Across the country, there is a unique class of folks that stand out as anomalies from the digitized masses. They aren't hard to recognize. Often, they're using aging tech or a non-smartphone, they would rather get dirt under their fingernails than be on social media and have little to no idea what a meme is. Often referred to in the marketing world by the kind euphemism of late adopters, this group of hard-working, rarely online folks typically has some of the sparsest resources when it comes to their marketing, design, and demand generation.
They tend to occupy more trade, agricultural, and specialized skill forms of business, be it guiding, farming, construction, charter services, commercial supply, or more industrial-focused work. For many of these people, they have the "been doing it this way for 30 years, and it's worked well for me" byline, and business typically comes from a real word of mouth route. But, like all good things, the days may be numbered for continuing this way in a world going ever faster and faster toward the interconnection of things. Today we're looking at why every single individual, even these late adopters, can benefit from a strong marketing game.
Do I Need A Marketing Strategy? (Spoiler Alert: You Do).
If you find yourself wondering if you need a marketing strategy, then you already have your answer. The truth is that every single person needs to have a marketing strategy churning behind the scenes. Whether you build chicken coops, travel experiences, or tiny dachshund figurines—you need to be marketing your business.
Maybe you're furrowing you're brow at this moment or having a Robert Downey Jr. level eye-roll going on. You are thinking, "This is how we've always done it, and it's always worked." We're not arguing with you there. If you've created and continued a business without the help of any designed marketing collateral, we'll be the first to clap you on the back.
But here's the thing. If marketing your business well is proven to improve revenue, why wouldn't you give it a shot? A marketing strategy not only allows you to drum up business, but it also allows you to analyze what is and isn't working in that business. Every business has had a dip at one point in time—even Apple has had a slow season, and friend, you're no exception.
The truth is that you have a lot of data about your business. You know when customers ebb and flow. You know the timing of when you need to make payments, invoice clients, and pay your people. This is just another tool for keeping your business in business. One that works while you're busy doing other things. It takes the data you know from your 20+ years, and leverages current and proven strategies from your accrued knowledge.
While word of mouth is excellent and hard-earned, it doesn't tell you much when clients quit knocking. You can't measure referrals exchanged between friends, or recommendations given casually over a beer. If you really want to understand where that influence in transferring into revenue, you need analytics. If you need to know how your brand compares to your competitors, and your prices are meeting the marketplace, you need social media. If you need a place for people to see your work, hear about what you do, or validate you are who you say you are, you need a website. If that sounds complex, don't sweat it. It's less intimidating than it comes off, and we'll make sure you're set up with all the right tools to make it happen.
The Times They Are A’Changin
It's good to be reminded from time to time that, ...because, that's how I've always done it, is never a good reason to continue doing something a certain way. Pushing dirty clothes under the bed, family dinners in front of the TV, you name it. The same is true for your marketing or lack thereof. As time goes on, your audience generally becomes younger. After all, if you stuck with the same clientele forever, your business would eventually end when they do (harsh, but true).
This means that if you want your business to keep on thriving, you've got to get on the same page as the upcoming generation eventually. And that generation, my friend, needs you to have a marketing presence. With a generation of babies who could swipe before they could walk, a few things are expected out of what they consider a good company.
First and foremost, it's got to have a website. We'll say that one more time for the people in the back: you've got to have a website. It's so easy in this day and age to make and maintain one that a company without a website of some sort feels untrustworthy and dated. And when your brand image is dated, people will assume your speed, approach, and product will be too.
Today's buyer hardly buys a stick of gum without looking it up online first. With so many options available, why would they go the extra mile to try and figure out what you do or how you do it when there is a helpful, pretty link leading to a business who does what you do just waiting to be clicked.
The same is true of your social media. You' don't have to become a social media guru, and no one is asking you to become an influencer. But take the three minutes it requires to set up a Facebook or Instagram account. It'll help your Google rankings in a search and show people that you are actually a real company, and you're with the times enough to be trusted.
