Screen printed shirts are an inexpensive way to market your business when you’re out and about. How many times a week do you find yourself at the gas station, the grocery store, the bank, your favorite restaurant, or even a sporting event? Since you’re already wearing a shirt or some type of apparel, why not wear a shirt with your company information on it? Below are four benefits of this type of marketing:
Inexpensive Marketing.It costs a lot of money to market a business. Screen printed shirts are very cost-effective, and a good way to advertise your business without spending thousands of dollars a month on ads people “might” see.
Become your own walking billboard. Remember, when you’re in a line in a restaurant or store, most of the time there is someone behind you. That person behind you will see the back of your shirt and may need your services. This could be an easy client for you to earn their business, and all you did to get the contract was to have your business information on the back of your shirt. Being your own walking billboard is a great way to find potential clients!
Employees, Family Members, and Friends could advertise for your business. If you have family members, friends, and employees wearing your company shirts that would be a help to advertise your business. Remember, each of these individuals goes to all the places we mentioned earlier. Having several people going to these places (or places you don’t) could benefit your business.
Look more professional at a job site, and targeting more customers. If you have a business that you have to go to someone’s home, a job site, or meeting a client for the first time. Having Screen Printed shirts looks more professional, introduces yourself to a new client that you never have met before and can recognize you in a room easier, and you may even attract new clients when you’re in an office or a restaurant. If you own a business like a pool company and you go to several homes in a day, a neighbor may not be suspicious of you if you have your company shirt on that introduces you to them as the pool man. Do yourself a favor and give your company that professional look.
We would love to earn your business! We work with most businesses, sports associations for youth and adults, schools, and churches (to name a few). If you have any questions about file submissions, formats, and acceptable image resolution, please review our Printing Guidelines. Ready for your quote? Call us today! Click or tap 602-618-9767!
Running a small business is hard and marketing on a budget can be even harder. Let’s face it, budgets are tight, but the importance of marketing is essential for business growth. So, how do you get the biggest bang for your buck when marketing on a budget? How does your small business continue to grow with a limited marketing budget?
Blogging for business is going to give you the biggest bang for your buck. Over time, you are going to be able to build an audience and find potential customers. Blogging for business also provides a platform to be seen as the industry expert, this is always good for business. Use your blog to attract the right customer and build a sales pipeline of qualified leads. Give your website a purpose. If your company does not have a blog it is not too late, get started today.
Context Is Queen
Okay, you are now blogging and driving traffic to your website. Don’t forget about the content of your blog posts. The context of your blog posts is just as important as actually sitting down and writing. You need to clarify a pain point, answer a question, or add value to the visitor. Get to know what your ideal customer is searching for and create content around that. Your context will connect you with your audience.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the marketing tactic that optimizes your website to be found on search engines like Google. SEO will help you drive more traffic to your website. More traffic to your website means more leads. More leads mean more customers. Get to know what your customers are looking for through search and optimize every page to drive more traffic. This will also help your blogging efforts.
Use Directory Sites
Use Redditt and StumbleUpon to promote your blog posts. These sites are a great way to promote your content to a new audience. There are tons of blog directories that you can submit your content to. Make sure to uses these services to grow your blog audience. Hey, they are free for the most part.
Furthermore, submit your business to local and national business directories. This might not help your search engine optimization, but it will provide a link to your website. Business directories can help drive traffic to your website, usually for free.
Video marketing is a big deal. Now that the largest social media network, Facebook, allows native video, it is time to start filming. Yes, I get it video can be demanding and intimidating. Just remember, video marketing does not have to be the next Star Wars. In fact, many of the biggest YouTube stars have a simple video strategy. Again, it comes back to the context of your video. Are you connecting with the right person at the right time?
Update: Have you see the amount of live video on social media? Live video is a great way to connect with your audience and continue to nurture leads. Live video is becoming a must for any social media strategy.
Have you ever been told that you have a face for radio? Well, podcasting is for you. This is a simple way to get your message in front of your customer. The best podcasts are those that help and add value. Yes, it is about the context of your message. Podcasting is very affordable to get started and can have huge benefits for your business. It is just another way to get your brand and marketing message out there.
Use Your PPC (Pay Per Click) Promo Credits
Typically, PPC is not an option for most small businesses. It can be very expensive and fail to yield the return your business is looking for. However, if you use Google or Facebook products, you can typically get some sort of promotion credit. Spend $25 and get $100 in free advertising is a typical Google promotion. You should also get free credits from your website hosting provider. Use these free credits to drive traffic to your site and test the market. Who knows, you might find a gold mine. There are plenty of business built on pay per click campaigns.
Use Social Media For Networking
I am sure that you knew social media marketing would pop up on the list. You are right, but use it for more than just promoting your products or services. Use it to network with the right people. There are over 1.5 billion active users on Facebook, you should be able to find 1 or 2 people that you can mutually benefit from a business relationship.
Social and Online Contests
These contests are becoming huge and simple to execute. There are programs out there like Raffle Copter that make these contest easy to set up, run, and monitor. Social media contests are a great way to grow your social media presence and promote your products or services. Just make sure your giveaway is worth signing up for.
Everyone loves a loyalty program. Now, you do not need to have anything as robust as your local grocery store. You can use the old fashion punch card, buy 10 get 1 free. The main focus is rewarding your customers with something that will continue to bring them back and promote your business to their friends. A loyalty program can go a long way.
Find Industry Partners
You cannot specialize in everything in your industry, but you can share leads. For example, if you own an insurance agency that specializes in auto or home insurance, you should find a legit financial partner to share leads. You have very similar customers and your customer can benefit from the services you both provide. Industry partners are a fantastic way to grow your business, just find the right-parters that actually share leads.
Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce
Should you join the Chamber of Commerce? Yes, this is where you are going to find your industry partners. Besides finding like-minded people, you are going to be able to build your network and build lasting business relationships. Your local Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start your marketing efforts. The Chamber of Commerce was built to help you grow your business.
Apply For Business Awards
This is a hard one. I am not a fan of tooting my own horn. However, it needs to be done. If there is an award in your town or industry you need to apply for it. Many times these awards come through the Chamber of Commerce. Think of the potential exposure it will bring your company. Business awards are great for exposure, do not miss the opportunity.
