Many small businesses are struggling with their social media marketing and it is exhausting. Whether you build your own content and campaigns or are paying someone to do it for you, I can imagine you feel the uphill battle.
Social media marketing is a lot like the movie Groundhog Day. It’s the same thing, over and over again. You post a piece of content, wait for likes and shares, then rinse and repeat.
Growing an audience on social media has become more complex in recent years with more intricate algorithms and over-saturated markets all fighting for visibility and ROI.
The majority of businesses that are winning the social media game are able to invest copious amounts of money and advertisements or by paying a marketing team to do the work for them. Yes, there are plenty of accounts that have gained traction with organic marketing and little to no monetary investment, but that is a rarity.
Not every business has extra money to throw at social media.
Numerous small businesses do not have the extra income or manpower to up their game in social media marketing and end up just posting here and there to keep relevant (which at times is good enough).
We understand this struggle as a small business ourselves and as a company that helps clients with their social media marketing strategy and content. Strategically, as a digital marketing agency, we have moved away from social media as a form of marketing for our business and we will tell you why.
We can come up with content that will increase our engagement, build numbers, build authority and awareness of our brand, and even gain us some new clients. We have done this for ourselves and many clients over the years.
For us, the amount of work and time that we would have to dedicate to a social media marketing initiative and to keep it going (because you can’t take a break) is exorbitant. Our energy can be better placed somewhere else to drive traffic.
We think that other small businesses can follow in our footsteps and do the same. Social media has changed and we have to accept that.
It’s exhausting keeping up with the trends and algorithms.
If you can’t keep up with the trends, follow the rules, learn the algorithm and give it what it wants or pay someone to do so, then it is futile to use it as a marketing tool. Video is king right now and if you are not posting Reels then you are getting overlooked.
Quite frankly I do not want to (I know you don’t either) have to dance around pointing at things, come up with some quirky idea, or write scripts for video. Knowing that if I am lucky 10 people will see them, even after I dedicated weeks and months creating them daily.
So much time is getting lost chasing social media marketing as a tool. Social media marketing might not be dead, but it sure is changing so fast that keeping up with the changes is like a full-time job.
According to Instagram, they recommend you do 5-7 Reels per week. Think about it, there are stories, reals, images, TikTok videos, carousels, short videos, and the list goes on.
So many types of social media, so many types of content, and various demands per platform.
There are various types of posts for various social media channels and there are so many platforms to keep up with and each platform wants something new and different from the other. Your social media marketing plan has to keep changing. So many demands.
Also, don’t repurpose a video from TikTok into a Reel or you won’t get views since Instagram and TikTok are rivals. Do not post a YouTube video on Facebook since they are competitors.
Our company tested this theory with our clients as well as our brand, we found a significant drop in posting a video (mp4) directly to Facebook versus uploading a video to YouTube and then posting it to FB. The video from YouTube performed at 1/10th of what the video did that was uploaded directly to Facebook.
This was expected but still made us a little uneasy. We knew to test this as a marketing company, but how does the average business know this? They don’t and this is why we want to offer another alternative.
If you don’t have a social media marketing professional on hand or have a ton of cash, we have some ideas for you.
Not everyone has a ton of cash to throw into social media marketing. How much time do you spend on social network marketing and creating marketing campaigns? Is it worth the return on investment (ROI)?
Our clients ask us what other ways can we market if we don’t use social media. That’s a great question and we are here to help you with that.
Sit back, relax and think about taking a break from the social media rat race. We know you are tired. We are too!
Don’t get rid of your social media accounts, they are still important, but giving them very little time and attention might be your best bet.
Posting on your social platforms from time to time as proof of existence is a great idea to let clients and customers know your business is still active. People will always go look up business profiles just ask much as they visit a website, so keeping it generally active (once a week / once every 2 weeks) is good to keep you looking like your business has a pulse on social media.
So, let’s put your efforts in a place that feels less like running up a hill on wet grass.
1. Start a Podcast
Easier said than done, you say. Yes and no. Everything you have never done before is not easy, and most people have not done podcasting.
Podcasting is one of the best ways to get your content in the faces of other people without having to use social media marketing. Yes, you can use social media marketing with it, if you have the time, energy, and money but you don’t have to.
You can create a podcast list your podcast on all the free podcast listening sites. Examples of these sites are Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Overcast, Amazon Music, Castro, I Heart Radio, and Stitcher.
If you sign up for an account, you can submit your podcast to their directories for free. This helps your podcast be organically found by people already listening to content on those various listening sites and is an easy and effective way to market your podcast.
That alone can bring brand awareness. I have been honored to meet numerous clients because they heard my podcast and contacted me. A podcast can help people learn about you and your business by connecting to your voice, tone, and who you are. it is an amazing and underused marketing tool.
2. Start a Blog
Blogging is also an amazing marketing tool, but it has to be done well to be an asset. if you are just randomly writing content that is not well thought out, well researched, and helpful to people don’t; waste your time.
Blogging can help help your business and SEO (5 Tips To Improve Your SEO), it helps showcase your authority in your niche and people learn your voice.
If you start a blog, keep in mind Google’s E-A-T acronym. Google’s E-A-T acronym was first introduced in 2014 but it has had a lot more attention in the limelight lately. The E-A-T acronym stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. In 2022, E-A-T is taking off as one of Google’s top ranking factors in SEO and it is something to take into deep consideration when blogging.
Google wants websites to take their content to the next level by making their content trustworthy, backed with credentials and expertise that exhibits in-depth knowledge of and competency. These are 3 things you should want to be known for and Google feels the same.
