On the first day of Christmas, my budget gave to me… not a whole lot of money for marketing. Small businesses don’t always have big dollars to promote their brand, but don’t break out the “bah humbugs” just yet. We’ve developed 12 Days of Merry Marketing Tips that any company can do with a lean and mean budget. It’s our early gift to you.
A little bit of money can go a long way in the world of social media. And many sites have made it easy for just about anyone to manage their ad accounts and expand their reach on the cheap. Your audience is spending most of their online time on social media, so be sure your company is too.
You don’t need a staff videographer to include video as part of your marketing strategy. Facebook and Instagram both offer the ability to post video live or in published posts, straight from your smart phone. You could also post your videos to your YouTube channel and embed them on your website. Not all videos need to be edited and polished with a serene song in the background.
Are your messages aligned across all marketing channels, be it print, email or your website? Do you know what you want to tell your consumers? And how you’re going to deliver it to them? Get your content strategy in check. This not only includes copywriting, but also images, video, and brand consistency.
This could/should be a part of your content strategy. We live in a visual world and the raging success of Instagram is proof positive. Start telling your story through images.
This guy isn’t going away anytime soon. Search Engine Optimization. You don’t have to be an SEO ninja-guru-rock-star-wizard in order to implement some basic SEO techniques.
Nobody can tell the story of how your company or product helped them more than your customers. Ask your customers who’ve had a good experience to share their story, whether it be in a post on their Facebook page or a testimonial video posted to your website. Be sure not to pay for positive reviews though. This is a marketing no-no and some sites will ding you for it. Which brings us to our next Merry Marketing Tip!
Online Reputation Management
The ability to spread the word about businesses far and wide can be a double-edged sword. There are a plethora of online review sites for consumers to voice their likes and dislikes at the click of the mouse. From Facebook to Yelp to Google, your brand is being talked about, whether you like it or not. Take some time to “listen” to what your customers are saying. Many review sites provide ways for businesses to follow up with reviewers. By doing this, not only are you showing the customer with the not-so-positive review (and anyone who stumbles upon the review) that you hear their concerns, but that your company values their input and cares.
There are so many tools available to make email marketing easy and accessible that your company should definitely be doing this. Be sure to include relevant subject lines, good content, and keep the message simple – no need for an epic novel here. And don’t be SPAMmy.
Perhaps your small business doesn’t have the ad dollars of say, Coca-Cola. That would then make it a large business, and you would need to be reading a very different kind of blog post. Marketing Automation can simplify your life and save you time. And sanity.
Be Mobile Friendly
Most Americans own a cell phone. And while much of the purchases made online may still be made via desktop, ample time is being spent on mobile devices conducting research prior to hitting the checkout cart. So make sure your site is responsive.
We listed this in our 2014 post for 12 Days of Marketing Tips for Small Businesses, but some pointers deserve a second round of recognition. Quality content can not only improve your presence in the search engine, it provides another opportunity for you to connect with your customers by giving your brand a voice and offering them useful information.
Sponsor an Organization or Support a Cause
Sponsoring an organization or cause can increase your visibility in the community and provide positive publicity, while also helping show that your company isn’t a big fat Grinch. Sponsorships are great marketing investments and don’t always have to blow the budget.
Have the merriest of holidays and a very happy New Year to you from the team at Authentic Web Solutions.