Host An Event
One of the most common real estate marketing ideas is the open house. Really, what is an open house? It is an event that showcases the product, the home. Events are a great way to gain exposure to your business. Give away a free seminar just to get people in your doors. Event marketing, when done correctly can be a great way of generating new leads for your business. This is also where having great industry partners comes in.
Attend An Event
Are there events in your industry? Sure, every industry has trade shows, conference, or annual awards dinners. Make sure to attend them. These events can be costly, I get it. However, they are really just pennies when you think about knowledge and relationships you will gain. If you really want to get benefit from these events, apply to be a speaker. Being seen as the industry guru helps customers come to you. Event marketing can become the cornerstone of your marketing plan.
Local Events/Farmers Markets
Every weekend there is a local farmers market, festival, sports event, etc. If it makes sense from your customer segmentation strategy, show up. You could even participate or volunteer to get to meet even more local residents. Local events are a great way to build your brand exposure in the community that you live in. I have even seen some of the larger companies participate in these marketing tactics.
Email marketing has the highest return on investment of any marketing tactic. In fact, it can yield a 4,600% return on your efforts. Start building your email list. Value always trumps promotion in email marketing. Take the give, give, give, ask mentality with email marketing. Give value 80% of the time and ask for the business 20% of the time. This will help you stay in the customer inbox.
Marketing automation services can be costly. The software alone can cost hundreds of dollars per month. However, it is the only way you are going to be able to custom tailor your marketing message to your audience. Marketing automation is about segmenting your marketing based on customer’s behaviors and preferences, not pushing your marketing message. Marketing automation will help your small business send the right marketing message at the right time. This will increase the chance your customer buys from you.
There are tons of different types of vehicle advertising out there. From the full out wrap to the car magnet, you can find something that fits your budget. You are driving anyway, you may as well use the miles to promote your business.
Hire The Right Marketing Agency
Finding is the right marketing partner can be hard. There are some really good marketing agencies and some not so good marketing agencies. The trick to finding the right marketing agency writing down the expectations and deliverables. If you and your marketing agency have a clear marketing plan and schedule of deliverables, everyone will be on the same page, making it easier for both parties involved. A marketing agency can be a great way to increase your marketing potential.
Measure Your Results
As a marketing professional, I tend to think this is a no-brainer. Most businesses take the approach of flinging some mud on the wall and seeing what sticks. Marketing without data is a no-win scenario. You need to know what is driving revenue for the business. Knowing what is working will help your small business stretch your marketing budget even further.
Friends & Family
Do you fear to market to friends and family? Now I am not talking about going all network marketing on them. We are not sitting our closest friends and family on your couch and telling them about an investment opportunity that they can’t miss. I am talking about asking for introductions to the right people. Avoid marketing to friends and family too much, you still have to live with them.
Follow Up With Old Leads
Once a lead goes silent, what do you do? Do you follow up or do you give up? For the majority of sales, we give up too early. We fail to make the seventh contact, the contact that would have sealed the deal. So take a look back at your contact database or CRM and fire off an email or pick up the phone and ask how they are doing. What’s the worst that can happen? They say no again.
Building a business is hard work. Nobody has ever said it was a cake walk. Marketing on a budget can be even harder when you do not have marketing assistance. It would be great to spend thousands of dollars on marketing every month, but the good news is you do not have to. These budget-friendly marketing tactics can help you grow your business fast. The trick to marketing on a budget is executing against your marketing strategy.
Over the years, your website has become more and more important to your marketing. Since 2006, inbound marketing continues to be a proven marketing framework that delivers results. Inbound marketing is a marketing framework that delivers marketing the way your customer wants it. The days of pushing your marketing message through television, print, and radio are gone.
Inbound marketing is the process of attracting a new customer to your website through compelling content. This content earns your customer’s attention because it is highly valuable to the end user. This content not only helps find new traffic, but it helps bring traffic back to your website over and over.
There are 4 phases of the inbound marketing methodology. These stages outperform other marketing techniques because they do not stop at finding new customers, inbound marketing helps nurture visitors through the entire buyer’s journey. The 4 phases of the inbound marketing methodology are attract, convert, close and delight.
Phase 1 of the inbound marketing methodology – Attract Visitors
The goal of any marketing campaign is to find new customers. Traditionally, this has been done through television, radio, and print. The goal was to place your advertisement in the right place and gain as many impressions as possible. The more people that saw or heard your marketing message, the more potential customers would knock on your door.
Well, times have changed. Think of the last time you watched television without DVR. That’s right, it has been awhile. If you did watch television without DVR, you probably picked up your phone and checked in on Facebook when that commercial came on.
Today, attracting potential customers is done a little different. The focus of inbound marketing is attracting your ideal customer with quality content. The content created for inbound marketing campaigns needs to answer a question, solve a pain point, or entertain the user.
There are 4 main things you can do to attract your ideal customer.
Blogging for Business
Starting a blog for your business is the best way to drive traffic to your website. Your customers are searching Google right now looking for answers. Every time you create a blog post, you are given the opportunity to answer this question for them. Blogging for business gives your company a platform to engage and add value to your customer base. Starting a blog for your business is the first step in the inbound methodology.
Quick tip: If you are not the written word type, maybe your business blog is video based. Video marketing can be another form of blogging. In fact, it is best practice to take your blog topic and turn it into a video.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing scares a lot of business owners, marketing managers, and just about everyone. However, this is where your customers are hanging out when they are watching television commercials. Creating compelling content for your customers and posting to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and any new flavor of the month social platform will get your inbound marketing message in front of your buyers.
If anything, social media is a great place to promote your blog that you worked so hard on. Creating a social media strategy that appeals to your buyers will attract more buyers to your business. Inbound marketing gives your social media a purpose, not just posting funny cat videos (unless you are a veterinarian, cat videos are great).
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the marketing tactic of attracting visitors to your website through search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Finding the right keywords that your customers are searching for will attract more visitors to your website. Optimizing your website for high-traffic keywords will increase the effectiveness of your inbound marketing strategy.
Your blog and search engine optimization go hand in hand. Every time you blog for your business, the blog post should be optimized for one identified keyword. The more keywords your business targets, the more traffic your website will receive. Optimization of your website can pay off both short and long-term.
