Leaders across all industries and sectors have had a challenging few years as they navigate their way into the digital unknown - this is undoubtedly true when it comes to marketing. For some leaders, the trends in digital marketing have brought excitement around new possibilities, for other leaders, it has created a very human (and often unspoken) fear about their ability to adapt to the constant change online. The good news is that bringing your small business online and into the digital era doesn't have to be difficult, and we are here to help you lead the way.
Firstly, keeping up-to-date with change begins and ends with your mindset. If you are worried about digitally transforming your marketing, don't be. You can do it, but it will require you to focus on bringing clarity to what you are trying to achieve. A crucial part of leadership is staying ahead of the game, even if the rules aren't fully defined. Getting training or coaching can be a great place to start, but so is getting the right tools and team around you to deliver on your vision too.
As a former Regional Vice Chair of the Federation of Small Business in the UK and from my experience working with successful leaders across every size of business we have found there are some common ways to prepare yourself for your impending transformation. We've put them together into this handy list below for your reference.
1. Get the right team
If you are a small business, you may not have the luxury of hiring a full marketing team. That's where sites like Fiverr and Freelancer.com are great resources for you. They provide a platform for finding experts to help you build your online presence (and much more). Don't be afraid to shop around and test out potential suppliers with small projects. The main thing is to make sure you have a clear brief around your vision, so it is useful to find comparator and competitor sites that you can use as a reference for what you are looking for.
2. Extend your presence
To be perceived as an influencer, you need to stay current and have a voice online. You can employ a freelancer (see point one above) or digital management company to oversee all of this for you – but even with these in place - you can't outsource your vision and mission. You need to set the tone for who you are and what you want to say to the world. Don't be afraid to be you, to be authentic and share your passion for what you do, and why you do it.
3. Create value
As the saying goes, content is king, but why is that? Words alone aren't what makes the difference; it is the value you can create with them. So think about creating content which is informative, inspiring and innovative, but most of all valuable to your target audience. Long form content like blogs can be powerful tools in creating awareness and engagement, but increasingly video and image content can be easy to produce and will be more likely to be shared online too.
4. Build a list
If people have made an effort to visit your website, you should create an opportunity for them to stay in touch. So make sure you set-up a (GDPR compliant) opt-in email subscription service to run on your website. This way, new visitors will be prompted to join your mailing list voluntarily. Once you have their email addresses, you can reach out to them through yet another communication channel where you can target specific demographics and potential drive an increase in sales or visitors to your page.
5. Be mobile
You may be reading this blog post on your mobile phone right now, and that would be a common thing to do. So when creating content, ensure you adapt everything you build into a mobile-friendly format. It is estimated that users spend around six hours a day online, and some of that is spent on purchasing and browsing potential purchases. So if your website doesn't run on the new iPhone or Android, then you are losing out on business!
Even if you don't feel like you are a digital leader - as long as you are in business - you need to think like one. The world is changing, and if you haven't already embraced digital, you need to start right now.
If you would like to find out how we can support you with any of the topics raised in this blog post, please get in touch at email@example.com or call on 0800 0293739.