I have been overwhelmed with gratitude lately in our reflection and goal setting processes.
We’ve made it to the end of the year and:
- Our community is incredible
- The Pullman Marketing team has grown
- We are serving more clients than ever before
- I’ve been able to spend so much time with my family and watch my three-year old grow up more
That being said, we’ve learned a lot and wanted to share a bit about our process, progress, and parsing (its a geek thing).
1. Diverse Traffic Streams Are Just As Good As Diverse Portfolios
We’ve always heard from our financial advisors to make sure you have a diverse portfolio just in case one part of the market shifts then you are covered.
We are absolutely recommending the same in terms of your traffic sources for your website, brick and mortar and lead generation.
Social Media has been a hot topic this year and we’ve seen many changes over the years, but we have seen more reactive changes in the platforms than ever before. This year we saw:
- Twitter shadow-ban non-political accounts and stop non-political ad accounts (we saw it on client accounts)
- Facebook change their entire interface
- Instagram shut off features during election
- Facebook and Apple arguing and impacting ads
- Section 230 under review from the government
- The Current Omnibus threatens to make “streamed” content without permission a felony (we’re watching this as it unfolds since it impacts commentary videos)
- And Much Much More…
If your business is relying exclusively on one platform, we would recommend making sure to have at least three platforms to keep your audience. Our biggest recommendation would be to maximize your audience into email marketing.
To this day, email marketing is the #1 way to keep, secure and ensure that you own your audience’s data and are not sharing it with other platforms that are volatile and may shut down your business.
We would even extend this to your eCommerce platform as well. In 2019 we saw Amazon and Apple cut a deal that eliminated hundreds of sellers from the Amazon store, which was many people’s exclusive livelihood and hard work to do well inside of the platform.
Ensuring that your marketing strategy has diversified outlets has become a non-negotiable for us to provide the best services for our clients and has been a huge lesson learned and reinforced in 2020.
Content on the LinkedIn feed receives about 9 billion impressions per week, but only 3 million users (out of the more than 700 million) share content on a weekly basis. This means that only about 1% of LinkedIn’s 260 million monthly users share posts, and those 3 million or so users net the 9 billion impressions.
LinkedIn is a powerhouse and in our experience has made our content’s lifespan 3 weeks long, instead of the 1-2 days on Instagram.
3. 401Ks Are Really Easy To Setup and Have Some Great Side Benefits
Employee retention is always a big issue for growing companies. We’ve even struggled with attracting quality workers in the first place who would rather work in bigger markets. Which is 100% legitimate and we worked to solve that for our company this year.
But that being said, we got ours setup in less than a week, at a nominal cost, and qualified for federal tax credits.
but the buy-in doesn’t only come from the employee, but also from key stakeholders.
Employees usually have many stakeholders for their personal and professional lives. Spouses, children, significant others, friends, and parents. When your employee’s stakeholders validate that the employee has a “real job,” it removes post-decision dissonance, improves employee morale and employee loyalty (retention).
4. eBay is my best friend, especially when we need to take photos of socks
I really like buying from eBay because it is much more of a direct transaction with sellers and other small businesses. We’ve also bootstrapped our business and sometimes that requires us to purchase used equipment.
To illustrate this, we purchased this year:
- Audio Interfaces
- DSLRs for webcams
- Computer Upgrades
- DJI Osmo for smooth videos
- and Vintage Plaster Fiberglass Shoe/Sock Mannequin Feet
One of our favorite clients we have been able to work with this year has been BeedleBug.com who makes adaptive clothing socks that come with a hole on the side to assist the wearer to pull them up. WHICH IS SO COOL!
And to create product photography, we needed mannequin feet. Which I never thought I would be Googling the internet trying to find “the best mannequin feet for product photos” and then having to deal with my friends asking why Facebook was giving me mannequin ads. But eBay pulled through for us with “Sock Display” fiberglass mannequin feet from a former JCPenney store. Where else could I find such a treasure that could fit (pun intended) our client’s needs and with two-day shipping?
5. Always Be Refining
From the Yelp Economic Report, they noted
As of June 15, there were nearly 140,000 total business closures on Yelp since March 1. Of all business closures on Yelp since March 1, 41% are permanent closures.
And we are finding that businesses that pivoted, refined, and held a company culture of constant improvement – are thriving inside of 2020.
I can’t say we were perfect in this. But I do want to provide a small anecdote for our business.
In January, I was talking with our team and really wanted to develop our video studio space. We needed a more solid background, lighting, streaming equipment, etc.
And the team asked the best question: “Why?”
To be honest, at the time… I didn’t know.
I just wanted to refine what we had, to make things look better and provide a space for our clients to make better videos. None of our clients had asked for it either, but I wanted something better, something refined.
Since January, several of our clients have continued to use the space for product reviews on YouTube, webinars, online course creation, promotional videos, and countless other types of visual content. I could have never anticipated how important video creation would be in 2020. We’ve helped feature major brands like ViewSonic, Eufy, Anker, and TurtleBeach. At the end of the day, we’re continuing to improve all of our spaces and provide the best services we can to our national and local clients.
Looking at 2021
I am looking forward to 2021 as a whole, but looking at 2020 and the lessons learned, I am once again grateful for my team, community and clients who honor us with the privilege of serving their businesses.