Taking your sales to the next level begins with a sound marketing strategy. But as an overworked, time-strapped business owner, how do you get there? The good news is that, while there are many marketing channels to consider, typically the simplest, most efficient and cost-effective ones are online. The key is to focus on the tasks that don’t require any online marketing expertise or an abundance of your time — and to outsource the rest. Here are five of those DIY tasks that can help reboot your marketing in big ways:

1 – Target Your Customers Where They Live Online

Where do your customers hang out the most? Is it LinkedIn? Facebook? Twitter? If your business has several social media accounts, use them. To maximize the potential for acquiring new clients on social media, you must also find out where they hang out online and market to them in those environments.

Don’t overlook user groups and fan pages within Facebook. With Facebook and other social platforms, you can have highly targeted marketing campaigns to attract customers who are interested in the product or service that you have. Find specialized user groups they belong to on social media and win them over with quality feedback and value-driven content.

2 – Show Up Consistently

Your customers want to hear from you consistently. To stay accountable to them, create a publishing schedule to ensure you are communicating with your audience regularly. Over time, your audience will look forward to your up-to-date content. For example, plan for three social media posts a day, which you can draft in advance. As far as topics go, adopt a balanced approach, talking about your customers just as much, if not more, than you talk about your business and industry.

Social media updates can include a soon-to-be-released product, a news article or a behind-the-scenes peek at your new facility. Finally, invite your social media followers to share their thoughts. In all social media posts, make sure you’re natural and conversational, so your audience is more likely to respond.

3 – Don’t Ignore the Importance of Visuals

As important as your content is, the thing that often hits your readers first is impressive graphics. Stunning photographs and imagery engages people quickly and compels your audience to pay attention to more of your marketing outreach.

The brain is widely believed to process visuals thousands of times faster than text, so don’t forget to break up long, monotonous articles and emails with relevant pictures and infographics. Images convey messages in a second, helping to make your marketing communication stand out and be more memorable.

4 – Market to Your Customers According to Their Preferences

How often should you reach out to customers? How much information can they tolerate? And how do they prefer to be communicated with? Is it video? Is it email? Is it blog articles? Your customers have a certain information threshold and certain ways they like to receive that information. As a business owner, it’s your job to pay attention to the marketing modalities they prefer. If email subscribers start opting out, find out why and adjust accordingly.

5 – Rinse and Repeat 

There’s no need to shake things up every time you want to communicate with your audience. If your marketing efforts were successful, simply repeat the steps you took and do it again on a regular basis. It really is that easy. And if something doesn’t work, switch up your game plan. Just be sure to give your customers a reason to keep coming back for more. And remember: that reason has much more to do with quality, transparency and authenticity than quantity or fake personas.

What if I Hate Marketing?

If you’re not a marketing person, that’s okay. Don’t take on the job of marketing all by yourself, especially if you don’t have the experience to support your efforts. When it comes to creating the right message and finding the right audience, there is a lot at stake if you get it wrong.

Outsourcing your marketing to an agency or freelance marketing specialist allows you to get back to doing what you do best: running your business. If you don’t have the budget to hire a marketing firm, get advice from someone you trust who has successfully marketed their own business.

Any Business Can Do It

Regardless of size, every business owner can use social media, video, email and visuals to market their business successfully. When done correctly, online marketing gives you higher viral engagement and increased brand awareness, resulting in more customers discovering your business and more revenue. Pay attention to what your customers care about, then figure out how to talk about it in a way that interests them and you’ll soon strike marketing gold.

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