Phase 2 of the inbound marketing methodology – Convert Web Traffic
Your website is crawling with new traffic. Phase one of the inbound marketing methodology is starting to pay off. Phase two of the inbound methodology is about converting this website traffic into leads. The conversion process is what makes the inbound marketing method different and more effective than other marketing methods.
Let’s face it, marketing is only as good as the leads it creates. Without leads, marketing was a failure There are three main conversion mechanisms that will turn your website traffic into leads.
Call to Action
You have the attention of your potential customer. It is now time to tell them what you want them to do. Your call to action is going to be tied to the goal of your inbound marketing campaign. This can be as easy as downloading an eBook with further valuable information or scheduling a free inbound marketing consultation.
Your call to action is the first step in the conversion process. Typically, this is a link that directs the visitor to a landing page.
A landing page is a page on your website that has a specific purpose. This purpose is to pay off a call to action or give additional information about your product or services. Your landing page will include a form that the user can fill in order to get the offer from your call to action.
The exchange of information has happened. You now have a lead. Your customer database or CRM is a piece of software that holds the data and contact records. The customer database is vital to the inbound marketing method because it will aid in the close phase of the inbound marketing method.
In order to get the best results, your customer database should be tied in with your marketing platform and website. Having these pieces of software connected will ensure that your inbound marketing efforts are deployed and tracked accordingly. Your customer database is essential to the inbound marketing methodology.
Phase 3 of the inbound marketing methodology – Close Leads
In the past, it has been the job of sales to knock on doors, make cold calls, and attend as many networking events as possible. The inbound marketing method helps sales professionals close more deals because of the helping nature of inbound marketing. The close phase of the inbound marketing methodology is the phase where visitors are turned into revenue.
Now that your customer database has filled up with leads, it is now time to close these leads and create lifelong customers.
Finding Warm Opportunities
It is easier for sales professionals to close leads when the lead is ready and willing to make a purchase. Because inbound marketing is built on a customer database that is tracking leads behaviors, the inbound methodology is able to identify these willing customers through lead scoring. When your lead is ready to purchase, your sales team will be notified.
Sending The Right Message at The Right Time
When your potential customer is looking for a solution, odds are they are also shopping your competition. The inbound methodology is about adding value to the end user through valuable content. While looking to close a lead, sending the right piece of content at the right time is critical. Every lead takes a different path to close, so sending content through email based on the behaviors they take on your website will deliver content at the right time to close the deal.
Add Value Through Email
Sometimes leads go cold. Maybe the budget changed, they are demoing the competition, or maybe the needs of the business changed. This does not mean that they are a dead lead. Well-crafted email marketing can turn a cold lead into a ready and willing buyer. Email marketing is still one of the most profitable marketing tactics out there when executed correctly. Email marketing aligned with value-based content will help move the lead through the buyer’s journey.
Closing The Loop With Analytics
You did it. You landed that new lead. First off, congrats. This is a huge day for the company, the sales professional, and your marketing team. In the past, marketing has never been held responsible for revenue. The inbound marketing methodology is built around data. By tagging and tracking inbound marketing through your customer database, you are going to be able to track revenue back to the campaign and the source responsible for the revenue.
Phase 4 of the inbound marketing methodology – Delight Your Customers
The customer has officially closed and revenue has been recorded. It took time and hard work to get here. I hope you treated your team to coffee or lunch. Here is where most marketing efforts stop, at realized revenue. However, it is much easier to keep a customer and get a referral from a customer than find a new customer.
The last step of the inbound marketing methodology is to delight your existing customer. That is right the inbound method really never stops, it just continues to add value and pump revenue back into your business.
What does your company do when you close that deal? Turn on the app and walk away? A great onboarding campaign will help your customer understand the ins and outs of your product or service. Make sure that your new customer is getting the same attention as when they were a new lead.
Again, the on-boarding process is about creating valuable content through your blog, customer portal, or automated email series. Customer on-boarding is the first step to keeping and retaining a new customer.
Deliver The Right Up-Sell
By tracking your customer’s behavior, you are able to tell what problems or questions they are having. Maybe your company offers a service that compliments their already purchased product. Make sure to send them a relevant offer at the right time. Sending the wrong up-sell could tarnish the brand and the relationship you worked so hard to build.
Use Social Media
Yup, social media strikes again. Use your social media channels to deliver customer service or ask for that referral. Once your customer is fully on-board and loving your product or service, ask for that social media share. Social media is a great way to get your customer to share their feedback and review of your company. By delighting your customer, you are able to make the ask that many companies would love to get.
Stop Interrupting, Start Converting – The Inbound Marketing Methodology
The inbound marketing methodology is about adding value to the end consumer. It is time to deliver value to your customer. The inbound marketing methodology is about attracting new visitors, converting visitors to leads, closing leads to customers, and delighting customers to become brand advocates. The inbound marketing methodology will drive the results your business is looking for.
Blogging is the heart and soul of your inbound marketing, social media marketing, and overall content marketing. Blogging for business is a must for any company.
The other day I was talking with a prospective client. He had just paid $3,500 for a new great looking website and was really excited about the website. The client was also concerned that nobody would see it. He was right. Yes, the website looked great, but there was nothing driving traffic to the new site. So, we had a long conversation about how blogging for business would give his new website purpose.
These are the 25 reasons we talked about the client starting a blog for his business.
Let new customers find you.
When was the last time you had a question? I bet you hit the old internet to find your answer. Your customers is no different. They are looking for answers to their questions. Every new blog post gives your company the opportunity to answer these questions and be found by prospective customers.
Help explain your products or services.
Do you have a product that is hard to explain? Even if you are an air conditioning repair company, you have services that your customer had questions about. When the AC is out you are needed. This is an easy sell. How about your pre-summer AC checks and maintenance packages? A blog can help you explain these products to your customers.
Increase traffic to your website.
Okay, we have a website. We would like to see some traffic, right? Blogging for business is like giving your website an at bat and a chance to hit a home run. The more quality content you produce, the more opportunities you have to be found by your customers and clients. Start giving your website more at bats with more blog posts.
Become an industry leader.
Is your business the leader in the industry? Are you the best at what you do? Sure you are. Your blog is going to back this claim up. Think about it, if you write a book you are pretty much the guru in the room. Or at least seen as the guru. Blogging is very similar, you are able to share your expertise with the world. Blogging for business gives you the opportunity to show the world you are the leader in your industry.
