Marketing is not always easy for business owners. First of all you don’t have the time to devote to marketing, and secondly, there are changes to available marketing platforms daily! Besides traditional marketing methods like print and direct mail, you also need a social media marketing plan in place that covers the places where you can reach your audience online. I know it can be quite confusing, but any relevant company doing business today needs to understand marketing – digital, social, and traditional.
If marketing your business has you stressed, don’t worry. I want to share some basics with you that if applied will create an immediate impact on your business. With these easy guidelines, you can get your marketing started with a solid foundation. Let’s get into it!
- Make sure that your business can be found. Not only do you need a website, you should also have a blog to keep fresh content going out across your marketing platforms and attracting new customers. A blog is also great for SEO. Social media is essential, and a regular e-mail marketing campaign can be helpful to keep your customers and prospects up to date with your business.
- Set up your social media profiles correctly! While you shouldn’t overwhelm yourself by setting up a profile on every social media site out there, you do need to select the essentials for your business – particularly Facebook, and possibly Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. (Where is your target audience hanging out?) As you get better on social, you will naturally evolve towards the ones that make the most sense for your business and that can help you establish your brand and build relationships.
- Focus on your content. Each piece of content that you put out there helps to make you and your business more credible, so it is important that you are offering content that is related to your business and that your target audience wants to receive. Think carefully about your strategy for content, be personal, informative, entertaining and helpful!
- You should always be building your e-mail list. Your e-mail list should be made up of customers, contacts, and prospects. By sending e-mails regularly, you will be able to keep in touch by staying in front of them, PLUS you will validate the content you are syndicating online. If you are having a sale, let them know. If you are offering a new product, let them know. Focus on building relationships through communication and always followup on comments and questions.
- Don’t forget about Google Business. Once you are listed on Google Business listings, potential customers can easily find you. People often go online before they even decide where they are going. If you are listed on Google, you can be found more easily in search and grow your business.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Nothing can beat word-of-mouth advertising and influencers touting your business – people more likely to purchase products and services from someone they know or from a referral from someone in their sphere.
- Reward those who refer your business. It doesn’t even have to be expensive. You can give a small gift or gift card, though you may also give them a percentage off of their next purchase or something similar. People really like to feel appreciated and this can go a long way to kicking off a successful word of mouth advertising campaign!
- Join and participate in groups, online and off! By meeting like-minded people, you are more likely to find new customers. Just by being helpful and knowledgeable, you can grow your business without too much effort. The key to networking is not to forget to follow through. If you tell someone that you are going to do something, you better do it!
- Don’t stop marketing. Too many business owners start to slow down on their marketing when they see the results come in. They may feel like they are too busy selling products to continue to market their products. However, once they stop, business will slow down again. This leads to a very vicious cycle – one that you should avoid at all costs by marketing your business all of the time.
- Don’t be afraid to get help. Marketing can be complex and always changing. It can also be quite time-consuming which is why many businesses have one person in charge of it. If you are a small company, you may not have the manpower (or money) to hire a full-time (or even part-time) marketer. It may be easier to outsource your marketing. Either way, by letting someone else market your business for you, you can focus on working on your business.
Marketing is not usually a business owner’s favorite thing to do. It can be confusing and quite time-consuming. If you are doing everything yourself, you may struggle to find the time to market when you are busy. This leads to slow times where you end up spending a lot of time and money on your marketing, only to get busy again and forget about it.
This is a common problem for business owners. Another problem is that they try to do too much too fast. They may start an Instagram campaign, build website or blog, email campaign, and join a few social media sites all at once. Think of marketing as a marathon, not a sprint. Start one or two campaigns. Once you are comfortable, you can easily add more to your plate.
Don’t hesitate to get help if marketing is not your strong suit. Whether you outsource your marketing or hire a part-time or full-time employee, you will be glad that you did. A marketing partner will be able to get you started off right with a good marketing strategy complete with goals that you want to reach. If your marketing is not doing what you want, they will make changes until you are completely happy with the results!
If you are struggling with your marketing and are not seeing the results that you want, don’t hesitate to contact me. At Sandy Hibbard Creative, we will focus on your business marketing goals 100% of the time. My team and I can help your business grow through strategically targeted successful marketing campaigns!
Here’s to your successful marketing!