In doing a lot of early year marketing audits and strategies, I am noticing a common trend with many of the entrepreneurs I’ve been working with and doing strategy calls for – they need a basic marketing plan. Something that ties the pieces together and creates a customer journey.
When I talk to these business owners, they usually have questions about the pieces of a plan – what should I put on my website home page? What should I do with this social media account? How do I follow up with these leads I already have?
Ideally, a basic marketing plan will fulfill and automate most of this for the business owner. A basic small business marketing plan should organize the ways you’re going to cover each part of a simple marketing journey so you don’t have to do constant marketing management.
Here’s what I suggest to almost every business owner early in their business who wants the marketing basics. This is a plan that will give you good online presence, a way for your potential clients to vet you and warm up to you and consistent communication to stay on their radar. Until you have the money to do more, this should fulfill the marketing you need to get your business off the ground and growing.
A simple website or landing page is the cornerstone of a good digital marketing strategy. Why? People expect it. You may wish your leads would just email you or pick up the phone to call your business after seeing your storefront, some emails or social media posts, but it’s far more likely they’re going to look for a website first. Somewhere your business has information like services, pricing, reviews, photos and hours.
Facebook pages and Google listings sometimes offer all this info but a website, which is much more customizable, usually does a better job at representing your brand. And the most important factor of a website is its ability to push your leads further on their journey to you. Websites usually have integrations for other important aspects of your marketing such as email, scheduling and Google analytics which creates a much better all-purpose hub for leads.
Part of having a website is SEO. It’s vital to set your website up to rank as high as possible on search engines. There are ways to increase your website ranking down the road (it’s not a one-and-done feature) but at least set it up with as much SEO as possible.
I encourage email marketing to all my clients. Why? Emailing can be done for free and is shown to be one of the highest ROIs of any marketing method. Set up a basic email platform that connects to your website and use a pop-up form on your home page to ask for email sign ups. What can encourage them to sign up? I go into detail on this here.
If someone has shown enough interest to visit your website and give you their email, you should not be shy about emailing them.
One networking method
This one will depend a lot on your business model. If you’re a community-based business it may look like having booths at events, hosting fun VIP parties or sending out mailers. Yes, offline (non-Internet) advertising still works for certain types of businesses.
If you’re an online service provider or seller, networking looks like utilizing a social media platform or building an audience on YouTube or a blog. A Facebook group is another growing way to network online. Pick one thing and give it your all rather than stretching yourself thin by building several audiences across multiple platforms.
If your marketing feels disjointed, hard to keep up with or isn’t seeming to get leads to you, the probably is probably in the planning. My Plan Your Marketing course will help you make the best small business marketing decisions and learn how to plan and think like a professional about your marketing. Before you continue with half-baked marketing, take the course!