Think of it this way. You are reading this blog post. I hope you think I am a blogging expert. If not, I have not done my job.
Build relationships with your customers.
Let’s face it, people are always thinking they are going to get ripped off. Blogging for business will show your potential customer that you are legit and start to build a relationship. Providing valuable information and helping them answer a question will help you build trust. Give away free advice and they will come knocking next time they need your service.
Identify new revenue streams.
I love to find new revenue streams and I bet you do as well. Building a blog for your business will give you the opportunity to ask your customers and clients questions. Use their responses to help build our new products or services.
For example. When I started my first marketing agency I was focused on inbound marketing services only. The more I blogged for my business the more I found out that I should also be consulting marketing teams on inbound marketing strategy. Cha Ching, new revenue stream.
You are falling behind.
This is pretty straightforward. Your competition is already blogging for their business and finding new customers. Don’t fall behind any further.
Tell your brand story.
Does your company have a story? There is a reason you got into the business. For example, I was laid off from a high-paying marketing job and needed a way to feed the family and pay bills. I decided that I was not going back to corporate America and went out and found some clients. The rest is history. Your blog gives you a chance to connect with people through your brand story.
I am sure you have been told to spend boatloads of money on trade shows, pay per click campaigns, social media ads, or direct mail. These are all still great ways to get new business, but blogging is one of the only free ways to promote your business. Yes, there is time involved in creating a great blog post, but it cost me $0 to write this post and you are now aware of the Symple brand.
Focus on your business.
Blogging for your business is a great way to learn more about you as a business person and learn about your business. The more you blog, the more you need to think about how each topic benefits your business. Blogging for business will have you thinking about your business differently.
Blogging creates free PR.
Does your business have a PR strategy? No, that is okay. Your blog is a great way for the press to find you and if you are willing (highly recommend) put your on camera. Your blog is a great way to get found and at least start the old PR machine.
Build links to your website.
Creating high-quality content allows you to be found on the internet. When you are found on the internet you have the chance of someone linking about to your article or website. The more links to your website, the more traffic. The more traffic to more customers.
Learn about your competition.
When was the last time you took a hard look at the competition? You analyzed the marketing tactics they are using to generate demand? If you are like most companies, potbelly never. When you start blogging for business, you are going to come across your competition as you do research. This is going to inform you of new competitors and also give you some insight into what your competition is doing.
Provide valuable information to your customers.
I am a huge believer that marketing should add value to the end consumer. Blogging for business is a great way to give your customer tips and tricks for free. I love giving away free advice because I know it will create a relationship and potentially create a new opportunity. Your blog should add value to the end user.
Share timely information with your customers.
Use your blog to let your customers know about an upcoming product release or let them know you are hosting an event. Your blog is a great way for your company to share important information with your customer base. It is also a great way to find new customers that are looking for something new.
Blogging for business is fun.
Okay, I might be the only one out there, but I really enjoy blogging for business. I am not a writer at heart, but I have learned the tricks of the trade and writing has become a way to relieve the stress of the business. I really enjoy writing and blogging for my business. You can too.
Gives your company a content marketing strategy.
Content marketing is the act of creating and sharing content (such as video, blogs, and social media) to promote your brand or company. Content marketing is intended to raise awareness and spark interest in your products or services. Blogging for business is the backbone of a content marketing strategy.
Gives your company a search engine optimization strategy.
Search engine optimization is the act of being found on Google, Bing, and Yahoo through organic search, not pay per click campaigns. Search engine optimization is important for any business because over 90% of transactions start with a Google. Every blog post you create gives your site a new indexed page in the search engines. Again, this gives you more at bats (l love baseball by the way).
Part of a lead nurturing strategy.
I am still surprised at how many companies, including marketing agencies, do not have a lead nurturing mechanism in place. Most customers are not ready to buy from you on the first introduction, but through marketing automation, you are able to continue to nurture leads and keep top of mind for when they are ready to buy. Blogging for business is one entry point into your lead nurturing campaigns.
Helps identify your customer wants.
Do you know what your customer is really looking for? Well, your blog will give you a pretty good indication of what they care about. The posts that have high interaction and engagement are the topics that your customers care about. This will also help you create new topics to blog about.
Build consumer confidence.
A blog on your website will build the confidence of your customers. As a marketing agency, I sit down with t a prospect and answer questions about the process, results, and tactics we are going to take. Through blogging and content, I am able to answer some of these questions before we even sit down. This helps the client build confidence in my services.
Helps your company innovate.
This goes hand in hand with competitive analysis. If you know what your competition is doing, you can create and innovate new products or services.
Part of your social media strategy.
Social media marketing is becoming more and more important to your business. Blogging for business helps fuel your social media with fresh new content. For example, this blog post will be broken up into 26 different social media post and shared across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Blogging for business is a great way to start engaging your customers on social media.
Expand your network.
Blogging for business can also help you find new connections in your community that can help grow your business. Team up with other like-minded bloggers and share content and guest post on their blog. This will help you build your hub of new power partners.
Helps you develop new skills.
Okay, writing might not be your strong suit. Storytelling might be your thing. Blogging for business can help you develop new skills you did not even know you wanted. From search engine optimization to writing, to photography blogging will give the platform to start learning something new.
Segment your customer base.
Customer segmentation is a strategy of creating micro groups of customers that have similar interests, demographics, or needs. If your business sells multiple products or has multiple target markets your blog will help you create valuable content for that individual group.
The first client I ever landed through inbound marketing was created from a blog post that was tailored to accountants. Within 3 days of publishing that blog post, the new lead was on the hook. Market segmentation can and will work for your business, let your blog be the guide.
Blogging For Business Conclusion
After the client created and started updating their blog traffic increased 71% over 5 months. The new website finally started to pay off for them. Blogging for business has become a part of their overall marketing plan and continue to drive new visitors, leads, and customers. The results from blogging have helped the client start looking for a second location.
Blogging for your business is very beneficial and no longer optional for your business. If you are not blogging or blog infrequently, it is time to get started today. According to HubSpot, Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts. There are going to be some bumps in the road, but the more you do it, the better you become.
What Are The Pros & Cons of Outsourcing Social Media
320,059,368 North Americans use the internet. 263,081,200 of these internet users use Facebook. I think it is safe to say that your ideal customer is online.
