27 Dec Thoughts on Marketing in 2016
As the end of 2016 approaches, here are some new insights, and powerful reminders about marketing your business.
Marketing Yourself is Hard
No matter how much experience and skills I have as a marketer, when it comes to making strong marketing decisions for my own business I fall into the same traps as all the business owners I work with: I can get stressed and jump from one idea to the other, I fail to capitalize on opportunities, I sometimes don’t send out a clear message. There is a reason why even the owners of marketing companies hire a dedicated marketing professional or team to work with them: it’s a lot easier to market someone else’s business.
It’s Never Been Easier to Talk to Your Customers
This is truly the time to become an entrepreneur if that’s what you desire. When I started my photography business in 2009, there was no Pinterest, Twitter was a novelty few used, and forums still looked like they did in 1999. Fast forward to 2016, founders of small and large companies alike have a myriad of tools to interact and study their potential customers. From Facebook groups to Twitter, from online survey tools to A/B testing, there are many different ways to gather data and measure responses. Build your business around what your customers need, don’t just try to find customers for what you built.
Social Media is a Time Sucker
After almost a decade on social media, I wish I could say I have mastered resisting temptation…but alas, nope, some headlines and images still get me. Especially when I see a link to the teaser trailer of the Blade Runner sequel 😀 This is the good and bad of social media: it works. It grabs people’s attention. It can make a big splash, it can be shared millions of times. The challenge is to be strategic and focused in your social media marketing, and to only give into temptation once in a while.
You Only Need Two or Three Social Media Platforms
When I had my business, I had the choice to blog, get on Facebook, and try out YouTube. Twitter was not even seen as that crucial. Nowadays, there are so many more options, from a myriad of online communities and groups, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and more. Don’t try to join all of them. The key to effective marketing is consistency: choose the two platforms where your potential customers are most likely to engage with your brand. Once you have developed a consistent approach and routine, consider adding one more channel. You don’t need to be on more than 2-3 social media platforms. One strong channel can be enough.
Email is still Queen
With no exception, the results I see from an email blast are always superior to posting on social media when measuring ROI (return on investment). Start growing your mailing list today. And join my newsletter for marketing tips and advice in 2017. Signing up will also give you access to the library of free marketing resources that I am building.
Facebook Ads Got Very Popular
I have been running Facebook ads for a variety of companies and projects since 2012 and I have never seen so much interest in them as this year. The good news is that Facebook is implementing more and more changes to make their advertising even more powerful and effective. The bad news is that costs are probably going to rise, as Facebook ads use an auction system to charge businesses. For now, though, your business might benefit from them. Click on the bubble icon on my website – screen right – and shoot me your questions, I am happy to answer.
It’s All in the Funnel
Everything is…interconnected. Your marketing needs to be integrated and each element a part of your customer acquisition funnel. A funnel is a process by which you lead potential customers into interacting with your company with the goal of converting them into paying customers. One of the most important thing I do with the companies I work with is to come up with their funnel, and then test, build, iterate.
It Takes a Village
If you are planning a big launch, or a crowdfunding campaign, you are only as strong as your team. Some marketing plays really do need everyone on board and committed. Make sure to get everybody’s buy-in and commitment to your project, and ask them to help you promote it. If your team doesn’t step it up, take a look back at your process to pin point what went wrong: did you fail to communicate the importance of the task? Are you working with the wrong team? Were you not inspiring enough in your ask? Were people confused?
People Don’t Like to Be Sold To
Do you like when someone tries to sell you something? Me neither. The problem is that when we start selling our own services and products we often get blinded by our own ego, and start using the exact tactics we hate being on the receiving end of! Just stop it. You don’t need to convince anyone to buy from you. Here’s how to think of marketing instead.
Working Remotely Rocks
It’s nice to have a meeting here and there, but I definitely do not miss the days at the office. At the beginning of the year I got a few day passes to a local co working space, but since I got my kitten Vega in June, I have been enjoying so much working at home, I’ve rarely used them. With Slack, Skype, Google Hangouts, and all the online tools at my disposal, I don’t need to brave the LA traffic. This lets me work with companies all over the world and to travel for pleasure instead. Consider working with a remote team or professional next year. It is easier and much more effective than you think.
Do you have a burning marketing question? Get in touch! Happy marketing!