Addressing 5 Common Marketing Challenges for SMEs
In the fast-paced realm of digital marketing, businesses face a multitude of marketing challenges that can affect their growth and success. These can range from struggling to establish a digital presence to competing with larger players.
SMEs can struggle with obstacles that demand innovative solutions. However, a strategic and adaptable approach can turn these challenges into opportunities.
Today, we’ll discuss common digital marketing challenges faced by SMEs and provide practical and actionable strategies on how to overcome them. With this information, your own SME should thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
Challenge #1: Limited Budget and Resource Constraints
This is easily one of the top marketing challenges for smaller businesses. SMEs often operate with smaller marketing budgets and limited resources compared to larger corporations, for obvious reasons.
This means they have more limits on the resources they can allocate to their marketing efforts. At the same time, they need to balance efforts between attracting new customers and nurturing relationships with their current customer base for long-term success.
All of this can put an SME at a serious disadvantage against bigger competitors.
Fortunately, resources are not the end-all and be-all of marketing competitions. With careful planning and prioritisation, even players with fewer resources can triumph over those with more.
It requires meticulous management and oversight of one’s marketing efforts, however. To start with, an SME should always focus on the highest-potential-ROI marketing channels.
SMEs should also leverage cost-effective tactics like content marketing, social media and email campaigns, or explore collaborations for efficient resource allocation. Moreover, it’s vital for them to learn how to allocate a budget for digital marketing.
With a plan where every dollar and resource is accounted for and designed to go to a high-ROI, relatively low-risk marketing method that supports the business’s goals, success is more likely!
Challenge #2: ROI Measurement
Measuring the exact return on investment for marketing campaigns can be complex and challenging. However, it’s essential for understanding the effectiveness of your marketing efforts – and can even help you deal with other marketing challenges, as you saw in the previous challenge’s solution!
Fortunately, this is one of the challenges facing digital marketing teams that’s relatively easy to solve. There are many analytics tools available now that can track website traffic, conversions, and other relevant metrics for ROI.
Of course, if you want to figure out ROI properly, you also need to set clear and measurable goals for your marketing campaigns. This tells you the key markers you need to keep an eye on when figuring out how a campaign has performed and what it’s returned for your investment.
It’s also a good idea to use attribution models to understand how different marketing touchpoints contribute to conversions. For example, final touchpoints can be clicks that precede sales. Again, this gives you added insight into what returns are like for your efforts.
Challenge #3: Building a Strong Online Presence
This is a common challenge for smaller businesses. Establishing a solid and engaging online presence is crucial for attracting and retaining customers, especially in today’s digital landscape… but how do you do that when you’re a small business or a brand that has little recognition right now?
You can start building up your online presence through your website. Optimise it for search engines (through SEO or search engine optimisation) to increase organic visibility.
You should also ensure your website is user-friendly and mobile-responsive. Both of these things can not only boost your SEO – and hence, your discoverability online – but also the chances of visitors to your website actually staying.
Another option is to regularly create valuable and relevant content that can address your target audience’s needs and pain points. This makes them more likely to discover you and your expertise in your field.
Furthermore, you can actively engage with your audience on social media platforms. Social media is a great way to connect with your target customers in casual, rapport-building ways while still promoting your brand or products.
Challenge #4: Navigating Social Media and Paid Advertising
Using social media and paid advertising requires understanding diverse platforms and strategies. This can be intimidating if you’re not too familiar with those platforms or the way online advertising and bidding works.
As is true of many things, taking time to research and learn how this works first can definitely be to your advantage.
Most of the social media and online ad platforms themselves have introductory guides to ads, but you can supplement those with guides like ours. For instance, we’ve published articles on the most effective social media ad types and the top advertising trends of the year.
You can also check out our comparison of SEO and PPC (pay-per-click advertising) if you’re not sure how ads differ from SEO, which we discussed in the previous challenge.
Anyway, here are some more tips that can help you get off on the right foot when you start advertising:
Define your target audience clearly to ensure your content and ads are reaching the right people. There’s no point in advertising to those who would never be interested in buying what you have to offer!
Segment and personalise your ads based on demographics and behaviours, and tailor your ads to their specific needs and preferences.
Continuously test and optimise your ad creatives, headlines, copy and targeting options to find the most effective combination. At some point, you’ll hit upon something that gives you great results, and you can build on it.
Challenge #5: Scaling Marketing Efforts
Scaling marketing efforts can be challenging as your business grows but it’s also vital if you want to keep that growth going. Unfortunately, it requires maintaining consistency and efficacy, both of which can be major challenges in the face of change.
This is another area where today’s marketing tools can help you. You just need to implement marketing automation tools to streamline processes and take a lot of manual effort out of them – this is for processes like email campaigns and leads nurturing.
You can also expand to new channels gradually when you have more resources, then start implementing automation there as well when possible. This allows you to do more without requiring you to work 24/7!
Of course, you should still regularly monitor and adjust your marketing strategies based on performance data. This can help you figure out if something in a process needs to change or be optimised.
Get started on overcoming your own SME’s marketing challenges
There you have it! This should have shown you how to overcome marketing challenges that may face your business, letting you compete even with bigger businesses in your field.
Of course, we only discussed the most straightforward solution for each challenge, however. There are so many solutions to each challenge that we’d never stop talking if we had to go through all of them!
Moreover, solution efficacy tends to be dependent on the business’s specific industry, goals, target audience, etc.
If you want to get help figuring out which solutions are best for your business, reach out to us! We can identify the best paths for your business to take based on your circumstances.
Contact us for a chat about your digital marketing needs anytime!