When you're on a budget (of both time and money), it can be tough to step away from billable work to focus your efforts towards working "on the business." And yet, a realistic marketing plan is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that billable work continues to roll-in. Without customers, there is no business. Without marketing and sales, there are no leads to become customers.
Sorry to all of my marketing entrepreneur friends selling a formula, but I simply disagree. At its core, marketing is simply the ways a business most effectively communicates what they do and why they do it with the intention of generating revenue from those communications. No formula that someone creates will always apply to you. There will be cool ideas embedded in a formula for sure, just remember that your business - like a fingerprint - is unique to you.
How has Marketing become so Complicated?
Like any other...
As we countdown to Thanksgiving, the new year is on the horizon. For marketers and business owners, that means one thing — it’s time to make a plan.
Your business needs a marketing plan because your marketing and sales efforts will be moot, without a defined strategy in place. Some see marketing plans as a daunting process to delay for as long as possible. At Beckmann Collaborative, we know how much fun it can be to create a fresh new marketing plan.
It's something that helps you understand your target audience, makes you think about the way to communicate your brand, evaluate competitors, and set realistic, measurable goals you can work toward.
To keep things simple, we've come up with a blueprint that organizes your Marketing Plan into Six Sections:
Whether you know it or not, you have a Brand. To get yourself in the right mindset, gather the key elements of your business' branding into one place - everything from your visual...
Mindset First: Your marketing is going to be awful if you cannot get "in the flow" to write good quality content and express something useful and interesting. Here's a quick video with 3 Tips for Getting in the Flow.
A strong content marketing strategy uses customization to engage your ideal customers and help you meet marketing goals. As a marketing team grows, things can slowly become a little "off". The voice of your content may not be right, things may get rushed to meet deadlines, or a marketing idea may not align with your business goals. That is why we create different processes for generating better content more consistently. We call these processes workflows.
Workflow management can build efficiencies into your business, so you spend more time doing meaningful work rather than getting lost in minute details (or becoming a micromanager).
A workflow is simply a routine or recurring process used to get the best...
Blogging in itself offers a wide array of benefits to your brand. Not only does it increase SEO, but it can also reflect your expertise to potential customers or clients. Businesses of all sizes and across many different industries have found blogging to be a strong tactic in their content marketing strategy.
Guest blogging is the practice of writing an article or blog post for another company's blog. This is a way to build relationships, increase your authority, get broader brand exposure, and (of course) build backlinks for SEO. Inbound links, also called backlinks, are a primary SEO ranking factor for search engines. Guest blogging offers an opportunity for you to write valuable content and link back to your own website.
Technical SEO Considerations:
The website must load quickly on all devices
Honesty. It's a word that so many of us claim to live by and be a reflection of our lives. And yet, business owners sometimes forget the importance of honesty when promoting their brands. While marketing is often tied to the idea of stretching the truth, padding the truth, or "making it sparkle" to sell, that is not Good Marketing. Business owners aren't trying to be dishonest by marketing their brands. The Man Men era of advertising taught many people that it is necessary to "trick" consumers into buying from us - and it's simply not true.
Business Owners and Marketers: You have the power to end this ridiculous way of thinking starting here and now. No one wants to be tricked into buying anything, because they end up feeling deceived and angry later.
Our goal as business owners is to offer a valuable product or service to the people who want and need it. That's it. Authentic marketers understand this idea and we run with it by offering value using...
For many small and medium sized companies, the hardest part of marketing campaigns is simply managing all of the different pieces of the marketing mix. The first step toward organizing the potential chaos is to plan and schedule specific marketing campaigns.
Definition: A marketing campaign is a sustained effort to promote your product or service through a defined series of activities.
A good marketing campaign follows a theme, and it includes a series of touch points through each channel. While I wish that a single marketing campaign was enough effort for someone to take action, but that’s not realistic. The average consumer can take anywhere from 3 to 21 touch points before actually making a purchase. Since there is so much noise in the marketplace, repetition of a message in different channels is important.
The American Express campaign of Small Business Saturday utilized several...
When you are promoting your business, social media campaigns are important to your brand awareness. Get guidance about how to write and schedule your Social Media Campaigns. Once you feel confident about your plan, the final step in the process is to review and analyze what’s happened. Time to analyze and adjust. The steps towards a successful social media campaign:
1. Research Your Social Content
Whether you are new to social media marketing or have existing channels, set aside time to research competitors content as well as your own. You need to take a step back to move forward.
2. Writing and Planning Your Social Content
Social media is not about throwing content out into the world and hoping that someone will read it. You are creating content that expresses your story, your business, and the value you bring to others in a focused way – under the umbrella of a campaign.
3. Process and Scheduling Your Social Content
This is the step when you decide...
Originally published in July 2016. Updated July 2019
We aren’t just throwing content out into the social sphere with the hope that someone will read it and be suddenly inspired to buy something, right? I hope that isn’t your perspective, because it’s a great way to fail. You are creating content that expresses your story, your business, and the value you bring to others.
When you have a specific goal for your marketing with a content theme, you are developing a marketing campaign. Consider all of the different ideas you have for your social media content: how-to posts, fun facts, inspirational quotes, FAQs, top 5 lists, etc. What is the purpose of these posts? Are there areas of commonality among those pieces? Those are your overarching themes or campaigns. When you take that concept and focus it on just social platforms it becomes social media campaigns.
What’s in your marketing message? Does your target audience understand the value you can bring to them? Are you using a consistent message about your business throughout your digital marketing footprint - from website to social media presence and beyond?
All of your content—for marketing, sales, customer service, and anything else publicly available—is a reflection of your brand message. It should be clearly understood and provide value to your audience. If you feel unsure about this, you are not alone. Branding and content strategy are not usually part of “how to start a business” education.
Since social media began as “social” endeavor, as the name references, most of us have used it to connect with friends, family, and new people. However, using it for business is a different story. When you log in to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn (or whatever platform) to promote your business, your...
This is the third part of the 3-part series about email list building strategies. Check out the first post about designing a powerful sign-up or opt-in form and the second post about 5 ways to get content clarity. The point of this series is to share some best practices. Rather than offering specific tools, I’ll let you decide how you’d like to implement these email strategies. If you know what you need from a software tool, then you don’t need me to tell you which one to choose.
Before jumping into the core focus of this post, I’d like to share a quick tip with you…
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