We asked our judges and past winners what they believed were best ways to grow your SME, and received a myriad of responses – However, two recommendations popped up again and again in all their answers. These top answers were ‘Growth Hacking Content’ and ‘Customer Engagement’, and so we decided to share our judge’s thoughts on these key topics.
Growth Hacking Content
Growth Hacking Content, put forward by eirSpiders judge Bill Liao as his top tip for SME’s, really encompasses all the buzzwords we’ve been hearing over the past few years; Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Shareable Content etc. In an age where we are inundated with messages and calls-to-action it can be impossible to stand out, particularly online and on social media. An endless amount of research has been compiled to find out what ‘stops the scroll’ and makes readers take interest, and ultimately take action. Content, as always, is king – so whether it’s carefully composing headlines, being opportunistic with trends that are on-topic or just making sure you have really incredible visuals – it’s definitely something your SME should be putting thought into.
Robert Farrell echoes this sentiment, advising small businesses to, ‘Make sure your website has a good user experience, on desktop and mobile, as well as using Search Engine Optimisation. It’s also essential to have cohesive social media and content marketing strategies.’ Robert also suggest thinking about online advertising tools such as AdWords and Facebook’s ‘boost’ feature to amplify your companies message.
When speaking to Ian Bergin about what is working for small businesses he highlighted the importance of customer engagement and how in many cases a small business can achieve this in a way that a large corporation would find difficult. ‘SME’s can pivot, be flexible and more customer engaging than bigger businesses. They can also leverage personality, person-ability and real person-to-person engagement in a tangible and real way that monolithic businesses just can’t.’
While more radical in his opinions about company websites, Alan Devlin feels similarly about customer relations and clever content. ‘Forget your website (unless you use it to sell or serve), focus on your social media profile – it’s where the people, and hence customers, are. Always be customer focused, and think ‘Customer First, Content Second, and Business Third’ in your communications.’
Key takeaways? Content and customer engagement will serve small businesses best. If you feel your small business deserves recognition, don’t miss your chance to win and eirSpider Award on 30th of November. Nominations close 27thof September, Apply here.