How do you market a small business in these modern times? I attended a three day marketing conference called Social Media Marketing World to gain insights on today’s trends in the small business and tourism marketing world. With over 120 speakers and 3,000 attendees from all over the world gathering for three days I have notes upon notes, references and ideas but I wanted to sum up the Conference on the latest in digital marketing in one article. Here’s what I learned.
Effectively, you can sum up the whole conference very simply with the acronym “LIKE.” I coined this because I’ve heard so many of my clients wanting more “Likes” on their Facebook Pages. But, as written previously, Facebook “Likes” are only one step in the whole process - sort of like having plates and a fork in time for dinner. What we really want is a balanced meal.
Surprisingly, those who have followed my blog for an length of time will not be surprised by this information. So what did I learn?
There were all sorts of intricacies, tips, insights, ideas and methods shared in the conference. I came away from three days with pages and pages of notes, thoughts, ideas, plans and concepts. I learned a tremendous amount but the experts I heard from time and time again reinforced the basic marketing concepts I have been talking about for some time now.
So let’s describe the whole process of “LIKE” as a funnel.
The “L” in the “LIKE” is for Letting people know about your business. Of course this is what most people see Facebook for and it can be a great tool if used properly. Facebook is a great tool but should only be one tool in your arsenal. Often times people use social media as a hammer when they really need an oboe.
The idea with the top of the funnel is to get people talking about your business. If you’re a clothing shop, for example, most people think that repeatedly showing pictures of clothes or posting images with discounts is going to get people to come in. But it’s not.
The idea with social media in general is go get people talking about what you’re doing and to share that with others. Having a story worth sharing is a big factor in the success of your message. If your content is so compelling that people want to tell others about you, you’ve done a good job. Right now video content is something that really captures peoples’ attention. You know you’ve shared some of those videos of easy recipes, or great hacks. I’ve seen them.
So what if that same clothing shop were to have a before and after video of someone who is down on their luck and got outfitted with a new wardrobe? That same store could follow this up with videos of that same person after they got a new job. This would be just the kind of thing that would gain viral traffic.
If you’re a resort, for example, what are 10 insider tips for keeping things clean from the housekeeping staff? Or, perhaps, you could do little videos of places near you that are “discoveries.” Again, content people will want to share.
Recently I’ve noticed a local winery doing short videos about how to serve wine, how to hold the glass, how to open sparkling wine and more. These videos are really getting attention and they’re informative without ever selling. In fact, they’re getting shared like crazy.
The idea is content that people will love and share, period. But then what’s the next step?
The “I” in LIKE is for “Invite” - you want people on a platform you have ownership of. Simply put, right now Facebook Live Video is hot and easy to get attention from because Facebook wants people to adopt it. So they’re making it very compelling. But once they’ve moved into the stage where they’re using it to gain advertising dollars, that will change.
The problem with social media channels in general is that they’re in business for themselves, not for your best interest. So if they see an opportunity to change something to their own betterment, they do and this could be good or really bad for you. But Facebook Live video is definitely a tool that could help you to gain exposure. Funny thing - Facebook was definitely not the darling of this Conference - Instagram was. Guess who else has video?
The “K” in “LIKE” is Keep your customers. It always costs more to get a new customer than to keep an old one and one method of keeping customers is to provide information they’ll use. And this means, you’re going to want your own owned presence which means a website. Yes, even in 2017. I know I’ve already written this above.
Despite all the hoopla about social media, owning your own website and email list are still the core fundamentals of marketing today. There’s nothing sexy about it, it doesn’t make the headlines. It’s just true.
So if you give away all the information in a video on social media, why would someone want to visit your website? Because you have more useful tips and additional information they can use. And this means a blog.
Like what you’re reading right now, a blog contains information that you have to share with your audience. This can be more video, secrets, tips or just ways your information can benefit them. For example, I hope you get benefit from reading and sharing this Monday Morning Marketing blog. My goal with this is to provide real information you can use in your business that is so helpful, you’ll want to share it with others. You might notice I don’t ever sell anything here, it’s purely informational.
I have a friend who’s a DJ who uses her blog to tell people about music trends, tips about successful celebrations and more. My restaurant friend tells people about recipes, healthy eating and decadent ways to spice up meals at home.
Notice that, in almost every case, the most successful blogs are not at all about selling. Of course your website is about your business but the blog is great information you have to share. And if it’s really, really good you’ll have people wanting to share that blog with their friends and even subscribing to your E-mail newsletter. Which, coincidentally, is the “E” in LIKE.
By owning a place that you can take people to, providing great value, and letting them know there’s an update you’ll have built trust, value and a relationship with those people. And who doesn’t want to do business with someone you respect and know? We all want a true friend in the plumbing business. Or a buddy who’s an electrician. And who doesn’t want a friend who can cook?
So the “E” in LIKE is Email. Yep. Unsexy, boring, overused and unappreciated email.
Most of the email we get is people selling us stuff, offers from strange countries to share millions from a long-lost relative or bills. Bleh.
But one of my favorite emails is the monthly email from the Curbside Car Show calendar which has the articles that are written about cool vintage cars. Or the weekly email from RV Daily Report with a week’s worth of great time wasters from the RV industry. Or the ones from my YouTube subscription with the latest videos from my favorite creators of same, including TechMoan’s cool vintage electronics report. Hey, I’m a nerd.
So while the bulk of the email we get is crud, there are emails that you are excited to open, I hope. And that’s your goal. Exciting, fun emails.
Now, if you have a sale or product announcement or new feature as part of a series of useful items for your audience, they’re going to be happy to see that. Because you’ve created value, entertainment and established a real relationship with these people.
Yes, the number of new, exciting and innovative ways to speak to the world around me was exactly what Social Media Marketing World was all about. I will absolutely share more specific details of some of the most relevant things I learned there with you to help you be more successful.
But that’s all window dressing and first we need to be sure that our foundation is a solid place upon which to build our towering success. I hope you LIKE this article and it has some value for you. In some ways, I’m dogfooding. Now there’s a term I’ll share more about in the future.
And thank you for reading this. And sharing if you feel it’s appropriate.