In Part 1 of our Marketing series, we talked about identifying your customers. In Part 2, we talked about your company’s strengths, weaknesses, and your competitors. With all that information gathered, now it’s time to create some marketing tools!
Also known as your “Elevator Pitch,” you need to develop a quick, 30-second explanation of what you do, what makes your business special, and what you’re looking for. This is going to be a useful tool for networking events, as well as for explaining what you do to friends and family! This will become the foundation for any face-to-face meetings you have with prospective clients. And it doesn’t cost anything so it’s the single easiest, most cost-effective marketing you can do! Keep in mind your brand, culture, mission, and vision.
The reality is that you’re going to have to spend some money on your marketing—you won’t be able to reach all your potential customers just by giving them your 30-second Infomercial. But you must be smart about it! The first step is to establish how much you can afford to spend on your marketing. From there, you can figure out where that money can be best invested—this will also be based on the demographics you worked on in Part 1 of this series. Depending on your strategic objectives (for example: grow revenue, gain market share, reinforce branding, etc) you should allocate 1-5% of your revenue for marketing expenses. Ideally, all of your spends will create a positive ROI, so it won’t be just an “expense,” it will be an intelligent and strategic investment.
As with all things in your business, it’s important that you assign specific tasks and objectives to your team, give them responsibility to complete those tasks, and set a timeline. Also, schedule follow-up for each task. Without accountability, you will not accomplish your goals. Make sure that people completely understand your expectations: outcomes, timelines, and who is responsible.
If you have done an effective job of learning about your competition, you should also have a good idea of how your pricing stacks up against them. You should NEVER seek to be the cheapest in the market—this is a strategy that works for companies like Wal-Mart, but for most everyone else, it’s a guarantee that you’ll go broke. Instead, look to set your pricing based on the value you provide, and your brand. You need to make sure your price reflects that the fact that you provide a superior product or service! Your ideal clients will see the value and be willing to pay a fair price for it; clients that only want the cheapest product will eventually find that they get what they pay for. Remember, as long as you show that the value exceeds the cost, your ideal customers will buy. Always add value, never decrease price.
Campaign ideas come directly from your customer surveys and market research. Your clients will tell you exactly what to say to get more clients like them. For example, when they answer the questions “what does happiness look like for you?” and “why did you choose to do business with us?” They are telling you exactly what to say!
In the 21st Century, most businesses need a website. And not just any website; a good-looking, well-designed website. This will attract attention online and create business opportunities that will boost your number of customers and your profitability. Expect your website to be a cornerstone for your marketing plan—all your social media should direct people here, details on what your company does should be here, testimonials should be here. Websites used to be a sort of billboard, but now they are WHERE WE DO BUSINESS. You must think of your website as a company showroom—when people “walk in” they should know what to do, it should be easy and obvious, it should be clean, not cluttered or confusing, and it should reflect your brand.
SEO and Social Media Plan
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be challenging, because the algorithms used to find things on the internet are always changing. But here are a few tips:
- Pick a couple keywords for every post and make sure you use them at least three times per post.
- Your title should be clear and straightforward; cleverness actually hurts your SEO!
- Subtitles and lists are good for your SEO—these are things search engines look for.
- You need to have some visual elements. Part of the SEO equation is how long readers stay on your posts; large blocks of text tend to scare people off, so break them up with some pictures!
At least as important as your website these days is your social media. This is a cost-effective way to keep your company’s name top of mind for your current and potential customers. Get set up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, You Tube etc. and post regularly! But keep in mind your market research as well—Facebook tends to have an older audience these days, as compared with Instagram, which appeals to a younger demographic. There are plenty of recent statistics on the demographics for each platform, available by Google search.
Make sure that your social media campaign is tied closely to your website. As much as possible, link social media posts to content found on your website. By creating more links back to your site, you’re helping to build the World Wide Web, which is good for your SEO!
Here are a couple awesome tools to help you out:
Google Search Console: This tool tells us what people are searching online and what Google searches are showing up under.
Community Involvement Strategy
Giving back to your community makes all the hard work worthwhile. It makes you feel good when you help others and, as an added bonus, it gives your company a higher profile! Find a cause that you believe in and do whatever you can to help out, whether that means giving your time, your expertise, or simply a financial contribution. This will show people an important part of your brand—that you care! Also, you will be getting the organization you care about more exposure, so they can get more support. It’s a win-win.
After Sale Strategy (Stay Loyal Strategy)
The best customers are the ones that keep coming back to you for more. Treat them like gold! It takes a far greater investment in time and effort to find a new customer than it does to keep a happy one. Make sure you’ve put some thought to what you’ll do to thank your current customers for choosing you; DO NOT give them an excuse to take their business elsewhere! Make sure you periodically ask for feedback, so you can keep them happy, and buying.
There is a lot of information in this post! Don’t let it intimidate you! Work your way through each piece of the puzzle, one at a time, and eventually you’ll have everything working together, growing your business for you!
If you feel you need some help figuring out what your marketing strategy should look like, contact TMH Business Coaching today for a confidential, free, no obligation consultation to propel you forward. Also, please feel free to add yourself to our weekly coaching tips email!