When you’re running a small, independent business, you don’t have much (if any) extra time to spend on internet marketing tips that aren’t already proven to be successful, cost effective, and reasonably easy to implement. Whether you have a small staff or if you’re a solopreneur, there are so many business tasks that need to be handled over the course of the work-day that it’s easy to put aside or not give serious thought to internet marketing strategies. However, if you want your business to stay strong within your marketplace, implementing even a basic internet marketing strategy is essential. Here are five of our favorite tips for making internet marketing work for you and your business:
Reach your customer base.
What are the demographics of your primary customer group? For example, if you’re operating an ecommerce store that sells environmentally friendly clothing and products for babies, toddlers, and children, chances are your primary customer group will be women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Which social media platforms do women in this category use the most? It’s likely they’ll be using Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. These customers may also be highly connected to select blogs and websites that align with their interests (environmentally friendly products) and life stage (parenting children). Reach out to your customers frequently in the places they regularly inhabit and don’t waste time or money in those places they don’t (um, like, how many moms with young children have time to read the daily newspaper?)
Communicate with focus and precision.
When you determine which social or traditional media platforms are highly relevant to your customer base, drill down and pick ONE (or maybe two…) that you will focus your energies on. Maybe you decide that having a very well-designed, content-rich e-newsletter is the way to go or maybe you want to seriously give video-marketing a try or maybe the plan is to convert your growing number of Instagram followers into increased leads and sales. Whatever avenue you pick, go for it with 100% focused effort and evaluate the results every step of the way.
Your content needs to be relevant, and useful.
Whether you’re engaging with customers on Facebook, e-newsletters, direct mail, video marketing, blogging… make sure that every piece of created content is relevant and useful to your customers. Your customers have limited time and limited attention spans – make sure you’re grabbing their eyeballs with high-quality photos, images, video, articles that have a compelling call to action.
Internet marketing is never free.
When you’re trying to determine your best internet marketing strategy, be sure to remember that any marketing effort – whether you engage in paid advertising or decide to grow your customer base organically by creating relevant, useful content – has a cost attached to it. In one scenario, you are contracting with an outside vendor and paying them to advertise, in the other, you are devoting time, energy and resources on a daily or weekly basis to reach out to your customer base. Sometimes it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that home-grown content marketing is “free” as you or someone on your staff is responsible for it. Just remember – time is money and you want to make sure you’re using every hour as effectively as possible.
“Someday” is not a day of the week.
It can be a real challenge to undertake a new marketing endeavor when you’re already strapped for time. Have you been wanting to update your website, launch a social media account, start blogging or create business videos but never seem to find the time? Commit yourself to starting, set aside ten or fifteen minutes every day, and slowly make progress on building your marketing and communication strategy. This could mean posting to Facebook or Instagram a few times each week, writing a bi-weekly blog article, or creating a short, informational video using your smartphone once a month. With consistent and persistent effort, your marketing efforts will become a part of your daily or weekly schedule.
We know how busy you are! We also know that many times a business owner will encounter a great marketing idea, but struggle with carving out the time to implement it effectively. If you’re looking for a business to help create, launch, and evaluate your web and social media marketing, let us know. We’re happy to work with you, provide answers to your questions, solutions to your marketing concerns, and help you reach your target customer base.