We get a lot of small business clients contacting us looking for the magic bullet to solving their marketing problems. In fact, with all the information out there about content marketing and flashy terms like “online sales funnel,” there’s a percentage of new entrepreneurs that will start their businesses in 2015 and will hope that their combination of luck, prayer and online marketing will make their business sustainable and profitable.
I have some bad news – don’t believe the hype! I’ve owned this business now for over six years, and we’ve tried all sorts of online strategies. Most of them work, but none of them are a so-called magic bullet. Here’s what I’m shouting about this month: Get out from behind your desk and do something! A large percentage of Hot Dog Marketing’s business will come from community awareness. Not online community awareness, but actual, real life, community awareness.
For 2015, I’m suggesting a simple two-piece marketing plan: 1. Get out and do something with the community you’re trying to engage with and 2. And let that “something” fuel your online activities all year long. There are a lot of articles on social media about how content marketing is dead. It’s not dead – we’ve just become lazy thinking that a little online social savviness will be an ok substitute for actual social savviness.
Ideas for how your business can ENGAGE in real life:
- Offer a free public class
- Hold a free public event
- Partner with businesses with like target audiences and do something special for that audience
- Donate some of your profits to a nonprofit
- Raise money with an event for a nonprofit
- Sign your team up for a walk/race/challenge
- Repackage your products and services for a new audience
- Join a new networking group and actually attend it
- Attend community lunches with other business owners
- Join an association or nonprofit board
- Find a few opportunities to speak publicly
- Sponsor a new group or event
- Take lots of pictures
- Take lots of videos
Ideas for how your business can ENGAGE online:
- Take what you’re doing in reality, and talk about it online
- Involve your followers in the decision making process as you plan
- Don’t be stingy, share the info you give in classes with your online followers
- Heavily promote the charities your support (not your support of the charities)
- Motivate and inspire your followers daily
- Take your passion for your business and put it words, at least monthly, on your website
- Put videos and pictures of you doing awesome things online
Large businesses know that a full marketing strategy includes a lot of different tactics. Online marketing is a tactic – a powerful tool that make what you do in the community 100x’s more beneficial for your business. Starting today, look at your 2015 marketing strategy and make sure your using all the tools you have at your disposal. When you’re ready to turn all that planning into action, contact us. We’re now working with clients who want big things for their businesses in 2015.
I’m a mom, a small business owner, and I’m a marketing professional with over a decade helping businesses with their branding and online presence. When I’m not spending time with my family or on my business, I love cooking (and eating) and snuggling with my dogs while I binge on TV shows. My favorite authors are Malcolm Gladwell and Steve Martin. My favorite movies are L.A. Story, Little Mermaid, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Trainspotting.