Growth Marketing for Small Business
Perhaps your small business is already engaged in growth marketing – or perhaps it’s something you’d like to get started with but don’t know where to begin. Whether you’ve been ramping up to it slowly, or are just beginning to get serious about it – the important thing to do is start. Audience growth takes time, and the sooner you begin the sooner your numbers will start to increase.
As business owners, we know your days are already packed, and your to-do list is constantly growing. So we’ve gathered some of the most useful apps that anyone can use to get their audience growth on track. It’s important to establish what you are trying to achieve in the short and long-term (again, strategy!) and decide where you want to allocate your budget because some of these services have a monthly fee. Others are free to start, or free for one account, so you can get a lot done without spending anything upfront.
1) Later (https://later.com/)
Later is a scheduling platform that allows you to plan your Instagram posts, and helps to visualize the overall look and feel of your feed – while allowing you to track and monitor the results from your posts. It won’t post for you, because Instagram won’t allow any scheduling program to do so – but it will preserve all of your content, captions, and hashtags and send you a reminder to log in and post at the time and date that you’ve chosen. As a small business without a social media manager, Later will bring your Instagram game to the next level allowing you to manage your time more efficiently while maintaining and growing your social presence.
Planned posts are better than spur of the moment content uploaded without any sort of strategy in mind. Later will make that planning much easier for you, and it’s free for one account.
2) Klear (http://www.klear.com)
Influencer marketing is only going to gain more traction in 2017. We trust real people more than ads and that’s why Klear is a great tool to invest in. Finding the right influencer that will promote your brand to their followers is what Klear is all about and best of all, it’s proven to work. In addition to finding Influencers, you can also monitor your social performance – how many impressions, mentions, retweets etc. your brand is getting so that you can gather intel on whether your strategies are working.
As a small business, Klear will help your affiliate marketing strategy and reputation of your brand. Leveraging the connections of influencers that focus on the same topic of your brand will help put your product or service in front of the right consumer – and Klear does offer limited features for free to get you started.
3) BoardBooster (https://boardbooster.com/)
Pinterest is not just about interior design and recipe links – it has become a very powerful tool that has the ability to grow your following if done correctly. In fact, it’s almost a search engine in its own right. You may think your brand isn’t right for Pinterest, but you’d be surprised at the ways in which your content can be optimized to make it work.
Enter BoardBooster which acts as a scheduler for your Pinterest content, and also posts your pins across multiple boards at once so you can spend your time doing other things… like running your business. Your first 100 pins are free on BoardBooster, and after that it’s $5/month for 500 pins. By that point you’ll know if it’s working for you and can decide to commit to the monthly fee.
4) Buffer (http://bufferapp.com)
We all know real-time updates are crucial to the success of any marketing strategy, however, the reality of being a small business owner is that there is never enough time in a day to focus on both marketing and fulfillment to their full potential. Buffer is a perfect tool to map out your social media schedule to allow you to share posts at optimal times and ensure your accounts stay active even in the midst of your busiest weeks. There are many platforms that can schedule posts – Buffer is our favorite because of its layout, intuitive design, and because it actually works the way it says it will. It’s also free for individuals, or one type of each account (excluding Pinterest on the free plan).
Pro Tip: Download the Buffer Chrome extension and cut your allotted social media posting routine in half, simply by clicking the extension you can share to your schedule in a matter of seconds.
5) Iconosquare (https://pro.iconosquare.com/)
With over 500 million active monthly users, Instagram is one platform that all small businesses should be using. Iconosquare will help you optimize and manage your Instagram feed to appeal to your target audience with features like hashtag search, and real-time analytics on your posts and how they’re performing. So you can see what is working right away, or what isn’t working so you can stop doing it.
Like Klear, Iconosquare also offers Influencer comparisons, competitor analysis, and analytics to track follower growth – but depending on your level of commitment to social media growth, they both have their place in the social media marketers’ toolkit. Unlike Klear, Iconosquare does not offer a free level of service and starts at $9/month.
These five apps are part of our social media management toolkit, and we hope they’re as effective for you as they are for us.
Your social media channels are a reflection of your brand, so make sure they inspire interest, and trust in your product.