How small businesses can optimize their marketing efforts

In this world of fast-moving consumer content, everyone is trying to churn it out at a lightning speed. Be it for building trust, generating leads or for a strong presence on search engines. Everyone feels the need to put out good and relevant content at all times. Big organizations usually have the human and monetary resources to invest in and lead this maddening era of content optimization. It is always the small companies and start-ups that face the brunt of being left out in the race to compete with the biggies.

Today, I attended a webinar lead by Karen Makedon, Vice President of Marketing at InvestorCOM in Toronto, Canada. Drawing from her long career in marketing, she shared some brilliant tips on how small business can optimize their marketing efforts.

One can often fall into the pit of mindlessly generating content only to keep up with their competitors. It is imperative to make sure that your content aligns with the overall strategy of the organization. Along with this comes another key mantra, learn to say no. Taking too much on your plate can often lead to chaos, which renders all the subsequent outcomes inferior. Furthermore, investing in automation technology can help save the time of the employees.


Karen shared a noteworthy tip for all small businesses to continually produce quality content.  She recommends creating a piece of long-form content and then generating micro content from it. For example, material from a webinar can help create short articles and even social media posts. It is a great way to maintain the quality and relevancy of the content intact.

While most of the companies run behind generating more and more leads, she suggests that it would be more ideal to capture less but high-intent leads. This automatically saves time and effort spent on trying to nurture leads that are just not interested in your product or service. To achieve this, she hints at doing away with webforms, investing in options for demo requests and introducing a live chat feature on the website.

Leads are akin to ticking bombs. The best time to follow up with a lead to successfully convert them is the first five minutes of their interaction with your business. To make this possible, the marketing team needs to be always aligned with the sales team. Any delay could cost the business a prospective lead.


Something that most businesses ignore is seeking help. For some, it could be a battle of egos, while for the rest, it could be the embarrassment of asking for support. According to her, co-marketing and co-promotion can come in handy in growing a business. They can help accelerate the business, as well as help offset costs.

Another important tip from Karen is to keep growing your budget. Small businesses will always remain small unless they proactively try to grow their sources of budget. She advocates hiring interns and contractors instead of investing in retainer contracts. Additionally, she says to keep leveraging your partners and recycling your premium content. Finally, she reminds us to take the aid of government grants like FedDev and Can Export.

To be successful, one needs to constantly prove their worth and small businesses can’t escape from this either. Small companies can succeed if they can support their marketing spends with results achieved. Doing so can enable them to justify and acquire more budgets for the following fiscal year.

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

As a parting note, Karen recommends that investing in a good CRM tool is key. All the tools that a business work with, should be integrated to work together for seamless and unified tracking. Having too many tools from different providers could create a mess. It is advised to get the most from one provider to keep things easily manageable.

These tips and tricks are quite useful. I have worked for small businesses and understand how a dearth of resources can lead to an absolute mess and burnout for the limited employees. Having a strategic plan using these pointers would be tremendously beneficial for a small establishment.

Image Source: Food photo created by tirachardz


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