You can have a great product or service, but if no one knows anything about it then it’s pointless right? Marketing your business, or advertising, is an essential piece to every small company but many overlook or underestimate the need to have a marketing plan in place before launching. In the startup phase of your business, it is even more key that you have a solid marketing strategy in place as you are growing your company to sustainability.
When building your marketing plan, keep in mind that marketing should turn dollars into sales qualified leads. This is something called return on investment or R.O.I. When it comes to marketing your business, this is one of the most important metrics you need to consider when deciding where to spend the bulk of your marketing investment. The nice thing about digital marketing (website design, social media, email marketing) versus traditional forms of marketing (print, radio, television ads) is that it’s highly trackable. With digital marketing we can see every click, every visit and track conversations or actions. This allows us to make data driven decisions over just throwing things up against your office wall and seeing what sticks. The bad thing about it is that 50% of companies are using digital marketing, but don’t have a plan! Here are a few helpful ideas to consider when building your marketing plan:
- Create buyer personas
Take some time and sketch out who your ideal, targeted customers are. What are their ages? Where do they currently shop? How long have they been in business? What trends do they follow? Every buyer persona is different. Create up to three different types of customers you serve and sketch out a profile that makes sense.
- Find out what your competition is doing. Do a S.W.O.T. analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. You need to find out who is out there doing what your doing and figure out why you are different from what they offer. What are your strengths, where do you need to grow?
- Start creating content that your buyers would be interested in. Remember this content needs to be educational, interesting and entertaining. Don’t create the same old boring content. You need to find out what your customers want and give it to them. It’s really that simple. This could be in the form of brochures, websites, social media or webinars.Having some type of marketing plan is better than no type of marketing plan. Even investing in some paid consulting or education would be well worth it to help you formulate the details of your plan. We always tell people that web design is 80% planning and 20% execution. Things always work better with a plan in place to execute.