By Ginger Marks
COVID-19 has affected our businesses in profound was. Because of it we, as business owners (yes, even authors are business owners), have to put on our thinking caps and come up with innovative ideas to market our wares. Let me spark your creative juices with some ideas I have found very effective.
If you want to build your social media following, you need to be an active participant in the online community. This means posting on a regular basis. You don’t have to post every day, but just make sure you are sharing something at least once a week. Of course, in the case of social media posting, more often is generally better than less often. But don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to post daily if your schedule won’t allow you the time to do that.
You don’t even have to post your own images. Nope. Just link them to your landing page or website and watch your traffic increase. And, if you are up to the challenge, why not post some videos? They are what’s hot and trendy right now.
Check Out Your Competition
When you look at what your competition is doing, you may come away with additional ideas of how they are successfully marketing their businesses. You can also read their words and snag some great ideas to add to your own marketing toolkit. Look at their keywords and how they use today’s news to weave their product offerings into their prose. Watch what they are doing and follow suit.
Take It To the Streets
This is a fun thing that anyone can do. Get up and get out there. Now that we can, take some flyers or posters, or even your business card to your local meeting places that have bulletin boards for posting and pin the cards and flyers on the boards. Don’t forget to take some pushpins just in case.
If you are daring enough, take some sidewalk chalk with you and write with it on the concrete. Use a bright colored chalk (you know the kind) and leave your marketing message where local foot traffic is sure to see it.
Contests are a fun way to get others to share your content. There are all kinds of contests, from photo competitions to writing contests, from video contests to caption contests. (In case you don’t know what a caption contest is, it is when you post a photo and ask others to submit their ideas for a phrase that best describes the image.) You can give away valuable prizes if you get sponsors, but if not, be sure to make it enticing enough to make others want to share your contest link with their friends. Heck, why not give bonus points for sharing your link? More sharing = more points = more chances to win. Now, that’s a win-win for everybody! Be sure to create a unique hashtag to make the sharing easy. Also, this helps you keep track of entries and makes them easy to scan and organize.
Host an Event
Events are another terrific way to market your book or product. Invite an expert or even a panel of experts to share their thoughts with your audience. Not only will you have each speaker wanting to share the news of your events, but you don’t have to create the content. It’s easy peasy!
Themed events are also a fun way to add humor to your event. Why not get the marketing tool the gurus use, the annual Weird & Wacky Holiday Marketing Guide, and find a weird holiday theme you can use to make your event a huge success? (Full disclosure: I am the author of that marketing guide.)
Something we don’t often think about is commenting on other peoples posts and blogs. While being a guest blogger is a terrific idea, the easiest thing you can do is to leave your mark everywhere you go. Find like-minded entrepreneurs and comment on their blogs and posts. When you do this, it automatically links your comment back to your website. Make sure what your are writing is helpful. Offer valuable content that others will take note of and make them want to find out more about you. But whatever you do, don’t spam!
Finally, absolutely, without a doubt, the best way to market your business is to reconnect with your customers. A well-known fact is that it is less expensive to retain a customer than find a new one. So, connecting with your customers and reminding them that you are still around can increase your sales capabilities. You can send an electronic communication, visit them on social media to say hello, or better yet, send them a physical card via snail mail. Remind them how much you appreciate them. Be specific, if you can. Let them know of any new products or services you might have developed during the pandemic. No matter what you do, take the time to show them you care. Even if they can’t use your services right away, they might just remember you when they meet someone who could use the products or services you have to offer.
Copyright ©2021 DocUmeant Publishing. All rights reserved.
Ginger Marks is the founder of DocUmeant, a family of publishing and design companies. She is the author of Complete Library of Entrepreneurial Wisdom; an annual edition, Weird & Wacky Holiday Marketing Guide available through Amazon; Presentational Skills for the Next Generation; and also offers insight into marketing, design, and publishing solutions through her ezine, Words of Wisdom, available through her websites. For more information, visit the DocUmeant Publishing website.