As a small business, budgets are tight — especially in these uncertain economic times. Moreover, any entrepreneur knows that marketing — especially social media marketing — is a key factor for any business that wants new customers. However, today’s social media and digital marketing tools, are free to use if you know how to use them properly and effectively.
Furthermore, because of today’s stay-at-home, lock-down mandates, people are using the social media networks to stay in touch.
Strategic social media marketing is crucial now more than ever!
Sure there are tons of shortcuts out there that you can take, but are they really effective? Have you planned out the strategy? If you’re going to spend money, you need to have a clear plan as well as a budget. You must have clearly defined your target market so you can specifically target them.
What this boils down to and what I tell my clients when they ask, “Should I spend money on social media advertising?” — My answer? — Don’t. Do it for free for 3-6 months following my instructions. Check your analytics, insights and website statistics monthly, see what’s working and what’s not working, then adjust your strategy and tactics accordingly.
You have 2 choices when it comes to social media marketing…
- Hire someone to do it for you.
- Learn how to do it yourself.
Option 2 is your most cost effective – about 1/10 of the cost of hiring someone to do it for you. Here’s why I recommend learning how to do it all yourself:
- No one knows your business like YOU know your business.
- The “social” part of social media is about building relationships — who do you want building relationships with your current and potential clients? A stranger or someone in your organization that knows your business?
Though it may seem daunting, learning how to market your business on social media in a logical progression, that makes sense, will get you set up, optimized and with strategic and tactical marketing plans in hand ready to take control of your marketing!
And, you’ll be ready to hit the road running when this whole thing is over!
Social Media & Content Marketing Steps & Strategies for Marketing During COVID-19
- Determine your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) — This may have changed. Your delivery method may have changed. However you’re adapting to the business world during the COVID-19 pandemic, you need to define what you’re selling and what makes you unique.
- Clearly identify your target market(s) and create persona(s) — Even if your target market hasn’t changed, their needs may have shifted. Maybe your target is different. Either way, you need to define your target market(s) and create personas.
- Research your target markets and get to know them. Again, their pain points and problems probably have changed. More than likely, they’re online more than they ever were before. This also includes keyword research. What will your potential customer enter into the search box to find you? Look for keywords and phrases with high monthly searches and low to medium competition.
- Research your competition. Who are your direct competitors? Do you have new competition? Who comes up on the first page of Google when you search for what you have to offer? How often are they blogging? How active are they on social media? How many followers do they have on the networks.
- Set SMART goals for your business and marketing — the goals you set at the beginning of 2020 have definitely changed!
- Set up a well-branded website and social media profile pages optimized for search, if you don’t already have them. You may need to edit your site and your social networks to reflect changes in your services or products you’re offering. For instance, my chiropractor had to let people know that he’s still seeing patients. He did a blog article on the coronavirus from a holistic physicians point of view and it got over 2000 visitors!
- Develop a strategic plan to meet those new goals.
- Put together a tactical plan to implement the strategy. This is your new to-do list.
- Learn how content marketing, SEO & social media all work together. The magic formula hasn’t changed!
- Create and curate content, then build a following and relationships.
- Have a clear call-to-action: a free download, coupon or offer, to generate quality leads. This may have changed. You may have a different type of offer or ebook. It has to be enticing enough so that the visitor to your website will give you their name and email address.
- Setup an email automation workflow to walk the leads to buy. If you have one, you need to stop the automation and edit the messages.
- Monitor and measure – check your analytics and insights every month to see what’s working and not working. Then plan accordingly for the next month.
Copywriting Guidelines during COVID-19
The folks at WordStream wrote up an excellent copywriting guide. It covers:
- Being Sensitive
- Better too serious than sorry
- There’s a right way to make light of the situation
- Check for insensitive words
- Take a neutral or supportive stance
- Think contribution not conversion
- Ensure accuracy with your COVID-19 resources
- Employ proper grammer
- Stay optimistic, but don’t over promise
- Modify your offers
- Ease up on your urgency
- Adjust for relevance
- Check your scheduled [and automated] content
- Stay on track
- Maintain your copywriting standards
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