For as long as I remember, I’ve always been marketing in one way or another. I started as a Girl Scout, always wanting to sell the most cookies and get my name in the paper. I worked for my Dad at his recording studio, and got involved in countless marketing projects and events through school. No surprise, decades later that I still love marketing, business, and helping other people succeed.
When you’ve been in business for over 20 years, you develop a passion for your work and a specialty. One of mine is working with clients to create no-cost and low-cost marketing strategies. Carefully planned, they’ll help you grow your business, get visibility, promote your expertise, and increase sales – without breaking the bank.
Marketing is always important to stay in front of your prospects and clients. Getting their attention and letting them know who you are and how you can help them.
These marketing tips and list were created to connect your brand with your target market, to set you apart from the competition. The strategies will work whether you’re in person, online, or pitching the media. Don’t keep your business a secret. Market like crazy.
26 Marketing & PR Tips to Get Attention 2020 [Updated]
- Don’t cut back on marketing. Lean times are exactly when a business needs marketing. Your marketing dollars will go much further as ad rates decline and there’s less clutter in the market. If cash is tight, redirect funds from other budgets like travel, trade show, conferences and reduced work force. This is also a great time to invest in a marketing plan for when the pandemic lifts, so you don’t miss a beat.
- Focus on your relationships with current customers. Offer relevant, timely content that solves their immediate and long-term problems. Make it easy for customers to connect with you by creating a 1-800 call number, setting up virtual meetings or offering an online chat tool. Don’t make it super complicated. Check out a few popular chatbox apps; botsify, Chatfuel, and MobileMonkey.
- Shorten your content creation process. Content you created six months ago and planned to use today may now be outdated. Compress your content creation down from months to weeks or even days. You can still sketch out your plans for the future but don’t invest a lot of time in detailed creation — leave room for changes so you don’t have to scrap everything and start over. Now more than ever, use an editorial calendar.
- Test-drive cool LinkedIn tools. Here’s a brief rundown of a few social tools you can use with LinkedIn. Check out Discover.ly if you’d like to see all your social data about someone in one place. Crystal lets you look at someone’s online profile and gives you insight to their personality. eLink Pro allows prospects to check you out, even when they aren’t looking for you. And Expandi wants to increase your contact list, automate responses, and works with LinkedIn chat.
- Start creating FAQ videos. Come up with at least 10 FAQs you hear most often and create a unique video answering each one. No fancy equipment? I use my iPhone and upload videos to the cloud. Remember, your videos don’t have to be studio quality. Programs like StreamYard, Soapbox and Restream can help you create and edit your video, and also broadcast on social media.
- Create a GIF from your video. In fact, any video. GIFs get a ton of attention on social media and shares. If you have content you think is “GIFable,” aka funny or visually interesting in your video, make it into a GIF. Here’s how: Go to your video, then in the URL at the top, add the word “gif” in front of “YouTube,” so it reads www.gifyoutube.comand then your video tag. Yes, it actually works.
- Leverage Marketing Value from Surveys. Promote survey results by sharing on your blog, social media, mainstream media, and with the press. Create branded infographics with a link back to your site. Write an article for LinkedIn or Medium. Shoot a two-minute video about your results and be sure to add captions (not everyone listens). Lastly, tell the media about your project. Hook a reporter’s attention with a powerful subject line, then follow up with why you’re a credible source.
- Launch e-commerce on your site. This seems like a given, but is important enough to repeat. With social distancing in place, more people are spending time on social media and online than ever before. Get attention and increase sales by setting up e-commerce so customers can order your products and you can market your products and services online, 24/7. Hopefully, cash will flow more quickly. Make sure social media is an important part of the launch.
- Beef up your Google My Business account. It’s one of my favorite free publicity tools online. Claim your business listing. Complete your profile, and post content and videos religiously. Update your listing with special offers and community events. You can even use chat capabilities to communicate in real time. This is also where your reviews are posted (and you respond), so get comfortable using it. Check out apps like oneupapp.io that work with feeds to post content directly.
- Up your organic SEO and ranking.If you have an SEO budget that’s practically zero, build your online brand and expert status by writing consistently about your niche topic using strategic keyword phrases. Get into learning mode and schedule at least two hours a month for training at sites like Ubersuggest, SEMrush, and Yoast. Tackle the easy stuff and hire out for more complicated tasks. Here’s how.
- Optimize for multiple platforms. Use your customers’ channel of preference. If they’re reaching out through social media, respond back the same way. If they’re using email, hit the reply button. You need to provide a consistent message no matter how people interact with your company. Create a brand strategy and voice that translates across all platforms, including your website, mobile app, social media, and content.
- Find power in your email list. Use design to influence a prospect to sign-up for a checklist or download a report. Incorporate a squeeze page. Grab emails with capture sidebars promoting a free offer. Add a pop-under, pop-ups that only appear when a prospect leaves your landing page without buying. “Don’t go yet, you haven’t signed up for your free gift.” You can always create a floater, too, where the sign-up window is hovering in front of what you want to see until you fill it out. My least favorite.
