While most small businesses invest in marketing, they rarely have a marketing team on staff. Or even have one person whose entire job is dedicated to marketing for the company. Usually, marketing falls to one or two employees whose primary job allows them the small amount of time they need to send out social media posts and emails every so often.
Often, those who take on the marketing role are volunteers genuinely interested in making marketing work for their company. But without training, it can be challenging to make the most out of the little time they have to market effectively.
While sending out weekly posts on social media or monthly emails is a great start, without a coordinated effort, you’re going to lose a real opportunity to grow your online brand.
The good news is, you don’t need to be highly trained in marketing to increase the effectiveness of your efforts. With just a little added time and effort, you can make the work you’re already doing reach a whole lot farther.
Time to plan
To make the most out of your efforts, take a step back and consider your marketing from a distance. Start by breaking up your business year into sections. The sections will be different depending on your industry. For retailers, you’ll break it down by season. For insurance agencies, by quarter, and so on.
Then, take a look at your business’s activities during each section. Identify any special events, meaningful goals, or company initiatives relevant to each section. These will be the centerpiece for your section themes.
For reference, Memorial Day weekend will be a theme centerpiece for most retail stores, as there are always large sales and increased traffic during this time. For insurance agencies, fourth quarter will center around open enrollment and employer-employee communications.
If there is a month or section that doesn’t have a specific event or theme, you can have fun and come up with the theme yourself! Choose something about your company you want your customers to know about.
- Do you offer any special services or products you think could use some extra promotion?
- Do you feel your audience has a clear idea of your company culture and brand image?
- How well does your audience understand the services you offer?
- Is your audience comprised of everyone who would benefit from your services? Or could you expand your communication to more people?
Break it down
Using your chosen theme, come up with a monthly, weekly, and daily communication strategy that ties into it. Consider the different types of content your company can offer.
If your company has social media, email lists, and a website, each of those platforms supports varying types of content.
Break up your content into hierarchies. Start by identifying the main event/theme/product. Then consider tiers of supporting content:
- Daily or weekly communications: These will look like social posts or short emails.
- Content offers: These are educational content offers that support your central theme, such as checklists, eBooks, or blogs).
- Events: If you want (or have the capacity) to take it a step further, consider offering a special opportunity like a webinar, seminar, or pop-up shop.
Plan out how often each piece of content gets pushed out, and on what platforms. Consider how they support and play off each other. Think of it as a puzzle! Each piece plays its part to create one cohesive picture.
Tying it together
By creating content themes that tie each piece of your content together, you’ll start to build awareness among your audience of each topic and increase the effectiveness of your message.
It’s common sense, really. The more coordinated your efforts, the easier it will be for your audience to follow along and consume the message you’re communicating.
The time it takes to create a yearly marketing strategy is well worth the effort. By picking a message and sticking with it, you’re also making it easier on yourself to come up with new, relevant content. Whether you’re marketing for your company because you’re trained, or because someone needed to do it and you stepped up, strategy is the number-one tool you want in your belt.
Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners
Photo by ammentorp