Talking about yourself and promoting your business may not be easy (it’s likely not why you started this business in the first place) – but it is absolutely essential for attracting and retaining customers, building brand awareness, and of course… increasing that bottom line.
The sticky spot about marketing? The results aren’t immediate – and because we exist in an immediate gratification culture, planting the seed and not seeing growth right away can be difficult. You’ll want to stop, you’ll want to give up, and you’ll want to shift the strategy. But the thing is, the average marketing strategy takes 6-12 months of implementation to see ROI. Yes, 6-12 months. When is the last time you created a marketing strategy for your business (have you ever or do you know how?) and then stuck with that plan consistently for 6-12 months? After the 6-12 months did you sit down, truly analyze the results and act on numbers and not feelings?
It’s January, it’s the start of a new year and new quarter and that means it’s the perfect time to plan out a marketing strategy and stick with it until Q3 or Q4. Not sure where to begin? Keep on reading…
Before you can begin creating a marketing plan, you need to have a clear understanding of who your target market is. This includes demographic information such as age, gender, income, and education level, as well as psychographic information such as values, interests, and lifestyle. Understanding your target market will help you create content that speaks directly to this audience and where they are in their journey. Maybe your content is too elevated or even too dumbed-down for your audience. Be honest with yourself and ask others outside your field.
Your USP is what sets your business apart from your competitors. It’s what makes you unique and differentiates you from others in the market. This can be a product, service, or even a unique approach to doing business. Identifying your USP will help you create a message that resonates with your target market and sets you apart from the competition. If you’re not 100% on this, do a social media detox for a week or two until you figure it out. Reviewing past testimonials and seeing why people have loved working with you will also help with this.
Setting specific and measurable goals will help you track your progress and measure the success of your marketing efforts. These goals should be SMART goals, meaning they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Examples of marketing goals might include increasing website traffic by 25% in the next quarter or boosting sales of a specific service by 10% over the next year. If your goals aren’t specific and measurable, you’ll find yourself acting on emotions rather than data – and this is the farthest thing from strategic.
Content marketing is all about creating valuable, relevant, and engaging content that will attract the right audience. Think blog posts, videos, infographics, e-books, and more. Your content marketing strategy should outline the types of content you’ll create, the channels you’ll use to distribute it, and the goals you hope to achieve. My top advice for this is to pick something you’re already comfortable with. If you hate public speaking and don’t like to show up on camera, starting a YouTube channel or TikTok may sound fun and challenging, but it likely won’t be something you stick with in the long run.
Social media is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. It can help you connect with customers, build brand awareness, and drive website traffic. Be sure to choose the social media platforms that your target market is most likely to use and that you can keep up with on a consistent basis. I’m always a fan of showing up well in just a few places, rather than every platform without a plan or strategy.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach customers. Develop an email marketing strategy that includes the types of emails you’ll send, the frequency of emails, and the goals you hope to achieve. Once you have this plan in place, design a template email to help optimize your workflow. This will save you a ton of time by just duplicating past emails and editing them with new content. An email marketing strategy isn’t enough without people on your list so add ‘create a lead magnet’ to your content plan above. This will give your audience something enticing to exchange their name and email for. Need a great email provider? We recommend Flodesk – it’s beautiful and easy to use. Click this link for 50% off.
The best content plan, social media, and email newsletters can’t save a poor website presence. What will this new audience associate with your brand when they do click over to your website? Do you even want them to? Be sure you’re putting your best foot forward with a clean, on-brand website that’s easy to navigate and gives your audience the info they want and need.
Once your marketing plan is in place, it’s important to track and analyze your results. This will help you understand what’s working and what’s not, and make adjustments as needed. Use tools like Google Analytics to track website traffic, or Meta to track Facebook and Instagram, and keep an eye on your leads/sales and engagement. Don’t get hung up on vanity metrics (like Instagram post likes), instead focus on the hard data that shows someone is genuinely interested in your content – comments, story replies, shares, visits to your website, DMs, etc…
Marketing is an ongoing process. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all and what worked last year won’t necessarily work now with algorithm and culture changes. Keep an eye on industry trends and be open to trying new tactics and strategies. Remember that a successful marketing plan is not a one-time event, but rather a continuous process of testing, learning, and refining.
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