Small businesses have never had more opportunities to stay connected with their customer base.
With more than 70 percent of UK adults now walking around with a smartphone in their pocket, businesses need to have a strategy to reach customers in all the places that matter to them.
According to a 2014 Constant Contact survey, small businesses that use multiple marketing channels reported:
- 73 percent more customer engagement
- 57 percent more new customers
- 54 percent more website traffic
- 40 percent more revenue
- 39 percent more referrals
Introducing a multi-strand marketing strategy is easier than you might expect. You may already be using different marketing channels — like email marketing, social media or SMS — now you just need a plan for using these channels together.
Here are four steps to help you do it.
1. Choose your goal
You may be looking to get people to an event, increase your amount of Facebook fans, get word out about the latest news, bring in more sales or maybe you’re just looking for feedback.
Whatever the case may be, you want to have some sort of measurable result that lets you know how you’re doing against the goal you’ve set. Choose something specific.
2. Choose your campaigns and channels
Once you know the goal you’re trying to reach, it’s time to figure out the campaigns and the channels you’ll use to best support your goal. Again, the trick here is to move beyond a single instance and think about the combination of things you can do to get the word out.
For example, you’ll want to use email to send out a newsletter letting people know about what you have going on. The newsletter not only reaches people in their inbox, it also points them toward the places you want them to go. Maybe you have an exclusive offer on your Facebook Page, a local offer that you’re running or an online registration page for an upcoming event.
Make sure you’re thinking about the ways you can promote your campaign, as well as follow up with people who get involved. If you’re looking to reach people quickly, consider using SMS marketing to reach customers with timely updates and reminders.
3. Choose your content
Content is currency in the digital world. It’s what gets people’s attention, builds relationships and trust and drives action. If you want your strategy to be successful, you need to have a plan to create and share content for all of your different channels.
Think about the ways you can use content in its different forms, (images, videos, articles and more) to show your business’s personality and expertise and to connect with your audience. How can you use this content to expose your offer to them? How can you make it compelling enough that people will want to share it with their friends?
Here are a few tips for some of your most popular channels:
- Website: your website is a place where potential customers will visit to learn more about your business. Make sure to include an “About” section to introduce people to your business. You can also include photos of your staff and relevant product or service details.
- Email: we recommend a mix of promotional and informative content. Dedicate 80 percent of your email content to educating and engaging your audience, and 20 percent to promotional updates.
- Social Media: use a mix of content, including photos, videos, links and text updates. Pay attention to what type of content your audience responds to and tweak your strategy accordingly.
4. Measure your results
Review your reports to see what’s working, and what isn’t. Then use this information to make adjustments so you get better results on your next campaign. Are people opening your emails? Are fans engaging with you on social media? Are you bringing people to your website and getting them to come back?
Remember to revisit the initial goals to see how your different channels performed. Focus on the channels that deliver the highest return and see if you can improve over time.
Ready to get started?
Adopting a multi-strand marketing strategy will expand the reach of your business and give you the opportunity to reach customers in a whole new way.
Learn more! Join FireText and Constant Contact for a free online marketing webinar, Build Your Marketing Toolkit.
This post was written by Tamsin Fox-Davies.
Tamsin has made it her mission to help small business people achieve their dreams and create successful and sustainable organisations. As a Constant Contact’s small business evangelist, she shares her valuable insight in a variety of ways from in-person training, to speaking at events and creating useful resources including blogs, articles, and newsletters.