I was recently listening to the Social Media Examiner podcast where Mike Stelzner, founder of SME was talking about the launch of his annual report on the state of social media marketing. The nutshell, from what I can remember, is as follows:
- Facebook use and overall advertising is declining. Sure, it's still being used but it's getting harder and harder and more expensive.
- Twitter is on the decline
- LinkedIn is being looked at more and more
- Instagram is way up - especially Instagram stories
- YouTube is "the place" for long form video.
Also discussed was that the "wave" of messenger bots is on the decline.
What is a business owner to do, especially a small business, owner to market their business.
How do we market in 2019 and beyond.
What changes do we need to make? What things should stay the same.
I believe that consistent, steady and focused marketing is the way to go.
Here's what I mean.
Before we get to social media, here's four old-school things you MUST do.
- Have a great website. Your website is your foundational core to digital marketing. It's still where people can easily go to find information about YOU and YOUR business. Be sure it looks great on phones - "mobile ready". Also remember, don't just have ONE website but consider having a few mini-websites focused on specific products or topics.
- Domain name. A domain name is SO important. Having to say "Adam-BreadShopNYC@yahoo.com" looks clunky, unprofessional and amateurish. Instead have a professional domain name "AdamsBreadShopNYC.com" so you have a nice sounding website and of course a professional email address.
- Blog - Blogging is so important so you can share your knowledge with your community and so you can get traffic from Google and other search sources from people searching for your topic keywords. You can setup a wordpress powered blog, or even blog on Medium or LinkedIn.
- Email newsletter - YOU MUST build your email list. Just having likes and reTweets is not enough. You should have your OWN database of customers and fans to regularly send an email to. Weekly or every other week should be just fine. BUILD YOUR LIST.
Once you get these things right, there's one other important thing.
The Power of Marketing Automation and CRM
Invest in "CRM" software so you can segment and better market to your customers and prospective customers and educate them through your sales funnel. CRM is the component to help you know who your customers (and fans) are, what they bought and etc. Marketing automation enables you to send email messages to your list based on behaviors, often how they are "tagged" in your system.
For example, a customer signs up for your weekly Bread of the Week newsletter, then they download your guide to cheese and bread. Maybe you can sell them access to your in-store event or an online course about cooking with bread. With CRM you can not only have the "contact" information of your customers but also know what customer is interested in what at what time.
People LOVE content. They're educating or entertaining or sharing information.
The key with social content is to provide the content or information your community wants, build your brand in their mind and lead them to do more with you until they buy. The "more with you" could be to sign up for an email newsletter, it could be to buy right from Instagram or anything else.
This is the power of social media.
Platforms and algorithms will change, and you'll have to change with it. Maybe in 10 years there will be no Facebook. But in 4 years there'll be another hot social app. But they'll all want you to POST content and SHARE CONTENT.
Content should be visually appealing.
VIDEO - remember - video is powerful - so you should be sharing videos of your thought leadership or other similar video depending on your industry on a regular basis.
Another quick tip, if you're not advertising on YouTube consider it. Especially if you're finding success with Google Adwords marketing.
There's hundreds of great tools you can use to help you create, publish and manage content. But there's some very SIMPLE strategies you can use to build your brand online and drive sales.
Check out my latest book, Celebrity CEO - How Entrepreneurs Can Thrive By Building Community and a Strong Personal Brand for more tips!