In the simplest terms what is Marketing?
Marketing sums all of the activities and tactics you adapt to promote the buying and selling of a product, service or idea.
Often people confuse opening a social media account, or a website with marketing but that is not the case. Mentioning your product name to a prospect is marketing your product.
Running a business is no easy feat especially in a world where there are so many competitors and your voice has to be louder than others or unique to have an advantage.
This is in no way saying marketing will quadruple your sales, but it will definitely help make achieving this goal 3x easier. Do not fret and say you cannot market.
I saw my mom market her business for years. We never considered it marketing. She would say I don’t run ads, never paid for billboards, but guess what she would design flyers, product brochures, magazines, release communication material periodically and send regular newsletters in envelopes.
After gaining marketing knowledge I said “Mom you have been marketing and branding your business for years, you just never acknowledged it. Now we are going to make it better and digital.”
Simple Tools for SME marketing
Must I Be on Social Media?
Social media is great. It can even be considered one of the greatest innovations of our time. It has given small businesses a voice, on platforms where they can afford to meet a wider audience as well as gather audience insights.
However, what happens when social media is taken away??
The advice that you should not base all your marketing on social media is 100% right. Your social media followers are not your community. Social media is a good trend but the thing about trends is; they come and go.
You know what is established:
You do not want to rely on social media for your business. What happens if the internet goes off or when Instagram is no longer a trend and you need to communicate with your audience?
… radio silence.
So yeah let’s get down to business.
This article is not telling you how to market online or tips on digital marketing there are lots of information on that.
This is about getting it right, this is practical information on cost effective and affordable marketing for SMEs from years of marketing across various sectors and of course some of my mom’s best tactics from her over 20 years of passive marketing.
The most important aspect of marketing is that the product is marketable and there is a target audience for it. So yeah you like books and you’re going to open a bookstore fine: can your target market read? Do they have buying power?
For instance you want to write a book for babies obviously babies do not read so who is that target audience here?
The parents so the book will be created for babies but marketed to the parents and guardians who will be reading to the babies.
Social media is not magic. The fact that you decide to create a social media presence on social media doesn’t mean that you will start to sell.
Social media does not guarantee sales but it does help sales.
Social media will act as a brand positioning tool, means of advert and a brochure. Use it as you would use a physical reception or store. Use it as a tool to reach out to a larger audience.
Keys to social Media
Brand Consistency: In your branding
Brand voice, Brand design, message.
Relevance Consistency: This is consistency in posting of relevant information. Relevant being the key word. If you cannot post every day, guess what?? It is okay.
Pressure to post everyday leads to watered down posts.
You have prepared a 30 day calendar and out of pressure to post everyday you have a few posts that are not relevant and have no value but “they say you have to post everyday” so now you are posting a motivational quote no one relates with because #mondaymotivation and for posting sake. You end up with 10 likes at most and say ‘no one is engaging with my post”
You know exactly why.
What can you do
Now a content calendar is 100% important but be flexible with it. Fill it up with content that needs to be shared, not days that have to be filled. All the days do not have to be filled up.
Remember when we came on Instagram to look at nice pictures and catch up with our friends and online people, yeah that still stands, we are still on Instagram for that. Post a snap of your work desk, of a new fabric, new product, your breakfast. That’s what I want to see on Instagram apart from your product offerings and brand values.
If you can, do away with spending a ridiculous amount of time on graphic designs and a caption that has been carefully thought of and planned for weeks. No! be original.
A simple picture of the behind the scenes with a one line caption and a simple caption works better than a graphic design you have spent hours working on and a caption written and deleted multiple times.
The Key is to be human.
Be as human as possible. Social media means being social. Be human, be a natural original and show the human side of the business.
Videos, Images, Captions, Free Images,
A website is important. It serves as an online reception for your business. These days websites serve as an online shop, and sales person for your business. It helps to give your business an online visibility and create awareness for your business.
And guess what it is even cheaper than ever to get and manage one. Your business needs a website..
Alternatives to a website
However I would advise getting a well built website by an affordable and experienced web designer.
WordPress is a free and open-source content management system.. WordPress comes with a one time payment on domain and hosting. A website will allow you to sell while you sleep, promote your business, an online store, information on your business and give people a means to reach you.
Want an affordable website for your business?
Click here to request a quote.
Despite the rise of social media and unsolicited spam email (which is never a good marketing strategy, by the way), email remains the most effective way to nurture leads and boost customer loyalty.
There are many reasons you should make email marketing one of your top priorities, but here are the top 3:
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