Marketing and growing your business without social media? Is it even possible in 2022? It is!
Social media may have become an integral part of our culture – it’s how we communicate, share information, and connect with others – but it isn’t the final word when it comes to your marketing.
There are other ways to market and grow your business as an entrepreneur that don’t rely on social media – it’s true!
It hasn’t always been this way. Though, those days seem distant. Remember your first Instagram post? Your first connection on Facebook? Your first tweet? The days of “firsts” are gone and now many of us are feeling spent, tired, and drained by keeping up to stay relevant.
In the beginning, marketing your business on social media meant nothing but leads. It was the Wild West, a new frontier where everything was for the taking and every post had solid reach.
Now Facebook has 2.4 billion users (with a B), and Instagram and YouTube have more than one billion each. Can you imagine?
According to Sprout Social, Instagram engagement rates now average .98%. That means, if you have 100 followers, less than one of them is engaging with your posts. If you have 1,000 followers – 10 are engaging.
Of course, engagement is now favoring new roll-outs like stories (yes, in the grand scheme of things they’re still relatively new) and reels. But, how much time and money do entrepreneurs spend each year learning new platform updates, new ways to sell, new reel songs and dances, new hashtags (those are already old news, aren’t they?).
And, all that time, organic content marketing has stayed stable, grown richer, and grew in potency. The reason – SEO.
Wait, isn’t SEO so 2005? Sure, if by ‘2005’ you mean ‘the most potent form of digital marketing that drives long-term results, increasingly over time.’
SEO stands for search engine optimization. At a high level, it’s the process of making tweaks and optimizations to your website with the goal of showing up in search results on Google.
Why rank on search results? When a page of your website is listed in search results, that means your content is showing up when prospective visitors are searching for keywords related to your industry or the problem you solve.
This means your content is cutting in line, so to speak. You’re appearing during a problem-aware, solution-seeking period of your prospective visitor’s customer journey.
Why is SEO so powerful? Here are a few reasons:
All of the above sounds great, right? Check, check, check, yes we’d all love those things. But where’s the catch?
The catch is what I call the “flywheel of fleeting content.” See, the social media marketing pull is strong, once it sucks you in it’s nearly impossible to step out. It moves so fast, you have to prioritize creating “relevant” social content daily – instead of rich, value-laden, lasting content.
Now, you have no strong marketing legs to stand on, and you’re left settling for life as a “content creator” on platforms you’re starting to despise. With that trade-off you lose time spent on making long-living, sustainable, searchable content – long form content like blogging (yes, it’s still very much a thing), podcasting, and video creation.
So, our strong organic content marketing pillars have crumbled from disuse and misuse. But, there is a better way.
Organic content marketing without social media has its benefits, like:
If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur who wants to start growing and marketing their business without relying on social media, realize you have some work to do, especially if your lead generation process now heavily relies on social media.
It can – and will – happen, with a simple and strong strategy and a bit of consistency. But, it’s not going to happen by accident or happenstance.
You have to set the intention, say it out loud. Because the thing is, marketing your business without relying on social media is different. You have to make some intentional shifts and create a new strategy.
Up until now, many entrepreneurs have worked themselves into a trap where it’s difficult to get off social media. You’ve prioritized it because it moves so fast, at the expense of more sustainable marketing pillars.
In a nutshell, your new job is to make the transition. Your job is to rebuild (or build) your organic marketing strategy while doing a bit of a push on social media to ‘bridge the gap’ financially as you rebuild, reprioritize, and switch over.
Creating an organic content marketing strategy as an entrepreneur is simple. Learn what your audience is asking, create content that meets their needs and speaks their language, and start measuring your results.
Of course, it’s not that simple. There are tons of nuances and strategies that can add a few layers, but that’s it in a tiny nutshell. So let’s dive into an overview – the steps you’ll need to take to build your first (and most sustainable) organic content marketing strategy.
A great organic content marketing strategy and a great SEO strategy begins with audience research to garner Voice-of-Audience (VoA) data.
Meaning, you want to hear from your audience, listen to their words, empathize with their end goal, and learn to speak their language. It’s a mix of qualitative research and intuition, but it pays off in dividends.
Here are a few ways you can begin audience research right here, right now:
You knew it was coming, right? When it comes to a strong SEO and organic content marketing strategy, keywords are the name of the game. These guys are the main players, the conduits that connect your content to eager searchers in search results.
Now, it’s time to take what you’ve learned about your audience and what they’re searching for to create content that speaks them and serves them to a solution. Here’s an overview:
This step is simple – track your performance. Monitor keyword rankings and page performance using tools like Ubersuggest, Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
While you transition from primarily marketing using social media to more long-form content marketing, there could be a lull period. To prevent this financial lull, here’s how to handle and prepare for the in-between season:
Once your bases are covered, keywords are set, and content is flowing at a steady, consistent and manageable pace, here are a few ideas of what you can layer on next.
Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of direct marketing. In fact, email was invented by Ray Tomlinson back in 1971. Since then, email marketing has evolved into a powerful form of communication that allows businesses to reach customers at any time and anywhere.
If you’re looking for a low cost option, print advertising is one of the best options available. In fact, according to the U.S. Postal Service, the average return rate for first class letters is only 1%. That means that even though you might spend $1 sending a letter, you’ll likely receive back less than $1.
Another effective method of marketing without social media is search engine optimization (SEO), which involves using certain techniques to help your website appear higher in search results. This is done by optimizing your site with keywords related to your product or service.
Video marketing is an increasingly popular form of online advertising. In fact, according to HubSpot, nearly half of B2B marketers plan to use video as part of their 2017 marketing strategy. Videos are easy to share, cost less than other forms of marketing, and allow you to connect directly with customers.
You don’t need to create new blogs every day to succeed. Instead, focus on creating quality content that will attract visitors and engage them.
In fact, it’s better to focus on building relationships with people who will help you grow your business.
If you’re looking to build an online community, start by asking yourself what kind of relationship you’d like to develop with your customers. Do you want to sell products and services to them? Or do you just want to provide helpful advice and support? Once you’ve figured out how you want to connect with your customers, you’ll be able to determine where you should invest your time and energy.
Focus on building relationships first. This will help you gain trust and credibility with your readers. It also helps you establish authority as a thought leader.
If you’re not creating value for people, then why should they follow you? And if you’re only trying to sell them something, then why would they care what you have to say?
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of marketing and entrepreneurship. After all, there are so many things to do every day. But if you’re looking at short term results, you’ll never see any real progress. Instead, focus on building relationships with your customers and prospects. This will help you build trust and credibility, which will lead to more sales.
If you feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks involved in running a business, ask for help. There are plenty of people out there who would love to work with you! They might even offer to pay you for your services, too!
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