Santa Clarita Marketing Experts Weigh In: Top 2020 Strategies For Growth

Kirsten Quinn Visual branding, Visual Marketing

We talked to three Santa Clarita marketing experts to find out the top strategies for growth in 2020. Here’s what they said about achieving success in your local market. 

With all the marketing advice that’s out there, it can be hard to figure out what’s right for your business — in your market. 

How do we adapt some of the most talked-about marketing strategies to be successful on a local, small business level? 

That’s why we asked some of the top Santa Clarita marketing experts to share their three best strategies for small business growth in 2020

Here’s what they said. 

Santa Clarita Marketing Experts Share Their Top 3 Growth Strategies

Ask Amanda Consulting: Small Business Growth

Santa Clarita marketing experts, Santa Clarita marketing expert, Santa Clarita marketing, local marketing, small business marketing, Santa Clarita content creator, Santa Clarita photographer, Santa Clarita photography, Santa Clarita video, Santa Clarita business videoWhile you may notice Amanda first by her infectious laugh and second by her strawberry hair, the next thing you’ll know is: she can solve your problem. Amanda Benson-Tilch, owner of AskAmanda Consulting, is first and foremost a problem-solver. She offers the skills, tools and network it takes to get the job done — no matter the task. From consulting to full-scale project management, Amanda steps in to help you level up.

Here are three tips from one of our top Santa Clarita marketing experts. 

1. Invest in content marketing. 

The number one thing any small business can do to grow in 2020 is more, more, more content! People seem to think content is limited to blogs, but it can include video, podcasts, photography, social media posts, webinars, online courses, downloadable guides, etc. Start by developing a plan, and then produce as much diverse content as you can. And I strongly recommend hiring the right team of professionals to help you plan, create and promote your content.  

2. Invest in social media ads. 

Everyone has a cell phone today, and everyone is on it pretty much all the time. That means you have a captive audience in the digital space, and that’s also why I recommend social media advertising for small business growth. Work with a graphic designer to build out a deck of ads that targets your main promotions. Make sure your visuals are professional and your messaging is on point. Then work with a qualified digital marketer to create hyper-targeted audiences within your Facebook ad campaign. For example, at Burbank Fitness Club, a yoga ad would go out to a different audience than a weight-lifting ad. 

3. Develop influencer marketing relationships. 

Influencer marketing may seem like a strategy that’s reserved for corporate companies with extensive marketing budgets, but it can actually be a really effective strategy for small businesses, when adapted appropriately. First, find the right influencers for your brand. For example, if you’re a financial firm trying to grow your retirement client base, find people who are well respected and connected in the 50+ age group of your community. Offer them a free consultation, and ask if you can shoot video or photography during the process. Once the consultation is complete, send your influencer the photos and/or video, along with the platforms and hashtags you want them to use. You can even set up an agreement in the beginning to formalize this process and outline what you want in return. 

Action Step: Assemble Your Team

What can people start doing today? Assemble a team of professionals who can help you put these strategies into action. Your team could include a qualified digital marketer, photographer, videographer, graphic designer, copywriter, social media manager and more. And remember, a qualified professional should be able to guide you through these strategies — not just help you execute them. 

“Influencer marketing may seem like a strategy that’s reserved for corporate companies with extensive marketing budgets, but it can be really effective for small businesses, when adapted appropriately.” — Amanda Benson-Tilch, Santa Clarita Marketing Expert 

QM Design Group: Branding & Design

Santa Clarita marketing experts, Santa Clarita marketing expert, Santa Clarita marketing, local marketing, small business marketing, Santa Clarita content creator, Santa Clarita photographer, Santa Clarita photography, Santa Clarita video, Santa Clarita business videoHillary Broadwater, President/Creative Director, turned a passion for art into an award-winning graphic design firm with the establishment of QM Design Group. Hillary’s background includes a Bachelor of Arts from Art Center College of Design. During her 10 years as Art Director for AIMS Multimedia, Hillary revitalized a classic brand — thoroughly updating the look and feel of the company’s marketing collateral. Hillary went on to design for Discovery Education, a division of the Discovery Channel. Considered by her peers as one of the nation’s top graphic designers, Hillary’s objective is to assist clients in establishing a strong “visual voice” for their organizations. 

Here are three tips from one of our top Santa Clarita marketing experts. 

1. Establish a clear visual identity.

There are so many touch points of branding — from the way you answer the phone to your marketing materials — and the goal is to make them all cohesive and aligned. For most businesses, the first and most important branding task is to establish your visual identity, which speaks for your company when you’re not there to speak for yourself. The foundational pieces of a visual identity include your logo, business card, website and social media graphics. Collectively, these pieces should help tell the story of your brand and make it super memorable. When done well, your visual identity differentiates your brand from the competition.

