As a small business with limited time and money to get your brand out to your customers, it’s critical to focus on the strategies and tactics that will deliver the greatest impact. But where do you start and what should your playbook be?
It starts with social
Social media marketing is, for the most part, completely free. It will require consistency and time to stay dedicated to putting out a unique blend of meaningful content that is engaging to your audience on a routine basis. Not only will that serve your customer base, it will teach you to think outside the box of just constantly “asking for the sale.” You will need to keep your audience engaged with a variety of interesting tidbits and nuggets sprinkled in with the occasional offer that they can opt into. While you are doing this, you are establishing brand equity, reputation, and a strong social media presence. According to Arch Digital Agency CEO Ahna Hendrix, getting social media marketing traction requires consistency as it is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re building brand equity over time. Once you’ve built out your social media marketing program, you will be ready for Step 2: email marketing
Email marketing keeps the flow going
Email marketing is a terrific mechanism for staying top of mind (and top of inbox) of your customers who have opted into learning more about your business or products as well as those you feel could be candidates to become future customers. Remember, you have slowly and steadily been building your online presence and reputation via social media so now you can link all your profiles to all the email marketing campaigns you send out. Your email marketing messages should be just as engaging and well thought out in terms of content so as to not come across too salesy. You also will need to segment your email list depending on where your audience is in the funnel, to better target your email marketing campaigns. Everyone knows you are here to make a sale, but it’s critical that you add value first and when your customer needs what you have to offer, they will seek you out. Unless you have enough meaningful content or a specific reason to do so (such as a major product or service announcement) try not to send more than two mass emails per month, lest you end up being caught in your prospective customer’s spam filter abyss.
All of that leads us to our third and final point: now, you are ready to scale up and put your brand on the map with digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising.
See and be seen
DOOH advertising is a unique form of advertising available on high definition digital billboards and digital signs and screens. From highway digital billboards to screens at the gas pump and digital signs inside bars and restaurants – these screens serve as a perfect way to elevate your brand image and create that subconscious brand recognition that major corporations pay billions of dollars per year to obtain through traditional TV advertising. Thanks to technology, DOOH is more accessible than ever. You can launch a digital billboard campaign within a specific geofenced area, e.g. the San Francisco Bay Area, with a weekly budget that works for you and for whatever date range you desire to reach a large segment of your local target customer base.
Your creative for these billboards should be simple, large and brand focused. You are trying to get people’s attention for just a few precious seconds and make that lasting impression that causes them to want to pull out their smartphones and search you out for more information or drive straight to your location.
This Pinterest page for sample effective digital billboard ads. Your DOOH advertising campaign will connect the dots between both your offline and online marketing efforts.
In summary, in order to make your small business grow into a large business, the right marketing playbook for success includes a healthy combination of social media advertising, email marketing, and digital out-of-home-advertising.