Photography by Hillary Ehlen
At Abovo, we get it: Marketing is expensive, and it takes time. As new technology and platforms emerge daily, it can be difficult to keep up.
Because we believe in sharing and spreading the knowledge, tips and tricks we’ve picked up over the years, our team wants to share with Fargo INC! readers this concise guide to the rules and guidelines that we ourselves abide by.
Rule 1: Get (intentionally) social.
Whether you’re a small or big business, social media platforms are a major resource for promoting your brand. Most platforms are easy to use and offer paid advertising options to help gain momentum and create brand exposure. We tell clients that just because social media platforms are out there (and mostly free), it doesn’t mean you have to be on all of them. To use social media’s power properly, you need to know the platforms your potential consumers are using and the ones that work best for your business. Then, curate the type of content your customers want to consume.
Our rule: Quality is always greater than quantity. In fact, this rule applies to every piece of marketing and advertising.
Rule 2: Do not click “boost post.”
If you’re a business owner, you probably re-read this one to make sure you read it correctly. As of 2016, Facebook reported nearly 1.8 billion active users. Unless you’re boosting a post and targeting ages and locations, your post is being sent to everyone, no matter their age, shopping behaviors or even location.
You would never make a decision to place an ad in a newspaper across the world or in magazines that aren’t read by your type of customer, so don’t boost a post. Even if you are boosting a post and setting criteria such as age and location, there is more you are missing out on. Through Facebook’s Advertising Manager, which is free, you are able to create these same posts while also targeting shopping behaviors, locations, income level, and many more behaviors and demographics. The special targeting is unavailable to those clicking “boost post.”
Tip: Work with a marketing company to help purchase your ads and create campaigns for successful and layered advertising.
Rule 3: Create accurate content.
Improving your company’s position in search results such as Google does not come from creating content. It comes from creating accurate content. Do not spend time creating content simply to get things on your website. Make sure you are spending time writing or creating media assets (e.g., photos, videos, blogs) that people are likely to search for and want to consume.
Tip: Spend time finding keywords people are searching for in your business’s industry. And then create content around those ideas and phrases.
Rule 4: Make (small) changes to your website often.
Rules number three and four complement each other and must be deployed in tandem. When you have spent time creating great and accurate content, don’t forget about it. Google and other search engines are designed to check websites often for new content and to ensure your “old” content is updated and accurate. It takes only minutes to update your site and will make an incredible difference to guarantee you’re front-of-line in your potential customer’s search results.
Tip: Use your favorite to-do list or calendar app to set calendar notifications to schedule making routine changes. Set multiple throughout a week or month. A few minutes a day, multiple times a month goes a long way.
Rule 5: Layer your marketing.
There are hundreds of media products used by consumers every day. It’s not possible to create marketing or buy advertising to be on each one, but slowly work to have great content on as many as you can (as long as they are intentional and follow rule No. 1).
Some are free, some cost money, and many are able to use the same media or advertising assets you already own. Spend time researching which mediums and platforms are being used by your potential consumers to see the effort it would take to be present on them.
Tip: Work with a marketing company to identify which social media platforms consumers are using in your area, how they’re using them and what types of content they’re looking for.
Rule 6: Involve and engage your consumers (the “Millennials-and-Gen. Z-are-taking-over” rule).
In an age where Millennials and the generation younger than them, Gen. Z, are becoming the USA’s most powerful and influential consumers, it’s never been a more important time to involve and engage your consumers. According to Forbes, there are 80 million Millennials in the US, which represents more than 25 percent of the population. A 2015 consumer study released by Elite Daily helped brands across the country highlight the shopping and buying behaviors of this powerful generation.
The more you know: According to the study, more than 60 percent of Millennials say that if a brand engaged with them on social media, they are more likely to become a loyal consumer. This is a very important statistic to marketing companies and brands as the study also found that 60 percent of Millennials said they are often or always loyal to brands they currently purchase.
The oldest members of this group are only in their 30s and establishing a relationship with them now results in a relationship that will last their buying lifetime. The sooner you build a relationship and connection with this generation, the better.
Rule 7: Marketing makes a difference.
If there is one rule we hope resonates, it’s the idea that marketing makes a difference. The heart of your business’ success lies in marketing. Every business needs consumers. They not only drive sales; they promote your products and services to their friends and family.
The more you know: Marketing is the introduction of your service and product. It’s the introduction to showing your community and the world why your company does what it does. Your business might have the best products, services, and people, but without marketing, no one will know.
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