Marketing-Schmarketing, Right? Wrong.
The hustle and bustle of work for most business owners is a 22/7 grind. Yes, we said 22/7 because the small business owner only sleeps 2 solid hours a day, right?! Between operations, bookkeeping, HR, and just straight-up keeping your head above water, marketing can quickly get pushed to the bottom of your to-do list. We’ve heard it a million times: “I know I should be doing that, but I don’t have time.”
Small business owners who invest time and energy into their marketing efforts often reap great results ($$). BUT- putting forth energy doesn’t have to mean hours of clicking around on the internet until you finally figure out how to make that website update, post a gif on Facebook, or even send a well-designed email. We’ve put together our top marketing tips every small business owner needs to know to organize and prioritize your marketing efforts.
Social media has evolved leaps and bounds from where it started 15 years ago. Hell, it’s completely different from even 5 years ago. What once was a cool place to meet and mingle with college buds has now become a multi-billion-dollar industry. Social media is where nearly everyone in the world can give life updates, share opinions and reviews, host watch parties, and even buy and sell products. Even more importantly, small business owners can boost the success of their business on social media with just a few clicks and some flattering filters. With all of social media’s capabilities, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stick to “what you know” without branching out to try something new. Organization and intentionality are key to social media success.
Work Smarter NOT Harder
Social media posts that are being planned out by a “mental reminder” are posts that will often never come to fruition. Stop unnecessarily overworking your memory and use these platforms to your advantage. Most social media platforms allow you to schedule out your posts ahead of time, saving you from last minute posting habits. (Because let’s be real, when the intention is just to slap something to the page, it’s probably not going to perform well either.) Focus on proactively posting awesome content that your followers will engage with instead of reactively posting crap. For a free social media scheduling resource that allows you to plan out your posts across multiple platforms, check out Later.
Don’t be Afraid to be Creative
Did you know that people need to see a marketing message an average of 7 times to retain the information? This is worth saying again: Social media offers SO many different ways to showcase your services, products, and updates. Take advantage of them! Rather than posting another (sorry not sorry) boring photo with a simple caption, try using the FREE and creative options these platforms provide. Our top two favorite ways to boost audience engagement are by using polls and videos. Polls are fun ways to get to know your audience, and videos are what makes your audience stop mid-scroll and watch what you’re showcasing. Don’t be afraid to try posting something new and different. What works today may not work 3 months from now because social media is constantly evolving. Keep tabs on trends and capitalize on viral hashtags, challenges, and memes.
No matter how big, small, informative, or creative your website is – it’s essential to have a place your audience can get to know who you are and ultimately, what you do. It’s likely you’ve heard marketing professionals sling around words like Search Engine Optimization, alt text, internal/external linking, and so on (and on…). If you’re handling your company’s marketing efforts in addition to the everyday business operations, it’s safe to say you probably don’t have enough time to really dig into your current website. After all, aren’t there people for that? Yes. (We are those people.) At minimum, we suggest keeping your website updated, optimized for SEO, and ensuring it’s functioning in a way to help your business grow. Websites are like newborn babies. If you’re not checking your website’s performance on a daily basis, you’re missing out on some major low-hanging fruit for your business.
P.S. If you actually have a newborn baby, please make sure you’re checking in on them more than once a day…
Utilize Free Resources to tell you how your website’s performing
Our good friends at Hubspot have created a website grader that you can access for FREE right from the internet. By entering your site’s URL, this tool will analyze your website in a matter of seconds. It will quickly grade your overall performance, SEO, mobile optimization, and security. These 4 categories can show you where your website is both excelling and lacking to give you an easy place to start when optimizing your site. Give it a try here! You may be thinking, “Cool. I just got my website graded and it needs a lot of work. What am I supposed to do now?” Well, friend, NOW you send that list to your IT guy/gal. Yes, you know the person who helped build your website. Then you say, “I am not a technical person. Please take this information and help me optimize my site.” Most website optimizations are easy to implement – IF they are done on a regular basis. You don’t have to be a computer nerd to manage your website, but you can hire one (like us) if it seems too overwhelming.
Homepage Videos for the Win!
Another great (and easy) way to enhance your website is by replacing your website’s hero image (a.k.a. the big photo on your site’s home page) with a video. This is an easy and eye-catching way to show off your company to your web audience. Whether it of your facility, team, or products, videos are an effective way to grab audience attention and decrease your website’s bounce rate. Make sure to check with your friendly computer nerd mentioned earlier to ensure the video is compressed and won’t slow down the speed of your site.
In this day and age, if don’t have an email – you’re probably younger than 5 or older than 100.
Cue the dramatic tween, “Gawd Mom, EVERYBODY has an email.”
You’re probably sick of all the marketing emails flooding your inbox on the daily, hourly, (or minutely!) that you don’t want to become one of them. We get it. But, did you know that businesses can expect an average return of $42 for every $1 spent on email marketing? That’s crazy!
If at this point, you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t have an email database, Tulip Tree. Now what do I do!?” No worries. If your business doesn’t currently utilize a database, get with your favorite computer nerd to get set up with one. Once you’ve got an account, start pushing the sign-ups on places like your website or social media. (P.S. our team of email marketing gurus is more than happy to assist you, as well.)
If you do currently utilize a database, you can understand the struggle of getting your audience to actually open your emails. For prospects, bland, cold email subject lines can often lead to a simple click and drag to the trash folder. NO ONE likes getting that dreaded message that someone unsubscribed from your email list. It’s literally the worst…but we digress. Anyway, you’re probably thinking, “Okay Tulip Tree, I’m a one-person marketing machine. How do I design, segment, structure, and create intriguing copy for my emails?” Listen here…
Take Advantage of Free Email Platforms
Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, and more are not the only places to send emails from. In fact, you should absolutely NOT be sending mass marketing emails from these platforms. If you’re looking to reach a large audience with creative email design, take to Gmail for free, easy to use email platforms. There are several hundred options out there. For small business owners who are just getting started with email marketing, one of the most user-friendly platforms is Mailchimp. Here, you’ll find templated emails that can be tailored to your business’s needs. With a few photos and colors, your bland and boring emails just went from 0 to 100.
Segment Your Email Audience
“What? Didn’t you say these were simple hacks for busy business owners?” Yes! With email platforms like Mailchimp (we promise this is not an #ad for Mailchimp, but if you’re reading this Mailchimp, we will gladly accept payment), you can tag each member that gets added to your audience depending on how they came to you. For example, let’s say you give a virtual presentation via Zoom on the services you offer. To join your presentation, viewers must first enter their email and check the box that verifies their agreement to join your email list. After your presentation, you’re now left with a long list of audience members’ emails who are curious to learn more about your services. Before high-fiving yourself over how great of a turnout you had and throwing the list away, place the list into your email platform’s audience with the tag “Product X Virtual Presentation”. This will help you tailor your messaging to them as you move forward. Here, you can send them a personalized, creative email thanking them for attending. Now, your leads are being #nurtured and you’re on your way to making that #money.
We greatly appreciate the hard work small business owners put forth every single day. When it comes to the endless lists of to-dos and must-dos that pop up throughout the day, it can be hard to put the time needed into your marketing efforts. For more marketing tips or reliable marketing services, contact our team at Tulip Tree Studios today!
She’s got an animated personality and a great deal of ambition – but that’s not all. Abbie brings intuitive and contemporary copywriting expertise to the Tulip Tree team, and works relentlessly to generate innovative and individualized social media strategies through a wide array of online avenues. Driven heavily by results, she’s sure to bring any business to the next level with her savvy social media skills.