New Year, New Marketing?
New Year, New Marketing?
Happy New Year! If you, like us, are running a small business, it’s not always easy to find lots of time for marketing so we thought that this would be a good moment to share how we approach ours and make the time for it without it taking over our schedules, especially when we have lots of billable work on.
Successful marketing relies on two key things; clear communication and consistency. If you can approach your marketing efforts with these two things in mind then you can set up a marketing plan that is simple, clear and consistent, and therefore much more likely to be successful.
Can you summarise what you do in a few sentences? It’s really important that your business has a clarity of purpose if it’s going to succeed. If you can’t get everyone on your team to articulate quickly and concisely what it is that you do, then you have a challenge on your hands that’s bigger than your marketing.
In these days of multiple channels such as social media, websites, printed media and video, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the different methods of marketing and communications that are out there. However, the key thing to remember is that all of these platforms are just different means of communicating your message and different people may see different things so consistency is important, now more than ever.
Depending on what it is that you do there are all sorts of channels that you may want to consider for your marketing but at the minimum you should have a well-functioning, easy to use and regularly updated website that is optimised to work properly on a mobile phone and that has also been optimised for sensible search terms so that people can find you easily when they search on Google.
Once you’ve got your website then you need to consistently and clearly signpost to your online ‘shop window’. You can do this via email, social media or Google Ad Words among other things so that people can find your website easily and understand what you do and how you do it. You also need to make sure that your website is properly optimised for Google and other search engines so that the site appears when people type in relevant search terms. (We use the YOAST plug in for WordPress which is very good for helping get your site found if implemented correctly).
We always advise our clients to identify what their marketing budget is for the year and then divide it by twelve to give you your monthly marketing budget. You can then spend this money on digital marketing via Social Media such as Facebook promoted posts, or on Google Ad Words. Other options are magazine advertising or something as simple as printing and delivering flyers.
You can mix up the different marketing activities that you do – but the key thing is to measure what comes back as a result so you know what’s working well for you and you can do more of it. You can do this by building landing pages for online campaigns, or voucher codes for specific offers on hard copy media so you can see where enquiries or sales are coming from.
Don’t get disheartened if after one or two months you don’t have the return that you need; often marketing needs to be done consistently over several months in order to have an impact and to get your brand out there so monitor it carefully and test and tweak and it will start providing results soon enough, as long as you are consistent and clear. (And obviously, providing a great service or product!)
Planning and scheduling
If, like us, you work in a fairly small firm with all hands on desk, then sometimes it’s hard to find time for marketing. Here at Urban Attic we mark out ‘Marketing time’ every week so that we can identify what needs to be done. We make sure that we post on our social media every week or so and we also update our blog monthly. It’s not too onerous that way as we just do a little bit each week.
With some of our clients who need to post more regularly on something like Facebook then the scheduling tools available are brilliant so that you can write a series of posts in one go and then relax for the rest of the month. You can use ‘scheduled posts’ on Facebook or something like Hootsuite.
If you want any help or advice when it comes to planning your marketing schedule or getting your site fit for purpose then drop us a line – we’d love to hear from you.
We are a small team of extremely hard working web design and marketing experts that love working with like-minded people. Based in the centre of Lancaster our office is a funky place designed to allow creativity and perfect for sharing ideas & meeting clients.