If you’re a small business owner in Alberta, you’re probably juggling many things so before you give yourself an ulcer, let’s break this down into manageable steps.
Here we go:
(1) What is your brand story? Every business should have a story – this is the best way to ensure that your ideal customer can relate to you, your products or services. Think about what you do and why it matters. For example: Starbucks sells coffee; it matters because they’ve created a community around coffee. You may not have the bank account to afford a luxurious home or car, but you can afford the luxury of a specialty coffee. But unless your audience can relate to you and your offerings, they won’t pay attention.
(2) What are your priorities? Having a clear vision of your overall business priorities should help you keep your marketing efforts in focus. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement (there are many things to test and try) but be ruthless in the things you invest time and money in. An integrated approach to marketing is smartest. Look at what you’re doing offline (ads, mail outs, posters) and link to what you’re doing online.
(3) What kinds of resources do you have? Social media has certainly made marketing more economical for businesses with smaller marketing budgets. However, we’re not in 2007 anymore and social media is big business. Just like any other marketing endeavour, you should have a budget set aside for your online activities. Expect to spend money on ads – unless you can afford to spend on exquisite PR stunts.
(4) What does success look like? Know the outcomes you wish to see. Do you want increased traffic to your website? Foot traffic to your stores? Media attention? Brand awareness? Whatever outcomes you define as success, make sure you have targets to measure against. Remember that marketing campaigns can take a while to roll out and up to a year for true results to come to fruition.
There is a myth that plans aren’t necessary when it comes to business. But if you don’t have a plan, how do you know if you’re on track? So start with a plan. It doens’t have to be complex, but it should include the basics. A basic marketing plan can be straight-forward and can include: Objective(s), Goal(s), Audience, Message (USP), Strategy, Tactic(s), KPIs/Metrics, Execution, Tracking and Measurement. It sounds like a bit of work, because it is. If you’re looking for more resources on marketing, check out the blogs below.
2018 Social Media Tactics For Businesses
Get Started With Social Media Management
What is a social media competitive analysis and why does my small business need one?
How should businesses create a plan for social media and how will they track their success?
Social media training: where to start
Kat is your local Alberta resource for everything social media and digital marketing. She helps individuals and organizations across industries develop and execute integrated marketing and communications strategies that get results. If you aren’t sure where to start, give her a buzz!