As a small business owner or manager, you have enough to do as it is with simply running your business. However, marketing your business is just as important. Yes, your marketing efforts will cost you time but if you do the right things, you will get a return on your investment.
We’ve put together a simple, easy-to-follow list of 6 things you can work on each day to improve your marketing. If you stick to it, even with just 30 minutes a day, the results will compound over time, resulting in more customers and a stronger online presence. So, grab a cup of coffee and start your day by ticking off each item in the list.
Every good website has a way to capture visitor’s information in order to convert them into potential customers. If your website doesn’t at least have a “Contact Us” form, you should set one up now, and read our post on how to turn web traffic into actionable leads.
Visitors to your website will submit forms at all times, which means that some might have come in while you were sleeping! It’s important to get back to these leads as soon as possible. Contacting them while they still have you in mind will help you convert more of them into customers. Go through the list and sort them out— determine which ones are legitimate leads and set a plan to contact them today! This can mean setting up reminders at specific times for you to call them, emailing them yourself, or maybe assigning them to a salesperson to follow up.
Social Media has changed the way we do business. If you don’t have a presence on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you might be missing out on opportunities to engage with your audience.
It’s important to check your social media pages frequently (at least every morning) to see who has commented, liked or messaged you. Make sure to follow up with anyone who sent you a direct message and to engage back with new likes and comments. Remember: it’s all about engaging and being part of the conversation. If there isn’t much going on on your social media accounts, check out these ideas on getting more social media engagement.
Another good idea is to like and comment on other business’ pages; this will help you start building some buzz for your own business.
Check your Twitter feed for direct messages, replies, retweets, and mentions. It’s important to thank people for retweeting your posts, as this will let them know that you noticed. Also, follow up with conversations about your business and make sure to post frequently (Read this post for things you can tweet about today).
Related eBook: Social Media Pocket Guide
If you’re not using alerts to learn about your industry and monitor your online reputation, you’re missing out on a free an easy way to stay on top of things. Go to Google Alerts and set up your first three alerts. Some ideas for alerts are:
Set your alerts to send you daily emails and make sure to check them every day. This is an easy way to pinpoint which blogs and publications are relevant for your industry. It also helps you react quickly to any big news in your industry and it can be a way to get some ideas of conversations to have using social media. Finally, make sure you’re active and answer questions that are related to your company or your industry; this will help you establish yourself as a thought leader.
Related eBook: Reputation 101
Chances are, your company has a profile on reviews sites like Yelp, Google Maps, Yahoo Local, CitySearch, etc. Keep an up to date list of the sites where you are listed and make sure to check them daily to monitor new reviews. If they’re good, fantastic! Use them as promotional material for your Facebook business page or Twitter posts. If they’re bad, embrace them and deal with them properly—even negative reviews can turn into positive opportunities for your business and your customers.
Related: Five Star Reviews eBook (free)
It’s important to identify a few bloggers and industry influencers. Read their articles and comment on them (both on their site as well as on social media). Make sure to voice your opinions and feel free to agree or disagree. The important thing here is to remain informed and be part of what’s happening. Google Alerts can help you figure out which bloggers and news sites are talking about your trade. Many times, local news sites are best, because they’re more relevant to those geographically closest to you.
Something else to include here is checking sites like Yahoo! Answers and Quora, to surface questions that people might be asking in your area of expertise. Be helpful and instead of trying to sell them on your product or service. Just focus on giving them the best advice and you will build trust with your audience and strengthen your reputation.
If you don’t have analytics on your site, get them! If you’re technical and love data, Google Analytics is a free tool to capture information from your website. Keep track of the visits to your site and if you notice any abrupt changes, take action.
Remember that most sites have cyclical characteristics, which means that you should compare this week to the previous one (don’t compare a Sunday to a Wednesday, since you will probably see a big difference due to the day of the week) – this is more about capturing trends and big changes over time to understand if you’re improving over time and to notice problems early on.
It’s also important to capture the sources of your traffic to understand where these visitors are coming from. Are they primarily finding you through search engines like Google or are they mostly coming to your site from social media sites like Facebook? This information can help you optimize and focus your resources to increase your traffic. Also, note the keywords that people use to find you and make sure to have them in mind when you’re writing content for your site!
It can be hard to write blog posts daily, but it’s important to write when you can. Even if you post once a week, or a few small posts a week. Write about a conversation you had yesterday with a customer, partner or vendor. Maybe write about the frequently asked questions you get from prospects. It’s pretty common for others to be wondering the same things and if you have the answers, it will help you connect with your audience and increase your buzz.
If you don’t already have a blog, we recommend setting one up! It’s easy and there are many free tools out there that will get you up and running in no time.
Follow these 7 strategies consistently and you will see an improvement in your small business marketing—whether in the form of more leads or even better, more customers.
For more help with growing your business, try adapting one of our six free sample marketing plans below: