We get it. It’s confusing trying to figure out where to begin in the world of marketing. Everyone from your Grandma Ruth, to the head of your marketing department, to the latest conversion guru has ideas about where to begin and where to start inserting your hard-earned dollars.
Meanwhile you have a surplus of ideas and a limited amount of capital to put into marketing. You find yourself in the classic catch-22; without a product or service you can’t market anything and without marketing you can’t sell the product or service you have.
Rather than throw one’s hands in the air, we’ve done the research for you and narrowed down the best five things you can do in marketing to maximize your budget, time and energy. Let’s dive in.
1. Blog, Blog, Blog
Here are some mind-blowing stats from Marketing Sherpa that should help you realize what you could be missing out on right now:
- Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages.
- Content creation is ranked as the single most effective SEO technique
- 61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content.
- 60% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site.
Blogging is a powerful way to attract consumers because people love being able to identify with what a business is saying about the world and how that world could be made better. It also aids in helping them find a business’s website, because when done right, a blog improves a site’s SEO quality significantly.
2. Automate Your Social Media
Social media is easily one of the fastest growing and most significant ways businesses can establish exposure, while spending very little capital doing so. With it, you can gain followers that would have never connected with you otherwise, stay in tune with your industry, and brand yourself local experts.
It’s also proven to be one of the top three reasons people connect with businesses, and yet businesses continually use excuses for why they’re not active on any platforms. What if those businesses, however, automated posts and transformed them into a source of revenue?
You only need an hour per week, maybe two hours at most, to schedule out automated posts on social media, and better yet, there are some free tools to help you do this.
Hootsuite allows you to set up a free account and connect all of your social media accounts to one platform so you can post on multiple sites with one posting action.
At the beginning of the week, plan out a series of posts about your business and topics related to your business. During the week, take 10 to 15 minutes a day to review the week’s posts and make adjustments based off of what is trending in your industry or current events. When you reach the point where you have the funds, you can get a staff member do it, hire an intern, or outsource your social media to a company like ours. This way your focus can stay on what you are great at while we execute what we are.
3. Video Content
Since quality content helps you establish your company as an authority, it makes sense to hop onto the trend of creating video content. Videos can be appealingly and artistically made with a low budget, whether instructional, entertaining, or inspirational.
Live video in particular has especially been on the rise lately, since people enjoy the interactional quality and the feeling that something else is happening live in another place, just like the appeal of live television. This is particularly easy to do, since the expectations for live video quality are significantly less than a cut-and-prepared video for promotional purposes. All you need is a smartphone!
Not every word or action has to be perfect. People respond well to authenticity. As long as you have good content in the video, you’ll be pleased with the results!
4. Get a Well-Designed Website
“Design is not just how it looks and feels like. Design is how it works.” - Steve Jobs
If you only had 30 seconds to let a web visitor know who you are, what you do, and what you want them to do, how would you design your site content and layout? How would you engage users?
A well-designed website does not mean the trendiest or most expensive website you can get your hands on. While many expensive designs are purposely made to attract customers, sometimes they are riddled with beginner mistakes; mistakes which can be avoided by any business.
The design of your homepage is of particular importance because it’s the first impression of your business and within the impression comes only a few seconds in which your consumer will decide to pursue whatever it is you are selling, or click out of the site.
In home page design, there are many things you can get sidetracked on, but only a few things that will make or break you:
A strong call to action - The Call to Action is a set of words that urge your website visitors to take an immediate action on your website. Test their placement, size and color and make sure you use actionable words.
Mobile Site - More and more people are looking at your site from a mobile phone or web enabled device. Anything with a screen and a microchip in it is capable of getting on the internet these days. Make sure your site is viewable on a mobile internet enabled device.
Crisp imagery - Beautiful images that pull out feeling in your consumer are always going to be effective. Don’t litter your page; rather, use a few “loud” images intentionally.
Clean-uncluttered navigation - Navigation is the “GPS” of your website. Navigation or Nav Bars are the buttons that get your visitors where they need to go to get information or do certain things. Usually this bar is along the top or along the left side of the site. It should be simple to use and entirely uncluttered. Your consumer will check out if they’re confused.
White space - An essential element of attractive design. The main idea is to provide mental respite for your consumer so they associate your brand with professionalism, attractiveness, reliability and competence.
5. Use Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads, the king of online advertising, have advanced to the degree of customizability that allow you to target extremely specific demographics.
Forget just targeting millennial women. You can target millennial women who eat healthy and go to the gym. Out of those, you can target the women who searched online for green juice this month. Furthermore, you can target which of those women have a birthday this week and create a birthday special just for them.
This is one of the best places to put your marketing dollars, even if your business’s budget is small. Facebook ads zero-in on your ideal audience so you can promote your website, specials, Facebook posts or simply grow Facebook Likes.
While you can probably hold off on that fancy new LED sign or billboard along the highest traffic highway in your area, these are the things you won’t want to forgo. Without costing an arm and a leg, these areas just might give you that bang for your buck your business needs. Need help from people that understand what it takes to launch, grow and correctly market a business? Contact us to learn more about how we can help your business in a way that fits your goals and budget.