Whether you’re a brand new start-up business or you’re a veteran business owner that just needs to revamp their marketing strategy, you’ve come to the right place.
Marketing can seem a bit overwhelming, and for good reason. There are a lot of moving parts, and just when you think you’ve got a handle on them, trends change and new best practices arise. That’s why so many businesses find it easier and more cost-effective to hire a marketing agency to do the work. Generally speaking, hiring just one single in-house marketing employee costs more money per year than hiring an entire agency - an agency where you receive web designers, strategists, customer service reps, social media managers, SEO experts, PPC gurus, graphic designers and more.
But if you’re the DIY type, here is a basic checklist of what you should do to hit the ground running in your long-term marketing plans.
🗹 Set Goals.
- It’s impossible to know if your marketing is working if you don’t have any goals and expectations. Do you plan to increase social media followers? By how many? Do you want to increase revenue? By how much? Be specific.
🗹 Gather your customer database.
- Starting with a good CRM to manage your customers and leads is crucial. HubSpot is a great one, and you can currently get the CRM and a ton of other marketing tools and analytics for only $50 per month. You can learn more about this toolset here. A good CRM is how you’ll keep your interaction history with each person and know what steps need to be taken with them, which will in turn make your business run more efficiently. A key to remember: If you plan to send out marketing emails to your contacts, make sure you’ve received implied or expressed consent from them.
🗹 Know Your Customer
- Set up a buyer persona - or a couple of them. You should have a good understanding of who your customers are in order to better target future customers. What are their typical demographics? Where are they located? What are their hobbies and interests?
🗹 Learn SEO
- Knowing the basics of SEO is crucial to helping your business rank on Google and other search engines. Algorithms are constantly changing, so it's not just a one-and-done with learning the basics. You will also need to stay up-to-date with this and consistently educate yourself to stay on top of digital changes.
🗹 Learn Your Social Media Channels
- You may have been updating your Facebook timeline for years. But that doesn’t mean you have a good understanding of it from a marketing perspective. You should do your research and understand the difference between each of the major social networks (even some of the less popular ones may suit your business’s needs. There are over 200 social media channels!). You should know who the social media site’s demographics are and whether your buyer persona is someone who uses it.
🗹 Learn HOW to use Social Media Channels
- Once you’ve learned what they are, you should know how to use them. Learn the appropriate amount of times to post each week, when the best times are for each network to get the best reach, the types of things people want to see posted, how to engage your audience and how to increase followers.
🗹 Start a Blog
- A major strategy of inbound marketing is based around content, and potential customers coming to you to seek valuable information. Using a blog to put knowledge on paper (or on the screen?) is a way to show you're an expert in your industry. Your potential customers will come to you as a source of credible information, and in turn, see you as a company they’d do business with if the need arises.
🗹 Fine-tune Your Customer Service
- Customer service is no longer just answering the phone. In today’s world, we’re overcome with different avenues of contacting a business. Facebook Messenger messages, live chats, emails, text messages, Twitter and Instagram DMs, comments on your status updates, posts on your timeline, reviews on Yelp, Google & Facebook, people posting on their OWN timeline and mentioning your business -- these are all things that need to be monitored and responded to -- and in a timely manner.
These are a few tips we hope you find helpful. While it can be a little daunting, it's not totally impossible to do yourself, if you have the time and desire.
Of course, if you’d prefer a team of experts to handle all of this for you, request a free consultation today.