Just over a year ago, I went on maternity leave to have my second child. At the time I was getting about two or three enquiries a week for my business. Nervously, I decided to have three months off social media- accepting that the enquiries would dwindle and I would just have to build my reputation up again. However, three months on and I was still getting consistent enquiries, so that got me thinking, did I really need to rely on social media so heavily for my marketing? (And, yes, thank you this intro does make me sound like PR's answer to Carrie Bradshaw).
Prior to this break I would rigidly post every other day, constantly read up on how to work alongside the algorithm. I stopped short of tailoring content for each platform but, still, social media took up a lot of my time. My accidental experiment told me something though - the time I was putting in wasn’t a good investment. Enquiries were being generated because people had remembered me from guesting on newsletters, seeing my business in magazines and word of mouth as well as by social media.
I HAD kept a record of how people heard about me but, crucially, until that break, I hadn’t really analysed it to inform where I invest my time. Meta's constant announcements and FOMO marketing had worked a treat on me. Only stepping back made me see that I was listening to the noise instead of thinking about all the other avenues I could utilise to promote my brand . Yes, despite over a decade of working in communications and marketing, I had fallen for Meta's marketing, hook, line and sinker, myself.
Now, you might think that because my business isn’t product based and I don’t need to generate huge numbers of sales or enquiries each day, this story is pretty niche. However, when was the last time you really looked at what’s generating your sales? We tend to reserve this exercise for when we’re making decisions about expenditure but isn’t your (and your teams) time costly too? I’ve been working with clients on this recently and discovered that one client was investing thousands into advertising on an industry website that wasn’t generating any enquiries. This cost them money but also time – updating copy, adding images, and all for what? For them, Instagram was a huge generator of sales, so guess what? Better to spend the time on generating more content. THEN GUESS WHAT? The paid-for Instagram ads were an even BIGGER converter. So for that business, time and money was better invested in creating adverts rather than organic content - this still made the team more time efficient.
Another hadn’t automated this research (when all they needed to do was add one question to their online enquiry form), so the data was too haphazard and difficult to properly analyse. When they did this, they saw that coverage in the media was the real converter, so they've invested more heavily in PR and stopped creating so many social media posts.
So, if you’re in a panic about Reels, feeling overwhelmed with your marketing to-do list, or wondering if it’s worth the effort to write that press pitch. Go back to basics and make sure you’re checking why people are buying from you or booking with you. Maybe you'll discover you DO need to spend a lot of time creating content, but at least you'll know it's worth the effort.
From January, I’ll have space to offer my ‘Not Just For Kicks’ package again – this is where I spend three hours with your organisation, virtually or in-person (location dependent), looking at what you’re currently doing, before creating a comms strategy for the next three months. So you can feel on top of your to-do list and know exactly why you’re investing time and money into certain activities. Contact me for more information.