Marketing: Focussing Your Efforts
When you’re running a business you’ve got a to-do list a mile long! We know, we’re right there with you! It can be an uphill battle to sort out your sales, invoicing, accounts, doing the actual work, and marketing. Marketing can be even more of a pain because it feels like there is always something else to do. Another social platform to use, have you been to this networking event or maybe do you need some posters?
It can be quite overwhelming, especially when you think of all the other things you need to do.
So how do you prioritise?
Know your audience
First of all, know your audience. Know who you’re trying to sell to. Now, this sounds a bit glib, but it’s true! If you’re trying to sell to young people there’s very little point in paying for newspaper advertising, but putting that budget into Instagram ads could see a massive return.
Start defining your audience by looking at who you’ve already sold to. If you haven’t started yet, spend a little bit of time daydreaming about who you imagine them to be. Is your audience mostly male or female? What sort of age bracket do they sit into? Why are they buying your product? Do you know that most of your customers like gardening, or hate going to the cinema?
The more information you have about your audience, the more informed you are about what you need to do.
Where am I marketing?
Firstly, you can discount options for marketing based on budget; most startups and micro-businesses just don’t have the budget for TV or Radio campaigns (but look into it, just in case!). Newspapers and magazines can be expensive options unless your audience is quite nice or specialised. but Digital Marketing is often where people decide to go.
By digital marketing, we mean everything from Facebook and Instagram to Google and Bing, and to directories like Yell. The Digital Landscape is changing, and there are so many options to choose from.
For one, you can manage it yourself, or pay someone else to do it (click here to find out about the time vs cash argument). You can see the results almost immediately. You’re likely to be using some of the platforms already.
In fact, Smart Insights recorded that there were 3.484 billion users of social media. That’s very nearly half of the world’s population.
Now, I know this is an article about focussing your efforts, but I would advise you to sign up for everything you can in terms of directories and search engines. Central Index is a good one, and so is Scoot as they both feed local directories in local newspapers etc. You can (and should!) create Google My Business and Bing profiles to help you appear in local search results. Make a list of where you sign up to, and then you only need to bother with most of these when something changes.
Next, it’s time to play match up! Work out where your audiences spend their time most. So if you’re selling to other businesses then LinkedIn is a good bet. If your selling to young people, then Instagram or TikTok might be a good option. If you’re selling to consumers 25 or over, Facebook is still a pretty good bet. Twitter can be used for professionals and is a mostly male platform (66% of users are male).
Now there’ll be some crossover between platforms. Say, your audience is generally men aged between 35-44, who are degree educated and working in a professional environment. Then you’ll be best off targeting LinkedIn and Twitter.
Why not use them all?
You can! It depends on how much time or money you have. If you’re looking to focus your efforts, then pick the best ones. If most of the content you make will go on multiple platforms, you might as well, especially if you’re using a scheduling platform like Buffer. This can mean you catch the people who’ve fallen through the net of your first ‘info-sweep’. Monitor them all carefully and see which ones work best for you.
Think about the capabilities of the platforms you’re looking to use too. You can only post videos of up to 60 seconds on Instagram, and the only link you can use is in the bio. A lot of the tricks available in your story are only available after you’ve hit a certain number of followers. Twitter displays images oddly in a feed (although you can click into it). Facebook has an algorithm that favours video (live or otherwise) and punishes links to external sites.
If you have to create completely separate content for each platform it will increase the amount of time you take to market your business. Keeping the content relevant and tailored (but not completely different), will help you to maximise your efforts.