In the famous fable, the steady tortoise wins over the flashy hare with steady, consistent effort. Too often companies approach launching a website as the finish line, when it is in fact the starting line. A website gets you in the race, but then you have to start running! Here’s some tips on how small business owners can get ahead with steady, consistent marketing efforts.
Create a Marketing Plan (Quickly)
For most small business owners, having a Chief Marketing Officer or dedicated marketing team is the stuff of dreams. That doesn’t mean you can’t be intentional about your marketing efforts!
- Do it quickly: Don’t spend more than an hour! Create a Word Google Document with:
- An outline of your various marketing channels (website, blog, enewsletter)
- Your objectives: what do you want to achieve? For example: increase web visitors by 5%, decrease bounce rate on home page by 10%, add 100 Twitter followers, increase ecommerce business from return customers by 15%. Be SMART with your goals!
- Your strategies: how are you going to accomplish these objectives? For example: increase ecommerce business from return customers through sending out monthly enewsletters with 10% off coupons to previous customers who haven’t bought in the last 3 months.
- Track the Results: What’s the point of a plan if you aren’t going to see if it’s working? However, the sheer amount of data available from your marketing tools can be overwhelming. So pick some leading indicators that have a direct impact on your business. If you want to centralize all the results, just create an Excel or Google Spreadsheet with the various data points recorded for each week or month.
- Google Analytics Conversions: learning how to use GA conversions will take a little time, but be worth every second. In summary, create “conversions” such as filling our a “Contact Sales” form that indicates an important step in your sales process has been completed.
- Google Analytics Traffic Sources: is the traffic from organic search, pay-per-click campaigns, or social?
- Google Analytics Visitor Data: how many visitors, how long did they stay, what was the bounce rate?
- Make adjustments: It’s a quick and dirty plan, but revisit it once a month for some mid-stream adjustments. For example, the first Monday of every month at 9am spend 30 minutes going over your plan.
- Just do it: as my business mentor Chuck Blakeman points out, quoting his Marine buddies: “Bad Plans Carried Out Violently Many Times Yield Good Results. Do something.” There is no perfect plan. Implement the plan, and perfect it as you go!
Choose Easy to Use Tools
Spend more time on marketing and less time on monkeying with your website tools by selecting the right one for the job. Choose the content management system, enewsletter, social media, and analytics tools that are easy to use and easy to integrate.
What are you Waiting For?
The spoils on the web are not for the witty or wily, but those who create a simple plan, implement it, and make corrections along the way. I’ve observed and participated in hundreds of small business marketing campaigns over the last decade, and the steady tortoise pretty much always beats the hare. You don’t need to win every race, you just need to keep showing up to the track every day.
Need help creating a marketing plan? Shoot us an email and let’s see how we can beat that hare with steady, tortoise-like marketing.