- Get your ‘Google on.’ Live events may have been canceled, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t present at virtual events. Make Google your new BFF and look up industry conferences that have recently been rescheduled. There may even be a last minute cancellation spot you can fill. Keep in mind that pitching and engagement rules still apply. Create a Google or Excel spreadsheet to keep your contact list organized.
- Promote key virtual events. First, set expectations. Is this a presentation or a town hall? Will the audience be able to ask live questions? People need to know what they’re signing up for. Be clear on what the audience take-aways will be. Find a community partner for wider outreach and have everyone promote the event using dedicated hashtags. Use customize invitations and track your results. UTM codes will help to see where your sign-ups came from.
- Surprise and delight customers. Take this time to build relationships and strengthen your bond with customers. Exceed their expectations and overdeliver — not underpromise. Listen with your ears, but listen to their body language, too – even via Zoom. Add an element of surprise that’s personalized. A package from Amazon that you expect is one thing. A surprise package from Amazon, that you didn’t order, is a whole different ball game. You can’t wait to see what’s inside.
- Use lead generation technology. Sites like GetProspect, GoPersonas and Leadgenius were created to help support busy professionals who don’t have time to prospect every day. You can work these lead gen portals on your own or hire a virtual assistant to help. Plan a robust social media marketing campaign and get in front of your new target market. Launch your attraction marketing strategy with measurable goals in mind.
- Build a Rockstar Marketing Team. You can try to do everything on your own, but there’s never enough time or energy. Look ahead to see what you need. Your team’s size will depend on the size of your business and your budget. Social media marketers are on the frontline. Your SEO team drives traffic to your website.Your acquisition team should be customer-obsessed. Product marketers promote your product. Content creators tell your story. And web designers are responsible for everything dot.com.
- Create a social media pod for LinkedIn. Social media tool, Lempod wants to reach outside your LinkedIn network, on your behalf. It lets you to set up a pod for your company or group and when someone posts, everybody ‘likes’ the comment. You’re also able to customize your responses. Lempod is available as a chrome extension and its primary purpose is to boost engagement. For best results, be online when you select and send your daily post, so you can personally answer back. Right now, the limit is 1 post every 24 hours.
- Break the rules. Be different than everyone else. You can’t disrupt a market if you’re following all of its rules. Once you decide what you’re going to do, just do it. And, do it fast. Better yet, do it now. Forget waiting and long-term planning. Just leap. If you wait, someone could do it before you, or you might lose your nerve. This isn’t a dress rehearsal and this isn’t your hobby.
- Stand up. People expect more from their trusted brands, than ever before. Take principled positions on important social issues. Yes, you might lose a few customers, but you’ll gain more in the long haul by taking a stand on the right side of social movements. This is where you develop brand advocates who will take a stand for you, your mission, and your brand. Be mindful with your messaging, though. Make sure this is about who you are, not just where the crowd is leaning.
- Write that dang book. No need to create a hardcover or paperback version, unless that’s your plan. What about a pdf that you can use as a lead generator? I just read Corona Marketing – How to Survive the Crisis e-book by content king Joe Pulizzi, then bought his book, Content Inc. from Amazon. Your book doesn’t have to be a novel, like War and Peace at 1225 pages. Think of it as a lead generator, ice breaker, gift of goodwill about you helping, not selling. Should you make it an audio book?
- Get your press kit ready. Choose a design that fits your brand (or book) and use your brand colors in the creative. Create an interesting tagline or opening message. Invest in high resolution photos. Write copy that engages your target audience (and the press) and stay true to your brand story. Make your press kit accessible and post it to your website. Also add links to each social media platform and your email signature. It’s the perfect way to promote yourself and your brand.
- Sometimes less is more. Avoid the temptation to overwhelm people with too many social media posts, too many blogs or endless email updates. Now, more than ever, people value quality over quantity. Instead of just throwing stuff out there because you think you need to stay in touch, pick out a few high-quality pieces that provide genuine insights into the challenges your customers are facing. They don’t need a constant stream of half-baked ideas.
- Be quiet and listen. In the past, social media was all about telling what great products and services you offer. Instead, make time for social listening. What’s your target market saying? Are your products and services making customers happy? Do you hear a rumbling of negative chatter about your competition? If you’re listening, you can act right away. If you’re not, that one may have gotten away.
- Send out good karma. Do you own a yoga studio? Offer free classes online. Have a clothing store? Offer free shipping and returns. Be of service. By contributing to the common good, you’ll be building good karma which always translates into building brand equity and good will. Although you may not be able to keep certain offers available downstream, your customers will always remember your kindness.
- It’s not all about you, it’s about all of us. Now is not the time for non-stop self-promotion. It’s the time to help. Reach out and do what you can to help people in any way you can. Remember to put people first. Focus on the human element instead of boring product descriptions. Build relationships now and sales will follow.
I hope these 26 Marketing and PR Tips (and ideas for the next six-months) help you get back on track to increase visibility, brand awareness, and sales. Every one of these strategies works. My question is, which three will you try first?
More to come.