Designing a marketing campaign and choosing the channels that you will market your business through is tricky. This doesn’t mean you need to be using 10 different channels, only the ones that are relevant to the products/services you sell.
You may understand this concept but still struggle to know which channels to start with. It’s a problem that most businesses face, but it’s easily overcome - just begin with your marketing objectives.
Identifying your marketing objectives
A marketing objective should be as clear and as detailed as possible to increase your chances of completing it. What you intend to achieve (with numerical targets) in a given time frame are the primary factors that you should consider first.
The more details your objectives include, the better you can compare your marketing performance against previous attempts and prior business activity, allowing you to see the progress you have made.
All objectives you set for your business should follow the SMART Target acronym, Specific Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound, so they can be accomplished and reviewed constructively.
If you are struggling to think of a few marketing objectives, start by looking at your business’s performance, for instance, do you need to increase your sales or are you launching a new service that needs awareness?
Here are some goals that could spark some inspiration::
What marketing channel is right for you?
The list of marketing channels is huge and it can be tempting to blow your budget and promote your business through all of them, but the chances are you will generate better results focusing your attention on a select few.
We believe that there are 3 channels that pretty much every business should consider optimizing to achieve their objectives:
The reason we have chosen the channels above over many others is due to their organic and paid activity. In non-marketing terms, they can generate results through paid advertising, but also have the potential to generate results naturally, without spending anything at all.
This is a great factor that appeals to business owners, as the first thought that comes to mind when marketing is mentioned, is budget. Although the majority of the time paid to advertising can seem like a significant monetary investment, it is exactly that - an investment.
If you invest money in the marketing channels that suit your business, the results and rewards it generates will outweigh your initial cost.
But we’ll explore this in more detail when we dive into each individual channel.
Perhaps you sell coffee or run dance classes, it doesn’t matter - you NEED to be on Google.
Think of a time when you have searched for a business using Google Search and their profile has popped up on the right-hand side of the page, that’s where you need to be.
Otherwise, how are your customers going to find you?
If you create a profile for your business on Google, important details like your business name, address and phone number (NAP), alongside your opening hours, business description and a link to your website will be readily available for anyone to see.
The more details you choose to provide, the more transparent your business looks to customers. At the end of the day, a business that looks suspicious or risky probably isn’t going to get visited.
The buying process for customers that intend to purchase your product/service must be flawless. If your products are confusing to find and the checkout process is long and tiresome, customers will abandon their orders.
The great thing about your Google Business profile is that it has a call-to-action button. You can decide whether to allow customers to book an appointment with you, ‘Get a Quote’ or to visit your website, to name a few. This direct route could help boost conversions and valuable traffic.
Persuade past customers to return
If you are running a sale or discount period, it can be displayed in your business profile on Google. Past customers that happen to come across your business for a second time will be tempted to visit your website and see what’s happening.
Another incentive that helps with this is customer reviews, which can be read loud and clear from the second you pop up in the search results.
Make your local ads more effective
Your Google business listing can actually gather insights into your audience. For example, the volume of customers that visited your profile and clicked your website link, CTA button and many other actions.
All this audience information can be used to your advantage and utilized not only in your Google ads campaigns but all of your other campaigns.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest… You need them all!
Lie! You are far better opening an account on one of these platforms than creating an account on all of them. Content, audience demographics and advertising capabilities work differently on every social media platform.
Our client base at The Good Marketer is extremely diverse, and if there is one thing that we have learned from our client’s online performance is that Facebook and Instagram generate results.
An amazing free marketing tool that Facebook provides is their Facebook Page functionality. This allows your business to create its own page, build your audience and develop an identity for itself.
Just like your Google Business listing, Facebook Pages are surrounded by CTA buttons like, Follow, Share and Shop Now, etc.
There are so many ways to advertise with Facebook, too many to show you in this article, and the last thing we want to do is overwhelm you.
Facebook open graph allows businesses to integrate their actions with different apps, like Spotify.
It is becoming increasingly popular for businesses to release a new product with a playlist that matches its application in day to day life. Take GymShark, for example, they have Spotify playlists that allow their customers to consume their fitness products more effectively.
