You might even think you don’t have time to put a marketing plan into place. Despite that, continuing to put off small marketing tasks could have huge negative consequences for your business.
As a small business owner, you likely don’t have the luxury of passing your marketing to a guru or agency. Even if you did have the capital to do so, you’re likely to get better results guiding the strategy yourself since you’re the most knowledgeable and passionate advocate for your business.
Implementing a marketing strategy doesn’t need to be overwhelming. The first step is addressing the small business marketing tasks you’ve been ignoring. By ticking these small “when I have time” tasks off your to-do list, you’re taking big action towards growing your business.
Start an email list
These days, the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they hear “marketing” is social media. While social media marketing is useful for helping cultivate your brand image and establishing relationships within your target audience, it’s important to remember you don’t own social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook.
Many small business owners choose to place social media at the center of their marketing strategy, but if those platforms were to disappear tomorrow, how would you contact your audience? Hundreds of thousands of followers are meaningless if you have no way of reaching them outside of social media.
The horror of losing your social media following overnight should be enough to convince you to stop putting off starting an email list. Social media platforms have come and gone, but email remains. To start building your email list, create a valuable opt-in that will encourage your ideal customers to hand over their email addresses.
Email service providers like ConvertKit and MailerLite make setting up your email list easy. After some time and effort upfront, automation makes it so you can grow your email list on autopilot. Then, you will have a primed audience ready and interested to hear your message.
Analyze your analytics
Like starting an email list, looking at analytics is another marketing task small business owners frequently put off doing. Perhaps you’re tempted to procrastinate, thinking the data will always be there. By taking the time to analyze the analytics, small business owners can help ensure their marketing strategies are working and their operation is on the right trajectory. Otherwise, your business could be headed down the wrong path, and you won’t know until it’s too late.
Voluum contributor Kamila Luksza makes a case for using data to identify patterns in your visitors. From your analytics, you can see if an inordinate number of bots are coming to your website. Too much bot traffic can have serious consequences. Bots can damage your SEO standings, destroy your website reputation, and directly lead to monetary loss.
When you dig into your analytics, keep an eye out for any unusual increases in page views, unnaturally low time spent on a page, or any significant uptick in your bounce rates. If you notice an increase in unknown domains referring traffic to your site, that’s another indicator of irregular bot traffic.
Set up a referral program
Once you’ve combed through your analytics and ascertained that the bots are at bay, you want to focus on drawing in real customers. According to WorkWave, starting a referral program is one of the best ways to generate sales leads.
The foundation of your referral program is a strong network of people and organizations that direct potential clients to your business. If you’re consistently giving customers positive experiences, a good place to start is asking those satisfied customers to refer your products and services to people they think could also benefit from them.
Incentivizing your referral program encourages customers to be more proactive about sharing their experience. Since incentive costs can add up quickly, it’s important to structure your referral program so that it brings in genuine sales leads. One marketing strategy that niche businesses can consider is holding a local event in the community to make connections and jumpstart their referral network.
As a busy small business owner, it’s easy to fall into the trap of putting off tasks until you have time to “do it right,” but, in most cases, you’ll never have the time unless you carve it out yourself. When you do manage to find space in your schedule, completing marketing tasks you’ve been ignoring: starting an email list, analyzing your analytics and setting up a referral program, can have a major impact on your business.
About the author:
Frankie Wallace is a recent graduate from the University of Montana. Wallace currently resides in Boise, Idaho.