A few weeks ago GoodBuzz President Lauren Day was the guest speaker at the Austin Small Medium Business Entrepreneurs Club. She was invited to speak about marketing best practices for small businesses. We’d like to impart a portion of her presentation in this article.
There are two stages to marketing a business. First, every business needs to develop strategy by asking these questions:
- Who am I? (Conduct a PEST & SWOT Analysis)
- Who do I want to reach?
- What is my mission and goals?
- What’s my story/message?
- What tools will best help?
“You were awesome! Such great content in your presentation and you really engaged with folks. THANK YOU!! I’d love to have you back to speak on Crisis Management.” – said SMBE Organizer Elizabeth Carrero, also executive director of Extend My Team
“It was a pleasure to meet you this morning. I’d love to share your presentation with my boss and I’d like you to check out what we’re doing!” – Libby James, Valco Resource Management
“I was in your marketing tactics presentation yesterday. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your knowledge and expertise with us. There were a lot of good resources shared!” –Elli Overton, Director of Sales and Marketing, SwimTopia
Second, after the strategy phase has been laid out, business leaders should implement tactics to meet and exceed goals set forth.
Below are best practices for six areas of marketing.
- Produce fresh content on a consistent basis
- Design the site to be responsive to any device
- Have contact info readily accessible
- Keep bios & content updated
- Integrate a blog to do inbound marketing
- Showcase a promotional video
- Use forms across various pages
- Feature clear call-to-action buttons
- Increase click rates month over month
- Do SEO keyword research and integrate into website
- Do these 26 SEO things: http://www.completedigitalmarketingcourse.com/seo-checklist/
- Link Google Analytics to website
- Set up Google Alerts
- Social Media
- Pick two platforms to start at first
- Build momentum by focusing on relationship and trust building
- Publish consistently with quality content
- Include photos/videos and use short links to track performance
- Conduct evaluation/metrics of leads coming from social
- Showcase a promotional video about what you do
and pin it to the top
- Advertise your Product/Service list
- Showcase your blog articles
- Offer your industry best practices or other helpful information that establishes you as an expert
- Give industry-specific tips
- Do giveaways & contests to raise visibility
- Broadcast your community participation at events
- Highlight success stories of your product/service fulfilling persona need(s)
- Show faces of your people (dime-sized)
- Be active in the community
- Use relevant hashtags to time period
- Check into the location and use location hashtags
- Consider adding a call-to-action button or intake form to your social media platforms
- You can also set up auto-responders with private messaging with how to contact you immediately (phone/email)
Tips to growing your social media following:
- Ask users to follow you by cross promoting accounts
- Include follow buttons on your website
- Add icons to email signatures
- Add profiles to company marketing materials (biz cards, PPTs, brochures, and more!)
- Promote related & trending hashtags
- Be responsive and use it as support to your personas, like if they called
- Run contests with prizes & give coupon codes
- Reach out to influencers & request they showcase you or retweet you
- Converse with other brands
- Follow your followers and ask them questions
- Design & Marketing Collateral
- Design an easy-to-read logo to use on all your materials
- Produce a tagline & mission consistent in messaging
- Create business cards in line with your brand image and carry them
- Develop a concise publication explaining who you are & what you do
- Get access to design software to create web & social graphics
- Have a consistent brand look across all collateral
- Write clear headline
- Display striking visual
- Address pain point/fear
- Give clear call-to-action with contact information
- Provide logo
- List various types of products/services
- Pass out flyers at community events
- Give out swag (t-shirts, caps, bumper stickers with logo/website)
- Message wrapped on moving vehicles (school/city buses or car magnets slapped on personal cars)
- Post message on marquee signs at schools & area businesses
- Events & External Relations
- Develop list of monthly community events to attend & go
- Tools to locate events:
- Facebook events
- Local paper
- Visitor & tourism or civic center calendar
- Community Impact
- Host open house/tour to show your personas how the inner workings of your business run
- Coordinate an annual client party to thank your personas
- Host “lunch & learns” on specific topics of interest to your personas to establish your brand as an expert authority in the industry and to grow your business
- Sponsor community-wide events and get a table there to chat with attendees and have marketing visibility (your logo shown).
- Give out complimentary tickets to community-wide events (football games, annual events that are treasured by your community).
- Partner with local businesses and charities to expand your brand’s reach and relationships
- Invite community leaders for one-on-one meetings to request they be “celebrity endorsers”
- Team up with local strategic brands to be unified in time-sensitive industry-specific campaigns like Cyber Security awareness week and more!
- Email & SMS Marketing
- Send out surveys to gauge interest & collect feedback
- Add your contacts into a database. There are many great and free CRMs!
- Consistently touch base with contacts. Invite your contacts to subscribe to your newsletter/blog where you spotlight
- your products/services & process
- industry-specific and helpful tips
- staff/members/board folks
- Customer testimonials and success stories
- invites to events
- Clean & update list of contacts regularly
- Monitor open & click-through rates in email platform
- Adjust and test to improve performance through measuring metrics
- Media Relations & Advertising
- Develop list of newsworthy things you’re doing of interest
- Pitch media (news releases, advisories, quick emails) of these things
- Take advantage of radio/tv stations as well as magazines & newspapers
- Write op-eds in the community press and industry/trade publications
- Guest write on other blogs / publications to establish your authority
- Use recent events in industry as an opportunity to pitch the press
- Develop media contact list with emails & phone numbers
- Draft welcome email to media sharing who you are with an offer to treat them to coffee or lunch; also offer to be a source or serve as background for stories they are working on or get in the future
- After the “hello” email and initial meeting, send them press releases when something truly newsworthy happens.
- Place traditional ads in print, radio, TV, billboard, magazines, and more
- Purchase social media ads (boosting, custom & lookalike audiences)
- Retarget web visitors by sponsoring ads elsewhere online
- Do PPC (pay per click) ads on search engines & other sites
- Evaluate leads coming from media & advertising and adjust to increase performance
It was a joy presenting and discussing with Austin entrepreneurs a few weeks ago. If you’d like to work with me, please reach out.
Test your brand’s marketing by taking GoodBuzz’s free 31-question quiz with immediate 0 – 100 score here: https://goodbuzzsolutions.com/free-marketing-assessment/
We’d be delighted to review it with you and discuss how we might partner together so you become more visible. Contact us here.
Among Austin marketing firms, GoodBuzz Solutions harnesses the best of marketing, communications, and events to empower the brands of entrepreneurs, public figures, and organizational leaders to become more visible so they can achieve their goals and be the best.