Firstly, may I start by saying this piece isn’t meant to cause alarm or be in any way scare mongering. Secondly, this piece is aimed at those that are self-employed and for small businesses. Hopefully you will take these practical and genuine tips for what they are worth. Note not all the ideas will suit all businesses.
These are strange and uncertain times, but I am hoping my thoughts and tips will help you manage and maintain the marketing of your business whatever happens so your business can remain as healthy as possible and so you continue to generate leads and new business for the short and long term.
In today’s digital marketing world, the good news is there are many options that are low cost and that can be done remotely in your home office or even from your sofa or dining room table. Digital marketing, which assuming you have the passwords for, can be accessed on your phone at home via your phone or laptop. Remember, if you do share passwords with colleagues or customers in any way then do so in a secure way and treat these and any other data shared confidentially and respectfully. Refer to your GDPR and data protection policies at this point.
So, what can you do and what apps/tools or activities can you implement:
Social media – review your social media profiles (Facebook, Linkedin, Linkedin business page, Linkedin showcase page, Twitter, Instagram, Google my Business etc) and make sure they are up to date information and contact details wise. If you have had to shut down then you could also amend your opening hours.
Create posts to share across social media keeping customers informed of delayed deliveries, order statuses, issues, news etc. Also create good news and standard posts as you would usually to keep the marketing and operations as normal as possible. Videos or Facebook lives as posts are also a great way to spread news and keep in touch.
Create a content plan for future social media posts and general marketing messaging, covering all the marketing channels you use.
Advertise your business or events or special offers if relevant and seasonal, using the boost and advertising options.
Scheduling – think what marketing you can do ahead of time e.g. for the coming weeks and months, even ahead of when everything goes back to normal. You can plan ahead by writing blogs and scheduling these for future dates on your website. You can write and schedule social media posts using tools like Hootsuite. You can also write and schedule newsletters using Mailchimp too.
Communications – emails from your phone or laptop, assuming you have these set up (and if you don’t I would imagine an IT company can help you remotely) can still be sent to colleagues and customers.
You could also be traditional and pick up the telephone to talk with the outside world too. Software like Zoom is also great for conference calls, sharing screens and seeing people as well as hearing them. Multiple people can use Zoom too so its ideal for teams or small groups. If you have to Naturally cancel client or supplier meetings, use Zoom or Skype instead and keep working that way.
Email marketing is still also an option, using cloud based software like Mailchimp to keep in touch and for keeping people and contacts updated. Direct mail may not be suitable as this will require leaving the house, buying stamps and so on.
Sites and tools such as Dropbox and We Transfer are ideal for sharing files and folders with trusted contacts. Always use passwords and stay safe online!
Plan, review and measure – Why not make the most of the downtime if you are forced to be at home and review your business plan and your marketing plan and goals. A plan helps to focus the mind and act as a checklist to make that nothing gets forgotten or missed out. A plan will make you accountable as well as creating processes to streamline and manage your marketing.
Update your databases, records and processes.
Use the time to declutter your office, tidy, shred and have a sort out.
Continue your networking by doing it online. Make connections and contacts with people via social media.
Look at your website and review it for changes to make, updates to add. What else can you do e.g. review SEO and keywords for example.
Research your markets and competitors online. Google and see what you find and use the findings to improve and grow your business. Do not copy of course.
Good marketing is all about consistency and regularity, so remember whatever marketing you undertake, then do it periodically rather than sporadically. Don’t also forget the all important activity of measuring the activity that you implement to review it, amend if necessary and then continue it.
Stay well and healthy!
What are the benefits of measuring your marketing activities, campaigns and efforts?
Here are the main reasons:
- Save time
- Save money
- Reason and purpose
- Informed decisions
- Avoid guesswork and risk
- Avoid pushy salespeople
- Improve chances
What you can measure and what it will tell you?
- Leads – numbers, sources = where to spend time and money
- Website – numbers, keywords, bounce rates = is your site being found and is the content right?
- Email marketing – no of subscribers on database, no of opens and clicks = is your database growing and is your content right and engaging enough? Note re GDPR
- Social media – no of likes, follows and engagement = is your content good, are people converting and making purchases. Is your brand awareness good?
What to remember
Don’t get obsessed by numbers
Quality not quantity
Welcome back to the world of work after the New Year break. Whether it is your first day back or not or if you are preparing for the week ahead, grab a cuppa and ease yourself back into work mode gently by reading this Newsletter first.
We hope you had a good Christmas and are raring to go in 2020. We certainly are at Pinpoint Marketing.
The benefits to a Marketing Plan …
If your goal to grow your business or start marketing your business seems very big, that’s because it is! But it IS do able. Just break it down into smaller and more manageable goals and tasks. For example, if you want to promote your business online in 2020, break this goal into smaller tasks like set up Facebook, set up LinkedIn, create a content plan, review your stats monthly, set up a blog, audit your site for SEO. Do this initially (and set a deadline for each one to make sure you get on with it and actually do it!) then repeat monthly/every 30 days.
Or, ask an expert like me to for this for you and create you and your business a Marketing Plan! This can be done in any month, not just January.
There are 7 stages to creating a Marketing Plan
1. Objective Setting
2. Defining the messaging
3. Defining a strategy
4. Defining the target audience
5. Developing the tactics
6. Implementing the plan
7. Measuring and evaluation
A plan can be created and implemented at any time and the content and timelines can be bespoke to you and your business.
No one likes taking risks unnecessarily or spending money if they don’t need to. Here I explain the benefits of a marketing plan and why every business must have one going into 2020. This blog article will be an example of how an implemented marketing plan using a variety of marketing techniques can AND does work.
If you haven’t set any objectives for your company and your marketing activities, how can you decide at the end of the year if you have achieved what you set out to do? Many companies don’t start marketing or don’t review their current marketing progress as things are good and they are happy with good.
Here are 20 reasons your business MUST have a Marketing Plan in 2020:
1.Build foundations for your business eg set goals, branding and messaging, SWOT analysis and more and ensure your campaigns are solid and prepared for
2.Break down a huge overwhelming task into manageable tasks
3.Avoid guesswork and make informed decisions. Minimise taking risks with your business
4.Define your target audience to ensure your campaigns reach the right people. Know you are talking to your customers in the right way with the right content e.g. personalise!
5.Spend your budget wisely by using facts. Save money by doing things once rather than multi times through carelessness
6. Save time by pre planning and multi tasking
7.Identify new opportunities within your market, including analysing your competitors
8.Ensure you use the right blend of the marketing mix. Our plans include reviewing your web and social media profiles to ensure they are working hard for you
9.Get organised for you and your business
10. Know your why and your marketing purpose through defining your objectives and goal setting
11. Identify any potential threats within your market. Uncover problems before they manifest themselves
12.Maintain and grow your reputation to customers, potential customers, suppliers and partners
13.Manage the resource you have internally and externally to maximum capacity. And use the plan doc to keep staff or freelancers up to date
14. Establish your position in the market
15.Differentiate from the crowd and know your USP (unique selling point)
16.Be proactive not just reactive
17.Get your brand out there and become recognisable as a thought leader in your industry
18.Break a huge task into manageable and bite sized chunks
19. Use your plan doc to review regularly to keep on track and remain focussed
20. Be logical with your activity
What is a marketing plan? There are 7 stages to a comprehensive marketing plan including
- Objective Setting
- Defining the messaging
- Defining a strategy
- Defining the target audience
- Developing the tactics
- Implementing the plan
- Measuring and evaluation
Having a plan will make you more focused and more successful and it will make the most of your budget.
Good luck for a successful 2020 and beyond …