If you are thinking of starting a small business, you probably have millions of ideas to get more customers. Since 75% of small business owners think that digital marketing can be very effective to attract new customers, you are looking to start your business on the right foot with a strong social media presence. The problem is, you really don’t know where to start. Digital marketing is changing faster than ever, and there are just too many things to consider. It takes effort, research and lots of experience to become successful. Luckily, you have found this checklist to make sure your new business will be on the right track when it comes to online presence!
Ideally, you would be thinking about building a website the moment you decide to move forward with a business idea. This should be the first step on your list, because it takes a lot of time and effort. Your website will be in the center of your marketing strategy.
If you consider yourself to be a little tech-savvy, online services such as SquareSpace, or Wix make things very easy for non-developers to create their own sites. If you don’t have a lot of budget for a website, definitely consider one of these options. If you can afford a little bit more, hiring an experienced developer to design a website from scratch would be a better idea overall. Either way, you need to make sure that your website is user-friendly, looks great on mobile and optimized for all search engines.
Another thing to focus on is the content. As the business owner, you know your business better than anyone else. Try to tell your story on your website. Explain why your business is much different than your competitors. If you are starting a bakery, tell your customers where your recipes come from, why you are in this business (other than making money, obviously) and what makes your cookies better than the other bakery down the street. Are you using organic ingredients? Have you found a unique recipe? Or are they better simply because you have been baking cookies for the past 30 years? The key is, being different and creative. Make sure all of these are clearly expressed when you create the content for your website!
You have millions of things to take care of in order to make sure your business can finally start operating. You might be wondering, who the hell has time for social media? Well, you will probably need it sooner than later, so it’s a great idea to at least sign up for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn depending on what industry you are in.
When you think about social media marketing, the main concern small business owners have is how they will create a large following. It is really not that easy to get people to follow a business on social media anymore- and the reason is the irrelevant content businesses have pushed on these channels for a long time. As a social media user, I am looking to see content that makes me happy, or has some value in it for me. This is why videos showing me recipes of great looking dishes work well. Or hydraulic presses, which we still struggle to understand- but they somehow found ways to entertain people, and they are enjoying the engagement in return. If you are looking to post actively on social media, try to avoid bombarding your followers with offers, deals or ads all the time. A very small percentage of your content should be one of these- because directly going after business on social media usually doesn’t help in the long-term.
There are many tools that will help you with social media. You can use graphic design tools such as DesignBold or Canva, which require minimal skill to create stunning content. Alternatively, you can sign up for a beta of the Locate App when it launches towards the end of April. This tool will help you manage all your marketing campaigns from one place, help you with the strategy and much more. In addition, you will be able to design a perfect visual and post it directly to social media within a few minutes. You can sign up for updates here. Also, you should make use of ads to get more page likes. For instance, Facebook’s “Page Like” ads can help you get likes from your target audience at $0.40-$1.00 each. Moving forward, you’ll explore other types of ads you can run and grow your online presence!
Unless you have a ridiculously high budget, it is almost impossible to grow a business without a great brand image. Since you can only invest so much in marketing, you’ll run into problems familiarizing people with your brand. This is why first impressions matter- if potential customers are not familiar with you, your brand will be the face of your company, and will be one of the very few things they will notice about you. If you have realized, most brands have gone through a re-branding stage recently- and the reason is that branding principles from 10 years ago are outdated now. So, make sure you have a logo that reflects the quality you offer. Use consistent color schemes, and showcase your logo everywhere!
Also, please note that branding is not just a logo and a flyer. Your brand value is a combination of the aesthetic and the experience you create for your customers. If you have a vintage logo for your motorcycle repair shop, you should probably include some vintage elements while designing the interior or the waiting area! Think of everything as a whole, and think of your brand as an experience, not just a logo.
One of the best things about digital marketing is that you have access to millions of data points. Find reliable ways to get all the data you need. For Facebook campaigns for example, you can look at the insights dashboard of your page, which will give you some great data such as how many people clicked on your ads, how many likes your page got within the past 7 days and much more. Data will help you avoid wasting your marketing money and help you spend it more effectively as you move forward. It doesn’t have to be complicated either, everything is much easier when you create a system you are comfortable with. You can also make use of hundreds of tools made for different skill levels to look at the data that matters. It’s not as hard as it seems, and you’ll master data analytics in no time!
If you have any questions about small business marketing or how you can start off on the right foot, feel free to shoot me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’ll be more than happy to discuss some ideas that will help your business grow.