Here Peter Hanley looks at how to plan your marketing and achieve results without throwing a bundle of money at it. Simple steps to great results.
As small business owners, time is really important, and managing that is not easy.
The first things to be left out of your busy day are marketing needs because they can wait.
They are considered to do later problems that don’t really matter.
You are unsure of your success anyway and you have more important things to do.
One of my important rules is that what you do today will have an effect two weeks in the future and what you don’t do today will also have a negative result in a similar time.
When you have a quiet day think back to see why.
Your role as an astute business person is to decide your direction, make a plan, delegate the tasks and timing then it is monitoring the results
Look at your demographic
Who are your target market in age, sex, and inclinations? As well as the location you are marketing to.
Wikipedia describes the version here to read
A local expensive dress shop would be younger women in the area of the store but maybe online as well.
Baby shops for clothes and accessories will provide a difference in the market. While it may be young mothers it is really a grandmother store because they are the big spenders in this area.
Pushbike shop is mostly mature guys for their own use or for the kids.
So you go on and do your profile and decide your approach to the market
- Choose the social channels you want to exploit
- email marketing for new and old consumer
- SMS marketing
- web pages
- ad words
I have talked about the seven rules where customers will buy after being touched seven times and that is your marketing and how important it is to maintain a consistent approach.
Generally, a set-and-forget plan unless you use this as a marketing tool. Yes, you need to be highly visible with a great Bio and current photo but then only a quarterly check.
An old neglected Facebook page is really counter-productive to what you need to achieve, many of us use Facebook as a search tool to discover things about ourselves and are discouraged when the last post was many months prior.
The good news is that Facebook has a great schedule tool that is easy to use and can quickly load a week or months of posts.
If you are advertising this is a daily control matter that requires attention, it is your bucks being spent so you need to balance spending over returns
The role of Facebook is to deliver buyers to your webpage or office and not to sell them anything.
Advertising on Facebook is a great way to find clients as well as to move them toward a selling position
It is still an essential tool for marketing
Instagram and you
Owned by the Facebook group Instagram has seen a meteoric rise in fortunes and is becoming the biggest contributor to advertising growth, furthermore, Instagram is becoming a sales tool in beta trials being undertaken in the USA
They use a sales button on the post which connects to fulfilment. This changes the whole idea of social media from delivery to an endpoint.
Add to this that Youtube is also heading in the same direction so the world will change and never return.
For this reason, include Instagram in all your plans so you can lead the market and not follow.
YouTube is a must include
For many internet years, the business has stayed away from YouTube because of both costs and the degree of difficulty
Times have changed and now any iPhone or iPad can produce a video in a short time. Add to that, commercial companies that allow you to produce a video in terms of hours not days.
I use Samurai content as a video builder because it is easy and has a low-cost base going forward, They also have a great book on all you need to know and understand You can read it here.
Facebook is the easy one
To maintain Facebook in a proper form I use their page scheduler to do my posts for a couple of weeks ahead. Nothing looks worse than a disrespected Facebook page.
Using Facebook Advertising still works well as retargeting if you wish to spend money to get results.
Adwords is necessary
Well, I say necessary if you are marketing items with a good return on Investment.
A friend builds outdoor sheds that sell for many thousands of dollars. When his future schedule slows down he pays for his place on page one with Adwords. Fills the scheduler then backs down on his spending. A very simple process.
Another spends in thousands per day selling a finance package with huge commissions. It is worth the expenditure.
You would be best advised to use an expert when it comes to Adwords and map out the minimum result you require for the money spent. It is not cheap but it is effective.
Your webpage and SEO
This should be at the head of the list but sometimes even I forget its importance.
Page one on a web search gets over 80% of the clicks and 80% of these are in the first four listings.
That says you need to be on page one at the top with your search terms or you won’t get seen. Pretty simple stuff.
There is a lot you can do to help with this but if you are unsure go to someone for support. Be warned however this is a scalpers paradise so demand payment on results and don’t make promises.
I have written how to plan your marketing although getting the basics right first is important.
Plan your budget and budget your plan
Fulfil all your free media first of all so that impact is continuous over time.
It costs nothing to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc to drive traffic to a web page and hence a sale.
Then chose a paid media and trial for results. If it gets a good return up the ante and spends more to earn more.
However, if it does not work Scrap it and choose another media. Don’t push good money after bad results.
Email is still the master
Do you use Email? If not lift your game because it still works really well. Advertising and Remarketing can cost you money but achieve the results and then it is just a return on investment.
I email nearly every day to some part of my base of customers. It might be anything from happy holidays to direct selling something they have seen before. It does not take long to do and the results flow in on a regular basis.
This also keeps your base active and vibrant.
Newsletters are the forgotten ones when planning your marketing
You should take advantage of a regular newsletter. It is part of the customer touch and is a really great value.
However, newsletters are not direct mail, they are not set up to sell the product they are there to entertain and inform and become a part of the seven-touch principle.
I get them from many of my customers in a variety of products.
- Finance broker on the latest housing information
- Tyre store on all things automotive
- Curtain shop on the new season trends
- Automotive stores on current upgrades
- Yellow pages on Internet marketing
- Neil Patel on marketing
- Wealthy Affiliate on training
That’s just a random sample on a quick think back
I am not going to buy every week or maybe never however I shall recommend them and when it comes to my turn to buy they will get the first shot.
Think about how to plan your marketing with a schedule and product guide.
Pick the ones that will make a difference to you and go from there until you have it structured so that it is done regularly without a lot of fuss
SMS marketing is underrated. (Fact)
Sending an SMS message to a market group will solicit instant results. It Might be an Invitation or a launch or product evening. A special discount, a new product release, all sorts of ideas.
You will find that those interested will answer almost straight away with just a few stragglers. The rest are gone for this time. They are busy, away, or simply not interested.
I had a group of retail shops that held a carpark sale every three months. They found that SMS would increase attendance by more than 50% over Newspaper advertising at 1/3 of the cost.
A group of wholesale outlets has breakfast every couple of months sponsored by a supplier. They traditionally rang the 150 companies and told them about it.
We introduced an SMS a week before and an hour before to increase turnout results by over 50% at 10% of the time.
The Tyre store sent out a message to invite customers in for a free tire aircheck. On his first batch, a customer drove in and said you just reminded me I want 4 tires for my Porche.
A Finance broker sent out an SMS every time there was a fluctuation in interest rates and by doing this he picked up repeat clients.
I could go over this often because it does work.
You need to find a wholesale SMS supplier in your area at a reasonable price and with ease of setup.
The great thing is that it is very easy to test. Just select a random number and send a message. The reply will tell you everything you need to know.
I know you should include this in how to plan your marketing because the testing is easy and the results instant
Messenger is worth a look.
Like Instagram Messenger is owned by the Facebook group. You have the ability to contact customers with messages, pictures, audio, and video on a range of phones. It can be done from your desktop or mobile phone.
Like Instagram, this is going to become a selling tool generating free leads and sales in the coming months.
My advice is to get experience early so you are ready to run when this gets going. The face of Social Media is due for a change.
I have written more on business directories in a recent blog
Within your Keyword or title, there are probably 10-15 local directories. Just google yourself and find them on page one of any Google or Bing search.
Then get a free entry into these to capture more calls and have more spots on page one.
There are many other facets of marketing that you will include and I have tried to give you a few ideas that may help. How to save a business is also a good read