Getting your marketing strategy right is a unique journey for every business. What works for one may not necessarily work so well for another as there are many variables at play including industry sector and type of business, yet there are steps that you can take that will help you quantify your goals and achievements in a way to add quality and direction to your strategy.
1. Decide what you want to achieve — set real and well-defined goals
Far too many businesses consider the methods in marketing before they even think about what their true goals are.
It should be your business goals that structure how, where and who you market to. ‘More haste less speed’ mentalities create a clumsy attitude of over-generalising instead of being specific with the absolute targets you should be setting at this stage.
Businesses are so consumed by information telling them to invest in and focus on the channels like: email marketing, social media marketing, outbound and inbound links marketing strategies, plus a hundred more, that it’s easy to forget what you need to achieve instead of running with the mechanics of how you’ll get your message out there.
Local SEO strategy agency, Ghost Marketing is one service provider saying their role is to help clients with their goals first and foremost and then refine the best strategies for each unique campaign. The mistake many SEO providers make is they don’t hone in on what outcomes clients want to achieve which are usually very specific.
So, step back, take a breath, put down your pen (or let go of that mouse) and think. Only you really know what your specific goals are so make sure you take the time to understand them before you start to think about how you should set about achieving them.
2. Create a strategy framework
It’s fantastic how much information, guidance and planning material is available for creating a defined marketing campaign. If you want to operate efficiently you should consider the mass of template journey worksheets.
Not to be sniffed at they can help you keep to a succinct plan and help you avoid forgetting important details, steps or facilities with prompts, lists, and setting steps to achieve goals.
There are so many simple questions and steps that can help any business make sensible strategic steps in the right direction. Here’s just one simple route to consider when building your strategy framework. Once you have a framework then you can consider the best methods to use to fulfil each of your own given steps.
Your framework should cover not so much the ‘how’ but the ‘what’ of your plan.
Don’t get wrapped up in which methods are your primary marketing avenues but which of them will suit your goals. Just because everyone’s screaming social media doesn’t mean it’s the right method for your goal. Figure out where your customers are and which method is your best option to talk to them.
Your customers need to know you exist before they can buy.
How are you going to create customer awareness? How will you engage with them? Once you’ve found where they hang out online how are you going to make conversations that will buy their trust, their confidence in you, and befriend you — to not just want but need your product?
How are you going to keep them informed and not lose hold of these new relationships?
Ok, so they know you exist now, and they want what you’re selling but to retain them as a regular buyer how are you going to make sure they don’t forget you or move on to the next want on their list?
Get subscriptions. Gather data. Make sure you don’t risk losing a customer by obtaining their email address, phone number, social media accounts and using them all to keep reminding them who you are, what you’re selling and how much they need it.
Take small steps to achieve bigger goals
If you’re expecting a reasonably large commitment or spend from your customer that they’re unsure of plunging into, try a slow build to that final conversion. Smaller spends are easier choices for buyers that will bolster the value and rewards of what you’re building up to. These smaller spends can be used as simple steps to draw your customers deeper into the relationship with your brand or product. You can build up to the big sale with constant reassurance and building of trust.
Create an air of excitement around your product
You’ve started developing your customer relationship so now’s the time to whip them up into a frenzy of want and move towards the real selling. Follow the small sales with freebies, offers or something they can feel excited about. Deepen your relationship with your new customers.
Become part of their life with (but not too many) regular reminders, not only that you’re still around, but that your products are something that will enhance their life.
Shower your clients with ideas of how they can use what you’re selling to make their life better, fuller, easier and more exciting. Be exciting. Everyone wants exciting. Nobody wants average.
Build on what you have
Once you’ve made your healthy sale don’t sit back and pat yourself on the back. Keep going. It takes more effort to reach new customers than to sell to your existing ones, so make a plan on how to keep selling now your new customer has bought from you.
What add-ons or extras can you attach to that original purchase? What compliments it? Where can they grow to now that they’ve started? And using the channels of communication and the relationship you’ve spent time building make sure to remind your new customer about all of these wonderful options and how easy it would be for them to own them too.
Now get them to do your selling for you
If your product is good then hopefully they’re going to do your marketing for you. Social media was born for viral advocating and promotion. Every day you see the giveaways and competitions of products and services. They’re incredibly affordable ways to reach the masses. At the most, they will only take your thought and your time. And if they didn’t work they wouldn’t be so popular.
3. Analyse your previous methods and assess your assets
If you’re taking your marketing seriously you’ll be gathering data about everything you do. Find those key performance indicators and use them. If a previous method has failed then find out where in the chain it broke down. If you can fix it then it’s worth trying again. At least you can measure the difference in effect from the last attempt.
If you haven’t been measuring your marketing data then consider joining forces with an Internet marketing company. They are specialists at measuring data from every angle and guiding you to the best strategies, methods and modes of practice to really dig into achieving your objectives.
Knowing where you are strong and where you’re not gives you opportunities to boost where you achieve the most and to strengthen where you’re not doing as well as you’d like. It’s only by constantly measuring the results of your efforts that you can streamline and strengthen your system.
4. Adapt your brand voice to your audience
People are psychologically drawn to others who are most like them. As pack animals they feel safest with their own type. This is an important lesson in marketing.
Customer confidence and brand acceptance plays a huge part in what customers want, buy and utilise. Every group has a uniform, idealism or voice. Do they wear Nike, Gucci, vintage, or don’t they care what they wear? Are they right wing, left, apathetic or angry? Become your customer’s ally and speak to them in their own language.
Talk to them in a way that they’ll feel as though they belong to your brand. Make relationships. Buy into customer confidence and brand family. Keep your customers on your hook.
5. Plan your options within your budget
Your budget isn’t solely about how much money you can afford to spend; it’s about people, time, skillsets, opportunities, events, promotions and more. Network. Communicate. Join online groups and talk about your product. Email everybody you know.
Budget doesn’t have to be about Google or Facebook ads, or mass email marketing. It can just as easily be about making relationships and letting them spread the word like a virus.
Decide what resources are available and how to use them to develop your strategy. If you do have money to spend then you need to identify its best use. If your main assets are your people then what are your team’s strongest assets? Who have you got available to drive your campaign forward and what are their skills?
6. Review, reassess, and repeat
Stage 3 was all about gathering data. Stage 6 is similar but this time you’re not assessing previous attempts to market, you’re considering this one; reaching the goals you set out to achieve. So how are you performing arriving at Stage 6?
Gather your data and measure whether or not you achieved your initial goals. If not? Why not? Where did you stumble? How can you fix it? Then fix it and try again. Eventually, when it works seamlessly you’ve gathered a premium method to use over and again, building on your successes and achievements.
But always remember, your strategy isn’t set in stone. Practice makes permanent, not perfect. Your strategy is a living thing, open to change, growth, modification and moulding. Keep it growing and becoming stronger until it’s unstoppable. By that time you’ll be garnering all the results you ever hoped for and more.