Plant a Seed to Market Your Business

by Alyse MittenHaving experienced a cold harsh winter like we just experienced, I welcome spring and the opportunity to work in my garden and dig in the dirt. I find it amazing to think what you can yield from one, single seed. With the proper planning, planting, watering, and harvesting, one seedling from a green bean can provide a meal, maybe two, for a family of four. Plant a whole row of seeds and you’ll be canning and freezing beans to eat well into 2016.

What does planting a seed have to do with social media marketing?

Everything you do to harvest crops from your vegetable garden, you can associate to what you should do to yield a harvest of relationships and business through social media marketing.

So let’s think about how to approach planning for your business.

First, all businesses have highs and lows during the year. When are the high seasons for your business? If it’s the fourth quarter of the year and you are a retail store, begin planting seeds in June. Plant the seeds by picking the products you will be selling in the 4th Quarter. Learn everything you can about the products you will be selling. Collect all the information possible about the products you will be selling. Begin a Buzz about these products well before the 4th Quarter.

What might this look like?

The other day I met with a new client who has a variety of high seasons for his business in the first six months of the year. For one product it’s the spring season. Another, it’s March, April, May. And, yet another it’s January, February, March.  Needless to say, all of our planning for these will be for their 2016 season.

This is what we did:

First
We looked at last year’s marketing activities for each of the products and immediately recognized gaps in marketing and some missteps due to timing and the lack of using some of the newer marketing techniques available.

Second
We visualized what the marketing should look like for each of these for next year’s campaigns. Our calendars came out and we plotted out the activities, when they should be done and by whom. We’re already ready for 2016.

Third
We determined what needed to be added and fine-tuned. We included new marketing tools. This client has an email list he can use to reach out to current clients. We decided to add an email management product to send out timely emails. This client falls under the category of a Business to Customer (B2C). They are currently on Facebook and will work on creating cover photos for each of these product lines. We added Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Fourth
Budgeting was next. What was the funding for the past events? Was the funding in balance with the results? Could have more been spent wisely for greater results? What is the projection for gross revenue? What should you spend on marketing? This is always one of those loaded questions. When starting a business or a new product your marketing budget is going to be much higher than an established business or product. The percentages for a new product could range from eight to the extreme of 15 percent and established products could range from three to five percent or even less. This is a general rule of thumb we use as a guide.

Are you ready to plant the seeds for marketing your business’s products or services? With proper planning, scheduling, and budgeting you will be able to harvest the results through increased business relationships and sales.