Small businesses are at the core of the finer things in life. But no matter what unique services or products you offer, it can feel nearly impossible to stand out on social media.
Large companies are able to dedicate thousands each month just on their social media appearance.
You might have wondered if you can even compete.
The short answer: of course. Although you might not have a big budget (or any budget) to put towards social media marketing, you’re not out of options.
All you need is a little creativity, which – as a small business owner – you have in spades.
The first suggestion gets to the heart of what people love more than anything, and that is free stuff. Or discounted stuff. Or exclusive stuff. In general, stuff is a great way to get people’s attention.
What you offer as your contest prize will depend on the nature of your business. Perhaps it’s a 15% discount on a roofing service or a free set of your most popular candles.
Make sure that whatever you choose is high-quality and convert a contest winner into a loyal customer. How does this help grow your follower count? State that people need to follow you and share the post to enter the contest.
Brushing up your look
Some larger companies have a team of outsiders and analysts constantly redoing their designs. It sounds good in theory, but those outside design teams rarely come up with designs that their customers connect with.
You, on the other hand, are close with your audience. Take the time to do a subtle revamp of your designs without feeling too pressured by industry standards.
Then make sure you update your design (and announce it) across all platforms. This includes any formatting in your emails and even your business cards. If you’re looking for a free option to create at-home printables, businesscards.co is a great option.
Collaborating with other brands
Remember when Hulu and Spotify first offered a combo package? Or when Doritos let Taco Bell turn their chips into taco shells? The point is that brand collaborations are effective.
Check out the accounts of people who engage with your social media accounts. Look for other brand accounts they enjoy and what businesses are operating in the same hashtags.
The daunting part for most is reaching out suggesting the collaboration. This free template and article shows you how to create the perfect proposal and land a branding buddy.
Engaging through livestreams
Think of some of the biggest, most recognizable brands you know. Do you know the face of the person who runs that business?
We’re willing to bet that you don’t. A company that big has grown out of having a single “face.” You, on the other hand, know everything about your business.
Leverage this by engaging directly with your audience through livestreams. Talk about your interests, answer questions, and help followers connect to you as a person and business owner.
Issuing an audience challenge
The ice bucket challenge. The cinnamon challenge. The mannequin challenge. These are some notable examples of challenges that seem to creep into everyone’s social media periphery.
You don’t have to create a global phenomenon to enjoy a similar outcome.
Instead, learn about challenge ideas and apply them to your niche. For example, a yoga studio could challenge their followers to film themselves trying a new flow, then ask them to tag a yogi friend.
Don’t fret over a small-to-nonexistent marketing budget. Instead, lean in to your authenticity and connect with your audience as only a small business owner can.
Developing a great digital marketing plan should be the most prioritize strategy if growing online is a major or paramount goal for any forward looking corporate brand. Just like developing a business plan gives or breakdown a clear blueprint or road-map to show the futuristic foresight’s of any forward looking organization, so is developing or designing a digital marketing plan a cursor that propagates and direct the digital strategy of a corporate brand.
A Digital Marketing Plan is a strategic document that creates the detail timelines for all the planning for a company or brand’s digital marketing campaigns or actions. It’s the roadmap to a successful and productive digital presence on the internet.
This article, show Ten (10) key steps in developing a great digital marketing plan for brands and also actionable snippet to make it work.
1. DEFINED THE BRAND OBJECTIVES:
Define the brand objectives – This is quite straight forward, in a nut shell this segment addresses why the business needs to go online. What the intrinsic goals are? Is it to introduce your product or services into the market? To run instant sales? Or to gain awareness or relevance on social media? Whatever the case maybe, your online objectives should and MUST be clearly defined and this also includes a well-planned time frame for your objectives to be achieved.
Action Plan: Write out your Top Three (3) Digital Marketing Objectives.
2. TARGET AUDIENCE:
A company’s brand or project cannot cater for everyone it must have a specific target audience or mostly if the brand is into niche-specific product or service, it must define its target audience and decide where they are predominantly located, what time will the campaign be most effective. A brand that is into pageantry will to study the time period young that people that resonate with such events most likely appear on platforms like Instagram, Facebook etc.
