Okay, I get it. Instagram has brought you business for a really long time. But you are realizing you need to find out other ways to market your business than just Instagram.
It used to work like this : You post, followers see, you get inquiries and business grew. Rinse, repeat and call it good.
As the Instagram algorithm changes, it’s only going to get harder to be seen on the app which makes it less ideal to use to market your business.
So you can continue on doing what is no longer working. Posting, commenting, engaging, etc and then lament about you have no reach. (spoiler alert… it’s not going back to the good ol’ days, cuz those days don’t pad the Zuck’s pocketbook).
OR you can take a step back and adjust to your marketing. Find other ways to get people to land on your website and book you!
There was life before Instagram. And there will be life when Instagram isn’t bringing in inquiries as well. As long as you make sure you are marketing in many ways, not just Instagram.
So, how can you market your small business without Instagram? Let me count the ways!
So you think blogging is dead? Think again, my friend. Blogging is not dead, blogging is the long game. Which admittedly is less sexy than the dopamine hit you get when your likes go up.
Blogging is a phenomenal way of getting in front of your audience and stay there. While also giving you content to share in your marketing.
Blog posts continue to be valuable for years after you write them.
As long as the content is evergreen, and helpful, your posts can drive traffic to your website. And it can continue to for years after you’ve written the post.
Google loves new content. The more often you have new or updated content on your website, the more the Google bots crawl your site. This then moves you up or down in the index.
You can even go in and update or change up old posts. Make changes, hit publish again and it will trigger Google to look at your posts as new!
With blogging, you get to control your customer’s experience. You can take them on a journey that you’ve decided on.
You do have to be a bit strategic and think about your client’s needs. Write about things that will help answer their questions.
The type of blogging that was popular 5-8 years ago was like a portfolio extension. Only sharing new client work is less useful to you because it’s only going to attract people who are ready to buy now. Or know the people in the portfolio piece.
You want to create content that helps people in all stages of the customer journey. Create content that gives little wins and shares ideas of how to move forward.
Think about ways you can write as an expert and write about that. All you have to do is look at what this post is about, and you’ll see I’ve done exactly that.
This is another great way to drive business to your website. Especially if you take me up on marketing tactic #1 ; Blogging.
If you have a blog, you can easily share and reshare your blog posts to Pinterest. This will grow traffic to your site.
If you are not blogging, then you won’t have new content to share with Pinterest. But if you sell items, it can be highly useful for sales as well.
Use your brand photos to create graphics easily in Canva.com that all point back to your website.
Create a couple different looking graphics that all point back to the same post. This gives you more to share (without having to create more content.)
Have a Website That Converts
Now it should be said that you have to have a website that converts. What does that mean?
Your website must guide the viewer through the path you want them to take to end up buying.
Don’t make the viewer work to figure out where things are or how to work with you. Because if you make them work for it, they are going to lose interest and click away.
If you never get inquiries through your website, you probably have a low converting site. You are losing people somewhere.
Any and all marketing efforts are going to be pointless if you confuse on your website.
Because, as Donal Miller says ” if you confuse, you lose.”
Now, once you have a great website that converts, then make sure you share the URL everywhere.
Is it in your email signature, on your social media profiles? Is your Linkedin sharing it, as well as Twitter.
You don’t have to use the platform regularly to be able to have the platform at least pointing back to your site. Having the link will help you out in letting Google know how legit you are.
Have a SEO Strategy.
I know that SEO is something that freaks most small businesses out. but you don’t have to be an SEO expert to have an SEO strategy.
SEO is extremely helpful and useful to you when you use blogging as a marketing strategy.
You can work on optimizing for certain keywords for each of your posts.
Link back to past posts with keywords to help you rank better as well.
An easy trick to make sure your images are optimized for SEO as well. You can learn more here: How to Optimize your website images for SEO.
Ask for Reviews From Past Clients on Google
I always ask for the client to use specific terms that help with SEO.
If I reach out to a client to ask if they would kindly review me, I ask for them to review me on Google specifically(as it helps with SEO).
If I’m asking for a review, it’s helpful to let my client know that using a specific term in the review will help almost as much as the review itself.