It is also safe to say that your business should be using the internet and social media to promote your business. The problem for many businesses, just like you, is managing and updating social media is not your strength. You can continue to try and get the results the marketing gurus promised, or you can outsource your social media marketing. But, is outsourcing social media a good idea?
Social Media Marketing Statistics
Before we take a look the pros and cons of outsourcing social media, let’s get on the same page. Let’s make sure that we know just how important social media is to your business. Here are a couple social media marketing statistics that illustrate the importance of social media.
Instagram earns $595 million in mobile ad revenue per year, a rapidly increasing number.
Despite news of layoffs and executives leaving the company, Twitter’s revenue is up 8% YOY
59% of Americans with social media accounts think that customer service through social media has made it easier to get questions answered and issues resolved.
Over 50 million businesses use Facebook Business Pages.
2 million business use to Facebook for advertising.
Facebook’s total revenue grew 56% in 2016, and advertising revenue grew 59%.
93% of Pinterest users use the platform to plan or make purchases.
39% of LinkedIn users pay for monthly premium accounts.
Pinterest drives 25% of all retail website referral traffic.
More than 56% of online adults use more than one social media platform.
75% of male internet users are on Facebook as well as 83% of female internet users.
32% of teenagers consider Instagram to be the most important social network.
Female internet users are more likely to use Instagram than men, at 38% vs. 26%.
29% of internet users with college degrees use Twitter, compared to 20% with high school degrees or less.
81% of millennials check Twitter at least once per day.
Most Instagram users are between 18-29 years old, about six-in-ten online adults.
22% of the world’s total population uses Facebook.
LinkedIn boasts more than 450 million user profiles.
On any given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of 18 to 34-year-olds in the US.
YouTube overall and even YouTube on mobile alone reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
Facebook continues to be the most widely used social media platform, with 79% of American internet users. Based on total population, (not just internet users) 68% of U.S. adults (you know, your customers) use it. What are you waiting for? Start advertising on Facebook already!
Instagram receives the silver medal with 32% of users, Pinterest coming in a close third with 31%, and LinkedIn and Twitter at 29% and 24% respectively.
76% of Facebook users visited the site daily during 2016, with over 1.6 billion daily visitors, compared to 70% of daily usage in 2015.
The average LinkedIn user spends 17 minutes on the site per month.
51% of Instagram users access the platform daily, and 35% say they look at the platform several times per day.
Almost 80% of time spent on social media platforms happens on mobile.
Katy Perry has the most worldwide Twitter followers, at 94.65 million.
Over 400 million snaps are shared on Snapchat per day, and almost 9,000 photos are shared every second.
Just 10 thousand YouTube videos have generated more than 1 billion views.
More than half of all YouTube views are on mobile devices.
So, I guess you can say things are getting pretty serious. If your business has tried social media or failed at social media your social media marketing can make a comeback. Your business can still get on the social media bandwagon and start seeing results.
Reasons You Should Outsource Social Media
Outsourcing sometimes gets a bad wrap. We think of sending production of our services and goods overseas to the lowest bidder. Well, I guess you could do that with your social media marketing. However, I would tend to outsource your social media marketing to an expert, not the lowest bidder.
Let’s look at 10 reasons why you should consider outsourcing your social media marketing to a quality marketing agency or freelancer.
Your Brand Message Is Important
The way you post on social media says a lot about your brand. Your social media posts are only going to get a second or two to grab the attention of your reader. Just make sure not to sweat the small things, just ensure that your brand message is in place.
Social Media Is Part Of A Bigger Picture
Social media marketing should be part of a bigger campaign or marketing strategy. If your business is just posting cool cat videos and cute baby pictures, you might get some engagement, but you will not be supporting your marketing efforts. Social media should be part of a holistic marketing plan that drives results.
Focus Your Resources
I know as a business owner you don’t sleep, I know I don’t. Well, that is a lie. As a business owner resources are usually scarce. Putting Gertrude from the front desk in charge of social media is probably not a good idea. Not only is she not computer savvy, but her opinion on being social was heading to the speakeasy for an adult beverage. Focus your resources on the important tasks at hand.
Focus on Running Your Business
Okay, Gertrude is not your answer. “I can handle social media and I will rock.” Mister Business Owner, I like the enthusiasm, but you need to run the business, make payroll, develop new business partnerships, network, and manage employees. Social media is not even number 12 on your priority list. Focus on your business your employees will appreciate it.
Create A Content Calendar
I know what you are thinking, “what the h-e double hockey sticks is a content calendar.” Glad you asked, sailor. A content calendar is a shareable document that will help organize and plan all your marketing activities, including social media. Your outsourced partner should create a content calendar for your social media calendar that aligns with other campaigns.
It’s All About Analytics
“You had me at data.” said no one ever. However, data and analytics might be one of the most important parts of your social media marketing. Only through killer data will you know what types of posts work and what time of the day to post your social media updates.
A/B Test Your Way to Better Results
Do you have the time to create multiple posts, test the posts, and figure out what worked? I figured the answer was no. Outsourcing your social media should allow your business to test different sets of social media ads, posts, and platforms to see what drives results.
Do You Get How Social Media Can Grow Your Business?
“Well, my nephew told me we should be Tweeting on the SnapBook.” If this sounds like you, you might not understand how social media work or more importantly, how social media can build your business. If you do not get how social media can help your business, you should leave it to the pros.
I have found that most business owners that do social media for themselves do not hold themselves accountable to getting the results desired. When you outsource your social media marketing, you can hold someone else accountable for posting to your social accounts.
Posting, Posting, and more Posting
Did you know that the internet and social media never sleep or take vacations? That’s right, the internet works more than you Mister Business Owner. A whopping 89% of social media requests go unanswered by brands. The point here is that in order to get the most out of your social media marketing, you need to be on top of it 24/7/365. I say, let someone else handle it.
Reasons You Should Not Outsource Social Media
Wow, there are 10 great reasons why you should be outsourcing social media. Well, before you jump into the deep end, there are some cons that you should consider.
Use For Customer Service
More and more customers are using social media as a way to get questions answered. Customers expect to be able to reach a real person in your company, be it via a website, social media or the phone. Being responsive to those requests is critical! Only your business can deliver customer service the way you do. I would encourage you as a business owner to monitor social media for customer service issues and keep this internal.
