Productivity Part 2: Streamlined Marketing for Increased Returns

By now, you should know that the small business word of the year for 2013 will be productivity. Heck, we’ve done our best to shout it from the rooftops. Last week, we discussed three concrete areas where you can focus on improving productivity in 2013. This time, we want to focus not on more specifics, but on increasing the productivity of your entire marketing ecosystem. A lot of marketing blogs will shout names of social media channels at you (“If you’re not on Pinterest, you might as well declare bankruptcy now!”), and the Internet is always touting about the latest Facebook changes and how they will change everything. Bloggers really do mean well, but their efforts can have a disorienting effect on the eager entrepreneur. You might begin to think that as long as you sign up for services and make new accounts, you’re covering your bases and staying on top of trends. In fact, chances are you’re spreading yourself too thin and being a jack (!) of all trades, master of none. That is why we at Little Jack have always been advocates not merely of social media use, but of social media strategy. We firmly believe that 2 well used social media channels are more valuable than 10 poorly used ones. To start thinking about your social media strategy in a more coherent manner, consider the following 4 types of marketing media: Owned media — channels you actually own, such as a blog, or your website Social media — channels for communication between one or more people through a platform owned by a third party, like Facebook or Pinterest Earned media — customers themselves becoming the channel, as when they write reviews or refer other customers to you Paid media — advertising that you pay for, such as Google AdWords Marketing Media Types Venn Diagram by Little Jack These four channels should generally be in balance with one another. If you have a strong Facebook (social media) presence but your website (owned media) looks like it came out of 1995, you probably won’t get very far. The same will be true if you pay a ton of money to blanket the Internet with ads (paid media) but pay no attention to mediocre Yelp! reviews (earned media). The best thing you can do to create balance, and thus productivity, is to make a four column list of every type of media your business utilizes. Now turn the paper upside down. What you’ll have is a rudimentary bar graph comparison of your 4 channels. If any column is significantly shorter than the others, it might be time to work harder on that channel. Well, it looks like you have your homework cut out for you. Stay with us in the first days of the new year as we delve further into the productivity theme and how to make 2013 your best year yet!

For the Pros:

Once you have your four types of media in balance, you should start thinking about the particular ways each type interacts with the others. For example, glowing reviews and referrals make excellent social media post material, and, on the flip side, social media is a great way to encourage more customers to write reviews. Or, minor tweaks in your website can often improve the conversion rate from paid advertising by streamlining user experience. Figuring out exactly how one channel affects the others can make all the difference in truly optimizing your marketing strategy.
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