Most entrepreneurs and executives know that in order to be successful, they will need to have a plan or strategy.
Whether your business is service or product based, you are going to start off and continue to have the same question:
“How are we going to get people to know about, care, and potentially buy into our business?”
This point is where many businesses lose momentum, time, and spend a lot of money.
To identify what a successful marketing strategy looks like, first you must identify what a successful marketing strategy really is and what are the expectations behind campaigns.
Wikipedia has defined marketing as: communicating the value of a product, service or brand to customers, for the purpose of promoting or selling that product, service, or brand.
So if we are going to communicate the value of something in order to educate someone to take an action, then we must first understand who we are communicating to (your ideal audience).
The fact that many business owners tend to forget is, not everyone is interested in what every business has to offer. Some customer might not want to engage in a conversation with you or your business, at least not initially.
To give you an illustration: If your company provides pool cleaning services, you are probably not going to market to people that live in an area that doesn’t have pools.
Pretty logical, and yet, many business owners, marketing managers, and PR firms are doing exactly that when they pay for blanket advertising or content on social media sites.
You will spend a lot of money attempting to be everything to everybody, that’s why it is vital to make sure you know who your audience is, where they hang out (on the web), and what is the proper message to get their attention.
Here are 6 steps of how to structure a successful marketing strategy:
Step one: Why are you in business?
Many business owners become so excited that after months of building, hiring, and organizing, when they are finally ready to present their business to the world, they forget to truly identify why they decided to start the project in the first place. What needs does it fit? What problems they solve, and for whom?
It’s not always about what you do but why you do it.
Step two: Create detailed profiles about your buyers lives.
Be honest with yourself, your product is not for everybody, and not everyone will be a fan (at least in the beginning).
It is important to identify your early adopters, potential brand ambassadors, and loyal customer, then develop your brands voice to match their day to day, their likes, dislikes, and what matters to them.
Step three: Start a dialog on the appropriate platforms.
We here countless times in our interview process, “we NEED to be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vimeo, Youtube…. Yes, those are ALL popular websites that people congregate to, but are they the right people for your business?
Once you have identified YOUR appropriate audience and understand their interests, now it is time to identify where they congregate, what they are reading, what websites they frequent.
Once you know where they are, now you can plan on how to engage with them on a human level by finding out if you can guest blog, contribute a story, or at least comment in an educational and appropriate fashion.
Step four: Be useful, helpful, and relevant.
Make sure what you write/share is educational and helpful to those in the audience listening and reading. Approximately 75% of any website are spectators and are just there to read, it’s your job to make sure they like what you are offering them. Don’t just talk about yourself, your business, tweet your specials, and ignore conversations happening about your brand on the web, or worse, customers asking for help.
Remember: Give (first), and ye’ shall receive!
Step Five: Set goals and put a value on your customer acquisitions.
In order to justify doing anything related to your business, there has to be some accountability or intrinsic value to where your time, money, and efforts are going.
Understand what the true value of each customer is:
- What age do they start buying from us?
- How many friends are they going to tell?
- How long/how often will they buy from us?
- How often and what methods should we use to continue the relationship?
Over all, this equation should give you a lifetime value of a customer and give you an idea of how to properly scale your marketing and advertising efforts to accomplish your personal growth plan.
Step Six: Track your efforts.
Unlike marketing and advertising efforts of the past, digital marketing provides analytical tracking and abilities to identify
- Who is listening?
- Where do they live?
- What are their likes and dislikes?
- Who are their friends?
- How often are they engaging with your business?
- What messages are they relating to?
- What are their buying habits?
- What else are they interested in (potential for spin-off products/services)?
- Are their other businesses that they like that you can partner with?
- How else can your business relate/help them in the future?
Think about what your looking to accomplish and identify key questions for your business.
Take your time identifying what is the core of your business. Once these steps have been taken, you will begin to see your marketing efforts beginning to get attention. This will help your company grow to the vision you had when you first started down your journey.