Nobody wants to waste their time, and EVERYONE likes to get the most out of their dollar. Enter in the cliché, “time is money,” and you’ve got what every marketer, business owner, manager, salesman, real estate agent (did we miss anyone?) strives for: to make the most out of your time, efforts—and your online marketing dollar.
Know who you’re talking to.
If you want to make the most out of your time and efforts, take the number one rule of marketing to heart: know your audience. You’re not going to get the most out of your online marketing if you don’t know the customer you have to deliver to. Create a buyer persona of your “typical” customer, and use it to craft an online marketing plan that targets your audience.
Establish a good foundation: your website.
We don’t care how many internet marketing tricks you employ, or how big your marketing budget is. If you don’t have a good website with solid content, call-to-actions, and images, your marketing is going to end up a big goose egg. The reason? One of the primary goals of online marketing is to drive traffic to your website. Even with a stellar content marketing strategy, wonderful content, and exceptional social media marketing efforts, if you don’t create an excellent customer experience on your website, your customers are going to be repelled by your horrible company website. If you don’t have time to craft a good, solid website, outsource your website work to the experts.
Invest in the basics: content marketing, social media, and SEO.
Now that you’ve got a well-built website, don’t expect your customers to just magically flock to your URL. Craft a website promotion plan that includes content marketing (helpful articles, videos, etc.) to help your customers (our favorite question from a customer, “what the heck is a blog?”-more here) and your website search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing to interact with your customers (note: not to sell to them), and SEO technology that gets your website in front of your customers (more about the benefits of SEO here).
Make it a team effort.
Too many times we’ve seen marketing fall on one person, and that one person is operating in a bubble. No one else on staff mentions the company’s social media channels, website, or online marketing channels. Make your online marketing a team effort; ask other team members to spread the word while interacting with customers, during meetings with clients, and with vendors during day-to-day operations. These small efforts won’t take any more of their time, but it will pay dividends. Likewise, make sure they are not just pushing the information out, but are pulling information for your online marketing efforts back in. Information like commonly asked questions, new products that could solve customer problems, and stories from the field are invaluable for your content marketing and social media marketing efforts.
Don’t try to be on every social media channel.
We know this seems counter-intuitive, but you don’t have to be everywhere to get optimal social media marketing results. What you do have to be is strategic. Choose the social media channel or channels where your customers are (check out social media demographics here); for example, if you are a bridal shop, use a female-dominated social media site such as Pinterest and a site utilized by a younger demographic like Instagram. Time is precious; make the most of your social media marketing efforts by investing in a social media site that fits your customer demographic.
Use scheduling tools so you can be strategic.
To make the most of your time and execute a solid social media plan, sign up for a scheduling tool, such as Hootsuite and Buffer that can save you time. Don’t schedule too far ahead of time so you can stay on top of trending topics, and be flexible with your plan when needed. Share relevant content from other sources and links to your original content (content marketing).
Deliver excellent customer service.
Customers do it every day: interact with brands on social media, comment on their posts, post reviews, and voice complaints. When they do, deliver the same excellent customer service you do in person (here’s how). Use a REAL tone, not a canned response—and do it quickly. Customers expect you to respond within hours (if not minutes) of their post, so be timely. Your customers will appreciate your efforts—and you can be confident that you got the most out of your marketing efforts.