Research shows that up to 50 percent of small businesses do not make it past their fifth year. While there are a lot of reasons why a startup may fail, almost all these causes can be tied to a lack of a proper growth strategy.
The first piece of the puzzle when growing a business is having a good marketing strategy in place. It allows you to stay competitive irrespective of the size of your business. Unfortunately, there isn’t one ‘best marketing strategy’ that will get your business reeling in leads and converting them into customers.
Your ideal marketing strategy depends on the specifics of your business. As such, you will need to customize one for yourself. The following tips should help you create a solid framework for your marketing plan.
1. Defining Your End Goal
What is it that has led you to decide that you want a marketing strategy? Sure, growth and becoming profitable is the end goal. However, it is a series of smaller goals which will get you there — as such, becoming profitable cannot be a goal by itself.
As such, start thinking about the short-term goals you hope to accomplish. A good short-term goal would be to increase the number of visitors coming to your website. Defining your goals will allow you to create a marketing plan that is able to yield tangible results.
2. Maintaining a Consistent Brand and Message
Having a consistent brand and message is something that cannot be possibly emphasized. This is because it allows you to build a loyal customer-base among consumers who identify with your message. Customer retention is arguably just as necessary – if not more critical – than customer acquisition since loyal customers help ensure that you meet your bottom line regardless of other prevailing factors.
3. Determining Your Target Audience
Who are your ideal customers? Being able to define this will help you customize a marketing strategy that appeals to their interests. When looking to define your target audience, consider utilizing the following ideas:
· Identify the basic demographics within which your ideal customer lies. This involves considering factors such as their age, gender, and location.
· Dig deeper and learn more about their habits and behaviors. This will allow you to create a product that they are most likely to be interested in, instead of a general product.
· After doing your research, you now come up with a brand message that is likely to resonate with your target audience, based on your findings.
Honing in on the specific details about your ideal customer helps you create a buyer persona, which allows you to not only develop products that appeal to them but also create a marketing message that is likely to get through to them. This video is a simple guide to creating buyer personas.
4. Identifying the Appropriate Social Channel
Fortunately, many businesses today appreciate the impact that social media can have on business growth. As a result, almost every company today has some form of social media presence. However, few are utilizing the most appropriate social channel for their needs.
This is because different social media channels cater to different audiences and personalities. As such, there are inherent characteristics among people in each social media. For example, the typical LinkedIn user is likely to possess different characteristics from a Snapchat user. As such, you need to determine which social media channel will work best for your business.
Some social channels to consider include:
With over 2 billion active users worldwide, Facebook is the most popular as well as the most influential social platform in the world today. Your target customer is more than likely using this platform. As such, consider utilizing Facebook ads to help you reach your ideal consumer.
Instagram is a stellar platform for native advertisement needs. This is because valuable content, more than anything else, is what determines your success on the platform. Thus, if you keep churning out content that is relevant and helpful to your target audience, you will gradually amass a following which shall be loyal to your brand.
Therefore, you should consider having Instagram as part of your long-term marketing strategy.
Twitter is a social platform that seems to work for most businesses. However, for you to find success using this channel, you must provide valuable content consistently so that you can retain your audience.
For you to know which channel brings you the best results, you will need to experiment with and evaluate each channel. Also, consider paying for sponsored campaigns across the most relevant channels to help you link with your ideal audience faster.
5. Building a Referral Network
For small businesses, one of the most impactful forms of advertising is word-of-mouth. You have to take into consideration that most people make purchases based on credibility and trust. As such, you should try and get into your customer’s networks so that you can get referrals. To achieve this, there are two things that you could do.
First, you must ensure that you are delivering top-quality results to your customers. Thus, in addition to offering stellar services or products, you need to communicate frequently and openly with your customers throughout their buying journey.
The other thing is to ensure that you are asking for feedback. This is because transparency is one of the most important virtues that a startup can have. Put in mind that a small business is likely to have the same customers. Thus, you have to keep them happy in order to retain them. Getting feedback from your clientele is necessary as it not only allows you to make amends where you might have been lacking but also allows your customers to know that you value their insight.
6. Cultivating Relationships With Influencers
Influencers are individuals with large social media followings as a result of leading lifestyles that resonate with or inspire specific demographics. And since they have amassed their followings organically, they hold a lot of ways, and can easily influence their followers to follow a particular trend or purchase a certain product.
As such, try and link up with influencers who can market your product and offer them free products or services in exchange for endorsing your product.
7. Use Ads that Appeal to Emotions
Research shows that emotional advertising is far more effective than logical advertising. This is because emotion is more likely to influence a purchasing decision over facts and figures. In fact, the most-shared ads among consumers typically have some form of emotional awareness relating to happiness, friendship, inspiration, and warmth.
As such, when creating an ad, try and appeal to these emotions. For example, you can show how happy consumers become whenever they use your product.
8. Assembling the Right Team
To ensure that your marketing strategy yields the results that you desire, you will need a competent marketing team. Thus, whether you will outsource or hire in-house, you must ensure that they are highly-skilled and experienced so that you can get your returns on investment.
Finding the right talent is no easy undertaking. As such, consider using a platform such as Shift Pixy, they will connect you with qualified, local talent that has already been vetted for skill and character.
The best marketing strategy plans are ones that are specifically curated for your business. As such, instead of looking for a generic marketing strategy that works for most businesses, consider customizing your own as it will help your brand stand out among its competitors. Got any more questions regarding small business marketing? Let us know, and we will be happy to answer your queries.