Despite central bank efforts to curb inflation, higher prices persist, and budgets continue to be squeezed. So how can SMEs maintain visibility and market share without breaking the bank? For most SMEs, digital marketing plays a major part in how they attract and retain customers. The latest Capify Business Confidence Survey, however, revealed that 40% of SMEs have cut marketing and advertising spend in response to recent inflationary cost pressures. As a result, more SMEs are placing greater scrutiny on every pound of marketing spend to ensure it delivers Return on Investment (RoI). Our ten-step process will help make sure your efforts are aligned and your marketing campaigns are working smarter. 1. Understand your customers and prospects Great digital marketing is a combination of art and science, but it begins with understanding your audience. Holding interviews or feedback surveys with your customer are a great way of deepening your understanding of their media habits, how they discovered you and what made them choose you. 2. Monitor your competitors When it comes to the digital marketplace, your competition can be very different to your local business competitors. Keeping up with what your competitors are doing – and where they’re spending their advertising budget – will help identify the whitespace. 3. Develop your content strategy Once you understand your keywords and know more about your audience, you can now begin to build a content strategy that fits to your active customers and lookalike prospects. Successful content marketing helps build awareness of, and trust in, your company brand. It shouldn’t overtly ‘sell’ your business or service – it should demonstrate your areas of expertise and understanding. 4. Check your website Even the world’s most creative and insight-driven marketing campaigns will be rendered pointless if the website they point to is not set-up properly. Check that your website is loading quickly, that it functions properly on all devices and that your analytics are set-up on each page 5. Use data to optimise your delivery As you gain an understanding of who your customers are and their buying behaviour, you can use this data to finetune the creation and delivery of your digital advertising. Using your web analytics and CRM, build an understanding of key buyer behaviours such as how they came to your site, how many times visited, and when they are most likely to buy. 6. Qualification can maximise your ad budget An effective way to minimise wastage on your ad spend is to include the specifics, such as measurements, delivery restrictions or eligibility criteria of your product within your ad creative. This approach can also encourage your target audience to choose your ad over more generic competitors. 7. Use ROAS goals within your campaign objectives Many marketing and eCommerce platforms will allow you to set goals based on the ROAS (return on ad spend) of the purchase or enquiry. If the sale takes place offline, you can often upload the values associated with the customer’s unique ID or integrate your CRM to send these values automatically. 8. Audit your channels regularly It’s important to understand how leads or enquiries from each of your marketing channels are passing through your business’ sales and marketing processes. By identifying this journey – and any friction points within it – you can improve conversions through your funnel, and focus your budget and attention on the channels and campaigns that generate income for your business. 9. Measure online and offline KPIs If you are generating online enquiries for a product or service that is then sold offline, either by telephone or in-person, measuring KPIs through the entire customer journey can give significantly greater insights than stopping once the online enquiry is generated. 10. Measure online and offline KPIs Evolving customer habits, competitor behaviour, platform updates and changing search methodologies mean that all digital marketing activity should be continually tested, reviewed and adapted. Chris Jones, Digital Growth & Performance Marketing Manager at Capify, says “The best way of keeping marketing costs under control is by reducing wastage. This can be achieved by having a clear and aligned plan for where you want to market and what you want to say, and by regularly testing and refining your tactics based on outcomes”. You can find out more about the points covered in this article by downloading our 10-step guide to maximising marketing for SMEs. Simply click here. Whether you require external agency support or just want to bolster your paid search efforts, improving your marketing and advertising efforts can often require an initial financial outlay before an increase in sales is recognised. At Capify we offer a range of business loans to help support small businesses throughout their growth journey. Business loans can be used for any business purpose including marketing campaigns. Check to see if you’re eligible for one of our loans with our online eligibility checker. Or, if you’d prefer to talk to a member of our team, we’d be happy to guide you through the process. Give us a call today on 0800 151 0980.