Christmas Story. Think about how busy you are each day. Spending a little bit of time each week can actually save you time!
This chart shows the importance of Word of Mouth, and connecting with other like-minded businesses – What is misleading about this chart is that social media marketing is actually an important part of WOM and networking. Think about how you use social media --- to connect with those who share the same passions as you. AKA other cheesemakers, retailers, etc. - think about how customers connect with you though FB or Instagram. Think about the last print advertisement you created – that just as easily could have been a FB ad – driving people to a specific action! … No matter which tools you use, remember that it all comes back to connections with others!
Write down who your customers are. One thing that I do with clients is to put a name to your core target audience. What are their passions, likes, and even dislikes…. Spend time with your customers, talk with them, and, most importantly, listen to them. And no, you cannot be everything to everyone, and by marketing your brand to everyone – you are wasting time and money reaching out to people who simply will never buy from you. But when you narrow your focus, it’s a good idea to be a little more specific. This just gives your business the drive it needs to succeed. It doesn’t mean you can’t sell outside your designated target audience. The best way to identify your target market is by investing the time to create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is an example of a real person you need to influence crafted from information you retrieve from interviews you conduct with customers or potential customers, or website and social media analytics you collect from your website or social media business page. For example, you can gather the analytics from your Facebook page to find out the exact age group, demographics and gender of the persons who visit your page the most. From this information, create a persona of an individual within that median group and make a plan that targets your messages toward him/her to gain more engagement and interest in your business. Understanding who your client is will help you serve their needs and keep them coming back.
Just as important as knowing your target audience is knowing who your competition is, and what they are doing. I worked with a friend who owns a salon in Seattle, focusing on hair removal. I asked her who her competition was and she said “No one else does what we do in Seattle” -- I did a Google search for Hair Removal Seattle and there was a lot of businesses advertising their services. Her response: well, they don’t do it as well as we do….. Mine: Yes, BUT does your target audience know that? You have to educate people on why laser treatment is better than waxing – because customers don’t know. This is relevant to you guy, because many customers don’t see big brands vs. small producers… Or even local shops vs. big grocery stores. Knowing who you are up against, and seeing what they are up to can only help your brand. Competition is healthy and makes us stay on the top of our games.
I want you to turn to the person next to you an tell them what you do in one sentence. This should take 5 seconds. I am Shana Bull, a local digital marketing director & writer who works with wine, food & tech brands to develop marketing strategies. A Narrative Statement is a quick personal statement and your best chance to introduce and sell yourself --
Your marketing strategy is shaped by your business goals. If you don’t have an end goal in mind, why are you even bothering? You may be wasting your time. Each piece of content – each status update, or tweet, or image, or blog post should reflect these goals. When creating a goal, you want it to be as short, crisp, and specific as possible. Having &quot;a good marketing year&quot; isn&apos;t a reflection of where your company is interested in goal. Imagine that your boss is about to leave for vacation, and you have less than 90 seconds until he/she runs out the door, and all they want is to quickly hear what next year&apos;s goal is -- what are you going to tell them rapidly that concisely explains the marketing goal? Oftentimes, companies say they want to &quot;increase their social media following.&quot; While that is a goal, it&apos;s not a trackable goal. If you start the new year with 10 followers, and end with 11, technically you met your set goal. But if you switch that goal to read, &quot;we want to increase social media following by 25%), suddenly you can measure your progress every month to see if you&apos;re on track to ultimately jumping from 10 to 12.5 followers. Now you really know your hit your goal -- hopefully it&apos;s more ambitious than this example!
Doing some research on who your customers are will help you figure out WHERE they are. Too often businesses think that if they use every social network and post everything on social media, they will magically receive countless leads, more loyal customers and increase their bottom line. In order for you to craft the right messages to get concerted results, you must identify what outcome you are looking for and then proceed to target the right market with the right message through the right medium. Chefs are NOT on Linkedin, though distributors and sales people are. Twitter is more for national brands vs local. Facebook is an everyday social network. IF you are ONLY on here, and posting consistently – that is okay. Instagram is consumer facing, but also great to network with other businesses – especially retailers!
Are you funny, serious, educational, sustainable, family, local, etc. What feeling do you want your customers to feel when visiting or eating your brand??
Yes, using social networks are free – but spending a little bit of money on Facebook can actually go a long way! Look at the devices you use – updating your cell phone, and even old computer can actually save you time, which sometimes is worth more than money. Once you have developed your marketing budget, it doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone. There may be times when you need to throw in another unplanned marketing tactic -- such as hosting an event or creating a newspaper ad -- to help you reach your market more effectively. Ultimately, it’s more important to determine whether sticking to your budget is helping you achieve your marketing goals and bringing you a return on investment (ROI) than to adhere to a rigid and fixed budget.
While having all the aforementioned helps develop a solid goal, you need to ensure you have a timeline for meeting that goal.
CONTENT is all about telling the story of your brand (with the end goals in mind) Some of us have time to do it all…. Some need outside help. Figuring out WHO will be creating content and having a plan helps organizing your efforts to make sure you are always putting content out there, TOOLS: Pic Monkey OVER for phones. Some businesses think storytelling and content is about explaining what you sell or telling people what you do. But effective storytelling explains what you do for your customers.
Now that you have specific goals – you know what you want to measure. You’re not done. You must evaluate. Put benchmarks in place (i.e. quarterly) to review what you’ve done, measure your success, research some more and evaluate your successes and failures. Strategic planning is a vital part of any business and if you want to use marketing and social media to help brand your business, you need to take the time to think things through and get the most out of your time and resources. Remember the old saying, “Plan your work and work your plan!”
1. 10 questions to ask yourself while creating a
social media marketing strategy.
Shana Bull (Ray)
Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference 2014
2. About me.
Marketer who has been consulting with wine, food
& tech brands.
3. Why should you
Let me answer this one…
4. Who is your target
Before you can come up with
messaging, images, or goals you need to know who you're
trying to reach out to.
Retailers? Customers? Chefs?
5. Who is your
Do some research on what
your competition is doing in the
digital media space.
6. Can you define
what you do in 140
You need to know your
narrative statement in the most
Make sure your entire team
7. What are your
Write down your goals (overall),
and specific objectives that you
want to accomplish.
8. Where are your
You don't have to be
everywhere online, just where
your customers are.
9. What type of brand
do you want to be?
What characteristics do you
want your customers to think
10. Do you have a
Knowing what you can afford to
put towards marketing will help.
If you don't have a marketing
budget, then what amount of
time do you have?
11. What tactics are
you going to use?
Remember to add a timeline,
person responsible and due
date for each of these tactics.
12. How are you going
to create content?
Planning ahead makes sure you
hit your goals for content
13. How will you
The only way to know if your
marketing efforts are working is
14. “Lots of people have ideas, and
without a plan to bring your idea to
fruition, your idea will stay just an
~ Shana Bull