A love for locally-sourced products and experience in digital marketing made Christine Melaas an easy choice when deciding who to interview first when we re-launched the Fifteen Marketing Q&A Social Series.
Christine Melaas is the owner of Basket Case, a family-run business bringing unique products and experiences of Galena, IL – a Midwest vacation destination – to her customers’ doorstep. In addition to her love of sharing local flavor, she is also a digital marketing expert who spent years of her career dedicated to the field.
Q: What’s one thing about marketing your business that you wish you discovered sooner?
A: The importance of email marketing. As a social media strategist and former director of a social media agency, I put a lot of emphasis on my social media content and advertising. It wasn’t until a few months after launching Basket Case that I discovered the impact of email marketing to my subscribers.
When we have an email list of subscribers, those are people already interested in your business. I've come to know that there is a specific timeline to follow when announcing a promotion, launching a new basket, or sharing a new product we are selling. I have a 98% success rate when it comes to sending an email to drive sales and acquiring a new sale. Not only have I learned the importance of initial emails, but following a marketing funnel of follow-up emails, thank you's and offering incentives to subscribers and those who have made a purchase.
Q: What marketing advice would you give to someone starting a new business?
A: When I was the director of Fourge Social for 6.5 years, one piece of advice I told clients was don't do everything just to be there. I still stand by this especially for someone starting a new business.
First and foremost, take the time in the beginning to create a marketing strategy. Yes, it will be time-consuming and it will change over time, but it is so important to lay the groundwork of establishing who the key players will be in creating, publishing, and monitoring content.
How will you measure success?
Who is your target audience?
Where do they engage in a meaningful way that will help your business?
There are so many questions to answer, and you will have to try many tactics before you figure them out. If you try to be on every social media platform and be everything to everyone, you will not represent your brand fully to the audience you want the most. Figure out who you believe your target audience (customer) is and research the social media platform that this demographic most belongs to.
From there, create a social media and content strategy to promote your brand to them. Use social listening tools to measure top content, reviews, and see what people are saying on your posts. Listen, learn, and adjust as needed. Once you feel like you've gotten to a point where you can invest time into a new platform and have the resources to do so, you can begin to scale your social media marketing.
Our key takeaways.
… on social media not being the right channel for every business.
Some businesses put a lot of effort into social media marketing because of its popularity and ease of use, though it may not be the best channel for their strategy. If you’re unsure if your social media marketing is working well or if there’s a channel to reach your goals faster, start by looking at your business goals and where your clients are coming from, then start to evaluate how social media should be prioritized in your overall marketing strategy.
… on new businesses making time for marketing strategy.
New business owners, and existing businesses ready for growth, must be intentional about their marketing. Always, ALWAYS start with a marketing strategy! If you don’t know how to create one, we’re here to help.
Thank you to Christine for sharing her time and expertise. Please be sure to visit Basket Case to learn about the unique, locally-sourced gift ideas she offers.