Now, a social media marketing agency is going to cost an arm and a leg. Outsourcing social media just does not align with the budget. I get it, budgets are tight. However, if you look around there are plenty of affordable social media programs out there for your business. Make sure that you get the service and results needed to grow your business.
Connecting With Your Business
As a business owner, you want to be able to connect with your customers and leads. Outsourcing your social media marketing could take this direct connection away from your business. Connecting with your prospects and customers is important.
Lack of Control
As a business owner, it is hard to let go of control of anything. I have worked with clients that needed approvals from the CEO before a blog post or social media update could get out the door. I am also going to say that not letting go of control and trusting your agency, employees, and partners is the fastest way to ruin your business. If you want to grow, you have to give something up.
Being Held Hostage
I have heard stories about agencies and freelancers that would not give up control of social media accounts. This is a concern and could cause problems down the road. Make sure that someone internally has the admin controls of your accounts. This is just best practice.
Posting At The Wrong Time
Outsourcing social media sounds like you are sending it to India and they will be posting at midnight. Right? Well, I hope this is not the case but it could happen. Again, make sure that your social media partner knows when your customers are on social media.
Don’t have The Passion For Your Business
You are the head honcho and you have the passion for your business. I get it. You get up early and build your business around networking and direct mail. How can your social media marketing agency have the same passion for your business as you?
Well, the good news is they don’t have to get up at 4 am, live, and breathe your business. Your social media marketing agency should be able to replicate and show your passion. They should be able to listen to you speak and create content that shows your passion.
Furthermore, social media should educate, encourage, empower, and entertain your end user, not necessarily show your passion for the business. Your passion might even be scaring clients away on social, who knows.
Lack of Spontaneity
Do you have epic office parties that need to be posted on social media? Maybe you should leave those images taken from the corporate accounts. However, it is a good idea to post events that are happening in the office on a regular basis. This can include birthdays, anniversaries, and other business-related events. Unless your agency is in-house, not likely, they might miss these fun times.
That is okay. As the business owner or marketing manager, you should be able to jump on Facebook and do a quick post, you should be able to Tweet a quick Tweet, and post a live video to Instagram. Expecting your agency to do 100% of the posting is probably not the right call for your business anyway.
Working With Other Clients
As a business owner, I know you think your marketing partners are only working on your account 24/7. Well, this is not the case. In fact, there are social media agencies that are working with multiple clients. These other clients could, in fact, be your direct competition.
Now, if this freaks you out, you are probably better off doing social media and all your marketing yourself. I would even venture to say that your social media marketing agency might not want to work with you. Don’t be the jealous girlfriend.
They Hire The Team
Your team and culture are important to your business. Got it. How can you trust a social media marketing agency if you are not doing the interview? The good cop, bad cop interview process has never let an employee in that underperformed. Right? I thought so.
Make sure to find the agency that works with you. Most social media agencies are pretty down to earth and will get along with you. Sometimes, you need to look in the mirror if you are not able to get along. Managing an agency is no different than managing an employee, it is about the relationship you build.
How To Outsource Social Media Effectively
Before we go any further, let me say, “thank you for reading this far. I hope you find this article entertaining and informative.” I also know what you are thinking, “How can I ensure that I make outsourcing social media effective?” Glad you asked.
Hire Someone That You Can Trust
Finding the right person to manage your social media can be hard. Are they going to get the results your desire? Are they going to execute on the social media strategy? These are all items that you need to address before starting an engagement with a new marketing partner.
Don’t Sweat The Small Things
The average lifetime of a Tweet is only 18 minutes. You saw that right, 18 minutes. So, if you are the business owner or CEO that needs to proof everything before it goes out, then you should probably let go a little bit. Let your marketing partners, agencies, and freelancers do their job. If the image is not 100% what you would pick, get over it. Creative and visuals are personal preference anyway.
Listen to Ideas
Here is another pet peeve of mine. You brought an agency or freelancer in to do a job. They are the expert in the industry of social media. Listen to their ideas and let them do what they do best.
Develop a Clear Plan
A clear social media strategy or plan will keep everyone on the same page. The plan is going to be the blueprint for execution. Get on the same page and develop a plan that works.
Agree on Key Performance Indicators
Do you know how you are going to determine if social media is right for your business? Develop KPI’s (key performance indicators) that will help measure the success of your campaigns. Remember, these are not revenue numbers, but metrics that will lead to more revenue.
Share Your Brand Guidelines
Your brand guidelines are written brand rules that need to be followed. These include approved fonts, written tone, approved colors and other branding rules that need to be followed. Make sure to share these with your agency or freelancer. This is going to help them execute faster and more accurate.
Work With Your Social Media Agency
If you are going to leave social media 100% up to your agency or freelancer, you are going to fail. Remember, you need to post the ad hoc parties or events that are happening in the office. You need to respond to the customer service inquiries that come in. You need to do your part if you really want to see the results from social media.
Proactively Watch for Scope Creep
Get to know what your agency is responsible for in the contract and make sure you proactively watch out for scope creep. This will help you keep the relationship intact and avoid any surprise invoices that land on your desk.
Look At Your Analytics and Reports
Your agency should be sending you updates and reports with data. Make sure that you are reviewing them so you know what is going on. Looking at your data and reports will help you understand what is happening and what needs to be changed. Typically, reporting can help create new ideas.
Review The Work Being Completed
Look over the work before it goes out. This is going to help you understand social media in more detail. Just remember not to sweat the small things and let your talent do their job.
Outsourcing Your Social Media Marketing Can Be a Win
Outsourcing social media marketing is going to save you time, get you better results, and help grow your business. Just make sure to ask the right questions of your social media partner and understand what you are getting for your money. There are many different social media strategies that your business can take advantage of.
Just make sure that you are taking advantage of social media so you do not end up on the wrong end of a meme.
When I first started my marketing business I thought I was going to rule the world. I was a great marketer in the corporate marketing departments and knew everything. Man, I was wrong. Starting a marketing business was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.
If you are like me and planning on going at it alone, I fist say good luck. I also know you are going to do fine as long as you stay motivated, hungry, and customer focused. However, today I want to share with your 10 marketing problems I faced when starting my business.
Not Investing In Marketing
First off, if your read the internet you know that you can market your business with no marketing budget. I mean you are going to blog, use social media, and SEO your way to clients.
