4 Simple Steps for Marketing Your Small Business or Nonprofit

1. Goal Setting

Every digital marketing strategy must align with the overall goals of your organization. Start by ranking the goals that fit your organization in order of priority. For example: Drive repeat business, increase referrals; nurture leads and relationships; engage customers, advocates, or volunteers; increase sales or donations; and reach new customers, donors, or members. Whether your are pushing the annual fundraiser or simply looking to increase event registrations, set clear objectives before you get started.

Pick a goal and think about a specific marketing objective. Who is your ideal audience? What do you want to accomplish? When do you want to reach your goal? Writing down your goals will help you and your team members to focus your tasks and activities so you can accomplish your objective.

2. Choose your message and your voice

Remember that social media helps build and/or nurture relationships. While online, we suggest that you share content that is of relevance and interest to your audience. Our recommendation is that 80% of your content should aim to spark a conversation, educate, inspire, inform, entertain, etc., and only 20% of your content should be to pitch, promote, or drive sales. As I always say: "In social media, attention is the people's currency, give them something of value and they will pay attention”.

When you send an email or post a message on social media, think of a way to entice your readers to find out more and engage with you. Give them a reason to forward, share, retweet, or like. Keep in mind, especially with emails, that you want to be brief and include a clear call to action that will be visible when someone opens it from a mobile device. Keep that call to action above the scroll line.

3. What is a Call-To-Action?

A call to action or CTA is the specific action that you expect your audience to take when they see your message. For best results use action words such as: Buy, donate, download, visit, call, read more, etc. But that is not all; you should always make sure that your CTA is directing your readers to the appropriate destination. For example: “Buy Now” could direct to a shopping cart, “Donate Today” could send people to your fundraiser page, “RSVP early” could send to the event registration page or “Become a Volunteer” should send them to the volunteer registration form online. The idea is to make sure they land in the right page to take the intended action. Don’t confuse them by sending them to an unrelated page.

4. Measure results

If you are not measuring, you are not marketing. Make sure you have the right tools to manage your campaigns and measure results. Email opens are a good sign of interest but high click through rates bring you closer to your goals because the recipients are not only reading but also taking the call to action. Similarly, your post reach on Facebook represents the number of users who saw it, but a like, share or comment are signs of engagement. Tracking the performance of social media posts will allow you to see your brand exposure and to identify potential brand advocates and loyal customers.

Growing your small business or non-profit with online tools can be a daunting task and it takes time and consistency. If your campaign is not producing the desired results, don’t panic; test and adjust your strategy and stay focused on your objectives. Perseverance pays off.

Download a simple strategy cheat sheet here or sign up for my email list so we can keep in touch.

Reina Valenzuela, MBA, is CEO of StarfishGlobal.com, an Authorized Local Expert for Constant Contact, and an Official City Partner for Let’s Put Our Cities On The Map with Google.

Written for and published by the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA) Blog

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