When you set out to start a new business, it is completely normal that you would write a business plan first so that you know the direction that you are heading in.
Sure, there will be pitfalls along the way and you may make abrupt changes to your strategy, but at least you know what you are trying to achieve. Well, when it comes to a marketing strategy exactly the same applies. It is paramount that you have a clear marketing goal otherwise you will not know where the endpoint is and what you are actually trying to accomplish. For first-time business novices, it can be difficult to know where to start with marketing so here you will find a guide to the key elements needed in order to have a successful marketing strategy.
Define Your Goals
It really is surprising how many businesses set out on a marketing campaign without knowing what their aims are. Why would you do this, as you will have no reference point for success? You need to ask yourself some key questions regarding the benefits you will gain from your strategy and how you can quantify those benefits. The reason for investing in marketing should immediately be clear and if it isn’t you need to ask yourself why. Once you understand what you are trying to achieve you can then put your ideas into practice and can develop your marketing plan accordingly. It is also important that you periodically review your goals otherwise it can become easy to get bogged down and you won’t be able to see the wood for the trees. Clarity of thought and mind is key if you want to enjoy a successful strategy.
Who Is Your Audience?
Again, this is often overlooked, but you must know who your audience is before you start marketing in earnest. If you are selling off-road mountain bikes, then what is the point in targeting a group for new mothers, as they are not going to be interested in your product? You need to analyze the demographics of the people that you are currently selling to and build up a profile of the sort of people that they are. You can then use these profiles to start targeting specific demographics of the community safe in the knowledge that they are actually going to be interested in your product. You will begin to understand what sort of media they engage with and can then use it accordingly, i.e. the different social media platforms, or traditional print advertising. Once you know your audience it is far easier to target them efficiently and then you will see the benefits of your strategy.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is often forgotten by new businesses, mainly because they don’t understand it, but if you want to have an efficient marketing strategy then your website must be optimized for search purposes. What you are trying to do is use keywords and backlinks for SEO so that new customers automatically find your company through your high search engine ranking by the likes of Google. Your page content needs to be optimized and you need to use the available technology so that it loads quickly and that it is secure, as both of these things are used by search engines to determine rankings. It may not seem like a traditional marketing strategy, but the more people you can reach just by using optimization the more money you will save and the increased traffic you will receive.
It is important for any marketing strategy that you are engaging with your audience. This means that you need to be using tools such as social media, guest blogging, and forums, and groups. You need to be constantly updating your content so that you appear to be an authority in your field, which will turn heads and lead to more sales. Write blog posts on your own website, but also try and have these posted on related pages so that you can reach more people. Write thoughtful and informative posts on your own social media, you don’t always have to be plugging your product, you just need to be writing about your sector or field.
As we have discovered launching a successful marketing campaign isn’t easy but if you follow a few key ideas you can quickly become successful. Use SEO to drive more traffic and engage with your audience at every opportunity. Ensure that you know who you are going to target at the outset, and for goodness sake know your goals at the outset or you will have nothing to aim for and a mixed-up strategy.