The Art (and Science) of Selling to Small Businesses
The small to medium enterprise (SME) community in the UK is worth your attention. At last count, there were 5.4 million registered small businesses – that’s 99.3% of the British private sector. These businesses employ more than half of the country’s workforce, contribute significantly to the economy and present a lucrative demographic for your company to target.
That said, selling to small businesses is no easy feat. Their resources are limited and they don’t make financial commitments lightly. Fortunately for you, we’ve been around the SME block a few times and have a rather good reputation as a B2B PR Agency that understands SME business needs. So, we decided to ask them straight: how can a brand like yours attract small businesses?
How to get in front of SMEs
The trick to selling to small businesses is mostly common sense: make sure your brand is present in all the right places. But where are those ‘right places’? Here’s a breakdown of the main media you need to consider when reaching out to SMEs.
Our surveys, which covered a cross-section of companies, revealed that traditional media channels such as TV news, radio and national newspapers (led by the BBC) are excellent channels for raising brand awareness. But when it comes to approaching SMEs with a new product or service, the direct approach is best. Sixty percent of our respondents use trade shows to find out about the latest offers. They also respond well to emails and phone calls from suppliers and like to get information straight from the source.
How to capture SME attention online
The online world is very busy. Cutting through the clutter is a challenge for even the biggest brands with unlimited marketing budgets. Don’t try and be everywhere all at once – refine your presence to where your target audience is most likely to be. We asked our panel of SMEs how they spend their time each day online and here’s what they said:
On average, an SMEowner or manager, will spend:
72 minutes on email
54 minutes on news and blogs
48 minutes on social media
Ultimately, what this means for you is that a single channel PR approach is not the most effective way of selling to SMEs. To successfully promote your brand to the SME market, you need an integrated PR strategy that covers digital, email and influencer marketing, and media relations with key business journalists.
Selling to small businesses doesn’t have to be a slog. Give our directors a shout and our team will help you deliver some impressive results.<