Do you have a marketing strategy?
Be honest, do you?
I often get approached by business owners who have spent a fortune on their marketing, but can’t see the results of their efforts. They have tried a combination of content and platforms without much success or clue of where they’ve gone wrong.
And as soon as I mention the word **STRATEGY** they get a panicked, glazed look in their eyes… “But, we’re just small, do we really need one of those?”, “how much will THAT cost me?”, “But, I don’t have a marketing degree, where would I start?!”
Well, I’m here to make it easy for you. Because, it really shouldn’t be hard. This is YOUR business, the answers are within, you just need to know where to look.
Step 1: Lean in
Your marketing doesn’t have to be overly complicated or expensive – certainly not at first. But you do have to do it. No arguments, no tanties, no excuses. You HAVE to market your business if you ever want to live the lifestyle you’re fighting for.
It might make you feel uncomfortable, exposed and vulnerable. As women we aren’t taught to claim the brightest star for ourselves. You may even make a few mistakes, but mistakes are a fabulous way to learn and grow.
The key here is consistency: you need to be in action, relentlessly, every day. Just focus on doing ONE thing, big or small, every single day that tells the world about what you have to offer. Because if no one knows what you’re selling, how can they possibly buy from you? Make a promise to yourself, that every day for the next 30 days you will do one thing a day to promote your business: send an email, write some content, post on social media, join forums, create a freaking billboard – just do it! The more it scares you, the more necessary it really is 🙂
So lean in, step up and tell the world about what you have to offer!
Step 2: Set your budget
Oooh this is where it gets even more interesting… MONEY.
“What if marketing is just money down the drain?”, “What if I fail and have nothing to show for it?”, “Is this going to cost me thousands of dollars that I don’t have?”
Now let’s look at the converse of that: what if your business thrives? What if, by putting yourself out there, you are able to help people and live a life you dream of? What will it cost you if you DON’T succeed?
If done smartly and on the right platforms, marketing your business doesn’t have to cost very much. Think of it as an investment, an asset that grows with every cycle:
Spend on advertising > Make sales > Take the profit > Reinvest it into advertising.
You’re not losing money, you’re gaining momentum. Start small, get familiar with your marketing and grow your confidence and audience from there. The greatest joy with online marketing is that you are always in control of your spend and who you’re selling to. Facebook ads are a great way to build your audience, and you can start at just $5 a day.
Step 3: Be clear on who you’re targeting
Talk to everyone and you’ll sell to no one. It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s true – you have to find your niche.
Apparently we are exposed to about 4000 adverts a day. Advertising is no longer about the “spray and pray” method, we’re immune. With the intelligence of digital marketing at our fingertips, we can choose who sees our ads. We can create a connection with them, build trust, tell your story, sell with integrity. Please, please sell with integrity.
So define your niche, be extremely specific about who your target audience is and create an experience they can relate to.
Be clear on their gender, age, location. Drill down into their income, status, political views. Consider their lifestyle choices: what car do they drive, how do they spend their money? And most importantly, understand what drives them, motivates them and gets them out of bed in the morning. Why would they buy on what you’re offering? How would your product or service meet their needs and leave them changed for the better?
Once you’ve created your ideal client avatar, you’ll probably find it a whole lot easier to start a conversation.
Step 4: Don’t be at the wrong party
You can’t be everywhere, so be where it counts.
Now that you know who your audience is, you’ll probably have a good idea of where they hang out. Parties, coffee shops, the mall, but where are they online? Demographics and psychographics play a large role in their online preferences.
What websites do they visit? What is their online shopping behavior? What social media platforms do they prefer? What conversations are they having? Don’t make assumptions here, KNOW your facts. Ask around, send out a survey, hang out in those darn coffee shops and find out! Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, online forums and communities: Be where they are.
[It’s also a good idea to find out where your competition is lurking, see what they’re doing well (or badly) and make sure you’re doing it better]
Step 5: Message, method, outcome.
Message: Now that you’re at the right party, what are you going to say? What’s your conversation opener? How are you going to build rapport and trust and tell your story and make a DIFFERENCE? How are you going to stand out and be the most vibrant icon in the room? What’s your USP? There is something powerful about understanding who you are how your voice can be one of authority and leadership. People buy from people – not brands.
Your goal with your messaging should be to take your audience from being “cold” (a stranger to your brand) to “warm” (familiar with what you offer” to “hot” (ready to make the purchase). First and foremost, you should be ready to SERVE. This means creating content that provides value and can start a conversation. Your audience will be receptive to your integrity.
Method: With this knowledge you can decide what method or platform(s) you’ll use to share your message. The beautiful thing about digital marketing is getting different platforms to work together. Google Ads can drive traffic to your site, Facebook Ads can create leads that are captured in your CMS, Instagram can build trust and rapport, and re-targeting campaigns can tie all of these together. Your community will be as strong as your efforts, but be clear about the journey you want to take them on.
Outcome: Consider what it is that you want from marketing your business. Do you want to create leads, build a following, drive traffic to your site, create brand awareness, or ultimately – sell? Realistically, you need to consider how many interactions your audience needs to have with your brand before they are likely to spend their hard earned cash. Generally speaking, the higher your price point the more interactions you’ll need to build enough trust to sell. Use this desired outcome as a berometer of your marketing efforts and how you want your platforms to work together.
Step 6: Measure
It may seem obvious, but most business owners I work with don’t actually do this step. Maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s not knowing what they’re looking for, but without analytics and measuring your ROI you’re firing at mosquitoes in the dark.
Chaos. Frustration. Oblivious mosquitoes.
You know your ad spend, you know your target market and your messaging. But all of this is wasted when you don’t measure your successes (and failures). Again, the beauty of online marketing (can you tell I’m a little obsessed?) is that you can can have complete control and insight over your marketing efforts, no matter your experience or tech-y-ness. You actually have no excuse not to be informed.
Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, Instagram, Mailchimp – each of these platforms offer in-depth and easy-to-understand reporting. And because you were crystal clear about your objectives, measuring your success should be easy. You can work out your ROI based on how much you spent and what your desired outcomes were. How much did you spend per brand interaction/ click / purchase? Was your targeting accurate enough? How can you use the information about who interacted with your ads to your advantage?
Measure measure measure. Write it down, create spreadsheets, draw mindmaps. This is actually my favourite part of marketing because you can find small victories and insights in just about every metric! And knowledge = power.
Step 7: Be agile
Stop, adjust, pivot. Don’t start a business unless you can learn to roll with the punches, learn from mistakes and up level for the next push.
By this stage you are empowered. You KNOW what has worked, and what hasn’t. This is a beautiful moment, when you can LEARN from your advertising efforts. Be proud and acknowledge your successes. Listen to the results, your gut and intuition and keep on keeping on! Re-asses where you think things can be improved, but don’t stop!
“If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet”
So there you have it, 7 Steps to you Marketing Strategy. Now, go on with your bad self! Go create yours!
You’ve got this.
If you need a little help and clarity with your marketing strategy, drop me a message, I’m happy to help.
I’m Pam Newman, founder of The Branded Panda. I help women like you create soul-based businesses that give them income and freedom to truly LIVE.
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Quick question, in step 5 under Outcome,
“Do you want to create leads, build a following, drive traffic to your site, create brand awareness, or ultimately – sell? ”
What do you mean by create leads?
Thanks for the article. Really calmed the flapping deranged butterfly in my head!