If your business is really good at either selling a service or a product and it isn’t growing, there is a reason for this, your marketing isn’t effective!
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Digital Marketing channels are constantly evolving and if you are using the same marketing methods that you did a few years ago, they may well not be as effective anymore. With all the new digital marketing platforms popping up and trying to keep up to date with the ongoing algorithm changes is very time-consuming, isn’t it? It’s not just Google but the social media platform are tweaking their algorithms too.
I read somewhere online last week that the average small business owner only spends around 2 hours per week marketing their business. I’d hazard a guess that most of this time is spent on social media marketing.
As a startup myself, I intend on spending 6-8 hours of marketing per week. This may well sound excessive but I really need to get my name out there. I plan on doing this every week for the first year and I will schedule time to carry out this in my diary. If I don’t schedule the time it will just get pushed back to the weekends or even worse…ending up on the bottom of my to-do list 🙁
My main marketing method is content marketing which is designed to drive traffic to my website.
Here are some suggestions to market your business, in no particular order:
Promotional videos are such a great way to market any business as they can be promoted many times across several digital platforms. Video content reaches more of your followers than image-based content in your social media newsfeeds. Plus they make great header videos on Facebook, but they can’t be any longer than 90 seconds.
They are also great to embed on your website and send out in digital email newsletters too.
Plus the audio can be used as the content for your podcasts.
Podcasting is one of the newer Digital Marketing channels where your followers can listen to you. It’s like having your own radio show but listeners can listen to you whenever they want.
Podcasting is growing in America and high net worth individuals prefer to take in content this way.
It is a great way to get to people that don’t use social media that much as they still want relevant content but they can absorb it in a different way. More and more people are taking to listening to podcasts whilst doing other things like running, driving, commuting and even the ironing!
You can set up a free account with Sound Cloud, but I will blog about how to set up a podcast account in the next month or so.
With the explosion in social media in the last several years or so, email marketing often doesn’t get a look in and isn’t as popular as it once was. Also, after GDPR came into force on 25th May 2018 most business owners saw a dramatic cut in their subscribers and just thought that building the subscriber list back up wasn’t worth the hassle. The average open rate generally is currently only 20% which is way down from the 90s that had open rates of 80%+. But that 20% who open and read the email newsletters may well convert into customers, which really makes it all worthwhile.
I use and highly recommend MailChimp which is probably the most well-known email service provider where you can send out emails to up to 2,000 subscribers for free. I will be making a MailChimp Tutorial on YouTube in the next 2 or 3 months.
Social Media Advertising
Facebook is going towards a “play to pay” policy for business pages, so it looks like the “free lunch” with them is coming to an end. Yes, you can still post on there for free but less and less of your followers are seeing your posts. I see this a good thing because some of your competitors won’t pay, so you now have a better chance to target their customers!
Instagram, that is owned by Facebook, will be following suit. It’s not a matter of if, it’s more a matter of when.
So advertising on Facebook and Instagram where you can advertise to your target audience is a very effective way to market your business.
Social Media Marketing – Organic
Organic Social Media Marketing is predominantly the free posting on the likes of Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube. Yes, YouTube is often thought of a video platform but it is, in fact, a social media channel. Don’t forget that it is also a search engine too where people are searching for a visual answer rather than a typed one. That’s why Google bought YouTube back in November 2016 for $1.65B and if it was an independent stock today, it would value at approximately $75B.
It is not as effective as it once was so you need to be adding other marketing methods to your marketing strategy.
Networking is often not given enough credit in this digital age, but it still remains as effective as ever. Some people prefer businesses that are highly recommended from their own network rather than spending time researching for a suitable business.
So joining business groups and industry-related attending talks are always a great way to meet potential new leads.
Speaking Live at Events
Having a captive audience is a great way to show your knowledge and in turn, pick up some new leads that may well convert to customers. But you have to give your audience value and information that they want or need, rather than a sales pitch.
This isn’t for everyone, but it is something worth considering.
Using Google as the first port of call to search for something is still popular with many of us. For example, If someone is looking for a Digital Marketing Agency or Website Design Agency in Mullingar there is a good chance that they will ask Google.
I read on Gavin Duffy’s Twitter account about a year ago that he thinks that word of mouth is being replaced by Google.
So many businesses use social media marketing as their main form of marketing, but the smart money is investing in SEO. Yes, SEO isn’t an expense it is, in my opinion, an investment.
Search Engine Optimisation, which is getting your business to appear on the first page of Google, is essential for service-based industries.
Hopefully, I have given you 1 or 2 ideas that you hadn’t thought about before.
Online Marketing is a necessity for businesses that are serious about growing but don’t just take my word for it. Try this.
If you know someone that has scaled up a business, ask them how they feel about marketing and see what they say. Then ask a small business owner that hasn’t grown for a number of years what they think of marketing and I bet you will get a totally different answer!
Gary is a website designer and has been building websites since 2010. He is a certified digital marketing strategist with the Digital Marketing Institute and he holds a 2019 BSc Degree in Digital Technology & Design (Distinction)