My customer Teresa, a jewelry owner, is shocked because her new employee, a marketing student, increased sales by 40% after investing very little in digital advertising. Marketers know that a digital campaign will produce return on investment, but small business owners like Teresa may lack this information.

Digital and mobile channels are essential for acquiring and retaining customers. Strategist Dave Chaffey assures that if your business doesn’t have a plan, you are doomed to lose out to competitors who are more digitally savvy.

Smartinsights.com advises that the consequences of not having a Digital Marketing plan are:

1. You’re directionless

2. You won’t know your online audience or market share

3. Competitors will gain market share

4. You don’t have a powerful online value proposition

5. You don’t know your online customers well enough

6. You lack an integrated digital marketing strategy 

7. You cannot respond to competitive threats effectively

8. You’re wasting money and time through duplication

9. You’re not agile enough to catch up or stay ahead

10. You cannot improve any of the above problems with the right strategy.

Making your Marketing Plan worth it

The most crucial step is to map the customer journey precisely: Know when your target customer starts looking for your product; how the customer moves along that journey; when they compare you with your competitors; do they search on google? Which keywords do they write on Google to find the product? Are you tagging your brand to those words? Is your brand appearing first in their search or your competitors are?

The second most crucial step is to stick to the customers’ journey from beginning to end until they purchase. Ask yourself: Is my contact information easily accessible? Is the purchase process flawless? Do some customers like my product, but, in the end, the purchase never happens? Get to know why.

Do your customers choose your competitor last minute?

Sometimes you educated a customer in all possible ways; suddenly, when he/she was ready to hit the “buy” button, a process is complicated or a link is not accessible, so the customer quickly switches to another brand.

That means that you paved the road for customers to give their money to your competitor.

That is painful. And it hurts your finances too.

Create a content plan based on the Buyer’s Journey.

According to MarketingWeek.com, a third of the total shoppers are ‘switchers’. Members of this category “move between brands “as they progress along the purchase journey“. Unlike loyal customers, when they seem to be ready to pay, they leave and compare again; they come and go between three or more brands in the process.

 “It only takes a small swing to tip the scales in your favor – or against you”, says Phuong Nguyen, director of eBay Advertising.

So, stop working for competitors, and start creating a Social Media Marketing Plan; the sooner, the better.

The following tips will make the process less complicated:

Localiq.com explains that it is hard for small business owners to know which digital marketing strategies pay dividends. So they created a list of the best digital strategies to obtain more for less:

Google My Business

If you want your Business Profile to obtain SEO and lead generation, marketer Kristen McCormick recommends creating a free Google My Business account for your profile.

Google My Business profile is a free marketing tool that allows businesses to show up on Google Maps, the local section of Google Search, and the side Knowledge panel of Google Search. This resource will benefit your business by increasing exposure in relevant searches by customers nearby.

Content Marketing

Localiq.com also affirms that the right content can increase your SEO’s effectiveness to make your business appear on Google searches. The About Us, Products page, and blog posts make you more visible.

Thrivehive.com suggests to use Instagram and Facebook to create and distribute videos in every channel possible: “Prepare a script to follow and finish with a strong Call to Action like “Check out our Website!” “Call us to set up an appointment!” or “Place your order today!” 

Cross Promoting On Social Media

Semrush.com created a helpful list with the most effective social media tools that help small businesses increase their reach and expand their customer network.

One of those platforms, Hootsuite.com, costs $29.00 monthly but has a 30-day trial. Their media automation plans help entrepreneurs automatically schedule content, engage with their audience, and track their messages and mentions, from different social pages, all from one single place.

Tags and Hashtags

Each tag and hashtag works as a free marketing tool.  

Offer incentives to customers who post a nice comment, a photo, or video about your brand, together with your business name’s hashtag.

Tag influencers using your product. Tagging reaches new audiences and increases the “follow” rate.

Use hashtags just as you use keywords on Google to attract audiences searching on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for the product you have.

Host a Class, Event, or Webinar

Feature your products’ benefits by hosting an in-person class or presentation, with free marketing tools such as Eventbrite.

Webinars are another way to create awareness for your brand. Web conferencing platforms such as Webex and GoToMeeting have free plans. Don’t forget to promote your Webinar on social media two weeks before the event. Also, include reminders to registrants and email subscribers.

Create a Blog for Your Business

Blogging drives traffic to your website, increases user engagement, improves SEO and online visibility.  

Localiq.com recommends: “Think about a blog post like a longer Facebook status message”. This page has useful tips on how to write your first blog post.

Hold Social Media Contests

Giveaways are brand promotions at little or no cost.

You don’t need to give something for free. But you can offer a present or discount to customers who sign and provide contact information to be contacted for a purchase today.

Other practical promotional tools are raffles to win free products. The contestants can win by tagging the highest amount of their followers in a comment to that post.

Do Not Help Competitors Anymore

Finally, if you are ready to stop sending customers to your competitor, hire a marketer now and put a Marketing Plan together, identify strategic opportunities, and unify your messaging to boost your revenue.

Do these tips are useful to you? Let me know about any experience in this matter. I’m here to listen.

Ivanna Planet - 45 posts

Ivanna is a marketing specialist whose passion is traveling to exotic destinations. As a journalist in Latin America, she has reported news on business and politics.

Social Media Marketing