There are almost six million small businesses in the UK, contributing over £2 trillion to the economy each year and employing almost 17 million people. Small businesses matter.
TopLine is an SME PR agency and we love working with companies that have products and services that make small businesses more efficient, more effective and more successful. We know the SME landscape intimately: we commission research annually to better understand small businesses’ top priorities and how they like to interact with brands and suppliers. And we run regular SME panels where we dive deep into the issues affecting small businesses. These panels can also act as useful focus groups where we can validate campaign ideas on behalf of our clients.
Keep reading to learn more about how we use digital PR and content to reach small businesses. Or, if you’re ready to get started, then contact our CEO, Heather, to discuss your requirements.
As an award-winning SME PR agency we have extensive experience helping clients sell payments solutions, accounting software, CRM software, finance, insurance, consultancy services and training to small businesses. We’ve learned a lot about what it takes to run a successful small business marketing campaign. Here are some of our key takeaways:
Our latest data show that small business decision makers consume print, broadcast and online media to keep up to date with current affairs, but also for business advice and for discovering new products or services. And they like a broad range of media, from nationals to business and trade outlets (read about the top SME publications in the UK). This means that PR is an essential element of any SME marketing strategy.
So does SEO
In addition to media, our data reveals that SME decision makers are likely to start their search for new products or services on a search engine. This means that ensuring your website is properly optimised and that your PR strategy is focused on both brand building and link building, is pretty much essential to generating leads from the small business community.
Focus on the pain
Running a small business is hard. Really hard. Key people in SMEs are often time poor and feel pulled in multiple directions at once. To really capture their attention it’s important to focus on the issues that are top of mind for them and think about how you can assist small businesses in overcoming them.
Use case studies
We’ve found that founders and business builders love to learn from the experiences of their peers. That’s why case studies, focus groups and testimonials form a key part of any SME marketing strategy.
Diversify your thinking
The term “small and medium-sized enterprise” encompasses a broad range of businesses, from freelancers to stores to service providers to consultants. We find campaigns that drill down into a niche or vertical (such as hairdressers) are even more effective.
Keep your sense of humour
Yes, running a small business is hard. But most founders are also passionate about what they do. While messaging should focus on key pain points, we find that content with a lighter tone often goes down well with this demographic.