Are you the solo marketer in your small business? Most small business owners are doing what they love to do! But while creating unique products, or delivering your services, you’re also wearing many other hats, and marketing also falls to you. (for now!)
With so many things on your plate, not to mention the stress and apprehension, how can you maximize time and budget?
Here are some tips that can help you, as a solo marketer, keep your business on track.
Marketing tools and platforms
These four types of marketing tools – email marketing, marketing automation software, social media management software, and your website – can help your online promotions by streamlining how you deliver targeted messages to your customer.
They can help you:
- retain customers
- keep customers and clients up-to-date
- track your customers’ purchasing behaviours
- personalize messages to your customers.
The type of platform and tool you use will depend on what you want to achieve.
1. Email marketing
Email marketing systems are platforms that can help you send and schedule emails to you customers. You can use them to send emails advertising your products or services, or keep your customers informed of company updates, special offerings, and other news. As an example, one of the most popular email marketing system is MailChimp.
Use an email marketing system to help you:
- stay connected with your customers
- target email messages to specific groups of demographics of your customer base
- measure the success of your email campaigns with inbuilt analytics
2. Marketing automation software
Marketing automation software platforms can help your marketing team be more efficient. They can allow you to market through multiple channels at the same time and automate repetitive tasks.
You can send out and track all your marketing messages from the one platform. You can use them for:
- email campaigns
- social media
- text messages
Through a marketing platform, you can automate your marketing message to send at a specific time on a specific platform. You can also use them to create a more targeted experience for your customers, such as sending out messages to customers on their birthday.
By having all your platform data and information in the one place, you can be more effective when speaking to your customer and maintaining your brand.
3. Social media management system
A social media management system allows you to manage all your social media platforms from the one place. It will help you maintain consistency when speaking to your audience on each channel. One of the most popular social media management system is Hootsuite.
You may also be able to schedule social media posts ahead of time and then analyse the effectiveness of your posts. You can use both these features to help you better plan your social media communication.
Social media can help your business to:
- attract customers, get customer feedback and build customer loyalty
- increase your market reach, including international markets
- do market research and reduce marketing costs
- increase revenue by building customer networks and advertising
- develop your brand
- exchange ideas to improve the way you do business
- recruit skilled staff for example through job networking sites like LinkedIn
- increase traffic to your website and improve its search engine ranking
- keep an eye on your competitors.
Disadvantages of social media:
Social media may not be suited to every business. If you are unprepared and launch your social media presence without planning, you could waste valuable time and money.
Be aware that:
- if you don’t have a clear marketing or social media strategy, the benefits may be reduced
- you may need additional resources to manage your online presence
- social media is immediate and needs daily monitoring
- if you don’t actively manage your social media presence, you may not see any real benefits
- you may get unwanted or inappropriate behaviour on your site, including bullying and harassment
- online exposure could attract risks such as negative feedback, information leaks or hacking
- false or misleading claims made on your social media (by your business or a customer) can be subject to consumer law. You could be fined if a customer fan posts misleading or deceptive information, particularly about competitor products or services.
Whatever the risks, having a social media strategy and preparing your policy and procedures carefully beforehand can help you manage them.
Not all social media platforms will be right for your business. Consider saving save time and effort by using social media tools that your customers use, such as:
- Social networking sites
- Job networking sites
- Video sharing sites
- Podcasts and vodcasts
- Social-news communities
- Private social network services
Doing the ground work before you start is crucial to a successful social media presence. A social media strategy describes how your business will use social media to achieve its communications aims. It also outlines the social platforms and tools you’ll use to achieve this. By developing your social media strategy you’re able to create compelling content, engage with your customers at the right time, and generate sales and/or leads.
Keep your sanity. Follow your strategy and don’t overwhelm people with unnecessary posts. Remain focused on reaching your specific goals and tailor your messages around these!
4. Your business website
Having a website that’s modern, mobile-friendly, AND marketing-ready is paramount.
Wishing you happy moments this Thanksgiving holiday!