Most of you that frequent the TDS blog are interested in bettering your business. Now, you may have different metrics by which you would judge the betterment of your business, but I would guarantee that at least one of those metrics would be the amount of revenue you generate in the coming year. No matter what we do, we are all in business to make money…
So, how does a small business effectively and efficiently make money? Marketing.
Now, I know this seems elementary in nature. Of course we all understand that marketing is needed in order to be successful in business! But most often we either misunderstand what marketing is or don’t have a clue on how to do it the right way. Today, I’m going to show you how to build a marketing strategy that works and only has four areas you need to be concerned with.
Let’s get started:
Content comes in many forms, but in the end it is the most attraction-based asset you can develop. Whether you focus on images, audio, video or the written word, developing quality content on a regular basis will give your marketing platform substance and a means of keeping prospects and customers alike coming back over and over again.
The best way to draft a content marketing strategy is to start with a list of problems you can solve. On a scrap of paper, write out 12 different pain points you can help your customers with right this minute. After you have a complete list of 12, begin writing out a list of 4 questions or concerns your audience may have with your solution.
In less than an hour, you have developed a 12 month marketing strategy that gives you four unique blog posts. Shuffle the list and begin writing! You can double, triple or quadruple this method in order to have multiple blog posts per week.
Social media is the most effective broadcasting medium available to a small business. There is an extremely low barrier of entry and if you put in the time to build relationships, you have an audience that knows who you are.
The key to social media is consistency. Share great content (yours and other’s) on a regular basis in order to stay relevant and build exposure as an authority on your area of expertise. Consistently share great content and eventually you will have a tribe of people around you that will begin to share your posts with their audience. In theory, you can dramatically increase your audience through cultivating a handful of mutually beneficial relationships.
Draft a schedule and begin sharing your posts. Regularly audit your sharing times and modify often to find the most effective time slots for sharing your revenue generating content with your audience.
Keep in mind, social media is about relationships. If you use it as merely another sales tool in your arsenal, you won’t get very far before you are shut down by your industry and ignored.
Advertising was once a high barrier of entry marketing tool. You had to spend a lot of money and rarely could track your responses without a massive infrastructure in place to do so. It was not the small business owner’s first choice of tools.
But today, search and social platforms have made it easy to economically get in front of your prospects based on what they are searching for, pages they like or keywords they use in their posts. While advertising is a more technical process than content developing and social media marketing, starting small can give you a great idea of what you are capable of on your own and if you need to pursue an agency.
The key to making your advertising program work is focus. Don’t start without a plan or you will be doomed to fail from the word “Go”. Make a list of your ideal clients and do the research necessary to understand them and their online habits. Then and only then should you attempt to engage them through an advertising platform.
Email has long been a boring tool that most small businesses would prefer never was used again. It’s not at all flashy and often renders discouraging data that most find unsupporting of the practice. But the key to email marketing is not to achieve a 100 percent open rate. It’s to find the 10 percent that are ready to buy. And that requires consistency and a targeted message.
Building an email list can take time (another post for another day), but once you have a few hundred addresses you are ready to go to work. Just like you did with your content calendar, focus on a list of problems you can solve. Strategize this around seasonal or holiday elements that you incorporate into your business and make a schedule around those dates.
There are several free or economical tools available to design and send out your email message to your list. Just be sure to choose one that delivers solid data on your open and click through rates on each individual campaign.
I know this seems simple, but 80 percent of marketing is simply executing. Sit down sometime this month and press “play” on these four components in your business to start seeing results that your business needs in order to grow.
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