Marketing is the action you take in your business to inform, educate and communicate your products and services to your ideal buyer. Every business should have a marketing strategy in place to increase buyer awareness and communicate the value of their products and services. It is normal to experience highs and lows in a business. When a business is doing well, it is not uncommon for the decision makers to pull back on marketing dollars and plans, resulting in a lack of effort. When sales decline, businesses tend to jump back into marketing with hopes of making the quick turnaround needed to generate sales again. This lack of consistency may actually cause you to work harder in the long run.
Consistency in your marketing establishes trust and builds relationships with your current and prospective buyers. It relays the message to your consumer that you care about them first. What if I told you that your marketing efforts are not about you? Your customers have a problem and your products or services solve that problem. Simply operating your marketing strategy only when your company needs the sales will send a message to your customers that you do not care about them all the time. It will tell them that you will let them know when you need them which may come across as self-serving. If you are in business to sell products and services that change lives, then a marketing plan should be a consistent part of your business operations.
Marketing 101 for every small business! Listen to the episode here.
The Love Hate Relationship With Marketing
You either love marketing or you hate it. The Search Engine Journal surveyed 350 small businesses in 2019 and discovered that 50% of them DID NOT have a marketing plan. According to that same study, 62% of business owners admitted to being more stressed out that year than they were the previous year. Marketing is a must for businesses to survive and thrive. So, what is holding businesses back from executing a marketing plan and strategy?
Marketing is an unknown territory to most business owners. Most business owners will tell you they stepped into a business opportunity with a great idea and did not realize marketing would be a key component to selling their products or services. They often have this idea that word of mouth will suffice. For others, marketing comes more naturally, but they lack the time, resources or money to market their business. It does not have to be this way. Every business owner can implement the platforms listed in this article to grow their business, even during the hardest of times.
At Business Builders, we know how important your marketing efforts will be for the overall success of your business. I also know how overwhelming marketing can be. It takes a lot of time to manage and implement your marketing plan. However, knowing where to put your marketing efforts can actually save you a lot of time and money. With over 20 years of experience in marketing and sales, I have found a few foundational platforms to be tried and true. Below are the five platforms that your business should be using to market your business.
Why Every Business Needs a Website
Consider your website essential to growing your business. The statistics vary, but it is safe to say that 70-90% of your potential buyers will visit your website to learn more before they ever decide to do business with you. Your website should be a place that they can learn about your business, your products or services, and how to buy from you. Having a website will give you credibility as a business. Your website is the only place where you own your business in the digital space, even if you are not an online business specifically.
If you do not have a website for your business this should be your net move in your marketing strategy. If you already have a website, the next step is to ensure that your website passes the grunt test. That means a potential customer should know what problem you solve, how you solve it and how to buy it within five seconds of visiting your website.
The Power of a Blog for Small Businesses
Blogging can increase your website traffic and help you become an expert in your industry. If you want to expand the visibility of your business to the world, blogging is a surefire way to get in front of your competition and future customers. The purpose of a blog is to educate and inform shoppers about your products and services as it relates to your area of expertise or industry. Not to mention, a blog also has the ability to develop a relationship between you and your audience.
Blogging can be used as an affordable way to get traction on your website. As a matter of fact, blogging is completely free and just requires an investment of your time. In order to make a blog work for your business you should be consistent in writing content. There is more to blogging than meets the eye. If you want your blog to produce real results, you will need to “work” the posts so that you show up in search engines and drive organic traffic to your website. To work your blog posts, you will need to optimize your posts with SEO and include internal and external links.
Consistency is crucial with a blog. Remember you are positioning your business as the expert in your industry as it relates to your products or services. A blog is a long form of content that should be well researched before published. Research, writing and publishing blog posts can seem daunting. Keep in mind that your blog content can be a pillar for all other content you are using for your marketing efforts such as social media, email marketing and podcast episodes.
