Where should I start marketing my business?
This is a common question that sometimes might get you the runaround depending on what type of marketer you ask. But at the end of the day, the answer is really quite simple. We’ll briefly cover the 3 main paid marketing channels you should be utilizing as the bare minimum foundation for your overall marketing strategy.
First, cover your bases on free channels
Before we dig in to building out your paid marketing foundation, it’s important to note that there are some channels that are free that you should maximize as much as possible. If you feel you already have a handle on these, jump to #1 below.
Website Page Content
We understand that not everyone has time to write a blog (this is where hiring a content writer or SEO specialist comes in handy), but outside of that, your website content should cover as much of your core competencies as possible. For eCommerce brands this is as simple as providing a unique title and description for every product you carry. For lead generation businesses, this means detailing out each individual service, what you do, and why you’re better than the competition. There are plenty of other SEO best practices to follow, but we do recommend an expert for these.
Google My Business
If you service customers at their location or have a brick-and-mortar location, make sure you have ownership of your Google My Business profile. You should fill out as many sections of your profile as possible, because this channel does carry significant SEO value. And yes, photos and videos do matter!
Piggy-backing off of the above, if you provide a service, make sure you’re encouraging reviews on your Google My Business and other profiles.
If you’re an eCommerce brand ensure that you have a review strategy right out of the gate. If you’ve been established for a while and have been using your CMS’s inbuilt review system, consider switching to one of Google’s preferred third-party partners, with the right subscription your reviews can pull into Google Shopping as star ratings!
Establish Social Media Account(s)
At a minimum, your business really should have a Facebook page. A lot of people turn to this social channel for recommendations, vetting a business’s trust level, and looking for other customer validation. Outside of Facebook, we recommend only starting accounts on social platforms that you or your marketing agency have time to manage.
Other Important Factors
Here are some other basic things you should make sure you have:
- Tracking setup for as many platforms as possible. Conversion and traffic data can’t be retroactively pulled, so the sooner these are set up the better.
- Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools are an absolute must to improve your chances of ranking organically.
- A newsletter subscription option. Email lists are a powerful tool and most email platforms provide a free tier level for businesses that don’t want to immediately invest in bulk sending.
- Secure SSL for your website. This ensures your customers know that their data is safe when visiting your website.
#1. Brand Campaign On Google & Bing
We’ve covered this in more detail in our blog “Why Your Brand Is So Important” but the main takeaway is that this avenue is extremely cheap, gives you more data, and gives you more control. In practice, it works as a search campaign on Google and Bing utilizing your brand as the keyword (i.e. keyword= “yourbrandname”)
#2. Retargeting Campaign On Facebook And/Or Google
Whether you’re actively promoting yourself or not, chances are you are still getting at least some website traffic. If you are actively running any other marketing campaign, whether digital or traditional, a retargeting campaign is that much more important. This campaign uses lists of people who have interacted with your brand (typically by way of website visits, but there are many other options as well) and allows you to send them cheap, highly branded messaging. This tactic is great for repeat purchases as well as lead nurture.
#3. Facebook Lookalike Campaign
If you have a sizable past customer list, the Facebook lookalike audience type is an absolute no-brainer. A lookalike audience allows you to prospect for new customers by extrapolating your current customer data and letting Facebook find similar users. If you’re racking your brain trying to come up with detailed interest/demographic targeting, try utilizing this option instead. The only catch is that you should ideally have a customer list size of 100+.
These three campaign types set the basics for establishing your digital marketing presence. I’ve worked with brands that had tremendous success on Facebook or Google but completely forgot about the other option. Adding in any of these campaigns that you’re missing can immediately impact your business with higher yield and requires minimum effort.
The last thing worth noting is that these campaigns won’t drive significant traffic if you are starting out as a brand new brand. However, we do still recommend you put them in place regardless of how long you’ve been in business.