Many small business owners struggle with their marketing. They work so hard to just “do business” that marketing becomes a time consuming chore. This is how you can simplify it all, and spend less time on it.
1. At the start, focus on one channel:
Instead of wanting to be “everywhere”, rather concentrate on taking a bigger chunk out of one specific channel. Instead of wanting to be visible on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tiktok, Twitter and run ads on Google and Facebook (and your local paper and leaflets) too, pick ONE channel to start with.
Picking one channel will allow you to learn all you need to know about it in a shorter space of time. In addition to that, when all of your effort goes into one channel, you will see results much sooner. Once you have mastered one channel, start learning about the next one.
How do you pick that one channel? It depends on what you offer, and who your potential clients or customers are. Where do they hang out? Google the user demographics for any channel you want to explore.
Note: You can have different social accounts on different platforms – but focus your effort on one channel, whether it is paid advertising or social media marketing. Some social platforms like Tiktok, Pinterest and Instagram also rewards you(with more exposure) for the time you spend on the platform. As such, spending more time on one platform will allow you to grow your reach faster.
2. Develop a routine and content calendar
Everything becomes much easier when you know exactly what you have to do, and how long it will take you. As such, develop a content (and social activity) calendar.
For instance – On Mondays you could simply offer helpful advice, commenting on posts of people who need some input. On Tuesdays you can create and upload a short video clip with a useful tip. On Wednesday and Thursday you can write a blog post, and publish it.
You can share your videos and blog posts to all of your social accounts, but spend the majority of your time in one place.
Note: Each social platform has specific times when your posts are more likely to be seen. If you cannot be online at the same time every day, simply use a scheduling tool like Buffer or Later to let your posts go live at the best possible time.
3. Focus your targeting:
Even if you have a service, product or product range with a wide appeal, it still helps to tackle one segment of the market in one go.
For instance: Let’s say you market a new energy drink. While “everybody” could be a customer, it would make more sense to split your target market into segments – like say, athletes, people who are always tired, people who work physically demanding jobs, moms who never have enough energy, etc. Pick the one which you think will be the easiest to get into, and work at it. Once you have a steady stream of customers out of that segment, move on to the next.
Depending on your industry, you may also want to focus on specific areas, or even specific small towns or suburbs – which are more likely to include your ideal clients or customers.
4. Outsource or delegate:
Managing a small business can be a time consuming job. You may not have enough time to do the marketing yourself. Depending on your situation, you can either outsource or delegate your marketing activities. Younger people use social media more than older people do, so they will probably complete the same tasks faster (and often better) than you could. Combine this with the fact that their time costs less than yours, and it becomes a no-brainer. Depending on your staff, however, there may be limits as to how much you can delegate.
If you do have the budget for it, and nobody to delegate it to, consider outsourcing. It is not the cheapest option though, and there are many “wannabe professionals” out there. You will have to do some due diligence before you make your choice. You will find, however, that real professionals understand the detailed nuances of social media and advertising platforms – which will often allow you to reach more people when compared to you spending the same amount of time or money.
5. Include consistent branding in every campaign:
Instead of having different campaigns for advertising and branding, simply include your branding into every advertisement. Look at how the top companies in your industry do it, and emulate what works. Where possible, include your company name, brand colors, fonts and logo in every ad (or landing pages for paid ads). This way, people will associate your brand name with specific products/services/solutions – which is exactly what you want.
At the end of the day, simplifying your marketing is a matter of cutting away whatever you don’t need at that particular time on your business journey. Where possible, reduce the amount of time you spend, and consolidate your efforts.
Always remember that even a small looking glass, focused properly, can start a fire. The rest of the wood will eventually catch fire, but it is easier to light it up by focusing on one small spot, and holding it there until it catches fire.
Marketing is the same.