Clever marketing can mean the difference between small business life and death.. It’s estimated 44 Australian small businesses close their doors every day. The reasons for business failure vary, but many don’t survive the crucial first year due to lacklustre marketing strategies and not being able to connect with customers.
This is where the right marketing can work wonders. Small business marketing expert Tim Reid told HuffPost Australia there are so many new opportunities available to small business owners that allow them to punch way above their marketing weight.
“There’s video marketing, self-published books and podcasting, to name just three,” Reid said. “But the marketing tool that’s really a standout right now is podcasting.”
Last year, iTunes subscriptions of podcasts reached 1 billion. In the last five years, the number of unique monthly listeners tripled to 75 million. Interestingly, the total number of podcast titles hosted by iTunes is only around 280,000 (in 100 languages). Yet in 2014, Libsyn -- the world’s biggest media hosting platform -- recorded 2.6 billion listeners.
“Ten years ago, small business needed big marketing budgets but today, you can literally start with your smart phone. It's a marketing machine you can carry in your pocket, it’s a video camera, stills camera, email marketing, social media. As business owners, our mind set has to change. We can now produce our own media platforms, media shows and engage and entertain our audience.”
Reid said many small business owners have limiting beliefs that the modern world of marketing is costly, technical and takes a lot of time.
“They need to get over that mindset. Marketing is the lifeblood of their business. If it’s done well, it can help them grow. They must embrace the modern world. My wish is that small business owners start podcasting, or produce videos, or engage in social media and that it becomes a hobby. Once they enjoy it, it won’t become a chore,” Reid said.
Ronsley Vaz is the host of podcast show ‘Bond Appetit.’ He’s an entrepreneur who believes businesses can get ahead with one simple tool -- a podcast.
“I was facing some financial difficulties when I started my podcast,” Vaz said. “Like many others, I was a struggling business owner and wondered how I was going to make it work. It was a long shot, but I started a podcast. They are big overseas, but they haven’t gained as much traction here -- yet. I want to change that because the humble podcast changed my life.”
‘Bond Appetit’ has more than 7000 listeners a day (that’s almost 50,000 a week) and has made it to the top of the Australian and American iTunes charts, ranking No.1 in the three categories of Food, Health and Fitness and Nutrition.
Vaz is also the brains behind an upcoming Podcast function -- the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere -- where he aims to educate small business owners about the benefits of podcasting.
“Podcasting is like PR on steroids. For immediate results, podcasting is the hot thing to do right now. There are two million blogs published every day, and two million videos every day on Youtube. But there are only 300,000 podcasts. So it is like a blue ocean out there. It’s something small businesses need to get involved with right now,” Vaz said.
“For small business owners, I’d suggest interview style shows on topics that could benefit their clients. To begin, I invested in a good quality microphone, I conducted all my interviews on Skype and my computer became my recording and connection device. Then you simply upload to a media hosting site that also tells you how many listeners you have, which is very important,” Vaz said.
“It’s an eye opener and an essential marketing tool for business owners who want to take marketing to the next level. If you don’t get on-board the podcast bandwagon now, you risk being left behind.”