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Diversify your marketing channels to grow your business

The start of the year is often a time of reflection and action for many companies. A time to look back at the challenges you may have predicted and the successes you didn’t expect. This is especially true for SME business leaders aspiring to grow their firms. So, to find out more about how they fared in 2017, Caspian Media’s Real Business interviewed four inspiring entrepreneurs. Despite running very different operations, they’ve all experienced business growth by diversifying their marketing channels.

Watch the entrepreneur interviews now or read more about what they had to say.

Here are three ways our business heads have used digital marketing to their advantage:

1. Improved supplier relationships – social media

Julianne Ponan, CEO and founder of free-from health food business Creative Nature, cites her biggest achievement as securing a distribution deal with the Co-op.

What was supposed to be a 250-store launch turned into a launch in 2,000 stores. Negotiating that deal was no mean feat, but by tapping into various marketing channels the company was able to demonstrate high demand for the product. Ponan says:

“We needed to prove why our product would sell off the shelf, which meant a lot of marketing behind the product, the customer user database that we used, our Facebook, our social media and also Dragons’ Den and Britain’s Next Top Model.”

2. Stronger customer bonds digital advertising and email marketing

For Akin Onal, owner and CEO of ethical infant clothing brand Mori, amplifying online marketing channels such as digital advertising and email marketing was key. Akin tells us that doing this meant the company was able to build particularly strong relationships with its customers. Mori was also able to: “nurture the [customer] needs and be responsive with the product to create a much longer lifetime value.”

3. Increased business growth – content creation and social sharing

David Grady, founder of The Wood Flooring Shop, recognised that a particularly strong marketing strategy was needed to grow the company and his margins. So the company focused on re-designing its web presence and refining its online reputation by creating lots of content and sharing it on social media.

One of the key marketing channels that especially helped the company’s visibility was using a customer review platform.

Watch the entrepreneurs explain how diversified marketing channels helped them succeed.

The challenges of hiring the right talent

While diversifying their marketing channels proved to be beneficial, 2017 wasn’t all smooth sailing for these businesses. When we asked them to also reflect on their business challenges last year, we found out that hiring was particularly difficult.

Mori boss Akin Onal noted that being slow to hire was one of his key mistakes last year. “The biggest challenge for any new startup is trying to get strong talent for the role. That doesn’t mean you have to wait for 12 months for that candidate to join the team.”

Tim Lyons, MD of sharing economy business TrustedHousesitters, which connects home owners to animal lovers, agrees that hiring was tricky in 2017. He advises to recruit ahead of the curve whenever possible.

Watch the entrepreneurs talk about their biggest business challenges below.

Find business success through content marketing channels

Encouraged by these SME stories? Content marketing increases brand awareness and sales, saves costs and improves customer relationships.

Contact us for an informal chat to find out how Caspian Media can help you.

By Zen Terrelonge, Deputy Editor Real Business