You can start your marketing journey today! All you need is internet, a few hours, and about $20. You do not even have to pay us anything. We are happy to provide this information to you for free. That $20 is just for paid advertising. You can start marketing even if your shop is closed.
Marketing is incredibly important for any company. Any entrepreneur knows that you must stand out from others to succeed. You must have a competitive advantage. Marketing is one type of competitive advantage. There are many useful benefits to marketing. Some of the benefits include informing customers of new options, and building a relationship with them. Both of these can increase customers’ trust in your brand. We have talked about ways to start digital marketing in the past. Today we are diving deeper and providing you a guide on how to start your marketing journey.
Step 1: Get Social
Get on every social media platform you can and make a presence. It is okay if you personally do not use social media. You can easily learn how to manage social media for your company. We offer a free Secrets for Success Social Media Guide. It covers how to create business accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. You can simply go to https://acumenconnections.com/ and download the PDF from the pop up that is displayed.
There are over 169 million US Facebook users. That is over half the US population! In comparison to the number of people that watch TV in a month, there are almost 3 times more people on Facebook. Customers use Facebook for several reasons. Potential customers use it to verify that companies are trustworthy. The lack of a strong social media presence can be a red flag. They also use social media to see what people are saying about the company in reviews. 45% of consumers go to social media when they have questions. Messenger offers a platform for them to ask.
Some social media basics: use your logo for your image. Add as much information as possible. Be sure to include a link to your website! If it lets you link up with your other social media accounts, be sure to do that too. Customers will not follow your account if it takes a lot of effort to find it. Try to keep the usernames the same across the board. If you can edit your website, add links to your social media accounts. Place them either at the footer of the website or on the contact us page. Those are 2 common places people will look.
Step 2: Tell Everyone You Know
If you are uncomfortable with talking about your business, then no one else will be comfortable either. It is likely that the first people that follow your page will be friends and family. That is okay. It will take some time to add more customers. If you post something you are excited about on your business page, you can share it to your personal account as well. It will gain more traction that way. Even if friends interact with your shared post on your own personal account, it still helps.
Use this time to gain honest feedback from friends and family. Does your about section make sense and sound interesting? Does your cover photo and profile picture resemble your brand? Does your page look professional? Check it out on computer and mobile to see what customers see. Once you feel confident with your social media presence, go onto the next step: digital marketing.
Step 3: Email Capture
There are lots of different ways to go about digital marketing. Email capture is one of the simplest and easy-to-learn forms of marketing. This process starts by coming up with a free online product to offer potential customers. There are a lot of different options. A school might offer a free virtual tour. An author might offer the first chapter for free. Some websites offer a free trial for 15 days. Even online raffles are used for this. The idea is to offer something small that you can give away without hurting profit. Digital products are best. You want this offer to be helpful for the customer while still leaving them to want more. Think of it like a food sample, but online.
Email capture campaigns give you access to send someone marketing material. You provide a free sample, and in return, they provide an email address and permission to contact them. Once you have that access, you can send them marketing information. They can learn more about your company’s products and services. You will need to set up a few accounts to get started. You will need to sign up for a marketing email service. You will also need to set up your Facebook ad account. We will discuss how you go about setting up both.
When it comes to marketing email platforms, we recommend Mailchimp. They have multiple different price plans, but they do offer one free level. It has less features than the others. However, if this is your first email campaign, the free plan works great. Once you have an account and have entered in all your business information, you will want to create some items. You will need a sign-up form and a few email templates.
Fortunately, Mailchimp has a bunch of helpful videos on their YouTube page. They have videos to walk you through creating a sign-up form, and email templates. For the sign-up form, we recommend only requesting email or email and first name. If you had to fill out a bunch of information, you would likely bail. More people will sign up if you ask for less information. Read up on law around email capture sign up forms. You will need to include a link to terms and conditions. In there, it will need to explicitly state that they are giving you permission to contact them. Your terms and conditions will likely need other information too.
We have some advice on the emails you send. Keep the subject lines interesting while still being pertinent to the topic. “Here’s that PDF you requested” is a subject line that will be clicked a lot more than, “Some information about our company”. Email one should provide them with another link to your free resource or PDF. Email two should introduce what you sell and how it helps people. Use the third email to introduce the business owner. The fourth email can be used to explain features of a select product or two. Think about a fifth or sixth email to provide more insight on your products or offer a free coupon. You can control who receives that discount code email by different variables. Base the decision on if they have previously opened or clicked one of your emails. Include a logo, website link, and contact information in every email. Send these emails out over the course of about three – four weeks. If you are currently closed, you can always wait until you reopen to start sending out the emails. When businesses start up again, you will be competing with every other business vying for consumers’ money.
At this point, you might be wondering how people stumble upon your email sign up form. That is where the paid advertising comes into the equation. Use Facebook advertising to get the word out about the free item. Facebook is relatively easy to learn and affordable. You could pay $20, or more, to run targeted ads for about a week or two. The idea is to get people to click a link to go to your sign-up form. Want to know how to use Facebook ads? We have a whole section that walks you through the process in our free Secrets for Success Social Media Guide that is available on our website.
There are a lot of different ways to advertise. However, an email drip campaign, or email collection campaign, can go a long way with relatively little technology experience or funds! If you want to stand above your competition, this is the way to do it. If you have about $20 and a few hours, you can set this up in a day.
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