Small companies often get inferiority complexes. It looks kind of like this:
“We can’t possibly compete with abc competitor because they have a huge marketing budget.”
“Those guys have so many people, they can really afford to do it all, we can’t keep up.”
I’ve worked with companies big and small and there is one constant in marketing, there’s never enough time, money or people. And actually, usually the percentage marketing budget per revenue often goes down as the company gets bigger. They may get some economies of scale, but with it usually comes a lot of bureaucracy and hassle.
If you’re a small company, you need to forget about your possible shortcomings and think about how you’re going to grow! Some ways that you can compete head-to-head, without breaking your budget:
- On your website – no one can tell how big your company is. Keep it up to date and modern looking, publish regular content to your blog (ahem) and ensure your services and messaging is current. Out of date stuff definitely gets side eye from visitors and is an indicator that you might not have your stuff together.
Also, pay attention to the small details on your website. It doesn’t cost more to be creative.
- Post to social media regularly – When you update that blog, get over to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and publish your new post. It takes five minutes and there’s no point in writing that post if you’re not distributing it. And, even small companies can grow a lot of followers on social media. Think of innovative topics related to your business and keep it going. You can also hire services to help you grow your presence even faster.
- Get really targeted – You might not have a huge budget, but if you know (really know) who your best customer is, the one that pays you the most, for the least amount of effort, then you have a blueprint for who you want to reach. It may cost more per lead to reach those unicorns, but there are much fewer of them, so the overall cost can be less, plus you’re maximizing your budget only bringing in the best.
- Choose one big marketing effort and put your budget behind it – You can look like one of the big guys by going all out on one thing. You might have to shoe-string the rest of the year, but the right place/right time to spend your dollars can sometimes be worth it. A Super Bowl ad might cost $5 million, but the cost per person reached is actually a bargain, plus you get the extra lift from all the sites that talk about the ads.
- Leverage and repurpose everything you create – If you do one big research report each year, make a full meal deal out of it. You’ve got dozens of blog posts, tweets and social ads from that one report. You can promote that data seven ways to Sunday. You’ve only funded one piece of content, but you’re making the most of it.
- Be consistent – A hallmark of small, new or struggling companies is doing marketing inconsistently. You start a newsletter, but skip some months here and there. You promise regular communications, but fall off after the first month or two. Get on a schedule. Stick to the schedule and delight your prospects in the process.
Never be intimidated by the bigger, more-funded companies in your market. No one has your voice. No one has your unique perspective. No one can do what you do. You just have to make sure your prospects know about it.