Network w/ Industry Peers
This is one that gets more and more overlooked.
But honestly, this is still one of my most powerful avenues of business in my service based business.
I have worked hard to be known and liked in my industry.
I help when and where I can, I make sure I am easy to work with, and in return, people want to refer me to their clients.
You can use this same strategy. Go to networking meetings, find like people and see how you can bring value to their lives. If you show up to be helpful without your own hand out, you’ll end up with great relationships and a powerful referral network.
Do you have a business buddy who targets the same type of market that you do, but you don’t have competing businesses?
Collaborate to see how you can introduce each other to one another’s audiences.
Maybe you are a business coach and you are friends with a CPA.
You can guest post on each other blogs sharing insights as an expert (did you see how blogging is a reoccurring theme here??!!)
This way you can share your knowledge with an audience that could use your services. You are being endorsed by someone they already know like and trust which makes them more apt to trust you.
This is my favorite way of marketing and growing people’s knowledge of me, my business and sharing what I know.
I share a blog post every week and then email my list to let them know of the post.
I share other interesting tidbits, stories or anecdotes as well.
My goal with my email marketing is to be as helpful as possible for free.
That way, one day when they are ready to make a purchase, I am a no brainer choice for those on my list. I have already shared value with them for free, and why wouldn’t they pay me back in kind right?
Create a Referral Program
Do you work one on one with clients?
Service-based businesses can benefit from creating a referral program.
This entices current clients to share the idea of working with you to their friends.
Most people won’t think to share you with friends, but if you add in a bonus for them, they will. The bonus gives them an incentive to keep you top of mind.
When I was a wedding photographer, I would offer a free portrait session to clients who referred a wedding to me and the wedding booked.
The client would sing my praises, I would get new business (and weddings were a high ticket item).
The current client would feel taken care of because they got a free session out the deal and I would get a new high ticket client, which made the ROI very good.
Print Ads and Flyers
This goes back to old school techniques.
When everyone is standing in the middle of the social media platforms trying to yell over the noise to be heard, do something different.
Surprise them by showing up where they are not expecting: in their mailbox!
This can work great for hyperlocal businesses. And this work especially well if you have the resources to make it personalized instead of mass-produced.
You don’t want to show up in the mailbox looking like junkmail. Make it look like it came from someone and not a business and you can get great success!
Sponsor Local Teams
Another great option for hyperlocal businesses.
Get out into your community and be a face people know. Sponsor the local little league team, if parents are your target market.
Things like that get you seen in the market and keeps you top of mind.
There is a cost to this type of marketing, but if the cost of it not only helps out the local community but brings you in front of local potential clients, it can be well worth the expense.
Don’t overlook Facebook pages and the value of posting for your business.
While Instagram is the fun cousin everyone wants to hang out with, Facebook is still an important avenue. There are 2.38 Billion monthly active users on Facebook in the first quarter alone of 2019.
So, suffice it to say, it’s a place you should show up in your business.
If you auto-schedule posts on your Facebook page, you can have another free way to get your blog posts (see what I did there?!?) out to the world which drives traffic to your site!
Facebook ads can be extremely helpful in getting in front of the right audience as well.
The kicker here is to make sure you really hone in on your audience and you test your ads to see how they work. Otherwise, you can potentially through a lot of money down the drain as well.
Do you see? Here were 12 simple ways you can market your business. And none involve spending hours fighting the algorithm of Instagram.
Do you know the other amazing thing about all 12 of these ways to market your business? They all can give you content ideas of what to talk about in your Instagram posts as well.
As I don’t think you have to walk away from Instagram (yet). But it’s definitely not the only place you should be marketing your business. If all your eggs are in the Insta basket, then plan on always being frustrated.
To recap: here are 12 ways to market your business outside of Instagram
- Blogging educational content
- Have a Website that Converts
- Have a SEO Strategy
- Ask Past Clients for Strategic Reviews
- Network with Industry Peers
- Joint Venture
- Email Marketing
- Create a Referral Program
- Print Ads and Flyers
- Sponsor a Local Team