Welcome to Breaking the Blueprint — a new blog series that dives into the unique business challenges and opportunities of Black business owners and entrepreneurs. Learn how they’ve grown or scaled their businesses, explored entrepreneurial ventures within their companies, or created side hustles, and how their stories can inspire and inform your own success.
Over the last year and a half, entrepreneurs have had to revamp their marketing strategies to navigate doing business during a pandemic. This shift hasn’t been easy, especially for Black business owners. According to an H&R Block study, more than half of Black-owned small businesses experienced at least a 50% decrease in revenue during the pandemic.
As a Black woman who launched two businesses in the last year and a half, I’ve had to revisit my marketing strategy to avoid this dip in revenue. My goal was to pay close attention to who my audience is, keep track of performance metrics, and create engaging content without wasting time or money. The key was to use marketing tools that make our company more strategy-focused and data-driven.
If you have a small team, you don’t always have to hire more people to maximize results — you can invest in tools and systems to streamline your marketing strategies. Read on to discover seven high-quality tools that are user-friendly, cost-effective, and able to help you succeed.
If your marketing strategy is on point, you’ll have leads flowing in with ease. Keeping track of those leads can tell you what converted them to a buyer — this is key for knowing what’s working in your marketing strategy.
Our team uses HubSpot’s CRM tool to keep track of conversions, and when revisiting our marketing strategy, we look at two essential items:
How did the lead hear about us
What services/products are they interested in
Your marketing strategy should include a clear overview of your buyer’s journey, from awareness to decision making. HubSpot’s Deal Stages dashboard houses this important data. That way, you can keep track of each stage, and better nurture leads with relevant content.
For those who are less email marketing savvy, Mailerlite’s academy program will walk you through its core functions so you can start building email campaigns within a few days’ time. Because of the free plan, this is one of the most cost-friendly options for all of its features.
Price: Free for three social channels - $10/mo per social channel for unlimited channels
Buffer is an all-in-one social media tool that my team uses to manage 12 different accounts. The dashboard is incredibly user-friendly, and it is easy to schedule (as shown in the image below), review, and publish content without having to change pages or switch accounts.
No matter the size of your business, tracking website analytics is essential for company success. There’s a reason why many companies use Google Analytics to track customer data — it’s easy to understand, even if you aren’t very familiar with metrics.
Here’s how my team uses Google Analytics to drive our marketing strategy:
We can see which pages lead to conversions and turn people away, which allows us to make effective changes.
We can see audience demographics, which gives us a better understanding of who our clients and customers are, where they live, and how they engage with content.
We can better plan for future marketing campaigns and set attainable goals because we have clear data to reference.
Once a simple software for quick, text-based graphics, Canva has become a full-fledged design suite. My team uses Canva to create content for social posts, presentation decks, flyers, proposals, and more — for only $13 a month.
Effective communication and project management are crucial for running two companies with multiple team members. Asana has made it incredibly easy for me to outline marketing campaigns, assign tasks to responsible individuals, monitor due dates, and link files to specific projects.
Spending endless hours creating content isn’t worth it if your target audiences won’t see it — Moz Pro helps ensure that this won’t happen. Use the tool to serve content to your audiences and rank higher in search results, drive traffic to your website, and monitor SEO campaigns, all of which are essential to growing your business and increasing visibility.
Here are the key benefits of Moz Pro:
Keyword ranking and search visibility score to see what your audience is searching for.
Link research to increase the number of high-quality links pointing to your website.
Technical site audits to make sure technical SEO issues don’t go unnoticed.
SEO insights and reporting so you can use data-driven insights when strategizing for multimedia content.
Moz also has tons of resource guides to help you understand link metrics and analytics altogether.
As Black business owners, it’s essential to have tools and systems that streamline your marketing processes while also supporting your business growth and team growth.
Remember, you don’t need to be an expert in every area of your business. Take advantage of the resources that have already been created by the experts so you can focus on what you do best – building amazing products and services that people love.
Originally published Nov 8, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated August 12 2022