Generating Leads for Your Products or Services
Studies in the last 5 years determine that most consumers will NOT make a purchase the first time they visit your website. This is why it is so important to give consumers plenty of reasons to come back to your website. Generating leads is a great way to provide value and drive traffic back to your website. Imagine how many buyers you are losing if 98% of people left your website and never told you they were there? A lead generator allows you to capture prospects that have visited your website, but are not quite ready to make a purchase. I like to think of a lead generator as asking a potential buyer to date you. Here are some trending ways you can capture a lead on your website:
- Reusable worksheets
- FREE Giveaway
- Value list
- Interview with an industry expert
- Short webinar
- Keynote presentation
Collecting the lead is the first step. It allows you to begin a relationship with the prospect. When a potential customer downloads your lead generator they will give you their email address in exchange for something of value. This is similar to exchanging money so keep that in mind as you create your collateral, it should be worth paying for. I would suggest that your FREEBIE should have a value of $20 – $50, maybe even a little more depending on the value of your products or services.
Now you need to work your leads by nurturing them towards purchasing your products or services. This is done with email marketing campaigns and automations.
Email Marketing is Still Number One
Email marketing is the one platform that is affordable and generates the biggest return on investment. If you are not capitalizing on email marketing you need to be. It may prove to be one the most effective channels to reach your target audience. Email can be used to inform your leads about your products and services. It can also be used to drive value to current and potential customers. This is a great way to stay top of mind so that your business is the go-to when a buyer is ready.
Email marketing is not necessarily free! There are many services you can use from Mail Chimp, Send in Blue and Active Campaign that are affordable. Some may even offer a free trial period. You will want to discover an email platform that you can connect with so research email marketing platforms and decide on the best one for your small business.
If you are not sure how to start creating email campaigns and automation funnels, read the book “Marketing Made Simple” by Donald Miller. This will help you understand the difference between your campaigns and your automation funnels so that you can ensure that you are getting the most value from your email marketing strategy.
The Relevance of Social Media Marketing Today
Consumers are habitually using social media on a daily basis to connect with their favorite brands. Social media creates a place to express brand loyalty, share reviews and build relationships. Online social platforms are a place where people can connect with you and your brand, building a relationship with you that ultimately creates raving fans. When it comes to establishing your business or brand on social media, there is not a one size fits all approach. Every business should be active on at least two social platforms owned by different companies or organizations. Here is a list of social media platforms that businesses are using to maximize their advertising efforts for little to no cost.
- Tik Tok
You also increase engagement through Google My Business, Yelp, Tumblr, Snapchat and so much more. Social media comes with a risk and should not be the only way you are marketing your business.
Social media plays a key role in your advertising efforts, however, you do not own the platforms you are leveraging when it comes to social media.
While social media generates quick wins, it is important to note that only a small percentage of your followers will ever see your posts unless you are posting short form video like Instagram and Facebook Reels, Tik Tok video’s, SnapChat spotlights or stories, or YouTube Shorts. Social media has its perks, especially if you are leveraging short form video content in your marketing plan. However, it should not be the only form of marketing you are working.
Get Your Marketing Plan Started
Marketing your business takes time and effort. You can get sucked down trails of the latest trends and platforms. Before you know it you are spending your days working too many platforms and not getting the results you desire. Keep this simple! The platforms listed above have proven to be effective for many years. Websites, blogging, lead generation and email marketing has been a go-to for marketing and consistently prove to hold the best results.
Do you lack the confidence to implement a marketing plan? Check out the Marketing and Sales Bootcamp at Jump Start Business Builders? This is a 2-day training session that equips small business owners to:
- Install a marketing funnel
- Sell your products and services with confidence
and so much more. Watch our website for the next local training in Casper, Wyoming, or book a 2-day training for your marketing and sales team right away. Or, for just $275 per year, you can gain access to these training sessions and the workbooks through Business Made Simple University. Not only will you access the sessions for marketing and sales, you will also have access to business trainings in the areas of leadership, marketing, sales, product/service development, overhead/operations and cash flow! Also included, monthly LIVE coaching sessions with Donald Miller, author or Building a Story Brand and Marketing Made Simple. You will grow your business and create the marketing funnel you have been looking for.
Connect with Jump Start Business Builders on our weekly Podcast, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn!
Apple Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/jump-start-business-builders/id1708061159
Spotify Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/0fltqH67SzbNWh1KYvNlYA
Podbean Podcast: https://info464.podbean.com/
and our website…Jump Start Podcast: https://jumpstartbb.com/podcast/