It’s not enough to text or post on social sites… campaigns are key

             While many small business owners jumped on the social media and text marketing bandwagon in 2011, few of us mastered the strategy and creativity needed to develop measurable results.

            We read the headlines, joined blogs, listened to experts, read forums, bought texting and created a business FaceBook page. Only to realize is takes more than a random post, a text message for savings or sending out an event promotion alert. It takes planning, preparation and proper procedure to implement the strategy needed for campaigns to produce measurable results.

             Planning  For many small businesses, marketing budget margins have decreased over the past few years due to many economic variables, marketplace fluctuation as well as consumer demand and spending, for that matter. As the new quarter and year begins, planning how to budget your dollars and strategic thinking is key in launching a successful year of multi channel marketing campaigns.

            As your strategy and planning process begins a good place to start is evaluating last years efforts with questions like these:

  • What did we implement last year to attract new clients or customers? Was our effort successful?
  • How did we communicate to our current customer base? Did it create retention?
  • Did my calls-to-action work? How did I measure the results?
  • How did I incorporate digital marketing channels such as text messaging, social media posts and my online presence in our traditional advertising plan?
  • Most importantly, did my performance increase the bottom line?

            As you answer these type of questions, you’ll be able set effective goals and objectives to increase how you engage new clients and the current customer base. What kind of messaging works best for your demographic? Where do you need to implement tools to measure results between the various multi-channel advertising options.

            The biggest resource that small business owners now hold in the palm of their hand in this digital age of advertising is not only is it effective, it’s affordable and most platforms offer free analytical tools.

            Preparation  In order for your text message broadcast, event promotion alert, social medial post or brand driven traditional ad to be effective, in conjunction with each other, strategy, structure, implemention and a thorough assimilation of each platform are imperative.  By understanding the reach, how and when the communication is received, what tools are in place for measurability and how to compare results with each advertising channel you’ll be able to engage with your customer in a powerful, well thought campaign.

            Define clear objectives of what you’re planning on selling, promoting or going to accomplish in your marketing efforts. Develop a creative, yet simple, effective message that will drive top-of-mind awareness, promote virility for your product, service or place of business.

            An example of a successful multi-digital marketing campaign is Small Business Saturday held by American Express credit card company, The message was clear, the concept simple, grow small business. The campaign started with a simple FaceBook page that included collateral material for small business to download, distribute free of charge. All they had to do was “like” the page. Then they reaffirmed this message and built anticipation for the event through youtube, twitter, traditional advertising on TV, and several articles in targeted publications featuring small business owners stories. This created a personal approach to business and encouraged the consumers to support their neighbors. By humanizing small businesses and engaging consumers through social media platforms, traditional advertising and a high volume of virility, Small Business Saturday was a huge success.

            Proper Procedure  After you’ve defined your objectives, created your call-to-action message, designed your ad, wrote the radio spot, developed social media posts and events, analytics in place …  it’s time to put the ball in play. Establish a date, time and length of campaign, launch on all multi-channel platforms and traditional advertising simultaneously. Watch your analytics on a daily basis, include benchmarks that will allow your strategy to adapt to consumer reactions of your campaign message and deliverability. Keep your call-of-action fresh and effective.

            In conclusion, 2011 was a year of rapid growth and acceptance for social media marketing integration with text marketing and traditional advertising. 93% of businesses in the US are now involved in social media is some form and they are seeing an upswing in sales.

            Stay on the bandwagon in 2012, engage your consumer, plan your strategy, prepare a measurable campaign, create a savvy message and watch your market share grow.