Action Plan: The brand should have a brainstorming and research session with its team by categorizing target audience and understanding their online behaviors and how it affects its digital penetration strategies.
3. CHOOSING THE RIGHT CHANNELS AND MEDIUM:
This has to deal with the online medium the brand uses in relaying its message to the target audience. Is it through the company’s website, social media or third-party online vendors? Example, the brand sales online, it must define the number of online sales to breakeven. The goal here is to define the necessary digital online platform, medium, and channels (Blogs, Social Media, Online Forums, etc.), where the target audience can reach the brand more productively.
Action Plan: Based on the brand or organization, it must be defined what media channels and mediums users or potential customers are using to reach the brand goals. In a nutshell which channel (Facebook, Instagram, Email Platforms etc.) gives the brand the best productivity for the business growth. Remember conversion is essential.
4. WHERE IS THE BRAND NOW:
Where is the brand now. As a brand, it is ideal that the business comes up with the SWOT Analysis of the brand’s current state, in lieu of market expectations and also in comparison with its competitors. In a nutshell, is the evaluation of the strength, weakness, opportunity and most importantly the threat the brand is facing with reaching its online goals. As far as I am concerned, this is where the hard dose of reality needs to step in for the business to achieve reasonable and reliable online goals. It is expedited for the brand to ask holistically these questions. What are we outsourcing online? how can we control our online presence? What do we need to put in place for our digital campaigns to be consistent? What is the competition doing differently? The brand must find a way to answer and solve these puzzles.
Action Plan: The brand should carry out an ONLINE SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) Analysis of the brand. Realistic and measurable effort must be put in place to get this right.
5. CORE BRAND VALUE:
This aspect deals with defining the business or brand’s unique selling point, its core brand value and why it really stands out. The major trigger here is to think like the customer or target audience. Why should the customer choose us rather than the competition?
Action Plan: A thorough definition of why or what makes the brand’s project or offering stands out should be defined.
6. MARKETING BUDGET:
Just as budget is set aside for the day-to-day running of the brand, likewise it is definitely important for a sizeable marketing budget to be set aside for the company’s digital online operations in lieu with meeting its online marketing goals. Great brands are achieving success in the digital spectrums by placing aside sizeable budget of the company’s annual budget to cater for its digital needs.
Action Plan: Create a budgeting plan for your online goals. Advisably, at least one-third (1/3rd) of the brands overall budget.
It is paramount the brand knows and keep track of the competition, know what they are doing and what is working for them. The point here is not to be a copycat but to measure what is working for them and see if it can be integrated into the marketing plan. This is a very popular strategy in the telecommunication and banking sector.
Action Plan: The brand should Study Top five (5) competitors in its niche and see how it fares with them.
8. MARKETING CALENDAR:
Discipline is the watchword here. The brand should create a marketing calendar of the time it will be posting, scheduling, or giving out giveaways, it should be perfectly spelled out; in a nutshell, have a disciplined digital calendar.
A proven great tool that is extremely useful in achieving strategic marketing reminders is Google calendar.
Application likehoot-suite and buffer is another great scheduling tool for social media posting and scheduling that can come in handy.
Action Plan: The brand should decide which scheduling tool is right and necessary for its online plans to be successful one. Consistency is everything.
9. WELL DEFINED METRICS :
The one advantage of online marketing over traditional is the ability to measure and track business growth with well defined metrics. On Facebook we have a Facebook insight, which gives how users react and the estimated sizable audience of a particular campaign. Google analytics gives insights and real data of how targets audiences are performing. Its needless if a brand activities online cannot be tracked and measured. The ROI on investment for such a brand’s digital activities is like a ship sailing without a specific anchor direction.
Action Plan: Define the tools (software’s) and metrics that will give measurable instance on how the brand is doing on the digital spectrum
10. ATTACK WITH THE PLAN:
In a nutshell, the brand must put everything into action and work with the plan (attack with the plan). The overall goal for designing a digital marketing plan is to achieve the brand’s business objectives by improving and increasing sales, awareness, and the ultimate objective, to make profit.
Definitely, the goals must define in the short, middle, or long term as the case may be.
As always, the brand must seek to outsource its online goals to experts so as to achieve its overall goals.