We are at Inside Small Business today talking about some brilliant tools that small businesses can use for their digital marketing campaigns. If you’re a small business owner, you won’t wanna miss it!
When you hear the word ‘agency’ the first thing that you might think is ‘it’s too expensive for my small business’. Fair enough, the word does sound like something only the big businesses can afford. But in today’s confusing social media and digital marketing landscape, you may not have a choice but to seek the help of one. In this post, we will list some common reasons why you would hire a digital marketing and social media agency. And some suggestions on what to do if you want to DIY it.
Social media stuff is confusing
There are so many things that come with managing your social media platforms. Aside from picking which platforms you should be on, you also need to figure out what to post, when to post, who to post to and how to get more engagement. Then you need to constantly analyse which ads are working and which ones are not. It can be a steep learning curve if you’re not familiar with it.
Digital marketing is not really working
You’ve tried boosting posts, you’ve tried creating ads, you’ve used every possible platform out there — still, nothing is working. The thing with digital marketing is that you need to get the right audience and the right message before it works. Throwing things everywhere to see which ones stick isn’t a good long term plan. An agency can help you with that as they have the expertise to figure out marketing strategies.
I have no time to learn
You’re already looking after your business and your staff, then there’s the business plan and tax needs. You really don’t want to add to that learning how to handle your social media and digital marketing. There are so many tutorials out there, some better than others. But how do you know which one to listen to?
If you’re still not keen to hiring a digital marketing agency, then here are some suggestions on how to do it yourself.
Spend an afternoon with experts and learn how to do the whole thing yourself. Workshops that relate to your business are tax deductible so it’s good to take a couple of hours of your day to do it. By participating in one, you can focus on this and nothing else.
Train your staff
Or if you can’t do it yourself, pick one of your staff members (preferably someone who has the most marketing and online experience) to attend a training session. This way, you know someone in your team can do the job and you don’t have to think about that part of your business.
Hire on-demand service
Some agencies, like us here at 3C Digital, cater to small businesses. That’s why we offer On-Demand services to our clients so they can just ask for what they need — with no lock in contract. If you need a month’s worth of content strategy or marketing campaign, then just pay for that and we’ll do the rest for you. Digital marketing doesn’t have to be a super daunting and super expensive part of your business.
There are many things you can do for your small business’ digital marketing and social media efforts. But where do you begin? Words like SEO, analytics and lead generation can be overwhelming, so our suggestion is to have a starting point. In this post, we will discuss three things you can look into right now to get your online marketing campaigns started.
Build your email list
Your email list is still one of the best ways you can reach your customers so it is definitely worth building this. How do you get them to sign up exactly? By giving them something of value such as discounts, a giveaway or information that they can use. Don’t underestimate the appeal of an eBook filled with useful information to your customers. Just make sure it looks professional (you can do this easily with the various free tools online now like Canva). You can start building your list with tools like Mailchimp, which is free if your subscribers’ number is under 2000. Once you’ve automated the whole system, it will be easier for you to manage it as well. Schedule the eDM every month with the occasional email when you have a promo running. Just make sure it’s not too often so as not to annoy your customers.
Having an avatar for your ideal target audience is helpful to your small business marketing campaign, but focusing locally will help you even more. Know the areas you want to focus on and create ads honing on those communities. Up your local SEO so you show up when people search businesses in your area. You can do this by listing your small business in online directories catering to your target areas, adding keywords for your suburb and putting up regular updates on what’s happening around the area. If you don’t know how to do this yourself consider hiring an agency that focuses on small businesses. Look at their client list and testimonials to ensure you are hiring the right one for you. Remember that it takes a while before your SEO efforts bear fruit so it’s best to start now and do it right the first time.
If you are going to do social media and create accounts for your business, you need to make sure you regularly update it. The minimum update you should do is once a week, don’t leave it for months and months without updating. Also, you don’t need to be on every single social media platform out there. Know where your audience hangs out and focus on that one. A good content strategy is your friend so it is best to have one lined up before you start your online platform. Make sure you know the best way to deal with customers on social media so you don’t make any big mistakes that can affect your business. If you’re not sure what to do, have a sit down with an agency that can train your staff and yourself on how to do it.
You created an ad, set the audience, placed your budget limit and confirmed it. Minutes later, you get a reply from Facebook that your ad was rejected. You are shocked, don’t know what to do and have no idea why Facebook didn’t like it. You are not alone. We’ve all been there. With everything that Facebook went through this year, don’t be surprised if even more changes are coming. In this post, we will tell you three of the most common reasons why your Facebook ad was rejected.
