Wondering how best to get your product in front of SMEs? Well, we surveyed 150 small business decision makers and they told us exactly what you need to do:
Invest in PR
Traditional media still reigns supreme, with 66% of small business decision makers keeping abreast of current affairs via TV news. National newspapers (52%), radio (48%) and local newspapers (47%) all featured heavily as well. While 23% cited business media as important sources of news. Interestingly, 38% told us that they tend to use national newspapers to find out about new products and services. And online media was the top source of business advice, cited by 66% of respondents.
Conclusion: if you want to get in front of this audience, then develop a small business-focussed PR strategy designed specifically for these media. Just like Xero did. Combine newsworthy campaigns with business advice, product reviews and thought leadership. And you might find this listing of the top SME publications in the UK helpful.
Don’t overlook search marketing
When investigating new products or services, a whopping 50% of small business decision makers turn to Google. That’s millions of potential customers searching for your products and services every day. This is only second to Facebook (used by 52%).
Conclusion: if you want to capture this incredible traffic, you need to get started on your B2B SEO strategy. And the best time to start that strategy was a year ago. The second best time is now. See how Nucleus Commercial Finance managed this. And note that if you want to make progress with B2B SEO, you need to invest resource into online PR as well, because this will form the link building component of your SEO strategy.
De-prioritise cold calling
Only 13% of small businesses find out about new products and services via direct calls from suppliers. Okay, 13% is still over 750,000 small businesses. BUT why invest in cold calling when small businesses have told us that they prefer online searches (50%), Facebook (52%) and YouTube (49%)?
Ignore social at your peril
We asked small business decision makers about their social media use and it is prolific! In fact, 78% use Facebook daily. That’s every day. A huge 71% use YouTube daily, followed by Instagram (59%) and Twitter (48%). And they’re not just looking at memes and gaming videos.
Social networks used daily by SME decision makers
On Facebook, they are keeping up to date with news (52%) and discovering new products (53%).
On YouTube, they are looking for new products and services (49%) and searching for business advice (56%).
And they’re using reddit for advice and entertainment (find out about the top subreddits for small businesses)
Conclusion: to reach small businesses, you need to be supplementing your digital PR and search marketing strategies with social campaigns, like WorldPay did in this award-winning case study. And any good social media strategy will require some excellent video marketing skills – fortunately we know the perfect video production company.
And if you need help reaching small businesses, you might want to contact our CEO, Heather. Having run her own small businesses for over a decade, been a founding member of the PRCA’s SME group, and UK president of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, she knows this space. You can contact her here.