So far, we’ve talked about choosing the perfect domain name for your business, what to look for when designing a logo and the latest trends when it comes to website design. However, it’s not enough simply to create the perfect look and branding for your business. You also have to get your name out there and in front of people who may be interested in buying from you.
This is where marketing your business becomes important.
When it comes to getting the word out, businesses often leap first into deciding the platform they want to market their business on. For example, they might decide to try their hand and social media advertising or taking out an ad in the local paper. However, in their haste to advertise their brand, there are several key questions and steps that they overlook. The result is a marketing campaign that does not reach their intended audience or promote the ideal message to that audience.
This is our top six marketing tips. Considering these tips before launching your marketing campaign will help you better determine exactly where your money and resources are best spent in order to reach the right people with the right message.
1. Define and KNOW your brand
Before your do anything else, first take some time to think about what it is you provide for your customers.
- How do your products or services solve a problem or fill a need for them?
- What does your business stand for?
- What are you promising – what can you deliver?
- What are your unique points of difference from other businesses offering the same products or services?
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about this from their perspective. Understand who they are and what makes them tick.
- Know what your “Pitch” is – make sure it is short, succinct, interesting and memorable.
- Make sure all your staff understand your ‘brand’ and can speak comfortably and confidently about it.
- Do you believe in the product and service you provide?
- Why are you doing it – from your customer’s perspective?
Remember: “People don’t buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it” – Simon Sinek
2. Create a long term marketing plan
Have you ever heard the saying, “A goal without a plan is just a wish” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
Once you know what you want to achieve from your marketing campaign, it is important to sit down and map out how you will reach that goal. This is a great way to start every year – sit down and map out a marketing plan for the year ahead. Review this plan every few months to see whether any of your goals or expectations has changed since first creating your marketing plan.
Each month, think of a very specific target market and one product/service and plan your campaign around that – find the right message, then use whatever advertising mediums you can to send that message.
To help with this, we’ve created a Marketing Strategy Worksheet to help our clients (and ourselves!) work through this process. Walking through this worksheet helps us define our brand, identify our goals and determine what sets our business apart from our competitors. We can then use this information to work on our quarterly plan.
To help, we’d love to share our worksheets with you:
It is useful to return to the Marketing Strategy Worksheet once every three months. It’s amazing how quickly things can change!
3. Be Focused
When planning a marketing campaign, focus on EITHER getting more sales of your current products/services, OR providing more products for your current customers
– but not both at once….. that takes way more effort and is more likely to fail.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
4. Determine how you will measure your success
As you prepare your marketing plan and individual campaigns think about how you are going to measure how effective it has been. Otherwise – why bother???
- Add a call to action – contact us before a certain date…, first 3 people to ring….
- Use this code or show this voucher to “get free garlic bread with every pizza.”
- If your campaign has been for a specific product, take notice of whether you get a boost in sales for that product.
- Check your likes on Facebook or measure website stats to a certain landing page.
- Always ask new customers “how did you hear about us?’
You get the idea! – think of creative ways to measure the success of your advertising so you can learn what works best ….. then tweak and repeat it!
5. Your customer database is gold!
If you don’t have one already then get it started now. Make sure you start collecting contact details of all your customers and potential customers – email, phone and maybe postal. That all depends on how you want to communicate with them.
Think of ways to grow your database such as competitions, opt-in campaigns, subscription for newsletters, polls or questionnaires, offer freebies. Whatever you think will work for your target market.
And make sure you don’t bombard them too much, but keep in touch. And make it super easy for them to unsubscribe. That’s only fair.
6. Do what you do best!
The last tip is to not be afraid to get some help. Running a business is hard work and your most limited resource may be time. Use your time to do what you do best and delegate your marketing to experienced people.
Understand that marketing is not advertising. Adverts and websites are not the only ways to attract more business. There are many ways to promote your business and a specialist can help you find affordable ways to do it.