Premium member Victoria Garlick is the founder and CEO of air events global, a shared economy and online job marketplace connecting clients and freelancers across the globe. She stepped out of a secure corporate job to bootstrap and create air events global. We asked Victoria to share her marketing strategies for building fast growth and launching a successful startup. Get ready to take some notes.
Victoria writes …
1. Engage in online communities
One of the Internet’s greatest strengths is its ability to bring together people with similar interests in online communities. This can be an excellent growth strategy for your brand. Responding to questions on Reddit, LinkedIn, Quora etc. to help drive targeted traffic to your website. It helps build credibility for your business and you personally, too. Each week, I aim to answer between 30-50 questions on various sites to build our online profile.
2. Schedule social media posts using Buffer
One of my favourite schedulers is Buffer as I can schedule Facebook and Twitter posts for air events global weeks in advance and this saves an enormous amount of time. There are many scheduling sites that you can use and it is about choosing the one that works best for you, check out Hootsuite, Meet Edgar, Sprout Social and TweetDeck.
3. Subscribe to your competitors’ email lists for daily inspiration
Knowledge is power. We all have competitors, directly or indirectly. I encourage you to go onto their websites and subscribe to their newsletters so you can ensure you know when they are releasing new products, having a sale, hosting social media competitions and the like. Use a personal email, not your business email though.
4. Using Twitter to connect
When sharing content on Twitter, try mentioning people directly as this will create retweets and exposure for your brand. Focus on creating a regular cadence of content that is relevant to your target audience and authentic to your brand. I focus on keeping the tweets short, using visuals, incorporating relevant hashtags, asking questions and running polls. Social media is about building relationships and when someone shares one of your blogs, retweets or shares your content; they are showing interest in you and your brand. Thanking them on Twitter is a great opportunity to connect and encourages them to share again.
5. Use Infographics as part of your content
Infographics are informative and eye-catching and have all of the required information in one quick post. As business owners we are keen for each piece of content to have key takeaways and this means having a concise and memorable message. The use of visuals provides the ideal platform for this and by developing a compelling brand proposition through an infographic; we are increasing our customers remembering our key takeaways. I personally use Canva for my creative; however there are a plethora of tools that can be used. Other recommendations are Infogram, Visme, Piktochart, Dipity, Info Active and Venngage.
6. Run an Instagram Hashtag contest
This is a very quick and easy way to generate an Instagram following, generate engagement, and collect user-generated content*. Instagram is a marketing platform that offers a rich opportunity to promote your business and brand to a very engaged audience in a relatively easy and cost effective way. We use Instagram contests to build our following and brand awareness. A couple of things you do need to consider is what type of content, is it a raffle or competition? What prizes are you going to give away? What hashtags are you going to use? You must ensure they are relevant to your brand and audience. What time are you going to host the contest (and remember to take into consideration time zones)? Finally, how are you going to share and promote your Instagram contest?
*User-generated content is any type of content that has been created and distributed by unpaid contributors. It can be pictures, testimonials, videos, tweets, blog posts and is the act of users promoting a brand rather than the brand itself.
7. Use Buzzsumo to find the most shared content for a keyword
This is an excellent tool for seeing what the most popular and shared content is for any topic in your industry. Enter the search term you need information on and Buzzsumo will show you the most shared results. I personally use this tool to determine if there is an SEO opportunity for air events global. It tells us how content performs online and breaks down that performance by multiple metrics across domains, keywords and topics. This data helps us create, optimise and promote content and is an excellent growth strategy.
Influencer marketing is an important tool, however is a long-term, not a short-term strategy and needs to be integrated into your overall marketing strategy. Influencer marketing is the process of identifying, researching, engaging and supporting the people who create the online conversations that impact your brand. It is about finding opportunities to build relationships with people who touch your potential customers in some way. They are the people that will help you achieve more, with less. Our two favourites are: The Right. Fit and Tribe.
9. Creating presentations on Slideshare
Creating Slideshares with useful tips, advice and content will help drive traffic to your website, in addition to helping with SEO, higher Google rankings, lead generations and has free analytics so you can see how you are tracking. Slide based presentations are a great, low-risk way to give your audience the information they need in an eye-catching visual format.
10. Using LinkedIn
Using LinkedIn is an easy way to share your content and can assist in building a targeted following that is different from your website and social media platforms. I use the advanced search as this allows me to search by industry, company size, demographic, etc. It saves an enormous amount of time and introduces me to new connections in a very fast and efficient way.
