We live in an era of essentials. Who are the essential workers? What are the essential jobs? And now that we business owners are collectively looking into our bank accounts, watching expenditures exceed income, we've got to ask...
Is All Marketing Necessary?
First, no. All of the marketing tactics, tricks, and suggestions are not necessary. But a lot of them... most of them... are beneficial. But we are talking about business marketing on a budget, during levels of economic shutdown, while a lot of people are freaking out about a virus, a mask, or some other version of a new normal. So lets skip the very important discussion about necessary marketing, and dive into the essentials:
1. Be Visible
You cannot be counted if you aren't present. And right now, as the world seems a little mad, businesses can't stare at doors and orders nearly as much, so many are turning to their screens. And that's EXACTLY what you should be doing.
Facebook, Instagram, a dedicated website, YouTube, TikTok (until it's shut down by the government), Twitter, Snapchat, etc. There have never been more eyes on their screens for longer periods of time, than right now. And it's not expensive to start... it's free! If you aren't capitalizing on that, you're losing.
2. Writing Matters
Truthfully, every single aspect of every single thing that goes out about your business matters. Everything matters. Everything speaks. But when it comes to your business and the words you have to say about your industry, your competition, the markets, a pandemic, or when you're writing a blog about "Must-Have Marketing Items"... what you write matters. You must say something. Others will speak for you, whether good or bad. That's a part of business, and the good stuff helps. But you must say something for yourself - for your brand - to your clients - to a watching world of potential buyers, believers, and shoppers. And if you don't know what to say, how to say it, or where to post it...
3. Get Help
I drive a Jeep Cherokee. If something breaks down in my SUV, I immediately self-assess. I think we all do that. Even if our immediate response is panic, we are essentially saying that our immediate self-assessment of the situation is that we are not the right source to solve this problem.
But if I think it's a simple solution, I'll search online or maybe try to fix it myself. When that fails, I call my Dad. He hasn't been a mechanic for decades now, but he's still one of the smartest people I know about all of the things that I seemingly know nothing about. And that includes cars. If Dad can't offer a quick solution, it's off to my mechanic. Because I have a system.
And I have a system just like this for anything else that I recognize as a weak spot. I know that sometimes, I just don't know. And the minute my cluelessness dawns on me, I crank out this system. And so it is with business... If you don't know how to message your business, get help. If you aren't savvy with social media, get help. If you need guidance on your website, SEO, branding, design, or any other some such thing.... Get. Help. Otherwise, you stay broken down, while others pass you by.
4. Make Truth Loud
I love advertising. But proper advertising can get pricey, and often plays fast and loose with the truth. And my biggest gripe with typical advertising is that it often has more to do with getting attention than telling your truths. But you can avoid that before you ever cut an advertising check. The task is simple - develop three core truths: Why You Started, Why You're Great, and Why They Should Buy From You.
If you can master these simple truths, you can build a brand worth remembering. So sit down and honestly answer these questions, and don't fret over your answers. If you end up writing that you started just to make money, and you're great because the competition is dumb and lazy, and people should buy what you're selling because it's better than everything else like it... I can work with that. Your branding is confident. Your tone is certain. And, unless you're a liar, you'll have test cases, case studies, reviews, and a resume that match your brags. And that makes you Nike, Amazon, and Chick-fil-A. And like I said, I can work with that.
These are the Basics
So if you started your business in 2020, wide-eyed and ready to take on the world, you've seen a pandemic, a shutdown, an ever-changing calibration of B2C and B2B business acquisitions and sales, and I think the Sahara Desert just blew through... & you're exhausted. And if 2020 was supposed to be your year as a business owner, you've likely had to change that plan too.
But you still need to make your name known. People are still buying things. Businesses still need what you're selling. So get back to the basics, and call us if you need us! Spark is here to help people hear about your business.