CHICAGO — When it comes to digital marketing, there are a vast array of tools available to today’s small- to mid-sized companies. One of the dangers, however, is becoming overwhelmed. With limited time, how can dry cleaners make the most of their limited resources, including time?
To offer guidance on this topic, Donna Botti, owner of Delos, Inc., a firm located in the Philadelphia area that specializes in marketing and interactive communications, provided background, tips and directions during a recent webinar, hosted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
In Part 1, we examined the need to focus on knowing your audience and focusing on what you want your marketing to accomplish, and in Part 2, we dove deeper into identifying your ideal clients and how best to connect with them. In Part 3, we continue by looking at what should be the hub of your digital marketing efforts, and how to own your lines of communication, and today, we’ll conclude by exploring methods that keep the task of digital marketing under control.
Making the Process More Manageable
Botti says that the key to combat the feeling of getting buried is by scheduling marketing efforts and focusing on the ideal client.
“Many of you will say that you don’t have enough time,” she says, “and one of the reasons is you’re treating every channel is a silo and you don’t have one overarching plan of the people you’re trying to contact and the message that resonates with them. Many of you say that this is overwhelming — that you don’t know where to start, or you keep chasing those shiny things. And that’s because you’re not bringing it back to the basics: Who are you talking to? What problems do they have? Why are you the one that can help them?”
Planning out content in advance can help avoid that dreaded sinking feeling when it comes to digital marketing, Botti says. She offers four tips when it comes to mapping out a campaign:
- Get Rid of Silos — Each platform or outlet can be treated in a similar fashion. “Have the same message on all the channels,” Botti says. “You want to be consistent across what you do online and in person. If there’s some big special in your store, for example, it should be on your website.”
- Reuse and Repurpose — As mentioned earlier, take a look at the information and answers you are already generating. This is the material that can be used, and can be repeated over time.
- Mix it Up — Different seasons have different focuses for various businesses, and this is true of the drycleaning industry. “Have a mix of timely, seasonal and evergreen content and reuse wherever you can,” Botti says.
- Use Scheduling Tools — Having automated systems in place that will send out your marketing messages at pre-selected times takes pressure off the owner or the person responsible for marketing. “Your website typically will let you schedule things ahead,” Botti says. “There are tools like Buffer that do all your social media. Facebook lets you schedule right from their business suite for Facebook and Instagram items. If you use email marketing, like Constant Contact or MailChimp, they all have scheduling tools available.”
By having a plan, owners can also batch their marketing process to produce material when they have the time to focus on it.
“If you have planned out what you’re going to do, and it’s a super rainy Saturday, you can write three articles,” Botti says. “If you were going to do one article a month over the next quarter, you can write them all that day. You don’t publish them all that day because that’s not very consistent. You do one this month, one next month, and one the following month.”
When it comes to generating content, Botti has found that a famous rule applies to the mix.
“I like to tell people to use the 80/20 rule,” she says. “It’s 80%, interesting, informative and entertaining, and it’s 20% pitching your products or services. When we do audits for people, we typically find that a lot of times it’s, they’re great at the 80, maybe they’re forgetting the 20. They have the most fun Facebook page or, or they’re getting so many Instagram likes and followers, but they’re not getting a business from it. Conversely, the people that are just constantly pushing ‘buy from us, buy from us, buy from us’ — they get no engagement. They’re not getting any business, either.”
With some planning and asking the right questions, communicating with your ideal clients in fits and starts — Botti’s dreaded “random acts of marketing” — can be avoided.
“The most important takeaway on this is that consistency builds traction,” she offers. “Do not say, ‘We’re going to write six blog posts next month,’ do it, and then don’t do anything for four months. Pace yourself. Do what you can do in a regular consistent rhythm and then add from there if you can do it.”
Beyond advanced technology, there’s a simple tool that everyone knows how to use that will provide guidance and clarity on marketing efforts.
“Get your plan on a calendar,” Botti says. “If you have identified that you need to be answering the top six questions you get asked, do one a month. Now you have content for six months. You’re not going to get them all done at one time, but when you calendar it, it happens.”
Botti summed up by repeating that the best way to combat the feeling of being overwhelmed is to sit down and map out your goals and strategies.
“Having a plan is critical,” she says, “as well as defining your strategic content, and who you’re talking to. This is going to save you so much time down the road and make this whole process so much easier.”
For Part 1 of this series, click HERE. For Part 2, click HERE. For Part 3, click HERE.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].