Did you make it during the holiday season when you were better prepared for the festive crowd?
Maybe your sales weren’t as good as you expected, or maybe you’re reconsidering whether your social media marketing should be carried out by yourself or outsourced from an agency?
If you are a small business owner running your own marketing strategy, you already know how difficult it can be.
In addition to running your small business, managing employees, raising funds and running books like a boss – you have also decided to run your own marketing campaign.
If you’ve been a fan of the Mad Men TV show, you’ve probably already heard “Sell the Sizzle, not Steak.” That’s short marketing. But without the help of a large advertising agency, how do you increase sales and create a positive buzz around your brand – without losing your mind?
Keep reading to find 7 effective tips to take your marketing strategy to the next level in 2018.
1. Outsource what you can.
There is a reason why large advertising agencies are so expensive. A team of marketing professionals can turn a dad into a diamond. But again there is that word: expensive. If you don’t have the money to hire a marketing or advertising agency, the good news is that marketing can be a lot of fun, if you have the aptitude for creativity. But don’t fall prey to one of the simplest start-up rookie mistakes: try to do it all.
If you want to run your own Facebook ad, or social media marketing campaign, you can do it yourself with potentially stunning results. There is a reason that social media has given birth to new celebrities; Influential social media is great equality, and almost anyone can learn how to do it. Contrary to the law or something like your taxes.
But don’t underestimate how much time you can spend running a successful social media account or blog. Are you going to be an effective DIY marketer to outsource any other area of your business to make up for a fraction of the time?
2. A planner is your best friend
Do you have a planner? Digital or paper, it doesn’t matter as long as you have one. If you’re looking to start your own DIY marketing campaign, it’s important to make sure you keep track of the plate you’re currently on.
The big downside of DIY marketing? Missing an important holiday or event that can be extremely beneficial for your business. Set aside an afternoon in January to meet your planners. Use different colored highlights to identify different projects, so you never get caught unawares again. The following marketing calendar, courtesy of AdEspresso, outlines the major retail holidays in 2018 to make it easier to manage your marketing schedule:
3. Define your purpose
Before you plan your content calendar for 2018, determine what your marketing objectives are. Are you looking for new customers? Increase sign up for your newsletter? Perhaps you are looking to increase your website traffic instead. Maybe it’s all of the above.
Whatever your motives, it’s important to be crystal clear about what you want before you start pursuing it.
4. Don’t spread your social media campaigns too thin
Don’t get drunk on hashtag punches. By that I mean, if you’re a florist, go ahead and find all the stops for Valentine’s Day. But what if you are a chartered accountant? You probably don’t need to own that holiday with hashtags.
In the digital age, the market is completely soaked by competitors. The best way to stand out from the crowd? Do what you do and do it well. But don’t try to fill every vacation, including all the make-up, in an effort to expand your social media clout. Consumers are increasingly appreciating “thirsty” brands and this is not a good idea.
Choose a few major holidays that are directly related to your purpose and think about ways to maximize your chances of meeting your goals.
5. Don’t be afraid to test
When it comes to finding a successful marketing strategy, you need to try a few different formulas before you can find one that fits your brand. Split test Facebook ads, or try experimenting with a new theme on Instagram.
There are basically limitless options for finding inspiration for your next marketing campaign. Accept what works, skip the rest.
Over time, you’ll get a better idea of what works best for your customers and how to use it to maximize sales and conversions.
6. Actively seek fresh inspiration
Any marketing, but especially social media marketing, is subject to change at the notice of one second. Intelligent trend hunters use social media to find the “next big thing” and the instant trend on Instagram survives and dies. Don’t be a slave to marketing trends, but at the same time, actively seek new inspiration from other marketers or brand strategists you admire.
Try and find those who have already won in what you want to do and test some of their successes yourself.
What will you do in 2018 to improve your DIY marketing skills? Share your story in the comments.