesses can use display advertising to expose their brand to a new audience, and they can also use it to nurture existing customers’ brand loyalty. The more a customer sees your brand name, the more they are likely to remember it when they’re ready to make a purchase.

With consumers spending nearly four hours each day interacting with digital devices , small businesses have ample opportunity to connect with potential customers on a regular basis. Digital advertising provides even more creative opportunities for marketing your brand. Advertising in apps, through banners on third-party sites, and on YouTube videos are just a few examples of the many digital marketing opportunities small business can take advantage of.

Unfortunately, advertising can be costly. Advertising gets even more costly when money is spent targeting the wrong audiences. Not only are those marketing dollars wasted, but the business has to come up with additional budget for revised campaigns before it sees return on the investment. Software solutions help make it easier for small business owners to create quality ad campaigns, target the right audience, and connect new leads to the right people internally.

Advertising Studio helps small business owners target relevant audience members and run ads on the audience’s preferred platforms. It also helps small business owners align their email and advertising campaigns managing campaigns across both channels and reconnecting with customers who no longer interact with the brand. Lastly, it can help coordinate advertising and a sales efforts to boost your lead nurturing efforts.

Smart software like this helps small business owners save valuable advertising dollars by targeting customers who are most likely to respond positively to marketing efforts.
 
Pardot can help you track the ROI of your campaigns.
How do you know which marketing efforts are making the largest impact? The only way to truly understand the value of your marketing efforts is to rely on analytics and reporting, and sometimes that can feel like an impossible chore.

The right software can help you understand exactly how a campaign is performing at every stage – with reportable metrics that help you measure your progress towards your goals. Pardot’s Marketing Analytics is one such tool. It lets marketers explore data, get insights into marketing performance, and quickly take data-driven actions.
Limited time and limited resources can pose big challenges to small business marketing. With automation and artificial intelligence, small businesses can stay competitive without blowing their budgets. Salesforce Marketing Cloud provides affordable options to help small business owners to create and manage effective marketing campaigns.
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