The San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) hosted a virtual event on September 17th, 2020 focused on digital marketing, which is especially important during the pandemic, as many people are not in the office to receive printed marketing material.
Anna Kloth is the founder of The Pineapple Hustle, a company that teaches online marketing courses. She gave a very interesting, engaging, and fun presentation on some basic marketing principles which are applicable to every industry.
What is marketing
First and foremost, marketing is done to attract potential new customers and retain existing ones. Thus, you need to know who your audience is and who your marketing campaign needs to speak to. Marketing entails everything from content creation, copywriting, Facebook ads, website design, tradeshows, merchandising, etc. but one does not need to be an expert in any of these fields. Mainly, understand the strategy and hire appropriately.
Start early and be consistent
Start your marketing campaign early on and understand that marketing may not translate into sales immediately. Set achievable goals, which may be increased sales or just increased awareness, and remember that it is a marriage, not a one-night stand!
When you start your campaign, keep all your branding material organized in one place and easy to share with others. Use the same logos and colors in all your material. Be consistent also with your handles: use the same handles throughout the social media platforms and claim your name and handle everywhere. Namecheckr.com is a useful and free resource for this.
Freshen up your website because, after all, the website is the party you want everybody to go to. But you may need to use different tones when you invite different people to that party. Thus, know who you are talking to, personalize the message, and picture your marketing audience as avatars. They may be customers, or investors, or news media: get to know them by zooming in and zooming out. Do they have children, houses, or cars; do they subscribe to things; what are their interests and problems; what do they Google. Find out how and when they use their cell phone and what cell phone they have: the latest one, or have they had the same one for a few years? That tells you a lot about their purchasing behavior and how much they spend. Zoom out by targeting individuals who are interested in similar topics; if your target audience is interested in climate change, target also people who like outdoor sports because they may be interested in climate change, too. When creating the avatars of your perfect audience, keep also in mind that people are complicated, multifaceted, and sometimes hypocritical: even if they are interested in sustainability, that may not dictate every decision they make.
Email and social media
Start collecting emails from your website on day one using platforms such as SUMO and Mailchimp and keep people engaged by sending newsletters or updates. Start a blog and post something new at least once a month.
Use social media. Facebook and Instagram are ideal for business-to-consumer (B2C). LinkedIn is great for networking and business-to-business (B2B). Twitter is huge and great to disseminate new trends in science and research. TikTok short videos can be very successful as well. If you are selling some products, don’t forget Pinterest, which is mainly used by suburban women with disposable income.