If you're struggling to find time to market your small business and services online, then this show's for you.
I look at how to maximize your time and resources and the where to focus your efforts.
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Step 1: Establish a PlatformThe approach outlined in the show assumes you already have a website, twitter account and Facebook account. Of course it's going to take more than two hours a week if you haven't got a starting platform so make sure you've got those in place first.
I always recommend WordPress for small-medium sized businesses. It's open source and there are a bazillion resoucess out there. If you can't afford a professional webdesigner, check out the Genesis Framework and premium themes. They're easy to get up and running, customize and are optimized for SEO from the outset. The last three sites we've done for customers have been based on this framework and we've had some very positive response about the platform.
Because you're in the business of selling, it's important that you have really well-designed landing pages. These are the pages that you will funnel visitors to with the aim of converting them into sales or highly targeted leads. For example, if you're a consultant you want people to, say, fill out your contact form and enquire about hiring you.
Genesis themes come with a landing page, but these are rather basic. If you want something better you might want to check out Unbounce.com. Unbounce offers a selection of excellent landing pages that suit small businesses although not pure online shops. For that you'll need an ecommerce solution.
Step 2: Plan Your Marketing Strategically
Once you've got your site and social media platforms in place, you need to start planning weekly content. As a small business you're only going to have one or two hours a week so start the week by identifying the specific problems or questions your potential customers will go online to find answers to. Then write down five or six possible blog post titles. The thing here is to think like a tabloid newspaper. Well, almost.
You want titles that touch emotional triggers like power, lust, mystery, fear, guilt, and so on.
For example, a blog post entitled “Valentine Gift Ideas with Art” isn't as strong as “The Valentine Gift She'll See Everyday for the Rest of Her Life” or “The Valentine Gift that Gets More Beautiful With Every Glance”.
Step 3: Write & Publish an Awesome Blog Post
There's no point publishing three or four scrappy, hasty blog posts a week. It's much better to post one really awesome post that will resonate with readers and keep on resonating through the search engines over time. That's why you need a compelling title and to do some research to give the best you've got. Take a day to leave and think on your draft before coming back to it on day three of your weekly campaign to post.
When the post goes out you need to link to it on Facebook, but also schedule three-four tweets a day at different times that are designed to drive people to the post and also RT. There's no point just posting the title of the blog post again and again no matter how captivating your title is. You need a variety of catchy, intriguing, emotionally powerful tweets that will generate interest.
Reply to everyone that RTs and consider adding them to a private Twitter list that you can use to nurture relationships and connections.
Michelle Quillin talks about this strategy in an earlier Online Marketing & Communications Podcast.
Step 4: Gather & Analyze Your Data
I've talked at length over the years about the importance of driving your digital marketing campaign with data. When Monday comes around again, take time to look at how the previous week's post has performed.
- Did particular tweets generate more click-thrus ?
- Did you get more RTs at certain times of the day ?
- Did you get more traffic from Facebook, Twitter or Organic Search ?
- How many sales enquiries did you get ?
- How many visitors clicked through a call-to-action to a landing page?
With Google Analytics you can track how visitors flow through your site. This is an incredibly useful tool. I'll come back to this in a later post; however, for now you might want to explore this topic further for yourself.
Promoting the Podcast
Massive thanks to Erica Allinson, Erica Holthausen, The Jack B, and Ed King for helping to promote Online Marketing & Communications. And apologies for bungling Erica A's surname in the show ! The dangers of reading a twitter handle.
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