Published Over Perfect
If it sounds intimidating and you're unsure where to start, we're here to tell you not to sweat it. The main thing to remember when starting is that it doesn't have to be this colossal overhaul (unless you're ready for that)! It also doesn't have to be the Sistine Chapel. But it does need to be something. There are some relatively simple rules to follow when it comes to etiquette. Still, in general, something basic is better than nothing at all, and something straight forward, rather than trying to say everything under the sun, is always better.
Whether it's a website, a brochure, a social media account, an email list that talks to current and potential clients, having marketing collateral that supports your business is crucial to continued success in today's environment. The way people see how you market your company directly correlates to the value and viability that you bring. This has been the dominant mode of perception for almost a decade, and for many potential customers, the low-bar of engagement that they will not do business without.
Our Favorite Tools to Bring Digital Marketing to life
While we appreciate some old-fashioned elbow grease as much as you, we believe your marketing should be about working smarter, not harder. No one is asking you to reinvent the wheel. They're just asking that you put some wheels on the car so that bad boy can get going. Let's take a look at a few of the tools that are incredibly user-friendly and helpful to have in any wheelhouse.
Website Building: Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace
If building your website sounds as foreign to you as eating haggis, we get it. That's why we have the clients and partners we do. You are good at what you do; you don't need to become a digital expert when you can hire someone who already is. If you are in that boat, click here to contact us. There's something to be said for passing off the work you don't love, so you can focus on the work that you do.
Even if you're not ready to go full bore, here's the thing, in today's day and age, you don't need to know even a lick of code to put together a beautiful, easy to navigate, informative website. We chose the hosting platforms of Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace because they are some of the easiest to manipulate for hobby-oriented designers and non-designers alike.
They take almost no training to use and can produce cost-effective results that look good and do the job well. Want to say something? Drag a text box onto your template. Want to include an image? Upload one to your media folder and drag it on over. With preexisting templates that can be filtered to your specific industry, you're halfway there before you've even started. Most importantly, having these sites allows you to track data on performance, giving you glimpses into when you're getting the most traffic, insights into a dip in business, and what content your audience likes best
Email Marketing: Mailchimp
Email marketing is one of those things that sounds complex until you're in it. Through services like Mailchimp, you can access loads of templates based on what you want to send—sales campaign, sign up campaigns—etc., and customize them with your information and branding. Much like the aforementioned easy-to-use web templates, Mailchimp provides you with predesigned pieces that are super easy to tailor to your business.
Mailchimp is especially excellent for businesses with lots of contacts. If you are that 30 year veteran of your industry, you probably have a wealth of contact information from your client base. You can use that to your advantage, notifying your audience of specials, offers, or that you are joining the digital age. Best of all, the paid account (just $10 a month) offers online chat support for any issues you do run into. If you really want to dig in and learn, there are loads of educational videos and forums about how to become an expert Mailchimp user.
Social Media: HubSpot or Hootsuite
Managing a myriad of social media accounts can feel overwhelming to even to must gung-ho social user. That's why platforms like Hubspot and Hootsuite exist. They allow you to craft one post and blast it across multiple platforms. Pick your photo, write up a quick message, and tailor it to each platform's requirements. The best part? You can schedule your posts out so that it's not something you're thinking about every day.
Hubspot, in fact, is a very robust tool that can handle a variety of tasks, including lead generation, blogging, social media, and more. Fortunately for you, PRIME happens to be a Gold Level Hubspot Partner, so if you want some automation and digital savvy put into your efforts, we can help you get there and exceed your goals through this fantastic piece of software.
If you want to start small, you can begin to manually post or use something like Hootsuite get you off and running. By spending an hour or so at the beginning of the month, you can do a mass-create of your social posts for the month, and call it done. Like your website platform, you can then track your social media traffic and engagement to see what content your audience likes best, what times they're checking out your content, and where their interests lie.
Still a little apprehensive about marketing your business? That’s why we’re here! Whether you want an expert who will do it for you or one to bounce questions and ideas off, we’ve got your back. Ask us anything in the comments below or click here to let us help you put your best foot forward!