The first 6 months of a business's marketing program can make or break a new company. Without a solid marketing strategy, a company likely won't make the revenue to get it off the ground.
One of the most common mistakes for new business owners is the order in which a marketing plan should be implemented to be successful. Making assumptions will likely leave a business owner with no cash, no customers, and no clue.
This article uncovers the steps it takes to launch an affordable marketing strategy that will help you market your business successfully in the first 6 months.
It all begins with a website
With over 3 billion people online, the internet revolutionizes the way we share information with one another. The online landscape is always changing and evolving to make it easier to find what we are looking for. For businesses, a great website is the first step of marketing your business successfully. But why is a website so important? How significant is the impact of being online?
First, let's analyze how the average american spends their day.
Most Americans wake up in the morning, turn on their phone and their computers. They check their inbox for any recent emails and often review their social media accounts for late night activity.
They drive to work, sit down at their computer, and spend the first 30 minutes browsing websites. At lunch time, they check their social media accounts, text a few friends about the evening ahead, and use Google to find a restaurant to eat at. After eating, they return to their desk, check emails, and continue working.
At the end of the day, they text their friends and collaborate on the meeting spot for afterwork drinks or activities for the evening.
While eating a new dish, or drinking a fancy cocktail, they snap a photo with Instagram and share it on Twitter and Facebook. They leave a review of the restaurant on Yelp and head home for the evening.
They check their social accounts one last time, turn out the light and go to sleep.
Today, we are ever connected to the internet. With every action a person takes, there is the potential for a business to be shared, liked, reviewed, found, disliked, etc. Each of these actions has the potential to introduce more and more of their friends, family, and co-workers to your business. If your website isn't mobile friendly, created with mobile devices in mind, or non-existent, you are failing at marketing your business successfully.
So, the first step is to build a low cost website that is branded to your business, converts visitors into buyers, and stands out from your competitors. Without this, your marketing strategy has no foundation.
Social Media is king
As a new business, or one with little online presence, Social Media is king!
Before SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Email Marketing, or any other form of online marketing, you need to establish a social presence. Just like the day-in-the-life example above, people are using social media all around you. Many of them mentioning your business be it good or bad.
By establishing a presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, and other socially driven websites, you can engage with customers, potential clients, and naysayers much easier.
Just like your website, your social accounts are very important and should not be half-ass created. First impressions are everything and if someone sees that you haven't taken the time to create full and rich social profiles, you likely lack in other areas of your business as well.
Besides direct connections with existing clients and customers, Social Media gives new businesses another advantage when it comes to marketing your business.
It is much easier to drive traffic from social media to your website than trying to get your website to rank for highly competitive keywords so you show up on the first page of Google.
A good automated and real-time social media strategy can drive hundreds of people to your website a day while poor rankings for a new website will result in 0 visits. Creating engaging content and conversations through social media channels will result in shares, likes and re-tweets that will extend your reach even further.
Remember, the second step towards marketing your business right should be branded and fully completed social media profiles and the start of a well-organized social media strategy.
Need help getting your social media accounts set up? Check out Fiverr. You can get your social media accounts set up and branded in no time for under $50.
Stay in touch with email
Remember our day-in-the-life story above? Email was a huge part of the day. According to a a McKinsey Global Institute paper, 28% of the average workweek is spent engaging in email. Wow!
If you market through email wisely and provide valuable content that people enjoy reading or engaging with, you can grow your email lists into the thousands, even hundreds of thousands. A testament to this is a a guy by the name of Noah Kagan. I recommend taking the time to watch this video. It's an interview in which Noah describes how he had a vision to mass market his company, with email marketing as the driving force. In the video, created in 2012, he talks about how he grew his email list to 600k. That list is well over a million strong now. When he launches a new product or service to a list of a million people, he makes money. Enough said!
So - email lists are extremely important. Each and every name and email address captured represents a future client and customer down the road. Engaging with subscribers regularly with valuable content, contests, facts, and stories will keep your list active.
Interested in setting up your email marketing system? Visit this website which covers the process of setting up an email system so you can start marketing your business.
This concludes part 1 of Marketing your Business: The First 6 Months.
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