Your products may serve zero relevance to music, but that doesn’t matter, creating a seasonal playlist or one that relates to a specific event is great for attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.
I’m sure you have heard too many times that personal customer relationships are what create profitable and sustainable businesses, but it is true. And what better way than to create a collection of music that reminds customers of you every time they listen to it.
Any new trends that emerge on social media will be seen first on Instagram, the platforms growing fast and the place to be.
In terms of paid advertising, Facebook and Instagram work hand in hand. When you create a Facebook ad, you have the opportunity to run it on the Instagram feed and story, however, just like Facebook, you can promote individual posts to your desired audience.
Instagram is definitely an organic marketing platform, but generally the direction social media is moving is towards paid advertising. The two features which make Instagram a great marketing platform are writing copy and collaboration.
Most social media platforms limit the word count on each post you share, which doesn’t allow you to fully connect to your audience or share valuable content.
Say you are a fitness brand, you can share step by step workout instructions to your followers to keep them engaged. And there’s nothing stopping you writing a 2,200 character recipe on healthy nutrition for your audience to cook!
Creating an engaging image that grabs people’s attention is great, but your customers are limited in the way they can engage with it. Giving context to your image with links, hashtags and useful resources for visitors to learn more is the way to go.
In 2019, there were half a million influencers that used Instagram as their main channel of promotion, so imagine the millions of YouTubers, actors, models and other creatives that use it as their secondary source!
Whether you are promoting a new product or just trying to raise awareness, there are influencers in every industry and with different levels of authority that will suit your business.
Similar to Facebook, Instagram makes it extremely easy to connect through direct messaging with your audience, which can lead to more personal customer relationships being built and evidently more loyal customers purchasing your products/services.
When it comes to personalisation, email marketing does an amazing job.
‘Marketing’ your business through email sounds very pushy and an invasion of privacy - but that’s far from the truth, people subscribe out of choice.
It really takes visually aesthetic content to the max, with vibrant images, headings, relevant information, and CTA buttons. Think of email marketing as a value-driven approach that isn’t meant to solely promote your products/services, but provide links on to them.
Rarely a business keeps in touch with all of its customers, some just don’t like social media and others live separate from technology. This is where email marketing comes into play.
Sending emails on a weekly basis, for example, will keep your customers informed on the important changes made within your business, like a discount period or special event. Providing only the relevant information will allow customers to browse further if they wish, or go on with their day regardless.
Here are the key benefits of email marketing:
Build personal customer relationships
Sending an email which is addressed to your customers directly goes a long way. Providing a direct message, as opposed to posting an image on social media will gain more attention from your customers and therefore a better chance of a sale.
Develop your brand voice
If you are regularly checking in with your customers and they are engaging with your content, the more they are going to feel like they are talking to a physical person. This is something that is developed in sequence with benefit 1 and emphasizes the value of a direct line to your customers.
Email marketing services can vary in price. Most platforms determine your monthly fee by the number of subscribers you have. Most providers allow you to sign up for free. Take Mailchimp, they offer a free package for only 2,000 email subscribers,
Exposure and visibility
I’m sure you may have already implemented a competition or some sort of give away to your audience on social media. Well, email marketing is a second nudge to inform customers that missed your post or don’t follow you online.
Become a content expert
Small businesses are always on the lookout for new techniques and marketing strategies. But what if you could be the figure in the industry that your competitors try to learn from.
Once you experiment with social media, email marketing and getting to know what your audience likes and dislikes, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Becoming an expert with content is not something that you can learn from a textbook, it’s a skill that’s developed with experience.
Instead of approaching marketing from a popularity or monetary perspective, look at it in the eyes of your business. Refer to your values and ethos to understand what you represent, then you can match these characteristics with the correct platform.
Focusing all of your time and energy into the 3 marketing channels above will generate far better results in the long run, but also build your brand more efficiently.
It all comes down to your customer’s demographic, interests, preferences, and levels of engagement. Once you fully understand them, that’s when you should consider your marketing channels.
The Good Marketer is a Marketing Agency in London which drives more traffic, generates conversions and increases sales for Small-To-Medium Sized Businesses.