Well, the internet is wrong. It has lied to your once again. Yes, you can find clients through blogging, social media, and SEO. However, this takes time and most marketing agencies rely on cash flow to be successful. Without cash flow, you will be looking for that next corporate gig.
You are going to need to invest into marketing to make this thing happen. Trust me, it is not fun to go months without a sales meeting. This can cause you to lower price and get desperate, not a good thing.
Lack of Time
Okay, you are one of the marketing business owners that left their 9-5 with a large contract in hand. Cash flow at the moment is not a problem because you have that one huge client.
Well, now time is going to become a huge factor in the growth of your business. As you are trying to keep your client happy, doing everything under the sun to keep your client, you forget about the marketing for your business.
This becomes a very dangerous proposition. What happens when that great client moves away from your marketing business? In order to build your marketing business empire, you need to fill your pipeline and this takes time. Start now.
Not Selling at All Times
You are a business owner and you should be thinking of ways to drive sales at all times. This is now your role, business development. It can be very hard for many people, including yours truly.
I landed my first large client while talking to a random guy at a happy hour. I was out at a networking event and not feeling the room. So I left the meeting and went into the bar while the event finished. While I was at the bar watching a game, a guy sat down next to me and we started chatting about sports and business.
It turned out to be the owner of a well-established recruiting business that they needed help marketing their services to companies. This conversation turned into a very lucrative deal for my business and we continue to do business.
The point here is to always be looking for new sales opportunities. You never know where your next big deal is going to come from.
Not Adding Value During The Sales Process
Inbound marketing is going to work for your marketing business. Trust me. However, one of the biggest mistakes I see in the inbound marketing process is the lack of value agencies give in the sales process.
“Download…fill in the blank.” The business then delivers a poorly written one-page document that adds very little value. Well, this shows your potential client what you think of them, not much.
Create a whitepaper and guide that actually adds value to the customer. Offer your potential client a “real” marketing audit, not just a couple emails with a generic plan. Audit their current marketing activities and see how you can help them, or give them a free month of service to prove yourself. Adding value is the best sales tool you can come up with.
Not Being Selective
Have you ever taken on a new customer and quickly found out that the project is not going to be profitable? Even worse, have you taken on a client and found out that you can’t stand the guy?
Make sure that when you are marketing your business that you are marketing to the clients that you want to work with. Be selective as your agree to marketing services. In order to be truly effective, you need to ensure that you are working with great clients.
Using Old Technology
We are marketers, we are always looking for new ways to do our job better or more efficient. Well, this is not really the case, I have talked to a handful of marketing agencies that use old antiquated technology.
Do you have a CRM to manage your sales pipeline? No, you are not alone. In fact, most marketing agencies do not have a CRM in place or do not use it. I have even talked to many agencies that have never sent an email from a list of subscribers. You guys, it is 2017.
I know that marketing tech continues to change daily. But, as a marketing business, it is your responsibility to understand the tools to get things done. If you are not exploring new options, you are doing your clients disservice.
Trying To Maintain Your Talent
Finding talent is hard. The recruitment process for top marketing talent feels impossible. All the big companies like Apple and Google snatch the top tier marketing talent. As you continue to find the right marketing talent it is okay to use contractors, freelancers, and even outsource your work.
Using external talent is a great way to lower your overhead and only pay on the jobs you need them for. As a inbound marketing business, it took 2 years before I hired my first blogger because I needed industry specific writers. It was much easier to hire on a job by job basis.
Invest in the right talent when you find it. Great marketers are hard to come by.
I know it is cool to call yourself a “boutique” business and you still can. However, the reality is that most marketing agencies offer a limited service offering leaving money on the table.
It might be best for the business to make a strategic partnership with another business or freelancer that helps expand your service offering. This is a great way to find new leads and build lasting business relationships.
The more you can offer your client, the more valuable your business will become to the client. It is hard to master everything, but your client will appreciate you bringing talent that will help improve marketing and drive a return on investment.
Not Documenting Your Deliverables
This is not really a marketing problem, but it is a customer retention problem that I have been guilty of many times.
Does your business struggle with scope creep? Yeah, we are trying to do what is right for the client and we agree to do more than we bargained for. “Sure, we can create that new landing page and continue to support your marketing automation software. No problem. In fact, we can take your retainer amount down by 25%.”
We do stupid things when we are trying to keep our clients happy. This is why you need to create a clear scoop of work with details about what you are going to be delivered within the agreed upon timeline. This will help you keep your clients happy and on track.
Trust me, in my early days of business ownership, I struggled with this. I would either lose a client or do way too much work.
You are probably going to argue with me on this point, “customer retention is not part of the marketing process.” Well, I would beg the differ.
If you are retaining your customers while growing your book of business, it gives your marketing business more cash to invest in marketing. A focus on customer retention is also part of the last stage of the inbound marketing process, delight.
Delighting your customer and focusing on customer retention is the best way to grow your business through word of mouth. Let your clients do the selling for you. Customer retention will help your business develop predictable monthly cash flow.
If you are a startup marketing business or a well-established marketing business, I hope you can learn from some of the mistakes that I have made in the past. These marketing problems can really slow the growth of your marketing business.
o what is right for your client and produce amazing work. Don’t be the marketing professional that gives us all a bad name. A true marketer holds themselves to a higher standard.
According to the SBA, there are 27.9 million small businesses, 18,500 firms with 500 employees or more and over 60,000 new businesses formed every year. People love the idea to own their own business. From the glamor of calling yourself the CEO to the interesting challenges a small business creates. There are tons of reasons to start your business today!
Starting Your Own Business Is Hard Work
Before you jump in head first, I want to share some of my experiences starting and managing a small business marketing consultant. I also want to tell you why starting your own business is so hard, but also so rewarding.
Business never sleeps. Right now it is 5:30 am on a Saturday morning and I am writing a blog post (blogging for your business is so important, and making time becomes a priority). I had plans of sleeping in this morning, but the business needed my attention in other areas this week, so before I head out to a wedding this afternoon, I need to get caught up. There are certain tasks that I feel are more important than sleep.
Your business is moving at all times, it never sleeps, it never takes a break. You have to adjust your schedule to meet the needs of the business. No more 9-5 bankers hours. You are going to be attending events, dinners, and networking events at all hours of the day or night.
