Marketing, promotion, advertising – or whatever you prefer to call it is about getting your business’ product or service in front of the people who matter so they make a purchase or subscribe to your services.
The word ‘marketing’ can send shivers down some people’s spines (not mine, as you may have guessed from my blog, I love marketing) and according to the ‘Small Business Marketing Trends Report‘ by Infusionsoft 70.8% of small business owners stated that they don’t outsource their marketing.
So, if your marketing is feeling a little unloved, here are 14 simple steps that you can use to draw people’s attention back to your business. Plus, most of these can be done in under one hour, meaning you spend more time making sales or talking to customers.
Set up your social media channels
When it comes to social media, less is definitely better than more. Instead of having a presence on every social media platform and later on finding that you are struggling to keep them all updated. Pick one or two platforms and concentrate on posting regularly (minimum two to three times a week). Also, don’t forget to add your details to your social media profiles so people know where to find you.
Follow the right people
Follow companies that you really want to work with or you which you feel complement your product or service offering. Engage with their posts by liking, sharing or commenting. This helps you to get seen by people outside of your own network of followers. Also, connect with bloggers and journalists who work in your industry, as they sometimes look for companies to work with.
If the thought of ‘pitching’ your business fills you with dread (it does me), then online networking could work for you. There are so many online networking opportunities. Check out the networking app Shapr, for starters. It’s like Tinder but for business (don’t let that put you off) – it matches you with like-minded people based on your interests. Another way to connect with people online is through Twitter chats or Facebook groups.
Remember, networking is not about sales, it’s about building meaningful business connections.
Research shows that by the end of 2019, nearly 80% of consumer internet usage will be on video. So, if writing isn’t your thing, say it to camera instead. If you’re super cool and confident you can do live video, or if you think you’ll mess it up (I know I would) pre-record it so you can edit out any crappy bits and post it onto your website or social media.
If you got taking a great shot down to a tee, amazing. If not and you want to use some good quality copyright images on your website or social media, sites like Unsplash and Pexel have some good options. But, choose the images wisely, as I often see the same images used time and time again. If you plan on using images from these sites, think differently and don’t be afraid to use images that are not related to the subject matter at all.
Incredibly easy to create and hugely effective, testimonials are often overlooked by business owners. A good habit I’ve got into is, after every project I ask the client for a testimonial. I’ve now built up a bank of reviews and testimonials that I can use across my website, on any marketing materials and social media.
Don’t be shy about showing them off. Place them on a prominent position on your homepage and let everyone know how great you are!
If you’re really stuck for ideas or don’t have the time to create fresh content, how about repurposing content you’ve already got. For example, if you’ve written a top tips blog post, you can turn this into an infograph or a video. If you gathered stats from a survey, use this as a basis for a report. Canva has great editable templates that allow you to drop in your own information.
If the thought of speaking into a video gives you the shudders (it does me) and you’re more of a wordsmith, then blogging is a great way to bring visitors to your site. If you’re looking for advice on how to write a blog, my article ‘Are blogs dead?’ is a good read. When writing a blog, you can decide to go long or short, but most importantly make it interesting and relevant to your audience.
If you’ve carried out some research and got some great stats, or if you’ve teamed up with a local charity to sponsor an event – these can be used for PR to raise awareness of your business in the press. With PR, it’s important not just to think big. It may be easier to obtain coverage in the local press instead of the national titles.
Getting links back to your website from high ranking sites is fantastic for your search ranking. The easiest way to do this is through guest blogging. This is where you create content for another website which includes a link back to your own website. If you’re interested in doing this, be careful about which sites you choose and only look at sites that are in some way related to your industry or business.
Yep, a little old school, but in this digital world, a personalised letter will help you stand out. Aim to keep your letter to one page, don’t cram in too much information and whatever you write make it benefit-lead. The reader needs to understand immediately how your business can help them, so place this high up in the letter and not hidden at the bottom.
If you have a healthy flow of visitors to your website, a great way to keep in touch with these people is by asking them to sign up to your newsletter. Use the newsletter to keep them updated on any special offers, industry news and helpful hints and tips. If you are planning on creating a newsletter, or if you run one already, it must be GDPR compliant. Most email software providers, like Mailchimp use a double authentication process to ensure your email lists abide by the GDPR rules.
An area of marketing that is rocketing in popularity is podcasts. These are audio digital files (mp3’s) that people can download and listen to wherever and whenever they want. You’ll have to host your digital files on a podcast platform like Buzzsprout, for example, and create a link to the podcast which you can then promote on your website or social media. You can choose to talk about one topic per week, or more frequently if you’ve got a lot to say!
Even though there has been a lot of discussion around the authenticity of online reviews, research by Trustpilot shows that 88% of people use online reviews to help them make informed decisions. While stats show that 63.6% of people read Google reviews before visiting a company’s website.
Start getting your 5* reviews by asking your clients to leave a review of your business on Google, Facebook or a review website.
If there’s anything that you feel I’ve missed that has worked well for you, let me know by sending me a message.