Top marketing tips learned in 2016!
This year we have enjoyed meeting and working with many fantastic small businesses. From start-up e-commerce and retail brands, to more established businesses and talented creatives – their passion and drive is truly inspirational.
At Marketing Vision, we love to support small businesses and those just starting out by sharing key learnings (that might just save you a headache!). So we asked three fabulous business owners:
‘What key marketing learning have you made this year?’
Staying focused on your ‘why’ is essential
Steph Douglas, founder of Don’t Buy Her Flowers says that staying focused on your ‘why’ and planning your marketing around that is key:
Every successful business owner I’ve spoken to has said to stay focused. Keep coming back to your original idea and why you’re doing it. With marketing, there are so many opportunities and it’s really easy to get distracted by what other people are doing, or feel like you should be doing more of something because someone else is. The result is spreading yourself and your brand too thin, so I think coming back to that ‘why’ regularly is really important and then planning marketing that
contributes to that.
I started the blog Sisterhood (and all that) before I started the business. It’s an honest account of motherhood and relationships, and the idea that none of us really knows what we’re doing. We’ve recently taken on more staff and moved operations to new premises which should give me time to write again, taking me back to where the business began and a theme I feel really passionate about.
Knowing your target audience is key to social media success
Sarah Turner, founder of Bloom People, has found that getting results with social media is all about knowing your target audience:
The biggest learning I have had this year is that I don’t need to be a specialist in social media to get results. By spending some time thinking about who my customers are and what they are interested in, I have learnt to research relevant content and plan out my social media activity month by month. Using Hootsuite I have learnt to schedule my tweets and my online posts in advance, and to make sure that I am achieving a good balance of content from different sources plus writing my own, fresh content.
It is early days, but already I am building brand awareness and engagement. I am starting to receive comments from my followers about the articles I am sharing, and even some new client referrals. My plan for next year is to continue to grow my online presence and convert some more clients as a result!
Consistent marketing is the most effective approach
Independent knitwear designer Kate Box says that for maximum impact, small business marketing activities need to be consistent:
The launch of my website in May 2016 was the first time I really needed to think about marketing strategies. As the production of my knitwear is a huge part of my working week, I knew that the limited time I could spend on marketing would need to be concise and effective. So far I have concentrated on marketing via social media channels and the greatest success I have had with this is always when I am consistent with my postings.
Aiming for regular blog posts every 10 days and drip feeding Instagram and Facebook with updates every couple of days has proved manageable and reaped results. Life is not always predictable so if I do go longer between postings the most important thing I’ve found is to not to give up on it, and to get back to doing it regularly as soon as possible. Now the season of fairs is upon us, I’m looking forward to doing some face-to-face marketing too.