CHICAGO — Today’s independent business owners, including dry cleaners, have more opportunities than ever to market and reach their target audience. And with these choices comes the danger of being overwhelmed.
That doesn’t have to be the case, however, according to Donna Botti, owner of Delos, Inc., a Philadelphia-area company that specializes in marketing and interactive communications. She offered her tips for getting the most out of today’s marketing tools during a recent webinar hosted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).
In Part 1, we looked at the need to focus on knowing your audience and what you want your marketing to accomplish, and in Part 2, we went deeper into identifying your ideal customers and how best to to connect with them. Today we continue by looking at what should be the focus of your digital marketing efforts and how to make your lines of communication your own.
In the center of everything
When reviewing their digital media efforts, Botti urges owners to make their website the center of their strategy for their core strategic content, rather than relying on Facebook, Instagram or others platforms.
“Social media is great, but it doesn’t belong to you,” she warns. “It’s rented land. Your most important posts should be on your website because you own it and control all the content. Social media gives you the opportunity to experiment and drive traffic to your website or provide a way to contact you, but you shouldn’t base your entire strategy on social media.
Besides the question of ownership, there are a few reasons for Botti’s view.
“First of all, have you ever tried to find something on social media that was posted a week ago?” she asks. ” You can not do that. But the information your ideal client needs doesn’t expire within a week. There are things we call “evergreen”, which are important time and time again.
The other reason is that if someone is looking for you or a business like yours, having a website gives them a target to find.
“The website ends up being the destination of the search,” she says. “When I’m looking for something, I actually have more intention to buy. With social media, you just scroll next to me in the feed. »
Along with a website, Botti believes a major part of digital marketing is securing a business’s Google Business Profile.
“Google has changed the name of this service several times over the years,” she says, “but if you have a presence in the local community, the #1 thing you should do besides having a website , where you keep your basic information, is to have a Google Business Profile. It’s a free service, and one of the most important things is that it’s tied to Google Maps. more and more searches are being done on maps, as people are constantly looking for “things near me”.
Own your channels
According to Botti, one of the valuable mental adjustments for owners to make when considering marketing is to stop thinking of services like Facebook as social platforms. These are paid marketing platforms.
“A few years ago, you saw signs everywhere saying ‘Follow us on Facebook and like our page,'” Botti recalls. “You don’t see that anymore, and the reason is that what organically shows up for your Facebook business page followers is minimal. The average is around 2% – if you have 100 followers, two people will actually see your messages in the stream.
In order to get your message to appear, owners must pay for a “boost”. “As an advertising platform, Facebook and other platforms can be effective,” says Botti, “but strictly organic reach is becoming increasingly difficult. a billion dollars and makes his money from advertising.”
Botti believes it’s much more effective to connect directly with your customers.
“I think everyone should be doing email marketing,” she says. “Your paid traffic and your earned traffic, meaning people who see your post or find you in search, are great. But what you really want to do is convert those people into detained traffic — people you can contact whenever you want. And usually this will be possible by getting their email. At all ages, email remains the #1 preference for shoppers to get information and offers from businesses.
Building a quality email list takes time, Botti says, but it’s about having processes in place that focus on getting those valuable email addresses.
“You’re going to spread the word on social media through advertising, and you’re going to give people something valuable to give you their address,” Botti says. “Why should I sign up for you?” Is it a lead magnet? Do I want to watch this video? Will you give me a coupon? »
Once you have this address, it is important to use it. “Customers will come to us and say, ‘We have 8,000 emails on our list.’ When I ask them when was the last time they contacted them, they say, “Four years ago. Well, that list is dead. You want to email them regularly.”
Botti doesn’t think newsletters sent by post have the same impact as before. “I recommend short content a few times a month, or weekly if you can do it,” she says. “I do something every week. It’s called “Tech News Tuesday,” and it’s a really quick and actionable piece of advice on something I think you could do or something I think you should know about in digital marketing. And it literally takes minutes. But I’ve had people on my list for years, and they respond to me all the time.
Through it all, Botti says each contact doesn’t need to contain unique information.
“It’s perfectly fine to repeat the same content on your website, on LinkedIn on TikTok, on Facebook, or anywhere and in your email,” she says. “It takes some repetition of your branding for people to pay attention to it, and people have different channels that they watch.”
Check back Thursday for the conclusion of this series, when we look at ways to make the digital marketing process more manageable. For Part 1 of this series, click HERE. For part 2, click HERE.