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Hur man skapar en effektiv marknadsföringsstrategi för SMB

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How To Create An Effective SMB Marketing Strategy

Do you have a small- to medium-sized business (SMB)?

No matter what your business objectives are, you need an effective marketing strategy to achieve them.

81% of SMB owners credit the success of their business during the pandemic to their marketing strategy.

71% felt their marketing strategy was critical to the survival of their business.

In this article, we will look at how you can create an effective SMB marketing strategy and measure its results against your business objectives.

What Is A Marketing Strategy?

A marketing strategy encompasses what your SMB needs to achieve specific business objectives through marketing.

This includes:

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  • Goals that you want your business to hit.
  • Snapshots of your current business to compare KPIs to at a later date.
  • A clear definition of your target customers and where they’re located.
  • Explanations of the steps behind getting your brand in front of your target audience.
  • Plans to measure your marketing campaign performance against your snapshots.
  • Ways to adjust your tactics accordingly.

Why Is A Marketing Strategy So Important?

According to a survey conducted by CoSchedule, marketers that documented their strategy were 414% more likely to succeed in achieving their goals through marketing.

What Is The Difference Between A Marketing Strategy & A Marketing Plan?

Your marketing plan exists within your marketing strategy, outlining the tactics that will be used to achieve your business objectives.

Step 1: Set Goals For Your SMB

Before you can create a marketing strategy and begin outlining the tactics that your SMB will use, you have to set goals.

What do you want to accomplish as part of your overall growth through marketing?

Most businesses want to increase revenue, so we’ll use that as an example.

While increasing revenue is a great place to start for SMB goal-setting, you must keep the rule of SMART goal-setting in mind.

Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Timely.

A great example of a SMART goal for SMBs is “increasing revenue by 33% by the end of the fourth quarter”.

This SMART goal would allow you to break down specific needs to achieve this goal, such as the number of additional:

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  • Customers you would need to generate this revenue.
  • Leads you would need for your sales team to generate enough additional customers.
  • Website visitors you would need from marketing to generate enough leads.

Now, you have a specific objective for your marketing strategy – to increase the number of website visitors to your website that are most likely to convert from visitor to lead and, ultimately, convert from a lead to a sale.

Step 2: Create A Baseline

Before you begin running marketing campaigns, you need to document key metrics that will establish your baseline, or starting point.

A baseline will allow you to determine which marketing tactics generate specific numbers, such as an increase in website visitors, callers, and leads.

For example, if your current marketing objective is to increase website traffic and generate more leads and you plan to run campaigns on multiple marketing channels, you need to know how many website visitors and leads you currently receive from each of those channels.

This allows you to create SMART goals and compare your success to where you began.

Step 3: Determine The Best Tactics

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B2B PPC-experter ger sin syn på Google-sökning på tillkännagivanden

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B2B PPC Experts Give Their Take On Google Search On Announcements

Google hosted its 3rd annual Search On event on September 28th.

The event announced numerous Search updates revolving around these key areas:

  • Visualization
  • Personalisering
  • Sustainability

After the event, Google’s Ad Liason, Ginny Marvin, hosted a roundtable of PPC experts specifically in the B2B industry to give their thoughts on the announcements, as well as how they may affect B2B. I was able to participate in the roundtable and gained valuable feedback from the industry.

The roundtable of experts comprised of Brad Geddes, Melissa Mackey, Michelle Morgan, Greg Finn, Steph Bin, Michael Henderson, Andrea Cruz Lopez, and myself (Brooke Osmundson).

The Struggle With Images

Some of the updates in Sök include browsable search results, larger image assets, and business messages for conversational search.

Brad Geddes, Co-Founder of Adalysis, mentioned “Desktop was never mentioned once.” Others echoed the same sentiment, that many of their B2B clients rely on desktop searches and traffic. With images showing mainly on mobile devices, their B2B clients won’t benefit as much.

Another great point came up about the context of images. While images are great for a user experience, the question reiterated by multiple roundtable members:

  • How is a B2B product or B2B service supposed to portray what they do in an image?

Images in search are certainly valuable for verticals such as apparel, automotive, and general e-handel businesses. But for B2B, they may be left at a disadvantage.

More Uses Cases, Please

Ginny asked the group what they’d like to change or add to an event like Search On.

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The overall consensus: both Search On and Google Marketing Live (GML) have become more consumer-focused.

Greg Finn said that the Search On event was about what he expected, but Google Marketing Live feels too broad now and that Google isn’t speaking to advertisers anymore.

Marvin acknowledged and then revealed that Google received feedback that after this year’s GML, the vision felt like it was geared towards a high-level investor.

The group gave a few potential solutions to help fill the current gap of what was announced, and then later how advertisers can take action.

  • 30-minute follow-up session on hur these relate to advertisers
  • Focus less on verticals
  • Provide more use cases

Michelle Morgan och Melissa Mackey said that “even just screenshots of a B2B SaaS example” would help them immensely. Providing tangible action items on how to bring this information to clients is key.

Google Product Managers Weigh In

The second half of the roundtable included input from multiple Google Search Product Managers. I started off with a more broad question to Google:

  • It seems that Google is becoming a one-stop shop for a user to gather information and make purchases. How should advertisers prepare for this? Will we expect to see lower traffic, higher CPCs to compete for that coveted space?

Cecilia Wong, Global Product Lead of Search Formats, Google, mentioned that while they can’t comment directly on the overall direction, they do focus on Search. Their recommendation:

  • Manage assets and images and optimize for best user experience
  • For B2B, align your images as a sneak peek of what users can expect on the landing page

However, image assets have tight restrictions on what’s allowed. I followed up by asking if they would be loosening asset restrictions for B2B to use creativity in its image assets.

Google could not comment directly but acknowledged that looser restrictions on image content is a need for B2B advertisers.

Is Value-Based Bidding Worth The Hassle?

The topic of value-based bidding came up after Carlo Buchmann, Product Manager of Smart Bidding, said that they want advertisers to embrace and move towards value-based bidding. While the feedback seemed grim, it opened up for candid conversation.

Melissa Mackey said that while she’s talked to her clients about values-based bidding, none of her clients want to pull the trigger. For B2B, it’s difficult to assess the value on different conversion points.

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Further, she stated that clients become fixated on their pipeline information and can end up making it too complicated. To sum up, they’re struggling to translate the value number input to what a sale is actually worth.

Geddes mentioned that some of his more sophisticated clients have moved back to manual bidding because Google doesn’t take all the values and signals to pass back and forth.

Finn closed the conversation with his experience. He emphasized that Google has not brought forth anything about best practices for value-based bidding. By having only one value, it seems like CPA bidding. And when a client has multiple value inputs, Google tends to optimize towards the lower-value conversions – ultimately affecting lead quality.

The Google Search Product Managers closed by providing additional resources to dig into overall best practices to leverage search in the world of automation.

Closing Thoughts

Google made it clear that the future of search is visual. For B2B companies, it may require extra creativity to succeed and compete with the visualization updates.

However, the PPC roundtable experts weighed in that if Google wants advertisers to adopt these features, they need to support advertisers more – especially B2B marketers. With limited time and resources, advertisers big and small are trying to do more with less.

Marketers are relying on Google to make these Search updates relevant to not only the user but the advertisers. Having clearer guides, use cases, and conversations is a great step to bringing back the Google and advertiser collaboration.

A special thank you to Ginny Marvin of Google for making space to hear B2B advertiser feedback, as well as all the PPC experts for weighing in.

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Featured image: Shutterstock/T-K-M

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