4 Small Things Every Small Business Owner Can Do to Drastically Improve Their Marketing
Being a small business owner means that you have a lot on your plate! And it isn’t just the peas and mashed potatoes of sales and bookkeeping, there is also the marketing gravy that you are trying to reach so you can smother your delicious business with even more delicious success! Once your plate looks MasterChef worthy, more people will be willing to eat it! But, enough with the food analogies…
The fact is that as a small business owner, you are taking on a lot of different jobs to try and ensure your business succeeds. Marketing is often one of the things that get pushed to the side while you tackle the external jobs. You know that it is a necessary part of business (how could you forget, every marketing podcast and blog tells you so), but you might be having a hard time prioritizing. What if we told you there were 4 easy things you could do that would drastically improve your marketing in only a few short hours? With four simple and small changes to your approach, you can upgrade your mediocre marketing and turn it into an online feast (sorry… 1 more food analogy)! Take a look at the following marketing tactics you can tackle today to make an impact for tomorrow!
Blogs, Blogs, Blogs!
You may be wondering… ‘Why should I write a blog if someone can find the same answer on Google?” The answer is obvious – because you want them to find YOUR answer on google. Blogs are a fantastic (and almost magical) way to easily draw attention to your site. And of course, if people are finding and enjoying your web-page, your business will only thrive as a result!
Blogs should be written roughly 2 times a month, providing relevant and interesting information to readers. But most importantly, blogs should be written on YOUR website. As a small business owner, you may consider putting blogs on a 3rd party blogging site (thus reducing the need to update the backend of your page – but trust us, it’s worth it!). The reason you should not be using a 3rd party blogging site is because you are writing these amazing articles to send people to someone else’s website – not cool! Google (the master and commander of online marketing) likes to see links, keywords, and blog pages ON a company website so it can send people TO that site. And when Google likes something, they reward it! The more keywords (via blog titles, blog content, web-page content, and links) that you have, the happier Google will be to throw your site up to the top of the search list for people to find.
In addition to writing a couple blogs each month, you’ll need to include internal links that take visitors deeper into your site. If you are writing a blog on Elephant feet and last month you wrote about Elephant slippers – use a hyperlink to link back to that blog! This will ensure your audience is remaining on your website longer, therefore reducing the bounce-rate. The longer people stay on your site, the more Google will reward you!
One of the best things you can do as a small business owner is to post quality content on your social media pages. To succeed in this area of marketing, you don’t need to be posting 15 times a day. The best way to begin your social media marketing journey is to post (consistently) once every second day on your one main channel. Not as scary as you thought eh?
Before you just go posting on every social media platform available, you must assess your audience. Are they a middle-aged woman with too little time on her hands, uses only the best hair products to keep it clean, and only uses Facebook? OR is it a young adult male who golfs every weekend with his buddies and is in pursuit of that perfect comfortable golfing shirt via Instagram? Whatever you sell, you need to know your audience!
Take a moment to jot down notes of your focus individual (actually visualizing someone in your mind can help!) and then find out where they are. Is it Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ (unlikely)… whatever platform they use, adapt your post content to reach that particular person consistently. Become a small business owner extraordinaire and give your audience exciting things to look at that will lead them towards your website and then towards the sale!
In video games you want to collect gems and XP points, but in marketing you want to collect emails (and of course, money). It is with the accumulation of emails that you can truly buy those ‘sick upgrades’ and ‘level up’ your business. At least for now, sending an email is the best way to reach and share new information and products with people who have already shown interest in you (but may not have made a purchase). Great idea! But how do you go bout collecting the emails? Keep reading to find out how to make it easier!
You cannot simply go to a directory and snag emails like you could the phone book back in the day. You need to collect emails organically from your website (and with permission)! Doing this will guarantee that you are sending information to people who actually care and are interested about what you have to offer. The best way to gather these emails is to have people subscribe to your newsletter/blog or download something from your website. Add a pop-up on your site that asks for an email, but be sure to give something to the subscriber in return.
You have to make subscribing worth their while – offer people a discount, a freebie guide, a 14-day trial, or your free e-book! This will encourage site visitors to share their email, which will then give you the chance ask them to ‘double opt in’ (legality), and give you that open invite to stay in touch with them further and over time, reminding them that they liked your company!
Not sure how to collect emails on your site? Our team at Jumping Elephant loves Thrive Themes – a tool that allows you to build super simple email collection widgets. Every small business owner can easily add popups, slide ins, in-text boxes, etc. to their WordPress site and the rest is fun from there!
What better way to inform your customers and followers what is new, improved, and on sale than a newsletter (like the one you got people to subscribe to in the last tip)! Newsletters are a wonderful resource that gives you the chance to reach out to client base. This effective form of digital marketing ensures that your followers are up-to-date on all products, services, and sales at any time of the year.
To begin, it is best to format each of your newsletters in a way that is visually appealing. Using images and eye-catching headlines, present information in a way that saves the reader time. No one wants to spend 10 minutes reading paragraphs of detailed information (some exceptions apply… like facts about elephants… we KNOW people want to read those all day long, right?). You need to make your newsletter quick, appealing, and easy to read. As for HOW to make your newsletter, it is stress-free! A wonderful FREE site called MailChimp lets you format your newsletter templates, design them using pre-made templates, add colour and style for brand, and schedule them to go out to your subscriber (so it still sends even if you want to sleep in the next day). Everything done in one place!
Need some ideas of what types of information to share in your newsletters? Use any of the following content cues to increase the appeal of your newsletter:
- Company Update
- New Promotion
- New Products
- Question and Answer (FAQs)
- A Letter from You (the small business owner!)
- Video Tutorials
- Testimonials or Case Studies
- Tips or Advice
BONUS: Drip Campaigns
Drip, drip, drip, drop… Has the pattering sound of water ever ensnared your full attention? Well the same goes for drip campaigns – you want to catch the (elephant) ear of your prospective clients and followers with a ‘dripping’ consistency via emails! (Note: not meant to be harassment – water is supposed to be peaceful!)
Drip campaigns are a planned-email type of marketing that sends pre-written messages to your audience over a period of time. This email marketing approach is most commonly created in a series that will start on cue by a download from the site (the first email being the delivery of their freebie), then slowly introducing problem/answers (they have a problem, you have the answer) over a few emails, and finally, ending with a call to action (sales pitch email). It is achieving this final stride of keeping your audience’s attention and offering them insightful and helpful material along the way that will lead them to making a purchase of your product/service. Schedule to send these drip campaign emails out to prospective customers over a timeline that makes sense for the sales funnel of your offering.
Use these 4 marketing strategies to help your marketing reach new heights. You will be amazed at what these small changes can do to your approach, ROI, and small business success! And even more amazed at how little time it can take once you’re all set up (which we can help with). Good luck!
Hey, you! Yes, you – the small business owner! Are you lacking the time or skill to write your own blogs, newsletters, posts, or drip campaigns? That’s why we’re here!
Our marketing herd specializes in all of your online marketing services. With your company information, goals, and marketing plan, we can assist to create marketing solutions that will draw attention while using top-level techniques to help you achieve the results you desire. Let us help with the marketing so you can focus on the rest!