As times change and technology advances, so too must our business plans and strategies. Whether you are an established company or a new start-up, there may be some overlooked tools that you are not using to their full capacity and perhaps not at all.
Podcast and Video Content Can Cast a Wider Net
Research shows that a good portion of small to medium size businesses (SMBs) listen to podcasts—around 39 percent according to a survey put out by Bredin (a small to mid-size business research firm). Further, of those 39 percent, 65 percent of those listeners tune in weekly. So, adding a podcast, even with a simple format such as a DIY Q&A on an industry-specific topic, could be a valuable way to expand your business’s reach without decreasing your allocated marketing budget.
It’s true that creating a podcast (or even a video series if you’re feeling more daring) can require some pre-planning and a considerable time investment from you as the creator, but it is something that can be easily worked into a busy work schedule.
The average podcast runs around 45 minutes, so it would be a relatively easy thing to crank out in an hour (give or take if you’re doing much editing).
The dividends may be worth the time-sacrifice and you could be casting a wider net if listeners share your content via social media, email and good old-fashioned word-of-mouth. Current clients who listen may refer friends and family who in turn will refer or share a well-done podcast or video to the people in their circle, creating a ripple effect of content and information.
Maybe most importantly, podcasts are a great way to establish your expertise in your field and your business’s position as a relevant thought leader. You can build trust with potential customers who hear you speak knowledgeably about your industry or the services you offer.
Members at MAC6 have access to our on-site professional-grade podcast room (with certain lease/membership types). It could be the perfect place to record that first episode and expand your client base.
You can also double up and record video to post to high-traffic viewing sites such as YouTube for more views, listens and hopefully shares.
Social Media Platforms Are a Marketing Necessity
The power and reach of social media is all too present in 2020 with the number of users worldwide closing in on 3.6 billion.
In recent years, many businesses have leveraged social media within their marketing infrastructure to great result, particularly consumer-packaged goods (CPGs), retailers, food service and home service providers.
Businesses use social media to create brand awareness, introduce new products to the market, field customer service inquiries or complaints and connect with their customer base. This engagement with customers can boost sales, ensure repeat customers and improve overall awareness of your company’s brand.
Content like the podcasts or videos mentioned above could be sectioned off into smaller chunks or clips (i.e. “micro-content”) and shared via social media platforms, accounts and pages as well.
Consider your business type as well as the type of content you plan on sharing when deciding which social media platform to use. Consumer goods and products fare well on platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook with users being able to “shop now” with the tap of a finger.
Professional and B2B service providers may fare better on a platform such as LinkedIn and possibly Instagram or Twitter depending on the purpose, intended audience or setting.
Professional services, business consultants and other similar businesses can also use social media as a tool to promote events within communities and industries, network, publicize product launches and recruit new talent.
Events: How to Create Brand Awareness but Also Community
As a small business owner, particularly of a new business, one of your first tasks is getting the word out about your existence. You need to build a client or customer base and create brand awareness.
Events aren’t a perfect fit for every business, but for some industries they may be one of the most valuable networking tools. Events like conventions or showcases are great places for lead generation and to create or add to an email list for future email marketing campaigns and newsletters. These types of events have participants who are expecting branded swag and business cards to be flying in all directions, so there’s no need to fight against that trend.
On the other hand, networking or business community events (such as industry happy hours) may require a lighter touch to effectively introduce what you and your business do for potential clients, vendors and partners.
Find out what you can do for other business or individuals, not just what they can do for you. Better yet, just get to know the people you’re interacting with without jumping directly to shop-talk. Only give out business cards to those you truly plan on connecting with at a later time or date and focus more on investing in relationships rather than expecting instant ROI on your time invested. Go to events with goals, but also an open mind.
At MAC6 we have weekly events as well as community growth programs designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners in all stages of growth accomplish their goals. Read more about our workspace options here.