Running your own business is a lot of work, and it can be overwhelming to get everything done in one day. With all the duties and added work of being a farmer, marketing can get put to the side. But… marketing doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming. All you have to do is map out what needs to be done, and do a little day by day. To help you out, here are five simple things you can do at the end of the day (and from your couch), that can make all the difference.
Get organized and make a plan!
The best way to run a successful marketing strategy is to make a plan of attack. Creating a plan is one of the less “fun” things to do, however being prepared makes a world of difference. When you make a plan right off the bat, you know what needs to be done and can better allocate time to get it done.
Start by thinking, which type of marketing activities you want to do.
- Use social media platforms?
- Email campaigning?
- Attend trade shows?
- Have promotional material at markets?
Whatever your chosen strategy or strategies, decide what you think will work best for you to achieve your sales goals. From there, set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will allow you to measure success in each marketing platform. For example, for social media platforms, perhaps you track post engagement or new follows.
After you know what you’re doing and what you have to track, determine what a marketing week or month looks like to you, such as, how often will you post, or how many emails will you send. Sit down and create a schedule for the next three months of what needs to be done, and when it needs to be done by. To do this, we recommend using an e-calendar, such as Google Calendar or a reminder program, such as Trello, to track tasks and dates. These programs also allow you to share progress with other team members. If you spend one evening doing this at the beginning of a quarter, the rest of your duties are clearly mapped out and can be addressed when needed.
Interact with your social media followers
Do you ever find yourself mindlessly scrolling through the news, social media, or other apps on your phone for what seems like hours? Don’t lose that valuable time, and be successful by purposefully scrolling! Go on your social media platforms and interact with your followers. Respond to comments, reach out via direct message, interact with their content, or perhaps even give them a follow. The trick with successful social media marketing is to be active and present on your platforms. By taking the extra time to actually interact with your followers - instead of just posting the occasional piece - can do wonders for increasing brand awareness and increasing your sales. Next time you find yourself looking on the Explore page on Instagram - interact with your followers instead.
Schedule your posts
Staying in the theme of being active on social media, it is important to frequently post content on your platforms. This can often be stressful to organize, as you want to post when your followers are most active to increase possible reach. Most of us do not have time in the middle of the day to upload, therefore tools like Hootsuite, can come in handy!
Hootsuite allows you to schedule your posts on all social media platforms (including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) ahead of time. On the program you can write your copy, add a picture or link, and schedule it to go out at anytime! We recommend sitting down on a Sunday night and scheduling all your posts for that week! Be sure to reference your plan you made in the first tip!
Create an email newsletter template
Newsletters are an important way to keep your customers updated on your business and your products. Every business should have them.
Sound like a lot of work? It doesn’t have to be.
Programs like Mailchimp, allow you to create emails, individualize them, and send on a scheduled time frame! If you want to learn more about how to use Mailchimp successfully, check out this blog post.
Mailchimp has a great feature that allows you to create email templates that you can reuse in multiple email campaigns. The program offers pre-made templates or allows you to create your own! To save yourself time from creating a brand-new newsletter every week, use your downtime to create a newsletter template! It can be fun to play around with the features and save yourself a lot of time in the future!
When creating your template, be sure to add sections for:
- Any business news about new products, team members, facilities, etc.
- Farmers market dates and times for the upcoming week
- Ordering instructions and links
- Links to your website and any social media platforms
After you’ve created your template, all you have to do each week is update some of the info, photos, and links, and send!
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Update your analytics
A very important aspect of marketing is tracking your success. The only way you know if your hard work is paying off is if you are recording the data. Luckily, all social media platforms and Mailchimp gives you these numbers each week. Create a spreadsheet for each platform and update your numbers at the end of every week/month. All you have to do is 'cut and paste', so it’s very easy to do on your laptop with your favorite show playing in the background.
It can be easy to get overwhelmed by all of your tasks and put off things like marketing. At Local Line, we want to help you run your business in the most efficient and successful way. Take these tips and run your entire marketing department from your couch, so every other day you can spend doing what you love - farming!