Marketing your small business is a never-ending endeavor, and it can be hard to set realistic marketing goals for such a diverse set of tasks.
So instead of chasing an undefined idea of success, think of your marketing plan as a new sport or skill you’ve decided to learn. And like every sport, you can’t learn it all at once.
Instead, set small goals in every area you want to grow your business, and let those guide your day-to-day efforts.
Small marketing goals are easier to visualize and accomplish, and after a while, they will add up to a big overall improvement in growing your business.
Small business owners rely on social media more than large corporations do because it’s a way to speak directly to their fans without an expensive advertising campaign. However, that doesn’t make it any less difficult or time-consuming.
Instead of letting social media overwhelm you, figure out what you actually want to accomplish, and use those end goals to set your small, achievable marketing goals.
The best way to handle Twitter is with a combination of scheduled tweets that link back to your site, and randomly sent tweets throughout the day that either respond to others or share something new.
Your “small goal” with Twitter can be the amount of followers you have, with a goal of increasing it on a weekly basis. Because the more followers you have, the more people who will actually see the information you’re sending out. And in addition to the regular sharing described above, the easiest way to get new followers is to follow others.
Search for keywords that reflect either your business or your ideal shopper. For instance, we search for keywords like “local business” or “buy local” because those are the topics our business and blog are concerned with. Then, we find people who tweet about the sames things we do, and follow them and their followers.
Start with 30 minutes, once a week, of solid following, and you’ll begin to notice a regular increase in your own followers.
Maintaining your Facebook page, or giving it a complete makeover, can take up hours and hours of your life. But you’re far too busy running a business to let that happen. So instead, make small goals every week to maintain and steadily improve your Facebook fan page.
Promote two to three different products on Facebook every week. Something as simple as taking a picture with your phone and posting it with a caption and link back to your site is incredibly effective.
Additionally, make sure you post daily no matter what. Whether it’s an inspirational quote or a great product image, aim to post at least once a day to stay relevant to your fans.
If you have a smartphone, you can shoot a video. Videos don’t have to be long or too heavily involved. A good place to start is with “mini tip” videos for your particular products. A video can be shot on your phone or camera, uploaded for free to your YouTube account, and then easily shared to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Consider the case of Stephen Cronk and his family winery, Mirabeau. He was regularly making short videos consisting of wine-related facts or tips, and on his 222nd video, viral finally happened.
In a 49-second how-to video, he taught viewers how to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew, using just a shoe and a wall. The video turned into a hit with over 6 million views so far, and has brought incredible exposure to the small winery.
If you’re still unsure on the quality aspect of making videos, check out How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck by Steve Stockman, which is accessible for all levels of beginners.
Sometimes, waiting for a customer to come into your store or happen across your website just isn’t enough. You want new customers and return customers to notice your products, and it takes a bit more than hanging an “open” sign in the window.
If you have an email list, make it your small goal to write one newsletter per month.
Try to make sure your emails stick to a similar format, and are easy to follow. There are many simple and completely free email-marketing tools out there to help you do this. The point of the email is to entice your customers with news of new products, events, or sales. It’s also to remind your customers that you value their patronage.
If you don’t have an email list, make that your small goal for the month.
If you take orders online, add a pre-checked newsletter enrollment button to the order page, so that customers can opt-in to receive your emails. If you have a physical store, you can also put out a sign-up sheet on your counter and encourage customers to join. Building an email list is as simple as creating a spreadsheet, and professional-looking email newsletters can be done in just a few minutes.
Don’t have the ability to sell your products online? Make it your small goal to get started.
And while having an ecommerce site built for your business is actually far from a “small goal,” there are other options available to you. From Etsy and eBay to Scott’s Marketplace and Craigslist, there are many ways you can start selling your products online without having to commit to a pricey ecommerce site. Taking advantage of one, or even a few, of these sites will help keep a steady stream of profit coming into your business year-round.
With just a few small goals set every month, you’ll start to see big advances in your customer relations and marketing plan. Marketing can seem time-consuming and stressful, but when your goals are broken up into small tasks, they suddenly become entirely more manageable.
How do you manage your marketing goals? Share below!