The obvious ones
Let’s start with the obvious ones. If you look at the list of prohibited products and services on Facebook’s list, you’ll see the usual suspects. Things like drugs, guns, tobacco, supplements, weapons, gambling and more. There are restricted contents that have specific rules too. Alcohol can sometimes be advertised depending on the laws in your area and the target audience you create as well as the message on your ad. Others on the restricted content list include dating sites, real money gambling, regional lotteries, online pharmacies, supplements, financial services, student loan services and more. You will need to provide specific things to make Facebook feel better about your ad. Things like prior written permissions and sufficient disclosures. Read up on each specific rules for your content if it falls in one of those categories.
Racy materials and language
Adult content is not allowed on Facebook. These include stuff like nudity, sexual positions or even suggestive sexual positions as well as overly sexually provocative ads. That goes hand in hand with racy and foul language as well. Profanity is not allowed in your ads (and it shouldn’t really be there anyway) so double check that your ad doesn’t have it — even ones you think are ‘acceptable’. Replacing profanity with symbols will still have the same effect. Also check your grammar and punctuations because those affect the review process of your ads too. Things like misused capitalisation and too many symbols (even not related to profanity) will affect the result of the review process too.
Sensational claims and shock tactics
Although you’d like people to pay attention to your ad and click, Facebook is against shock tactics and sensational claims. You can’t use images that shock or scare users as well as pictures that show any sort of violence. Aside from that, you can’t also claim to achieve something if they use your products/services. Things like curing a disease, or losing belly fat by applying your lotion or even raising your profits by a certain percentage when using your method. This is where someone with digital marketing experience comes in. Wording your ad in such a way that it passes Facebook’s policies is important to run a successful campaign on the social media platform.
Are you thinking of doing more Facebook advertising for your small business this year? Welcome to the world of social media, where all brands, big or small, can use the same avenue with no discrimination. But before you start your advertising plan, it’s good to know more about the whole process. In this post, we will give you three tips before trying out Facebook advertising.
Know your market well, really well
The beauty of Facebook advertising is that you can specify your target down to the last detail. Before you start, list all of your target market’s information. Things like age, sex, profession, income, area, hobbies and so on. Don’t limit it to one category as well. Categorising your target market will make it easier for you to create your ads. The more specific you can make it, the better you’re going to get the results you want.
Laser focus your messages
The story you tell should not only be authentic but also tailored to your specific target market. As a small business, you don’t have the budget to create heaps of different ads to figure out which one works. Try settling for two to three messages targeted to a specific audience. You can push the ads at the same time so you can measure which one works best. Your budget doesn’t have to be too expensive. Around $20 per message is enough for your testing phase.
Keep tracking, and track again
Do you know how to check the analytics of your Facebook advertising? If you go to the back end of your Business Manager, you will see how your ad is going from the moment you release it. Check out which message is getting a lot more engagement and double down on that one. The ones that are not getting the results you like might need to be taken down or reassessed. Track often so you change things quickly. That’s one of the benefits of Facebook advertising, the results are instantaneous so there’s no waiting around.
Digital marketing for small business
Small businesses are finding it hard to find support for their digital marketing efforts. For one, agencies are too expensive for them as most target bigger brands. It’s also too expensive to hire someone full time to focus on digital marketing and social media growth. If they try to do it themselves, the learning curve is so steep it’s hard to make heads or tails of the whole thing. In this post, we will show you three ways how you as a small business can tackle the digital marketing hurdle.
Attend a course
There are plenty of courses online and offline that you can do to educate yourself on digital marketing and social media management. Big companies like Google announce regular free sessions online that you can go to. There are also apps like Udemy that offer super affordable classes that you can do during your own time so it’s not that stressful. It is worth checking out reviews and feedbacks about the various courses that are out there before deciding on what you want to do yourself. Be aware that there are many unreliable ones out there too so it is best to do some research beforehand.
Hire a digital marketing agency
Although there are many agencies that cater for the bigger fish, there are also small businesses who are skilled in the digital marketing space that can cater to small businesses. Agencies like us, 3C Digital, are there to provide quality service at an affordable price. Check your local council if they have free consultations on digital marketing and social media. Or ask your local council if any of their members provide that service to small businesses. It also pays to attend networking events in your local area so you meet these agencies and you can ask them questions face to face before hiring them. Opt for ones with no lock in contracts, too so you are not tied in to their service.
Join a workshop
If, like many small business owners, you need someone to tell you exactly which buttons to press and where to go, then a workshop might be the best thing for you. It is worth investing your time and money in a couple of hours’ session with an agency that will tell you exactly what you need to know. Here at 3C Digital, we provide a workshop service to your business where we sit down with your digital marketing or social media person to answer questions and teach them how to do things themselves. Even a two-hour session dedicated to learning some digital marketing tricks will already be a big help to your small business.