You are now your business and working 24/7 is now a necessity.
When I was in corporate America I thought to go on a vacation was impossible. While you are gone your “backup” did nothing. You come back to days worth of emails, paperwork, meetings, and the one thing your “backup” actually did, now has to be redone because they messed it up. I know the glamorous corporate gig.
Now that I own a business it has become even harder. I recently celebrated my 10 year wedding anniversary to my amazing wife (we got married at 22 if you are trying to figure out how old I am). We decided to go to Las Vegas. I know what you are thinking, gambling, drinks, and shows for a couple days. Not so fast, we, or I, decided on Vegas because there was a conference that I wanted to make an appearance at (my poor wife, and this is why she is amazing). Don’t get me wrong, we went to a couple shows, had some great food, and enjoyed our time, but the business dictated when and where we went.
If you are used to the normal summer vacation, well you might have to put that off for a couple years or at least until you can start to “crush it”.
Lack Of Income
You just started your business and the money is going to start rolling in. You are going to meet the CEO of Coca-Cola and sign a huge deal, right? I wish that were the case. There are going to be businesses that generate profit overnight and become the instant billionaires you read about or see on the Today show. It does happen, but I will tell you that it does not work that way for the majority.
In the very beginning of my first business, my business partner and I scraped by. Working out of my garage, eating Ramen noodles, and living like college kids again (hard to do with 3 & 4 kids). Any additional income went back to the business, trying to get it to grow. If we were lucky the mortgage got paid, food bought, utilities and internet checks written. Now, what do we have left over to advertise and keep the business running? I have talked to many business owners from all over that have sold their homes and moved back into their parents home to save cash. Definitely, something you hope not to happen.
If you think that starting your business is going to generate tons of cash right off the bat, you’re crazy and probably starting your business for the wrong reason. “You have to live like most won’t, in order to live like most can’t”. Profit is a long-term goal, but the profit can be tremendous and make all the hard work worth it.
Prospecting New Business
This is one of the things that I dread about owning a business (to this day). I am not a sales person, I know that and if you are, good for you, it is a great skill to have. I have had to learn how to network and ask for sales. I have learned along the way, but it makes me more nervous than public speaking.
When you first start out there are never long lines of new prospects waiting for you. You have to earn them. This is one of the reasons why I blog so much. I hope that by reading the symple_blog, you will see that we are the expert in the field and when your company needs marketing help, we are the first person you contact (in advance, I appreciate your business).
You have to find creative ways to generate new business and it can be hard at times. You are going to have to get out of your comfort zone and do things you are not used to doing. Practice makes better (I don’t believe in perfect).
Wearing Green, Red, Blue, and Even Pink Hats
As a dude, are you ready to put on your pink bedazzled hat (I have two small girls and I have no problem anymore)? Well, you better get ready to wear every color of the rainbow. As you start your business you are doing everything. You are the accountant, the salesperson, the janitor, the cook, the event planner, or whatever is needed at any moment.
There is no cleaning crew that comes in after the office is closed to throw your wastebasket and cleans your bathroom. There is no maintenance crew that comes to move your desk higher or lower because your back hurts. It is you.
If you can afford to get help, great, but most small business owners are wearing multiple hats and those hats are changing color daily, hourly, or even by the minute. So get ready dude, your pink hat is in the mail.
Why The Hard Work Is Worth It
Starting your own business is hard work, but there are so many reasons why it is worth all the long hours and hard work.
As a business owner, I have never had more work-life balance in my life. This is the one thing that I enjoy the very most about owning a business. I am able to wake up early or work late into the night and be there for my family and friends on their schedule, not the schedule my boss says I need to keep. I have been able to make every soccer practice, gymnastics practice, and volunteer at my church. However, if you want to succeed you have to alter your schedule to get things done if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. There have been days that I wake up at 4:30 am and stop working at midnight, but I control it.
Set The Company Culture
As a small business owner, you are able to dictate the culture of the company. I am not a huge suit and tie guy, but I will throw one on when needed. I have set the company up to be as casual as you want. Sandals in the summer (we live in Arizona, so they are a must), shorts in December, I don’t care as long as you are getting your work done and producing at a high level. In fact, we also give all employees a pair of converse when they start, this helps jump-start the laid-back atmosphere. Have fun while you work and you will work harder and longer.
Get Things Done
Do you have a 6-month turn around for any marketing activity? My last corporate job did. You want an email to help jump-start sales, “well we can get that out in 6 months”. The problem is sales are down now. Owning and operating a small business gives you the ability to get things done and get them done fast. That same email to jump-start sales can now be planned, designed, and sent in less than a day. You need a new landing page for a client, let’s knock it out. The lack of getting things done and out the door is what drove me out of the door of corporate America.
You Choose Your Co-Workers and Customers
Starting your own business gives you the opportunity to pick and choose who you work with. I am not just talking about hiring new employees. I am talking about your customer or clients. One of the best feelings is being able to work with clients that you get along with and have a strong relationship with. This helps business on both sides.
It’s only happened once. But I recently had to terminate a contract with a client because they were continually late on getting us needed information and then would blame us for not meeting the deadlines. “Do you have the creative for the email?” The day it was supposed to hit the market we would receive the creative and have to work into the night or miss the deadline. This creates an unhealthy relationship and I finally had enough. My employees are more important than you, mister client. See you, here is a list of other agencies that might be able to help you.
Being able to like the people you work with and work for makes coming to work enjoyable. I do not mind putting in extra hours if my co-workers need help or my clients need something, as long as they are able to return the favor and appreciate the hard work we put in. At the end of the day, we see this as a partnership, not just the buying or selling of services.
The Harder You Work, The Bigger The Payoff
The harder I work the more money I am able to make. One of my biggest complaints in the corporate world was the fact that if I came in early or stayed late, my pay stayed the same. So what’s the point? Now I can control how much or how little I make each year. I am in control of my salary, not some HR rep that says the local pay grade is $xx,xxx, or we offer competitive salaries.
Your Time Is Now!
We know that starting your own business is hard work, but totally worth it. It is also not for everyone. If it was not worth it, we would give up. But we are entrepreneurs, we are the people that drive the economy, and I applaud you and anyone thinking about starting your own business. Get out there are show the world who you are. Your time is now!
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