Many new business owners are overwhelmed by the thought of online marketing, and it’s easy to see why. There’s a lot of information out there, and you don’t know where to start.
But once you’ve launched your product business, creating an online marketing strategy is highly beneficial. It’s one of the fastest and easiest ways to reach more people. (Plus, no matter what product you sell, it’s a safe bet that your target market is online!)
It also lets you expand your reach—not only can you sell all over the world, but you can also experiment with different marketing channels and learn how to reach people in a variety of ways.
Read on to find out more about different marketing channels you can use for your business.
Keeping an Editorial Calendar
When you’re building an online presence, you need to create a lot of new content. This can get overwhelming if you don’t keep everything organized and planned. Creating an editorial calendar will help with that.
This is where you’ll keep track of all the content for your online marketing, including social media posts, email newsletters, blog posts, YouTube videos, podcast episodes, and any other type of content you create to promote your business.
Set up a spreadsheet to keep track of dates, types of content, and who is assigned to each piece.
Planning, creating, and scheduling your content well in advance will lower your stress level, keep you from scrambling last minute, and ensure that you publish consistently. This will help you build a loyal audience and customer base.
You want to plan your calendar at least three months in advance, leaving room for each step of the process. For example, if you want to publish a blog post on a Thursday, aim to have the first draft written at least a week before that. Then you’ll have time to revise, format, and add images before publishing.
There are many tools you can choose from to help you preschedule your social media and blog posts, including Later, Hootsuite, and Buffer.
Consider Your Launch and Sales Schedule
Before you put articles on your editorial calendar, plan out your launch and sales schedule for the next six months to a year. This will dictate the type of content you will put out at each time of the year.
Plan around holidays and special events. Consider when you want to offer special prices and products. Add those dates onto your calendar so you know what to focus your content on at different times of the year. You can also plan your content around specific themes (such as springtime, wedding season, or whatever themes make sense for your business.)
Email marketing is the most effective marketing channel and the most direct way to reach your customers and build relationships. Unlike with other marketing channels, you own your email list. Social media platforms change their algorithms often, which can result in lowered exposure even to your followers. Your email list, though, is unaffected by algorithms.
You can grow your email list from the time you launch your first product. You can also grow your list with a sign-up box on your website offering special insider deals.
Another way to grow your email list is to direct social media followers to landing pages. Offer giveaways as an incentive for customers to give you their email addresses.
Once you start building your list, email them on a regular basis. Plan sequences to nurture leads and set up launches. Make sure to send out regular emails at least once a month as well to stay on top of your customer’s minds.
You can send out discounts and promos, or promote blog posts, YouTube videos, or podcast episodes. Your email newsletter is also a good place to share news, such as awards you’ve won, press or media features, and events you are hosting or attending.
Content marketing is a marketing strategy where you create valuable or entertaining content to build your brand or promote your business. It’s a great way to help customers and influencers get to know you.
Putting out content is a great way to build relationships with existing customers. Business owners often focus on finding new leads and overlook their existing base. But existing customers are 80% more likely to buy from you, so focusing on engagement is key.
Content marketing also helps attract new customers. Putting out regular content helps with SEO (search engine optimization), helping your online visibility.
Three common types of content are blog posts, videos, and podcasts. You might choose to do one or all of these types of content, and you can also repurpose the same piece of content. (For example, if you publish a blog post on how to apply lipstick, you can take that post and use it to create a video tutorial to share on social media.)
Use a variety of content types—personal stories, expert interviews, and product guides to engage, build relationships, and provide value to your followers.
Social media is more important than ever. You’ll have to experiment to see what works best for your brand and your target customers. Juggling multiple platforms can be tough, but with a few strategies in place you can make the most of social media.
You can put a wide variety of content out on social media—inspirational stories, educational posts, engaging questions and polls, entertaining content, and promotional posts. Choose what makes sense for you and your business, then stick to the tried and true methods that work for you.
Every social media channel is different, so while you can share similar content across Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, make sure that you are catering your posts to each platform.
Remember that your focus on social media should be about building relationships, not just promoting your own content. Every time you post, give your followers a chance to engage with you by asking questions or inviting them to take action. Spend time commenting on other people’s content on a daily basis as well.
Affiliate marketing is where you give people a percentage of sales you make through their link or promo code. This incentivizes them to sell your products, spreading your reach and helping you make more sales without doing the heavy lifting.
You can set up an affiliate program to give codes or links to influencers and customers. This can be as simple as generating custom codes and links. You can also create samples posts and graphics to help people in your program sell your products.
Holding contests with your affiliate team to see who can sell the most products is a great way to spread your brand and drive sales. Make sure to let them know when sales and promotions are coming up so that they can be ready to spread the word and sell your products.
Experiment and Stay Consistent
These are just some of the available online marketing channels. You will need to try out different methods and find what resonates with your audience, builds engagement, and brings in sales.
Once you figure out what works for you, make sure you do it every day! Staying consistent and committed will help you build up brand loyalty and enthusiasm.
Just getting started with your product business and looking for more ideas? Check out our post Learn How to Research and Analyze Your Competitors for more tips on positioning your brand.