Choice – the enemy of decisions
The great thing about running a business today is there are so many ways to market your business.
The bad thing about running a business today is…… exactly the same. There are too many ways of marketing your business. How are you supposed to choose which ones to use?
And the raft of choices is most evident in social media channels. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc. Then there are the newer kids on the block like Snapchat, Whatsapp and Messengers Bots. Where do you start?
How to make your choice
Once upon a time PPC or Pay Per Click was the darling of online marketing. Then came Twitter ads and then Facebook Ads and now YouTube channels. Many businesses faced with this overwhelm of choice simply follow the latest fad. It reminds me of an old song from my childhood by The Kinks – A dedicated follower of fashion (you can listen to the track here https://youtu.be/QA5gJ0hZpCc). But smart business don’t just follow the herd.
The sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed the Google AdWords logo in the main image. Google+ is a social media platform but not AdWords so what is that doing there? Well to find the right channels for your business you need to answer some key questions. These are set out in the infographic below:
The first question is are you looking to be found or are you trying to trigger interest? If your product or service is something people are searching for, the chances are they will use a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc) or directory service. They may search directly on Amazon or ebay or be directed there by the search engines. They are unlikely to search Facebook.
That’s why Google AdWords was in the main image – to prompt the question of whether social media should even be considered as your primary marketing tool. I know that for my Motorhome Hire business AdWords generates 80+% of my enquiries. Social media for that business is awareness and credibility building.
If you are looking to trigger interest in your product or service, this is interrupt marketing. You are using social media posts or ads to get your product or service in front of people when they are doing other stuff like checking their news feed or reading the posts in their favourite groups. You are interrupting what they are doing with information or offers about you and your products or services.
So the next question is are you selling business to business or business to consumer? This will start to drive which platforms are likely to be best for you. There is no absolute distinction here. For example pretty much every business should have a presence on LinkedIn to build authority and demonstrate credibility. But B2B businesses can also use LinkedIn to find, connect and engage directly with target customers. That is rarely going to work out if you are B2C.
Conversely using Instagram for selling visually appealing consumer products is an absolute must. Using Instagram for images of products targeted at corporate customers will also be useful, but as a support or the primary relationship marketing platforms like LinkedIn.
Knowing your customer
In all of these questions you have to really know your customer. When we work on customer avatars with Guildford Hub members we go in to as much detail as possible. It’s that detail which will provide the indicators of which social media platforms your target customers are using. You then create highly targeted messages, appropriate to the platform, to engage your prospects and get them to come visit you in your world.
Your social media strategy
Having identified your key marketing platforms and your target customers you need to pull this together into a coherent strategy. Here’s a graphic that illustrates my strategy for Linked Business.
This then needs to be built in to you overall business strategy.
The Business Model Canvas
The Business Model Canvas is a great way to look at the different aspects of your business and recognise the interactions and dependencies between them. At the Guildford Hub on Monday 25th June Emma Selby will be explaining to Hub members and guests/visitors how to use the Business Model Canvas. The following week will be an implantation morning putting the lessons learned from Emma in to practice to create a 90 day plan for Q3. You can book in to either session her: www.guildfordhubevents.com
PS. If you’re reading this blog after the date on which this talk was run, or you can’t make the date, don’t despair. All Hub talks are livestreamed in the Business Hubs Members Closed Facebook group and are then stored in the group for you to watch again and again at your convenience.
All Hub members have access to our back catalogue of talks since we started livestreaming in the middle of 2016. It’s another huge benefit of being a Hub member.
Go to www.guildfordhubevents.com to see what’s on and sign up. Your first visit is free.