In today’s world, a growing number of working professionals decide to leave their typical 5-9 jobs and take matters into their own hands, starting their own companies, whether as freelancers or a limited company. In fact, statistics show that there are over 5.5 million registered businesses in the private sector. If you happen to be one of these people, regardless of the business sector you decide to conquer, marketing your new company is one of the most important factors, which can directly influence your chances for success. Approaching new, potential clients is definitely an exciting stage in any business life cycle, however, it is often much easier said than done. Within marketing itself, there are many aspects, which can not only increase the number of people who will see your message, but also influence their behaviour as consumers, consequently turning them into your customers. The good news is, in the digital era, marketing can be accessible and inexpensive even for locally based SMEs. Here are some ways in which even a small company can successfully market themselves to a wider, and in some cases international, audience.
- Social media marketing
If used correctly, social media can be an extremely powerful marketing tool in the hands of a business owner. By growing a following on platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, you will be able to market your products or services and share your company’s message directly with the people who are already enthusiastic about your brand. Additionally, if you manage to create captivating content, such as videos, other visual material (images, Infographics) or even interesting and informative blog articles, which are able to capture their attention and make them want to be associated with your brand, by word of mouth, your digital presence and following will continue to grow, strengthening your brand image.
- Search engines
Search engines, such as Google, are truly fantastic tools where rather than you searching for new customers, roles change and so the potential customers are searching for you instead. By creating informative and high quality content, which the reader will find valuable, your website will be visible to the potential clients. By being visible on search engines you are more approachable in the market, and so people visiting your website from organic search will already be interested in your services and therefore very likely to convert into customers.
- Translation of your website
In today’s globalising world, it is easier than ever for businesses to successfully approach foreign markets. With the growth of technology and now widely available internet, even locally based SMEs can trade with overseas customers and partners. Nevertheless, before approaching foreign customers, it is important to look at some statistics. According to a study conducted by the Common Sense Advisory, 72.4% of consumers say they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language and 9 out of 10 people, when given the choice, always browses websites in their native language. As you can see, although potential in the overseas markets is great, approaching them must be done correctly. Consequently, one of the most important factors which can influence whether your company will be successful abroad is the professional translation of your website and providing information about your products/services in the market’s native language. One of the most popular ways to go about website translation is working with an agency which specialises in such services. A senior project manager working for Translation Services 24, one of the leading translation agencies based in London and specialising in providing website translation services said that “The growth in number of UK based SMEs approaching foreign markets and needing their websites translated is clear to see. Interestingly, in 2017 we can see an increase in companies approaching not only the European markets, but also Asian and African sectors.”
- Website localisation
Translating your website is an extremely important step in approaching foreign markets and being able to present yourself to new, potential customers, nevertheless, in some cases it is also vital not only to translate your website’s content, but also to localise it carefully. Website localisation requires an in-depth language knowledge, but also knowledge about the country’s culture and customs. By localising your website, you will ensure that your content is fully appropriate for the audience you are addressing. Social, cultural, political or even economic factors can influence whether certain material is suitable or not for your chosen market. You can find good examples of different approaches and how localisation can impact a business here.
- Email Marketing
For many, many years’ experts claim that the end of direct email marketing is near, and yet, it continues to be an important channel of the digital marketing wheel. By gathering information about your potential customers, such as their email address, name, position within the company and approaching them via email, you will be able to deliver a message directly to the people who are interested in your brand and the services you provide. Email marketing is a fairly inexpensive tool which can generate fantastic business leads if conducted correctly.
As you can see, marketing a business, even one from the SME sector, can be extremely beneficial if planned and conducted correctly. From translating your website and content to growing social followers and being visible to your potential customers through search engines, there ways in which you can market your company are extensive. With the growth and developments in technology and now widely available internet, small and medium sized companies can find inexpensive ways in which they can approach customers, based in all corners of the world, something even 10 or 15 years ago sounded like a fantasy.