The past year (or three!) has felt like a whirlwind, and small businesses have hustled hard. But doing more isn’t always right for your business - or your sanity! We recently teamed up with soona and TheWMarketplace to kick off 2022 with a special Concrete Conversations: Less Is More webinar to help entrepreneurs focus on what really works and set up for success in the year ahead.
Check out the recap below for some key takeaways on killer content, sizzling social media, and optimized operations!
Things that go 'click': Content that works on social media and beyond
With so many products out there vying for attention across platforms, it can seem daunting to create standout product content for your brand. Not to worry! With a few tips and tricks courtesy of soona, a provider of high-quality photo shoots for ecommerce brands, you can generate click-to-cart magic, dazzle on social, and stay seasonally on-trend.
So, where do you start? Ask yourself a few key questions about your content:
- Is it telling a story?
- Does it inspire action?
- Does it represent your brand?
- Is it consistent across your platforms?
Knowing what content performs with your audience is key. You know your customers best, but we’ve seen a few common trends that work to help get you started:
- Human models: Help customers see how to use your product or how it fits in their lifestyle. Don’t worry if you don’t have pro models - use your team or lean on friends and family to add a human element to your brand.
- Behind the scenes: Everyone loves a satisfying ending or a good reveal! Just remember to stick to short storylines.
- Animals: Stats don’t lie, people love animals doing cute things! Photos and videos with pets often generate higher engagement rates, so feature animals in behind-the-scenes shots, interacting with humans, or tied tastefully to current events.
- Tutorials: Let your customers create the content for you! Beyond driving engagement, the content options are endless - YouTube long-form video, quick clips for organic and paid social, quotes, affiliate opportunities, and more.
For more tips on content, check out the full webinar. And If you’re looking to amp up your product photos or videos (with hand or pet models in tow!), check out soona’s virtual content creation platform, which lets you create custom professional photos, videos and GIFs for your e-commerce store and marketing channels.
Paid Social & Organic: Tips for maximizing your efforts
Now that you’ve got beautiful product content, it’s time to get it out into the world. Social media is king when it comes to building awareness and driving traffic to your brand. And it doesn’t take a miracle to stand out on Instagram! Read on for must-do’s to set up for success with your brand profile.
Optimize your profile
- Keep your bio short and sweet and use bullet points or quick sentences to keep eye engaged.
- Use tools like Linktree of LinkFolio to let people connect to your content. Match your link order to the chronology of your posts.
- Tag your products and services and make sure your catalogue is integrated with Facebook (or manually added), so it can auto-populate and auto-update on Instagram.
Plan your content
- A content calendar is a must! Use free templates like this one from HubSpot.
- Plan out content ahead of time to stay on top of holidays, programming, sales, etc.
- Use a scheduling platform to help save you time and energy:; HootSuite, Sprout Social and Social Studio are some examples.
- Use the content tips we shared above to keep it engaging and on-trend
Build awareness and engagement
- Build partnerships with other brands to like and share each other’s content
- Run giveaways for customers or prospects
- Source speaking opportunities
For more insights including how to adapt to iOS updates, watch the full webinar. Want to learn more about TheWMarketplace? It’s the only online platform where you can shop products and professional services from women-owned businesses so women entrepreneurs can start, pivot, or grow their online business in a supportive community with favorable selling terms.
Expanding out of “At Home” Fulfillment: How to Evaluate your Options
With your content and social channels firing, those sales are going to be rolling in! If you’re bootstrapping your business, your logistics operation (aka fulfilling orders in your kitchen!) may start to feel some serious strain.
How do you know when it’s time to scale up and out? If you have more orders to process than time in the day, need to make multiple trips to the post office, or can’t fit your inventory in your space, it might be time to expand.
You’re likely to consider two main options for your logistics - running your own warehouse and shipping OR outsourcing to a third-party logistics (3PL) partner.
Here’s everything you need to compare these options so you can make the choice that’s best for your business.
- Consider the pros & cons: Running your own warehouse gives you flexibility and control, but comes with managing your own labor. A 3PL saves you time but likely comes at a higher cost.
- Look at all the costs: Build a quick cost-per-order comparison to see how running a warehouse vs. outsourcing stacks up. Don’t forget to consider the value of your time and what else you could do with it if you were not not managing your own fulfillment.
- Ask the tough questions: Before you commit to a 3PL, make sure you understand the ins-and-outs of their services and pricing. We’ve got you covered with our 3PL checklist.
- Remember that you have options: This isn’t a zero-sum game. If you’re not ready to give up all control, consider a 3PL for only some SKUs (like your higher volume or more regional ones) and run your own fulfillment for others. You can find a partner that will work with you!
Head over to the full video for more tips and a full breakdown of costs. And if you want to learn more about 3PL fulfillment, Saltbox is here to help. Our platform is built for growing businesses and their unique needs, with workspace and logistics solutions specially designed to help you launch, grow, and scale.
Saltbox makes the hardest parts of running an e-commerce business simple. With our purpose-built network of flexible warehouses in major metropolitan areas across the country, we are powering the ecommerce economy and the next generation of entrepreneurs by democratizing access to essential operations and logistics infrastructure. From flexible and smartly designed warehouse and office suites to on-demand services like our Elastic Workforce, Fulfillment, and even photography studios Saltbox solves some of the most critical challenges ecommerce entrepreneurs face when starting, growing, and scaling their businesses. Check out some of our Member Stories and book a tour at your local Saltbox today!