Most people that reach out to WindWater Marketing for help don’t know what they want. They only know what they want to achieve – that’s fair. However, the biggest response I get in our initial conversation is their opinion on what they DON’T want to do (number one on the list is usually blogging.) Marketing is a bit like fitness in the way that working only on specific areas results in an unbalanced outcome. And while small businesses often have to make strategic choices on where they spend their time, creating a balanced plan should be part of your strategy.
As a very simple example, here are two lists. The first one contains targeted ideas, the second contain general ideas. You should be doing a couple from both lists in your marketing plan:
- Reach out to set # of industry bloggers each week (influencers)
- Run search ads targeting your specific audience
- Spend 30 minutes a week in targeted LinkedIn groups and contribute to conversations.
- Offer your office space to a targeted meet-up in exchange for a 10-minute demo/intro
- Host an event for your target market
- Create a download unique for your specific target – ensure a follow-up email with a call-to-action.
(The key in these is ‘targeted’. These are actions that focus on a specific group within your target audience.)
- Blogging 2-4x per month
- Social Media: Schedule of posts and tweets, including images, maybe a weekly poll.
- Apply for a business award
- Craft an engaging email nurture campaign with free content and strong call-to-action
- Mail out ‘Thank-you’ post cards to last month’s completed project contacts
- Add your business to online listings (there are a lot of free ones out there)
Now, the above samples are just a random listing of a few off the top of my head. You should be choosing your tactics based on your end goals. For example, if you have a goal to increase repeat clients, then you should focus some of your marketing on the client experience, e.g. referral or repeat incentive? Feedback form? If your goal is to attract more leads, then focusing on inbound strategies would be a good start. And of course your decisions will also be based on where you are currently generating revenue so you can focus on amplifying that.
But no matter what your goals are, you should be maintaining at least a minimal effort on general marketing to maintain a general online presence and build brand awareness.
WindWater Marketing created a ‘Low Hanging Fruit’ checklist of simple marketing tasks and tactics to help small businesses set-up some of this general marketing in their business. Are you interested in a copy?