11. Using YouTube for video
YouTube is an excellent marketing tool and is a great opportunity to post video tutorials on your business. From high traffic volume, viral marketing opportunities, search engine rankings and worldwide accessibility, YouTube is a resource to be added to your overall marketing campaign. I also like to use YouTube to answer our frequently asked questions and answers via a video link. If you are not using YouTube for your business, jump on today and create a YouTube channel, as it is an excellent way to share content.
12. Make your emails personal
This is an important tool for air events global, as we want all of our clients and freelancers to feel valued. Personally thank them for doing business with you and ask if there is anything that you can help them with. Making an email personal will help build a strong business relationship and is a great opportunity to ask for feedback and also for reviews about your business. This can be time-consuming, however many of our clients and freelancers have told us how much they appreciated the personalisation.
13. Focus heavily on building email lists
You only realise the power of a good email list when you have one at your disposal. Consider a medium that goes straight to someone’s inbox with the message you want and in exactly the format that you want it. Email is still my favourite one to one communication for air events global as it helps us with the following:
- Communicate with our users personally
- Allows our users to opt-in to various notifications
- Send out reminders and updates
- It lets our users know about upcoming events
- Keeps our users engaged with blogs and useful content
- Reaches our audience very quickly
We use Campaign Monitor for our email campaign, however there are some fantastic options available, such as Mail Chimp.
14. Get in front of as many people as possible through PR
There are numerous networks that pair reporters with sources and each day you receive a list of stories that journalists who use the service are working on. If there is a story that is relevant to you, you can submit a pitch directly to the journalist. Make sure you check that you have quotes that they can use in their story, your name and contact details are included and a link to your website and social media handles.
Some of the sites that we use are HARO (Help A Reporter Out), MyBlogU, PRNewswire, Source Bottle, Muck Rack, Media Kitty and Pitching Notes. You can DIY when it comes to PR, but there must be something that can WOW your readers and thus, be a reason for someone to write about.
15. Perfect your Customer Life Cycle
Understanding our customers and what they need is paramount in business. Talk to your customers and map each interaction (touch-point) that they have experienced with your brand. The best take away from this is finding out how you could improve their experience from one touch point to the next. I focus on how our users interact with our brand and how they make decisions and using various types of user feedback tools such as surveys and feedback forms is highly valuable. One user feedback tool that enables users to poll visitors with short surveys is Qualaroo and it appears at the bottom of the screen as a widget. It also has a feature that can allow you to create different rules about where and when the surveys are triggered and what questions will be asked. Some other tools to look into are Consumer Barometer, Poll Daddy, Web Engage and Kampyle.
16. Using Case Studies
The use of case studies is all part of telling a story and can be very effective in the eyes of your customers. A case study is a more developed version of the testimonial, however instead of using a quote from a customer, you tell the customer’s story. We like to begin with the customer’s problem and by including quotes, the benefits of using air events global and the successful end result weaved into a cohesive story, it is easy for other potential customers to see how they too can benefit by using our shared economy platform.
17. Build your own database
I set up Google Alerts for key phrases I know are related to my business and my target demographic. I then peruse all the suggested articles as they come in and if I find a piece that is relevant, I reach out to the author to get her/his contact info. I’ll email or tweet them asking if I can add them to our mailing list. Nine times out of ten, they say yes.
18. Guest Blogging
We have already established that getting quality traffic and creating brand influence are very important when it comes to growing your business and guest blogging can help. Buffer, the social media scheduling app managed to grow its customer base from 0 to 100,000 when co-founder Joel Gascoigne wrote approximately 150 guest posts over a short period of time. Blogging websites such as ShoutmeLoud, Outbrain and Hubspot often accept guest blog posts and can help get you the maximum exposure that you need.
19. Digital Analytics, Click Tracking, and Scroll Tracking
Numbers are an important metric to check the success of any campaign. And this is where the digital analytics, click tracking, and scroll tracking come in handy. Using these tracking techniques, you can optimise your marketing return on investments and content offerings among other things to improve overall business performance. Click Tracking allows you to know the number of times each link has been clicked by your subscribers. You can also track when specific elements on the page are scrolled into view. This analytical approach helps to position text and links in a manner so that they get optimum response. Google Analytics is a great option to track numbers for your business.
20. Our favourite Traffic Growth Tools
There are many traffic growth tools that can help you get involved in conversations, gain insight into your competitors and help identify which areas of your website that should be optimised to increase traffic and we have our favourite five: Colibri, MixRank, Pay with a Tweet, Click to Tweet and Twilighter.
And that’s a wrap…These are just some of the marketing growth tools that I use for air events global, however don’t be afraid to try new hacks. The name of the game is experimentation to see what works for you and your target audience. Growth is the destination and growth marketing strategies are the journey. Let the #hustle begin.
Connect with Victoria here.