The Government’s Growth Voucher scheme will come to an end in March 2015, leaving only two months for small businesses to get on board and benefit.
The scheme which launched backed in January 2014 is part of a £30m pot aimed at researching the value to SMEs of accessing professional advice. The Growth Vouchers enable businesses to receive a subsidy of 50% (up to £2,000) towards the cost of receiving advice in several areas including ‘marketing, attracting and keeping customers’.
We believe that digital marketing is key to this specific area of attracting and keeping customers, with a client’s website being at the core of that activity. No matter what the sector, industry, product or service, a good proportion if not the majority of potential customers or clients start their purchasing journey online. Customers will only arrive directly at your site if they know your company name and what you stand for – presumably because you’ve done some other form of marketing elsewhere. However, what about the customers who you know would benefit from your offering but who haven’t heard of you yet? In which case you need to build your brand online.
This could be via a combination of paid search such as PPC, remarketing or display advertising or perhaps online PR, blogger outreach, infographics, research or blogging on your own site (see inbound marketing). The key is providing relevant content in a way which is appealing to each of your target audiences and then using it as a carrot to entice these people to visit your website – which is where social media marketing plays an important role.
The second half of the story is your website itself. Many organisations spend a lot of time and effort building a website which is visually appealing but without a second thought given to the customer’s journey (see conversion rate optimisation) or whether it is correctly engineered from a search engine’s point of view too.
We understand that most of our clients don’t want to get bogged down in technical jargon and complicated-sounding industry terms, which is why we’re proud of our ‘no bull’ approach. For an overview about how we work in plain English see our Plan, Attract, Grow methodology.
All the providers involved in the Growth Vouchers scheme have been vetted to ensure they are suitable to give appropriate guidance and all must be part of a reputable industry body. (Browser Media is a member of the Institute of Digital Marketing.)
To be eligible for the Growth Vouchers scheme, your business must have less than 249 employees, be registered in England, actively sell goods or services, be independent (i.e. no more than 25% is owned by other businesses or organisations) and have a turnover of less than €50 million.