The UK’s community of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is gaining more market share by the minute. They account for 99% of all businesses and already employ over half (57%) of the country’s workforce. If that wasn’t enough – financial forecasts estimate that by 2020, SMEs will contribute £217 billion to UK economy.
The small to medium business world is full of lucrative opportunities. However, it’s a diverse demographic that can be tricky to tap into. To help you understand how to reach these businesses – we decided to ask them for some insights. We put our inbound marketing agencyskills to work and uncovered the five best ways to promote your business to SMEs.
1. Media coverage
Many SMEs still use traditional media, such as national and business publications, to stay in the loop. Top of the list is the BBC News website; favoured by 32% of the 229 businesses we surveyed.
2. Trade shows
Traditional business media offers a great channel for raising brand awareness among SMEs. However, trade shows are a much better way to get your products and services right in front of them. Believe it or not, 60% of SMEs prefer this approach.
3. Direct marketing
SMEs are more likely to respond to your brand when approached directly. Rather than waste your time on ‘spray and pray’ tactics, build a comprehensive campaign that includes personalised emails, calls and direct mail.
4. Social media
Many brands ignore social media in their B2B marketing efforts. This is a mistake: our research revealed that one of the best ways to promote your business to SMEs is via social networks. And of them all, Facebook and LinkedIn are the most popular!
Optimising your website is a worthy investment. A third of the SMEs we interviewed use Google to help them discover relevant products and services. The easier it is for SMEs to find you online, the more likely it is that you’ll generate inbound enquiries.
As you can see, there’s no magic marketing bullet that will hit all your targets in one shot. To successfully reach small businesses, the best approach is an integrated PR strategy that includes traditional media, social media, email and influencer marketing, and SEO. This will likely yield the best results for your business.