Also, Google just came out with “Google’s Helpful Content Update: Content For People Not SEO” which again creates a heavy focus on quality content that is helpful for people.
If your business can take the time to build solid blog content, this can be used as a marketing tool that just keeps building on itself over time and never loses its power.
Plus you can also add your podcast as a subcategory to your blog and then you have two amazing resources to build your brand as a voice and authority in your niche.
3. Try traditional offline marketing and networking
The use of other offline marketing methods can also be effective in promoting a small business. For example, printed materials like flyers, banners, brochures, and billboards can attract attention to your products or services.
Joining networking groups like your local Chamber of Commerce or groups that might be specific to your niche can be helpful. For example, we are a part of the Technology Association of Oregon and they have been a great resource for our business.
4. Join and participate in Facebook Groups
We know that we are trying to help you find alternatives to social media marketing, so why would we suggest Facebook groups?
The reason we suggest Facebook groups is because you can make a lot less effort, really target your focus, and gain leads a ton faster than posting generally on social media.
Look for groups in your industry or niche where you want to market, network, partner, and create amazing business relationships.
Facebook marketing groups are a wonderful asset to your marketing strategy, just remember they are there to build relationships not to just go in there and spam them with your services or products.
These groups take time, but if you get into a couple of good ones and build relationships by helping others, you will thank us later!
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a crucial part of digital marketing because search engines serve millions of users per day looking for answers to their questions or for solutions to their problems. The main goal of SEO is to improve a website’s visibility in the organic (non-paid) search engine results.
- This involves optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. It includes optimizing content, HTML tags (title, meta, and header), and images.
- It also involves ensuring that the content is not only high quality and relevant but also structured in a way that search engines can understand. This means using proper headings, subheadings, and including keywords in a natural, reader-friendly way.
- Off-page SEO refers to all the activities that you and others do away from your website to raise the ranking of a page with search engines. Though many people associate off-page SEO with link building, it goes beyond that.
- Strategies include building backlinks from other reputable sites, social bookmarking, and influencer marketing. The number and quality of backlinks are one of the most important off-page SEO factors.
- This aspect of SEO focuses on the non-content elements of your website. It includes strategies to improve a site’s backend structure and foundation.
- Improving the site’s readability (which makes it easy for search engines to crawl and understand the site) and providing a good user experience, which helps search engines see that the site is high quality. A good user experience is also important for readers, and can affect overall traffic and engagement rates.
6. Email Marketing
Email Marketing is a vital communications channel in the toolbox of digital marketing, where emails are leveraged to cultivate relationships with potential and existing customers.
It’s a method of direct marketing that can notify customers of new products, discounts, and other services. It can also be a softer sell to educate your audience on the value of your brand or keep them engaged between purchases.
Email marketing encompasses various types of emails such as transactional emails for confirming customer actions, direct emails for promotions, newsletters for regular updates, welcome emails for new subscribers, re-engagement emails to reactivate dormant customers, and personalized emails tailored to individual customer preferences and behaviors.
7. Public Relations
Public Relations (PR) is a strategic communication process that organizations use to build mutually beneficial relationships with the public. As a critical aspect of building a brand’s image, PR involves managing information dissemination to influence public perception and maintain a positive reputation.
Good types of PR
Good types of Public Relations (PR) are those that foster trust and engagement between an organization and its audience while upholding ethical standards.
Effective PR strategies include community engagement initiatives, where companies actively participate in local events or contribute to social causes, thereby building rapport with their audience.
Media relations, another pivotal aspect, involves crafting compelling stories and pitches that resonate with journalists and media outlets, resulting in earned media coverage. Thought leadership is also significant, positioning company leaders as experts in their field through speaking engagements and bylines in industry publications.
Employee relations are key as well; they ensure that employees are well-informed and become brand ambassadors.
Moreover, crisis communication strategies are essential for managing negative events transparently and with accountability.
Lastly, customer relations that nurture customer loyalty through feedback mechanisms and personalized communication play a critical role. Each of these PR facets contributes to a robust public image and a sustainable relationship with stakeholders.
PR Ethics and Best Practices:
PR should be grounded in ethical practices. The credibility of PR is based on its authenticity and truthfulness. Paying for press coverage or paying for things like Google review, which can be mistaken for genuine PR and fake customer satisfaction is essentially advertising.
True PR does not involve direct payment for media coverage; it’s about earning a place in the conversation through merit and newsworthiness.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising is a digital marketing model that allows advertisers to bid on keywords relevant to their target market, displaying their ads on search engine results pages, websites, and social media platforms.
When a user clicks on one of these ads, the advertiser pays a fee, hence the term “pay-per-click.” This model offers the distinct advantage of immediate visibility and provides an efficient way to drive targeted traffic to a website, as advertisers can reach potential customers who are actively searching for specific products or services.
PPC campaigns can be meticulously customized to target particular demographics, times of day, and geographic locations, and they offer real-time tracking of campaign performance, enabling advertisers to adjust their strategies quickly based on data-driven insights.
However, PPC requires careful management as costs can escalate, especially in competitive sectors.
Successful PPC advertising demands strategic keyword research, compelling ad copy, optimized landing pages, and continuous campaign evaluation to ensure a good return on investment. It is a potent tool for businesses looking to gain a quick entry into the market or to complement their ongoing organic search efforts.
You can do it!
We hope this was helpful for you and your business. Social media marketing is something we all have to think about and consider, but there are always alternatives that are there to help us. Our goal is to help you feel less stressed and overwhelmed by my marketing by providing helpful tips and resources that you can use.