Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
April has passed with its early spring showers and now we are looking forward to all those May flowers. Marketing for small businesses is very much like the annual and perennial flowers of spring and summer.
The annual marketing flowers are those that come up year after year without any replanting. Content marketing blooms annually without any further attention.
For the last nine years I have employed article marketing. In 2010, I added my own blog to my inbound marketing efforts. These postings are continually driving new visitors to my website and eventually some turn into executive coaching clients or purchase one of my assessments, eBooks or other business solutions. In checking one of my articles, “7 Tips to Real Estate Agents’ Success,” at Ezine Articles had 49,054 views since its publication of May 2006 and continues to generate passive income for me.
A well-constructed search engine-friendly website is another annual marketing flower. Of course, sometimes fertilizer must be added to continue the growth of any flower. Websites also need new fertilizer such as keyword revision to new content to even a new design.
Now, perennials must be replanted every year. In marketing, these flowers may be seasonal campaigns such as webinars, podcasts, speaking engagements, etc. There is a lot of work required to have healthy blooms from these types of marketing flowers.
Perennial marketing flowers also require a schedule. As each marketing flower demands specific attention, this schedule should be planned out well in advance to ensure alignment with the other perennial marketing flowers.
This type of marketing must be nurtured by continued notification through emails, social media postings to even paid advertising. The end results can be far more significant than the naturally recurring annual marketing messages. When executed well, perennial marketing can yield blooming flowers all summer and well into the fall.
A recent post within one social media group of which I am a member asked, “When do I start promoting a webinar?” The response from the group was 6-8 weeks. People have busy schedules and in many instances have commitments six weeks out. Automation tools within scheduling sites such as Eventbrite allow for multiple messages and work very well with perennial marketing messages.
Ongoing social media research suggests even this perennial marketing flower bed is changing. For example there is research to suggest the ideal length of everything online. Ideal means engagement from retweets to likes to even comments.
For example, a tweet should be 100 characters per Buddy Media. Tweets with 100 characters or less receive 17 percent more engagements or in this case Re-tweets. If you post to Facebook, the ideal length is less than 40 characters per Jeff Bullas. For those using Google+, the best headlines have less than 60 characters per Demian Farnworth.
Marketing continues to be the Achilles’ heel for small businesses to even mid-size organizations. The Internet and especially social media channels have provided new opportunities to attract attention and build relationships. For the rest of this month, I will share some of my specific experiences that may help other small business owners to strengthen their marketing growth and influence.
P.S. Shout Out to Gelsosomo’s Pizzeria of Crown Point for a great lunch buffet and in Valparaiso there is Tony’s Place.