If you’re trying to build a business, then you are going to quickly get an idea of just how important marketing can be to your success. However, if you’re running a small business, or even running your business from home, then you might not have the budget to pay some marketing agency for a long-term sustained plan that’s going to hit all of your goals. If you can’t pay, then you’re going to need to get smart, and this might mean getting a little more hands-on. But how much of your marketing can you take on, yourself?
Build a website
If your business doesn’t have a website yet, then now is the time to get on that. Simply put, the website is going to be the easiest way for people to find you and is the core of many of the other marketing methods mentioned below. There are plenty of low-cost website makers that can allow even novice digital marketers to create a space for their business.
Start a blog
One of the best ways to get started with your own online marketing is to set up a blog on your website. This might be easier if your website is built through WordPress or some other content management system. Blogs allow you to reach customers via content marketing, which can be found through search engines or spread through social media. By answering questions and providing helpful, valuable content through your blogs, you can potentially reach people who might not have a lot of interest in your business at first, planting the seeds of brand recognition for when they are later likely to need it.
Figure out what social channels you should be on, and be active
Social media is going to play a critical role in your marketing, being especially helpful for smaller businesses since it, to a degree, puts you on an even playing field with other businesses, sponsored posts notwithstanding. It’s very easy to end up spending entire days on social media, however, so to keep your time there valuable, you should work out which social media platforms are best suited to your business. Depending on the nature of what you do and the target demographic you’re trying to reach, some platforms are going to be much more effective. For instance, visual mediums like Instagram are great for fashion or lifestyle brands that benefit from visual engagement with their products and services, while LinkedIn might be much more effective for those going for the B2B approach.
Get smarter with your social media use
Learning which social media platforms you should be using and taking the time to get active in posting them every day is one thing. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to stay glued to your feed all day. It can be a lot wiser to spend 30 minutes to an hour writing up all the content that you want to post and then scheduling it to go out throughout the day. There are social media management apps that can help you do that, as well as tracking not just multiple feeds but even specific keywords and hashtags so that you can be better hone in on the conversation and respond with precision.
Learn how to get your website seen
Methods like advertising and using social media are great ways to actively get your marketing message out there and reach out to the relevant customers. However, if you want to play it smart, then bringing the customers to you via organic marketing is the way to go. An SEO training course can help you learn how to get search engines like Google to do some of the work for you. By making your website much more likely to be seen and promoted by Google, reaching those customers most likely to be searching for services and products just like yours, you can encourage much better long-term results and for a relatively low cost, too. Once you’re doing it all yourself, SEO doesn’t have to cost you anything.
Make emails a crucial part of your marketing arm
Of course, while organic marketing is crucial for your long-term success, getting an “in” with your potential clients and customers now can be just what you need to start building a customer base right at this moment. Consider using your website to capture leads by getting them to share their email and opt-in for messages from you. With email marketing tools, you can create gorgeous newsletters that might give them news on the latest deals, products, and services, while also sharing the blog content you write that could be relevant to their interests. Don’t be spammy with it, don’t send emails every day, but make sure that your interested parties don’t get to forget about your brand so easily.
Use the analytics to sharpen your approach
It’s important to know how effective your approach is, where you can improve things, and what you’re doing well (so that you can replicate it.) There are plenty of analytics tools that you should be using to do just that. Google Analytics is the most obvious one, giving you a good idea of how long people spend on your site, what links they click, where you lose them, and so on. For social media, most channels have their own analytics, but you can also use third-party analytics tools to get a more comprehensive list of your best and worst posts, as well as where customer engagement tends to benefit you the most. All of this can be used to sharpen and strengthen your strategies in the future.
There’s a lot that you can do to get savvier with your own marketing. It can take up all of your time if you’re not careful. As such, you don’t need to try and do absolutely everything. Think about the best ways to reach your customers and narrow your marketing efforts to hit those first. As the revenue starts coming in, maybe then you can get the help that you need to expand your strategy, too.