A marketing framework should include 4 aspects: different, credible, authentic and visible.
- Different: What is it that makes your business different from others? Is it services, how you conduct your business, an area of expertise?
- Credible: Do you have proof that this difference exists, and proof that you are a worthy business to engage with?
- Authentic: What is your brand personality and message? Show your clients or customers a little about yourself, not just what you do.
- Visible: When you post your content, do people see it?
Content can be in the form of blogposts, ebooks, guides, reports, video, events and online events (e.g. webinars), infographics and email.
Begin creating content by answering the questions your existing clients ask . If they have these questions, chances are others do too. A short blogpost with an answer can go a long way to help prospective clients with their issues, and can position you as a trustworthy and knowledgeable business. Consider why your existing clients approached you, and explore the issues they faced, the issues faced by their industry, and how you can help people that experience similar issues.
If possible, capture data of those accessing your material. Often, viewers wont willingly sign up to receive more emails, but they may be more willing if they receive something in return. Ask for a name and email and provide free content in return. This information can help you to find out who is interested in your content, and create a database to contact in the future.
Which Social Media Platform Is Best for Your Business?
Each social media platform has a purpose and a target audience. Knowing who your target audience is and the type of interaction you have aiming to engage in is useful for identifying which platform you should use. It should be noted that businesses can use multiple platforms, and there are tools to help you do this.
LinkedIn is a professionals platform. It is effectively a platform where an individual can list their Curriculum Vitae online. For Businesses, their interaction on LinkedIn tends to be business-to-business, with opportunities to engage with existing and prospective clients and partners. Business pages are useful for listing employees and clients for prospective clients and partners to view, however in regards to interacting with others, individual profiles are considered more effective.
97% of Western Australian’s use Facebook. Of the 1,500 posts available to the average user, they see around 300 of them. With an average of 20 minutes per day spent on Facebook, this means people see posts for at most 4 seconds each. The conclusion: Facebook is a scrolling mechanism, and posts need to be attractive for someone to stop and spend longer than 4 seconds reading them, and need to be short enough for someone to gather all the information they need from a 4 second glance.
Businesses are encouraged to use business pages, opposed to individual ones. They are most effective when there are a collection of “fans” that have “liked” the page, as this increases the reach of each post. The two more successful methods of encouraging people to “like” your page are through (1) discounts, coupons, or giveaways, and (2) entering a contest. Other methods include Facebook advertising, running competitions, asking existing clients to like your page, and including a unique code on your materials given to clients or handed out as promotional material at events.
Similar to Facebook, Twitter is a scrolling mechanism. There is a huge amount of “noise” and posts can often be lost. As a result, don’t be afraid to post content multiple times to ensure it is viewed by the target audience.
Twitter is a great way of engaging with clients and prospective clients. Examples include following your existing clients and praising them when they have achievements, and by answering questions.
Instagram and Snapchat
Both Instagram and Snapchat are aimed at a millennial audience. They are scrolling mechanisms that rely on images. This tool is more effective for some types of businesses (e.g. retail) than others (e.g. accounting).
The best way to start is to just get online. Pick one, maybe two, platforms to focus on and go from there. Keeping things centralised can help. For example, having a blog on your website and sharing the content to social media centralises the information and directs followers to one place.
Set aside some time everyday to engage in social media. For example, 30 minutes everyday. Try not to keep the pages open all day as it can be distracting and prevent you from completing work.
Finally, review your progress frequently (maybe once a month). There’s no point beating a dead horse, so evaluate if your strategy has been effective, make amendments where necessary, and stop those strategies that simply don’t work.