As a business owner, you know that marketing is important when you are trying to grow your company. Referrals are great, but they can be inconsistent and often aren’t enough to fill your sales funnel. And if you are just getting started, trying to expand your business into a new vertical, or broadening your target demographic—you need to do something (e.g., marketing) to help get things going..
But, as a business owner, you have to wear 22 hats and lack the time to do the marketing effectively. So what should you do?
Identify what you are already doing
What are you already doing that can be categorized as marketing? Below is a list of some of the marketing activities available to you.
- Digital campaigns, eBooks, or other types of offers
- Direct mail
- Guest blogging
- Interviews (television, radio, online)
- Lead generation campaigns
- Marketing strategy
- Networking groups (chambers of commerce, business groups, trade-specific groups)
- Newsletter sent directly to your email list
- Social media outreach (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram)
- Social media paid ads
- Sponsorships (community, corporate, or other)
- Television or radio ads
- Trade shows or conferences
- Traditional advertising
- Updating your brand elements
- Updating your website (content, design, etc)
Using the table below, take a minute to outline the marketing activities you are already doing, the frequency you are doing them, how long it takes you (total) to complete that activity, and what the net result of those activities are.
|Activity||Frequency||Time to complete||Net Result|
Did you notice anything on your list that was taking a lot of time to complete, with very little net result? That might be an activity that (A) either you outsource, or (B) that isn’t one that you want to focus on to grow your business. The objective for marketing is to have a blend of high-ROI with low-time required for completion as well as those activities that may have a medium ROI with a medium to low time required for completion.
But if you have zero time, and you are doing zero marketing tasks, what are the most important marketing activities to focus on?
Some of you might not have had anything to cover in the table above. That’s ok, we see this with business leaders all.the.time—you are not alone. If you are one of those leaders who simply has no time to market, we recommend:
1) dedicating either 1 day a week, or 1 hour per day to marketing, and then scheduling that time on your calendar. We know that “what gets scheduled gets done,” so if it isn’t on your calendar, we know it won’t get done, or
2) outsourcing your marketing to an organization that can help with strategy and implementation (like Wayfind).
If you have chosen number 1 as your marketing solution, we recommend the following activities to get your marketing kicked off.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)/ Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Though SEO and SEM take time (it takes about 9-12 months to build your presence in Google’s rankings), it is a high-value task that can make a world of difference to your sales growth. This is an ongoing task as the search engines are constantly updating their search algorithms. You can try tackling it yourself or enlist the help of SEO professionals.
- Blogging: The era of blogging is not dead. It is still a great way to create awareness of your brand in the marketplace. We recommend committing to writing at least 1 blog per week at 450-1000 words. Make sure your content is scannable and you integrate images where possible. A blog with an image is much more likely to be read.
- Generate leads with an Offer: Building a list is key to building your business development pipeline. Lead generation and providing a high-value offer to your prospects is a great way to build that list. You want people to subscribe to your email list, receive your blogs regularly, and the best way to do that is by offering a checklist, an eBook, or some other free offer that invites them to sign up.
- Social Media Presence: Social media is not a fad or a luxury, it is a necessary platform to expand awareness of your brand and entice people to your website. Yes, it can be overwhelming, but it works and people today will more likely find you via your Facebook page than with a business card. Invest in starting—at the least—a Facebook page, and then do a combination of your own posts and curated information from other relevant sources useful to your readers. Use a tool like Buffer, Hootsuite, or CoSchedule to schedule and monitor your social activity.
These 4 marketing activities will help increase your brand’s awareness in the marketplace as well as generate increased traffic to your website. The more you generate traffic, the more you build your list while simultaneously improving your search engine rankings (kinda cool how those 2 items go together!).
We hope these tips have been helpful! Let us know how you are doing, or what you need help with by posting a comment below!