August is traditionally a quieter work month with lots of clients away on holiday. So with this in mind why not take some time to work on understanding your small business marketing? Let’s start at the beginning, with the marketing plan. How has this worked for you so far this year? The best approach to marketing is to do little and often rather than investing your entire budget in one month or in a short period of time. So what kind of things do you need to think about?
- I love it when a plan comes together! Evaluate where your business is now and identify where you wish to get to; then build a strong plan that will take you there.
- Content is king: However you choose to communicate to your customer eg: via social media, advertising or email marketing, you need to have relevant and interesting content to share. You will need to invest time in drafting and planning content for your business.
- Stay focused and relevant: Once you have drafted your content be single minded in the messages communicated. So taking social media as an example; focus your posts on Mondays to talk about your clients, Wednesdays talk about something which is trending in your industry and Friday share a business message. To include all of these elements in one post would be overwhelming for the receiver and the potential client will not absorb anything.
- Cross channel marketing: Ensure the messages you are conveying are consistent across all channels you are using eg: website, emails, advertising and social media, don’t forget your own website!
- Test and learn: Marketing is often about testing, learning and refining what works and does not work for your business. If the marketing is not working it might be that your creative needs adjusting; the timing of your activity needs to change or how you are communicating with your audience. Always keep your end customer in mind and think about what they may wish to see and hear from you.
- Track everything! What ever you do, make sure you can track the response. So if you are advertising in a magazine, ask you customers to quote a unique reference or offer them a bespoke offer.
Once you get going with marketing it is logical but a good mix of cross channel promotion is essential to any business in today’s world. The days of huge investment in traditional media are gone but digital activity alone is not enough either. With so much competition out there and individuals being bombarded with so many messages on a daily basis, it is key that we find a way to stand out from the crowd. With some hard work and focus this can be achieved.
If you do need marketing help, support or guidance then please get in touch to arrange your initial, no obligation consultation.
Sources: Chartered Institute of Marketing, Kotler and “Brilliant Marketing Plans” by Ian Linton