With so many aspects to running a business, marketing often gets put to one side as there is not enough time, the business is busy enough or the traditional marketing methods you have been using still work.
Why do you need to make time for marketing?
In today’s ever changing busy digital world there are new methods of promoting your business and it is important to stay on top of the trends so you do not get left behind and miss out on potential customers.
Where do you start?
There’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Snap Chat, YouTube, Apps, websites, SEO and SEM, blogs, email marketing… and the list goes on. So what should you do and what should you use? Is it all really too hard? Does it take too much time?
Here are some basic things to consider to get you started with your marketing:
- Find out who your target market is for your business – Who is going to purchase your product or service? This is the most important part of the process, for example if you sell baby products you would not target over 60 year old males. Tailor your marketing to the people or businesses you want to attract.
- What methods of marketing would work for your business – You can mix traditional (e.g. newspaper advertising) techniques with digital, however all channels may not work for your business. For example if you are in a service industry like plumbing do you need Instagram or Pinterest photos? However if you have a restaurant or jewellery you may have some beautiful food or products to share pictures of. Focus on what is going to work for you and your business.
- How much would you like to spend? This is important as the basic online/social media marketing is free, you can then move on to the paid targeted advertising. For general print advertising or pamphlet mail drops this can be expensive for your business. Develop a budget for the year and stick to it.
- Do you need to outsource or can you do this yourself – This would depend on your business size and resources. For example, you may like to hire someone to create your website, graphic design or content, however set up and manage your email marketing and social media yourself. There are many free tools that help you to manage both your social media presence and email marketing.
- Set up a marketing calendar and plan – For example blog, social media, and advertising calendars. These can focus on the busy times of the year or when important times in your business come up. For example if you are a retailer then pre-Christmas would be a great time to run a campaign on products. There are many marketing plans available free online for you to start your planning
- Take the time – It does take a little time each week to complete your marketing, however with your plan set up all you need to look at is your marketing calendar and plan and follow it.
- Review, review, review – Review your budget, review your marketing calendar and plan, review your analytics, review your resources – is your business growing and do you need to hire someone to look after the marketing. Review your whole strategy, what works what didn’t and update for the next year.
By Stephanie Oakley, Marketing Manager at DFK Crosbie