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Freshen up your online marketing plans

It’s never too late to start planning your fall and winter marketing. All of us (even marketers!) can benefit from taking a step back to learn about what’s new and freshen things up. This is a broad overview to provide you with some things to consider as you review your online marketing.

Google is going to be one of the first stops for people to learn more about you. Make sure you’re easy to find and that your information is up-to-date. If you don’t already have one, register for a Google My Business page. If you do have one, log in and take a quick look: is your brokerage information still correct? List your services and be as specific as you can be, including identifying the different groups of people you work with.

When people Google you, this listing should be the first thing that comes up on both a mobile device and a laptop. It’s a great way to establish credibility and showcase your five-star reviews.

Email really is the best channel we have to reach everyone we know. It’s a critical tool for nurturing relationships with existing clients to help generate repeat business and referrals.

If you’re just getting started, get your contact list together. You can start with people you already know such as friends, family and office colleagues. Anybody you’ve done business with in the past two years can be added to a list, although it’s best practice to ask if you can add them.

You also need a plan to collect email addresses moving forward. Right now, it’s all going to be virtual so make sure your website has a pop-up, you’ve included a link in your email signature and it’s one of the links on your LinkedIn. (Pro tip – don’t just ask if you can add them to your email list, tell them you send out a great monthly newsletter with local information and ask if they would like to receive it.)

Your plan should include software. If you’re serious about email marketing, you can’t use a personal email program. Constant Contact and MailChimp are both viable options. Your CRM may offer email marketing, but it’s not my first choice because they don’t usually have the functionality of software that’s designed for email marketing, such as reporting analytics like opens and clicks. And they don’t look as good.

The next step is choosing some content. A balance of market news, local events and other lighter topics is recommended. If you’re unsure about what you’d like to include, sign up for some of your competitor’s emails!

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn offer a lot of value, but you need to have a plan. Ideally, it should help you boost awareness of your brand and start conversations with new and existing contacts. Two key indicators of success are that the number of followers you have is increasing and that people are engaging (liking, commenting or sharing).

Your first step is to take a look at your profiles. Are they complete? If not, update them! Both Facebook and LinkedIn will show you what needs attention.

Next: Come up with a plan of what to post and when. You can get away with posting fewer items if they’re high quality. Be realistic about what you can and want to do. Posting on more than one site may be too much. You’re better off sticking with one you know and building from there.

Spend some time online to figure out which sites are posting content that you think your audience is interested in. While you’re at it, creep your competition and see what they’re posting. The likes, comments and shares are all public so you can see what they’re doing that works.

Save time: There are free or low-cost tools available to help you. A scheduler like Hootsuite will allow you to post content in advance and a news aggregator like Feedly will show you what’s new on all your favourite sites.

To take a deeper dive into any of these topics, please get in touch. I also offer free webinars on email marketing and social media. If you would like to know more, let’s talk!