2. Map it out with a style guide. 

Once you establish the foundation of your visual identity, it’s extremely important to create a Brand Style Guide, which maps out the various elements of your brand. For example, a good designer will create your brand in layers of information, from your fonts to your color codes to your images. Your Style Guide includes all that information, so you and your team have strict guidelines that keep your visual identity consistent across all types of content and platforms. My best advice is to adhere to that Style Guide at all times and never deviate. 

3. Protect the consistency of your brand.

Not all businesses can hire a designer for every piece of content; however, that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice consistency. For example, work with your designer to create templates for your social media content that your team can use in the long term. Your social media manager shouldn’t be using Canva if the point of your visual content is to differentiate you. Instead, work with your designer to create templates for any visual content you’re creating on a consistent basis. There are so many places to be seen today that consistency has become even more important. 

Action Step: Conduct A Brand Assessment 

The best way to rein in your brand and move toward consistency is to start with a self-assessment. Gather all of your marketing materials. Print out screenshots of your website, social media graphics and other digital materials. Get every piece of branding you can think of, then lay it all out in front of you. Note all inconsistencies. Then brainstorm 10 words that represent your visual brand (i.e. clean, airy, modern). Decide which pieces need revision and which pieces are already properly branded. Now you have more insight into what needs to be corrected. 

Not all businesses can hire a designer for every piece of content; however, that doesn’t mean you can sacrifice consistency.” — Hillary Broadwater, Santa Clarita Marketing Expert 

Stark Social Media Agency: Social Media Strategy

Santa Clarita marketing experts, Santa Clarita marketing expert, Santa Clarita marketing, local marketing, small business marketing, Santa Clarita content creator, Santa Clarita photographer, Santa Clarita photography, Santa Clarita video, Santa Clarita business videoStark Social Media Agency was crafted by it’s co-founders, Deanna Miller and Nathan Imhoff, who recognized a universal issue amongst small businesses, nonprofits and start-ups — and were determined to provide a solution. Marketing and branding are an integral portion of ensuring that your business, and it’s service offerings, make it in front of the appropriate audience. An enormous part of that is social media, a solid brand portfolio, a killer website and digital marketing. Stark Social Media Agency makes that happen for clients every single day. That’s why we asked Partner and Marketing Director Deanna Miller to weigh in on the top social media strategies small businesses need to adopt in 2020. 

Here are three tips from one of our top Santa Clarita marketing experts. 

1. Use a content calendar to plan your posts.

Developing a consistent presence on social media is an absolute must in 2020, and the first step is to create a solid plan for posting varied content on a regular basis. Start by creating a content calendar for the week, which allows you to plan but maintain flexibility. Then schedule out your ideas in advance to help you plan what you’ll post and promote. Aim for a good variety.

2. Build relationships within your social community. 

Next, focus on building and nurturing your following by creating strong relationships. When you get new followers, message them to create engagement and connection right off the bat. Nurture your relationships with existing followers by writing out thoughtful comments — a simple Like or emoji won’t cut it here. Instagram and Facebook use their algorithms to deliver user-generated content (comments, posts, etc., from your audience) to those who “participate” in the community. The more you participate the better!

3. Get to know your audience for maximum reach. 

Now it’s time to maximize your reach. This requires a deep understanding of your followers’ habits. For example, when are they most active? Make sure to post during these time slots to get the widest reach from each post. Both Facebook and Instagram deliver content according to an algorithm, which can be taught to deliver your content when you post at peak times and use solid keyword-based posts. 

Action Step: Begin Participating 

Start by simply showing up on social media and engaging in a meaningful way. On Instagram and Facebook, write longer, more valuable captions to increase the time your audience spends reading your posts. On Instagram specifically, the goal is to get your audience to click “[… more]” — which shows up on the second line of your caption when you write longer captions. More read time equals better algorithm placement for everyone!

“Instagram and Facebook use their algorithms to deliver user-generated content to those who participate in the community. The more you participate the better!” — Deanna Miller, Santa Clarita Marketing Expert

About SchlickArt Photography and Video: Your Santa Clarita Marketing Experts 

Your Santa Clarita marketing experts, SchlickArt, a boutique photo and video studio in Santa Clarita, started in March 2012 with the simple idea that empowerment creates a kind of beauty and authenticity that shines through every camera lens. Built on a philosophy — rather than a product, service or person — SchlickArt has rapidly evolved, meeting professional portraiture, business photo and business video needs as diverse as the community we capture. It’s the desire to take care of you, the client, that drives us at SchlickArt.