How to create a basic marketing strategy
If you’re looking to grow your small business and see explosive results in the months and years ahead, there’s something you need to focus on right now… goal setting and a marketing strategy.
Often we can be afraid to move forward for fear of going backwards – if you’ve found yourself feeling like nothing works in your online marketing efforts – let us tell you that you are not alone.
Or perhaps you have bursts of great things that work, and then you hit a dry period. You think you’ve found something good, but then it doesn’t work again. Sound familiar?
Let’s look at the definition of a strategy: a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.
This means that when you map out exactly what you want to achieve, inclusive of your overall business aims and goals, you can create a plan that will help you execute and deliver the goods.
There is never a better time than NOW to put plans into place to see an end result. Whether we’re coming into the busiest time of the year, coming to the end of the year, starting a fresh year, or are halfway through – there is always a time to put a strategy in place. Without a plan how do you know where you are going?
It’s the same as if you were on holiday, stick Google Maps on and enter your destination. You don’t know the area or where you should be going, but the device will point you in the right direction and make sure that you get there. You can tweak the route or ‘recalculate’ if you need to, and you will still end up in the right place.
This is a great analogy for online marketing too. The digital world is a busy place, there’s so much constantly going on around us and we can get distracted with just one click. It’s easy to jump on your favourite social platform to check or post something and come away an hour later with nothing to show for your time. We know where we’re supposed to be going but without a clear plan of what to do, we can get lost very easily.
So, how do we get away from this and find the clear path?
5 steps to creating a basic marketing strategy:
1) Identify and Set Goals
2) Understand your audience
3) Communicate your USP
4) Select your tools
#1 – Identify and Set Goals
Your marketing goals should reflect the goals that you’ve laid out in your business goals. If you’ve not done this, take a step back and have a think on your overall business expectations first of all. When you know where your business should be heading, you’ll have an idea of the direction that you expect it to go in.
Using these goals as a foundation, identify how you can make them come to life through marketing. For example, if your business goal is to have £XXX of revenue by the end of the year, your marketing goal may be to increase sales by 10% each month.
Identify the target, create the goal.
#2 – Understand your audience
Are you marketing to the whole world, or to the people that need to hear your message? If you’re not clear on who you are targeting, then you’ll end up with a wishy-washy message that gets lost in translation.
Identify the people who you want to target – create a persona. You may have more than one persona, but each goal can be directed to a particular one. It’s a snapshot of who your ideal customer would be.
Here’s a closer look for example: “A woman between 30-45, who lives in the city, who loves to shop, is looking for an outfit for work”.
This is a clear and definitive picture of who we can target. From this we can get to know her a little, where she hangs out online, what types of people are in her network, where she might like to shop, what types of content works best…
Understand the ideal persona.
#3 – Communicate your USP
USP – unique selling proposition, or unique selling point. There is always going to be competition, whether you’re aware of it or not, so learn to love your USP and use this to get over and above the crowd.
What makes you stand out, what makes your product or service the perfect choice? Why should someone buy from you?
Knowing how to position yourself will become part of your secret weapon!
Be unique and authentic.
#4 – Select your marketing tools
Wow, this is a big one, with so many online marketing tools to choose from, you could easily get lost in just this point. So, do some research. It may take time, but it’s better to do it before hand rather than during or after.
How can you measure what you’re doing and how can you create a systemised approach to your marketing?
Do you have the right equipment to see what works and what doesn’t, can you measure each step along the way?
Can you find a marketing tool that makes life easier?
Different areas of the marketing process will require different tools, so think about planning, communication, execution and measuring. Can you combine any of these, do you want to pay for premium platforms or go for free versions?
Find the tools that work for your business.
#5 – Execute
Once you’ve got everything laid out – you’re sure on who your ideal customer is, you know what your goals are, you understand what sets you apart, and you have the correct tools to get started – now it’s time to put the factors together and formulate a plan of action. You should by now know which direction you’re heading in! You need to get SMART!
It’s time to take action, it’s time to put into practise everything you’ve collated together and plan out a way to bring it to life. This needs careful consideration. You could look at all your data and still not use it to create the perfect marketing plan (please don’t do this!) – instead, use all the research you have pulled together to start your marketing journey on the right track.
Take the necessary action steps to move forward
Organisation can be a great asset at times like these – and with our Yearly Social Media Planner you can be sure that you can track all your goals; weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly, all together. It even includes a calendar to map out your monthly content too. Something this simple can be extremely effective in helping you stay on focus throughout the year across your online marketing channels.
If you’ve read all this, know it’s something that you need for your business but simply don’t have the time, knowledge or skills to put it together, we can help! Schedule a free consultation to introduce yourself and let’s see how we can create a great marketing plan for your business.
In the meantime, feel free to download our FREE social media checklist “Don’t forget the basics” to make sure you’re ticking all the boxes 🙂