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Marketing Tips for Founders

LUKE DOOLEY

Luke is President of OCEAN Programs.

50% of small business owners said that they didn’t know if their marketing efforts were effective or not. We’re going to focus on three topics within marketing that can help you get more direction or attraction in your marketing.

What socials should we consider using? (US based statistics)

41% of local businesses depend on social media to drive revenue and 74% of consumers make purchasing decisions based on social media. It also helps customer retention too since customers who are engaged with a business on social media are more likely to stay with a business in the long term. The channels that we are going to look at today starts with Facebook. Facebook is the big dog as they have 2.2 billion monthly users. 68% of adults are on there every day. Facebook supports written, vido, and photo content giving you a wide range of options.

Instagram is owned by Facebook, but as a different platform. It has 1 billion monthly users. A huge percentage of adults are using it daily, which is a little bit skewed towards the younger demographic, 18 to 29 year olds are using it 71% every day. 81% of users use Instagram to research products and services. Instagram is a little bit different from Facebook because it is primarily video content first and is more short form.

YouTube is owned by Google and they have 1.9 billion monthly users. It is the world’s second biggest search engine.  People are going to search Google, or they’re going to search YouTube. Twitter is the infamous short form, text only platform. Most brands that are using Twitter for marketing are using it more to interact with customers or to provide customer service

How do I now use these Social Media Platforms?

The first thing I would say to a small business owner who wants to get started on social media marketing is just pick your channels. You don’t have to use them all and specifically ask your existing customers where they’re most likely to interact with you. Now put that plan into a Google/Word doc, write out the caption, pick the image, and now it’s right there when you need it.

The second tip is that we can really get into making social media less overwhelming just by making a plan. This plan doesn’t even have to be sophisticated as long as it’s a plan forward. Facebook actually has some tools that it has created called the Facebook business suite. If you have a business account on Facebook , you can create, schedule, and manage both Facebook and Instagram accounts. You can also see the analytics there.  A lot of other tools are also out there to help manage social media.

The last kind of piece of that puzzle is to set an objective for the content. What are you trying to do with it? Are you trying to just create some brand awareness? Are you trying to interact with your customers through a poll or a question? Or are you maybe trying to drive traffic to your website or sell directly on the platform? Pick your channels, make a plan and use the tools.

How can I use a my company’s website efficiently and effectively?

More than 50% of users discover a new business after searching. Being able to show up in those search results is really important for a new business and that’s where a website steps in. I am going to give you three practical marketing tips to utilize your websites. The first one is to make it easy to find. Keep your business information current! This can generally be done by using Google tools.

The next marketing tip is if you have a website, take the time to learn some basic SEO.  There are some really easy intro YouTube videos or hubs that have some free training courses about SEO. Making your website easy to find can just start with linking to it from social media or in your email footer. If it’s not super intuitive on your business card, make sure they can find your website easily. If you are still getting set up on social media, you’ll want to use a tool like Linktree or Lincoln bio that can help you share links to your website easier.

Think about your website as your first conversation with a customer. Help them know that you know who they are, what their problems are, and be aware of any special language that you’ve coined. Special language means something really special and significant to your business. Be careful though because for a first time user or a first time visitor, they have no idea what that means. Make sure that you are using a language anyone can understand! You should also make sure that your offers make it easy to understand what your business does.

Finally, make it easy for someone to take action. Think through what is the primary call to action. Do you want people to book a call, schedule a demo, schedule an appointment? Are you running a business where somebody can go right to purchase? Your primary call to action shouldn’t be just subscribing for an email which is a pretty weak primary call to action. Make it valuable and worth your time and effort. Make it easy to find, understand and take action.

Why is email marketing important and how should I use it?

This final channel that we have is my personal favorite. I love email marketing because only 54% of small businesses use email marketing, but it is the channel with the highest ROI of all marketing channels. If you were going to try to practice one of these different kinds of channels in your marketing, I would start with email. This is because it’s a really great place to see good returns and gives you a direct line to your customer.

The first tip that I have on email marketing is to do it!  An easy way to start is to capture email addresses on your website. HubSpot for startups has that, or MailChimp has a free version. Once you have started, here’s three different purposes for your email marketing. The first one is using email to walk in on my new customers. Whenever somebody signs up or whenever you have a new client book an appointment, you have an email to welcome them. Use this email to introduce them to your company, product, mission etc. Help them feel connected to you as a business owner or whoever from your businesses serves customers directly.

We also can have emails that are based on cultivation. They help your customers or your potential customers understand your business more and grow their trust. One of the most common ways people do this is through newsletter style emails to keep customers updated and engaged with the brand.  That could be new products, upcoming events, free webinars, any sort of different low costs, low point of entry opportunities for people to continue building their affinity to your business.

If you are familiar with us, Ocean runs a newsletter called the Current. We  send that out twice a month and just send recommended readings, new posts on our blog, updates on new training etc. It’s just to keep cultivating our lists so that people always have Ocean kind of in mind. 

The last kind of email marketing is CTA or Call to Actions. My inbox is full at any given moment with a hundred promotional emails. These CTA’s include buy now or sign up now options which create  some sort of scarcity or special opportunities. These emails are very directly trying to get people to take action and buy. As you start thinking about email marketing and think through each of these categories, think about what is the purpose of this email I’m writing? That will really make sure that the words in the CTA match the tone.

What you want is to dangle those carrots, give them something that they’re going to want to cough up an email to get. You’re not giving away the farm. You’re just giving away like 10 things to consider, checklists or prompts.  Different things that you have in your organization that someone would be willing to give an email address to get. Those are always really great, low hanging fruit.

If you are interested in learning more marketing tips in our Genesis Entrepreneurship Training Program, please watch our Promo video below!

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