BusinessDesk x Prospa: 5 digital marketing tips for small businesses

Prospa Small Business Webinar Marketing

Quantum Jump CEO Ben Goodale and Colenso Co-Founder Mike Hutcheson shared their top digital marketing strategies, tactics and tips for small businesses in our recent webinar, presented in partnership with BusinessDesk.

At a glance

  • Small businesses can reach a massive audience via social media marketing (just don’t spread your resources across too many different platforms).
  • To understand your audience better, identify a persona of the type of customer you’re trying to reach.
  • Don’t worry about overloading your customers with detailed messaging – be authentic and tell a good story.

Often, small business owners are left to figure out major decisions that impact their businesses by themselves.

In the interests of providing practical, useful advice for small businesses, Prospa has partnered with BusinessDesk to produce a new informative webinar series.

The webinars are designed to answer the burning questions of small business owners and provide clarity around the issues affecting them.

In the most recent episode, Frances Cook, Investments Editor at BusinessDesk, sat down with Ben Goodale, CEO of Quantum Jump, and Mike Hutcheson, Co-Founder of Colenso, for expert perspectives on effective digital marketing strategies.

The session was full of insights for a small business audience, ranging from selecting the most appropriate social media platform to staying relevant in a competitive space. Here are five key highlights.

1. Social media is a very accessible marketing channel for small businesses

Social media, Ben told us, is a very accessible entry point for digital marketing.

“It doesn’t take a lot of investment – anyone can take a photo and write some words. The tools on Facebook and Instagram are sensational for someone who really doesn’t have a large degree of knowledge to manage selecting audiences, setting up their different ad types and deciding what budget you want to put behind it,” Ben said.

“Also, social media does have the opportunity to reach quite a lot of people. The algorithms on Facebook, Instagram and so on are great to help people who are fundamentally non-technical to get something going.”

2. Different social platforms are best for reaching different audiences in different ways

“Depending on your product and audience, it may be more or less relevant to be on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or one of the plethora of other options,” Ben said.

“If you boil it down to those top three, they all have quite different niches. On TikTok, you’ve got a really powerful audience of people in their teens and early 20s; if you do something interesting for them, you can really trend and engage. Instagram – and Snapchat – are very visual. If you want to reach a slightly older audience, Facebook would be more appropriate.

“It’s just about coming back to: What are you selling? Who is the audience? Where is your time best spent? And then pick the right social media – because it’s very unlikely you’d need to be in all of them. Most small business owners are far too busy to do everything. So you need to pick and choose.”

Watch the webinar

3. Know who you’re talking to and what do they want to read, watch and hear

“I don’t know what your inbox looks like, but the delete button is probably the most used button on my computer, because people are carpet bombing me with stuff – and they haven’t thought it through,” Mike said.

He believes that with the proliferation of different media channels and platforms, it’s even more important to figure out customer personas, including:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • What they read, watch and listen to
  • Where they get information and stories
  • What sort of stories prompt a response from them

“The thing that’s constant is storytelling,” Mike said. “And you’ve got to tell stories in a much briefer form.”

4. Keep your story simple and authentic

With many small business owners facing stiff competition for customers, Ben suggested the keys to making any marketing pay off is authentic storytelling

“Kiwis love to support fellow Kiwis, and that’s a real advantage. It doesn’t mean you have to slap a picture of a kiwi on everything, but be real and authentic, so people can see you’re a real person like them. People like to get in behind that,” he said.

“Think about the simplicity of the story you’re trying to tell. Don’t overload it with lots of detail. Focus on the core message. What is the single most important thing that you want people to take out? You don’t have to have a multi-million dollar budget, you just have to have a good idea and a good product or service.”

5. Understand your business from your customer’s point of view

Small business owners, Mike suggested, need to understand what problem they’re solving for their customers.

“Start from the point of view that your business is actually a marketing business; it’s not a manufacturing business,” he said. “For example, you might think you’re in the bus business, but you’re actually in the travel business. It’s not about your bus, it’s about where you can take people.”

Need funds to take advantage of a growth opportunity? Ask Prospa about a funding solution that keeps your small business moving.

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