Been there, done that: coming up with a marketing strategy that is effective can be so overwhelming! But before you start pulling out your hair over it, let me share with you some key elements of a marketing strategy and how to make it work for your business.
As a marketing consultant, I am always helping entrepreneurs and bloggers create strategies to help them to market their content, products, and services. I spent years studying marketing and working as a marketing advisor for a few years before I decided to leave my job to stay home.
I worked as a digital marketing executive for my local newspaper before I began working on my own business. I worked with business clients creating marketing campaigns to expand their audience and increase their sales. It’s because of that position that I was able to learn what it takes to market your business online successfully and now able to help bloggers and entrepreneurs do that very thing.
But things change every year and so has the way I now think of marketing.
It is important for every business owner to have a marketing strategy, as important as it is to have a business plan. This is how you are going to attract buyers. Whether you are promoting affiliate products, your own products, or just you, your marketing strategy is your foundation.
A marketing strategy is basically your game plan on how you will reach customers and clients and develop long-term relationships with them (build your community).
Marketing is broken down into categories, such as content marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, affinity marketing, network marketing and event marketing. For this post, we will focus on content, social media, and digital marketing.
Digital marketing is everything you do in the online space to market your business from ads to emails.
Content marketing is the act of creating content to target a specific audience. I had the opportunity to chat with Latoya Torrence of Endear Content recently on the podcast and she shared proven strategies to utilize content marketing effectively.
Social media marketing is the utilization of social media platforms to promote a product or service.
Now that you have a clear understanding of various marketing methods, let’s discuss how to apply it to your business by using a marketing strategy.
Define Your Goals
Before beginning the process of creating your marketing strategy, you need to pinpoint what your marketing goals are and what you want to lead your audience to once you’ve gotten their attention.
For example, many of my marketing efforts are to lead to my services or my courses. My goals are to obtain 5 clients a month and to sell 50 seats in my course at each launch.
Once you know your goals, you can begin working to build your marketing strategy.
Note: If you have different goals such as I do, create different strategies for each goal.
Find Your People
Marketing in 2018 is so different than marketing in 2009. I’m still learning the trends of today, but one thing is pretty consistent right now and that is people. I know in the world of business it can be hard to remember that bottom line, everything you do is for your people, your tribe, your community.
In order for you to reach your people, you need to know where to find them.
Knowing where to find your people is vital.
There are two types of marketing avenues to help you determine where you should be focusing your efforts: visual and data. Your strategy should be a mix of both with more emphasis on what will resonate most with your audience. Once you’ve determined if your business is either visual or data-based, you can start to not only find your people but understand them and providing what they need.
How to Use Marketing For Your Business
As mentioned earlier, we will be focusing on content, social media, and digital marketing. All of these work together in the online space. Content marketing is pretty much the umbrella for marketing. Everything we as entrepreneurs create is foundationally content but how we use it is what makes it marketing.
No matter if you provide a service, offer a product, or promote products that aren’t your own, your blog is utilized as content marketing. You are using this piece of content to market or promote your service or product. If your goal is to sell your catering services, your blog should highlight your expertise in catering and preparing catering-style experiences. Even this blog post you are reading is a part of my content marketing strategy to highlight my marketing consulting expertise to bring on new clients. Your content should move people to be aware of what you are an expert in and hopefully get them to sign up for your mailing list or buy from you.
You can use platforms such as Medium, Quora, YouTube, social media or a podcast to create epic content to drive your audience to create connections with you and buy from you. There are many content creators who don’t blog but only have a podcast or a YouTube channel to promote their brand. That is why knowing your people is so important so you are able to reach them in the way that works. You don’t have to do it all. Find your lane and be great at it.
Your digital marketing efforts include anything you do online. Whenever you send out an email, comment on a blog post leaving your website link, share your pin on Pinterest or pay to utilize Google Adwords, you are using digital marketing.
Digital marketing is evolving almost daily and companies and businesses are finding more and more ways to reach people. With changes like the Facebook algorithm which is definitely geared towards to users and not businesses and the Google Chrome ad blocker, we have to be more strategic in the way we go about utilizing digital marketing to reach our audiences.
Social Media Marketing
There are millions of experts in social media marketing nowadays though it takes more than surface-level knowledge to know how to benefit from using social media to grow your business. With algorithm changes happening so often, it can hard to keep up with social media for your business but it is necessary.
Nearly 200 million people in the U.S. alone, use social media. There is no reason a business would not want to be using social media. No matter how scary it seems or how technical it is, it is necessary. People spend more time on their phones than working an actual job. You want to be where they can find you, especially if you have an online business.
Earlier, I mentioned visual versus data-based marketing. This applies here as well. Your visual audience will likely be looking for businesses like your on Instagram or Pinterest. The data-based audience will more likely be on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Knowing this will allow you to be spending time and effort on the right social media platforms.
Craft Your Marketing Strategy
Starting with your goals, you are now able to craft a solid marketing strategy for your business.
If you want to sell a product, who is that product designed for? What are their problems and needs? Where do you need to connect with them? These are some of the questions that you can begin answering before determining what the logistics are of your marketing strategy.
Some key factors are how to drive traffic, where will you be driving traffic to, and what tools or platforms will you use to drive that traffic.
Take a look at this Trello board to help create a visual of a basic marketing strategy for a challenge.
Your marketing strategy should take your audience from becoming aware, to completing your goal of purchasing your product or service.
While creating a marketing strategy itself seems like a simple task, the key is knowing how to market your products and services to the right people in a way they’d respond best and move them to act.
If you have a seemingly great marketing strategy but you are not making sales or getting clients, there is a disconnect in your methods and your audience. It is important to keep track of your analytics and strategy insights to determine how to alter your strategy, if necessary.
There are other things that go into your marketing strategies such as your key message and the stories you want to convey. I plan to share more on that in another post.
As overwhelming as the overall concept of marketing may seem, the important things to remember are your goals, your target audience and how you can help them and fulfill their needs. Ultimately, that should be your goal, not just making sales. You know your marketing strategy is working when you have created a community and you are making an impact on the lives of those you are serving.
What does your marketing strategy look like? Could it use some tweaking?
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