As a freelance marketer the most common phrases I hear from clients are I don’t have extra money for marketing or we set up our Facebook page a year ago but haven’t touched it since. What these owners don’t realize is that marketing is supposed to inject sales into your business. By definition:
noun mar·ket·ing \ˈmär-kə-tiŋ\
the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marketing)
This means that the very act of marketing your service or product should contribute to your income. If you imagined your business as a person then ‘sales’ would be your right arm and ‘marketing’ would be your left arm. Sure you could function with just your right arm but having your left arm would make the experience, rather make the ‘sale’, much more complete.
Here are some keys to ensure that your marketing actually earns your small business some income.
Set Big Picture Goals
In general people need to see the bigger picture to understand the purpose of their activities. Setting big picture goals for your business marketing activities addresses what you hope to achieve. In my experience the more specific the goal the higher the likelihood for success.
For example, here are a few different kinds of marketing goals for a florist:
- Support seasonal sales for the year
- Generate $X monthly sales
- Increase our community presence through X number of likes per month.
The more specific you can get the better. The key here is that these specifics build momentum for your staff to move forward.
When you don’t have an unlimited budget it’s really important to focus your marketing activities to those that will generate more return. Determining your activities will really depend on your nature of business.
Using the Florist as the example – Mrs. Potts wants to get her Florist Shop on social media. If her shop is in a neighborhood is full of young and trendy millennials then Instagram might be a good platform to start with. If she decided she wanted to start all over (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat) her marketing budget would be used up with just getting these platforms established whereas if she focused on Instagram she would be able to generate more hits.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Like everything in life you won’t know what you’ve achieved until you’ve set benchmarks to measure against. There are many aspects of marketing that can be measured depending on your activity. For social media marketing, KPIs consist of the number of your ‘Followers’, ‘Impressions’, ‘Likes’, ‘Reach’, ‘Comments’, etc.
With the example of the Florist, your KPIs with starting an Instagram account could be the ‘Likes’ or ‘Comments’ from a post
Track & Review
Now that you’ve set KPIs, track them! Instagram for Business and other apps make it quite easy for you to track your KPIs and other measurables. I find this to part of marketing to be the most interesting (likely because I’m a Sociology major). Using your numbers you can determine which posts are the most successful, when the best time to post, what kind of posts generate more attention, etc.
If Mrs. Potts is noticing that her Instagram post on Monday morning are generating more likes and comments than her posts on Friday afternoon then she should stop posting Friday afternoon.
Each business needs customized marketing activities & programs to suit their needs however, the end goal is essentially the same for all; marketing is supposed to get your product or service to the market through measurable and achievable goals. Ensuring that your marketing activities are being optimized increases the likelihood for higher sales and a thriving business.
This was quite a general and brief run through of what marketing programs can do for your business. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to email me!