There’s a dizzying array of marketing choices for local businesses, and each day seems to bring another way to capture sales. From mobile coupons to build-it-yourself promotions to email campaigns, the menu of options is endless. It’s enough to make a local business owner’s head spin.
If marketing has you confused or unable to move forward, try our handy Local Marketing in Ten Minutes Per Day checklist. Of course, good marketing takes more than ten minutes per day, but you have to start somewhere. Let us help you get “unstuck.”
Monday: Blast from the Past
Take out a pen and paper. Write down a list of marketing campaigns that were successful for you in the past. This could be a sale, email to customers, branded schwag that drove business, social media contests or something completely unique to your business.
If you know what you spent on these campaigns, write it down. If you know the results (revenue, clicks, visits, etc,), write that down as well. Hopefully, your ROI is a healthy number.
Select one idea from your past campaigns and then jot down a list of “to-do’s” to bring the campaign back in a slightly different form (if at least a month or so has passed). Then, select a date for the promotion, tell your employees and get ready to produce the collateral necessary such as flyers, email copy and social media images.
Tuesday: What’s the Message?
Today, examine your website content along with your listings on any claimed sites such as CitySearch, Yahoo Local and Yelp. Save social media for another day.
Check for errors first or dated information such as “We’ve been in business for 14 years” that was written three years ago. (Change it to: “We’ve been in business since 2000.”) Make a list of products or services that need to be added to your website or customer review sites. Have you won awards? Been featured in the local press?
Do you have a blog on your website that’s woefully cobwebbed? A regularly updated blog is a super jolt of search engine optimization (SEO) juice. Decide right now if you can delegate this task to someone on your team. We promise you, it’s worth it. Search engines love new content, so give them something at least every week via your blog.
Wednesday: Dust off That Listing
Your online business listing is a major part of your marketing strategy because if your address or phone number is wrong on the hundreds of directories, review sites and search engines out there, how will customers find you? So for today’s task, log in to your listings management platform and survey the landscape. Go ahead and push out a fix on your platform. Let technology take care of this task.
Thursday: Meet This Thing Called “Email”
Contrary to popular opinion, email is not dead. In fact, it’s still the most effective way to reach customers. And studies show that customers want to be contacted by brands and businesses they admire. Take stock of your email database. It’s okay if it’s small. You can grow it with every sale you make. (Need email list help? Check out our blog post, “Four Ways to Grow Your Email List from Scratch.”)
After examining your list, decide what content you want to send your customers. It could be something from Monday’s task list. Maybe a coupon? Newsletter? Special product announcement? Schedule when you will write the email, push it out and if you need any special tools, such as an email-sending platform. (Check out MailChimp. It’s free to send 12,000 emails per month to 2,000 addresses.)
Friday: Check in on Social
Hopefully, you’re already a superstar on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. But if you’re not, that’s okay because today’s task is to visit each social site where you maintain a presence and examine what you can do better. Select one area to improve: frequency of posts (too much or too little); content (aim for great photography; well-written non-salesy posts); or conversation (talk to your customers just like you would in real life).
Decide on an action plan. Remember, you may have staff members who would gladly step into a social media role if given the right training and support.
That’s five tasks in five days for a total of 50 minutes! If you did every task, you:
- Chose a winning promotion to bring back to your loyal customers.
- Examined content and figured out what to update and improve.
- Fixed your valuable-as-gold online listings.
- Checked out your email list and selected something to send to the list.
- Looked over your social pages and chose one area to focus on in the near future.
Olga is a Senior Manager in Sales and Marketing Operations at Connectivity.