Your business cannot have a lasting impact without proper marketing. Marketing gets the word out about your business. It allows you to connect with potential customers and inform them of all the services you offer. It boosts sales, helps you construct a consist client-base and helps you to make a mark on your industry sector.
When considering your marketing – PLAN PLAN PLAN! So how do we start this planning process:-
Brainstorming can help you generate solutions to problems, whether this is idea generation or problem solving. It can also encourage people to commit to solutions, because they have provided input and played a role in developing them. The best approach combines individual and group brainstorming. There are various techniques available whether you are doing this with a few people, a large group, whether you are visual or methodical.
First, you have to identify who your customers/clients are. What does your Client Avatar look like? Age / Gender / Marital Status / Location / Work/Job Children / Likes / Dislikes.
Knowing who/what your target market is, helps to ensure your marketing strategies are not a waste of time and money – because your message will be getting to the right people. And it is as much about what your do want, as what you don’t want – identifying the wrong type of customer helps you to create a marketing campaign that does not attract to them.
Remember this is not about YOU and what you want – this is about what your customers want. Doing surveys and asking friends/family/existing clients what they want / like / need, will help you to create marketing strategy that reaches other similar clients that you can help, because you have identified their needs.
Great content is your chance to shine and show the world your experience, expertise, knowledge and more importantly how you can help your client.
Whilst your content can show you know your stuff, try not to use industry jargon or abbreviations – if your clients / readers of your marketing content don’t understand what you mean, it won’t help them, it won’t attract their attention as they will switch off.
Your product/service should fix whatever their issue is – to make their life easier and more fulfilled. So you need to make it relevant (to your audience), designed to attract reader attention and provide value.
Content can be different depending on your end goal; are you wanting to provide information to create a loyal following on social media or looking to provide a solution to attract clients to use your products/services.
Using a marketing content planner allows you to save your successful content to be re-used again – making the time you spent on marketing more efficient. Using software such as Canva you can create the posts and save them as PDF / Jpeg / MP4 etc – put them in a logical order on your computer marketing folder so that you can easily find the content to use it again another time.
Try not to be time sensitive information in your basic marketing post – eg a financial % that the Government may change next year. Otherwise, you will have to check / update all your posts that have this kind of data. The main content should always be on your website – which can be easily updated once not affecting your marketing post.
A remember to make sure the sepelling is correct! 😉
We are pleased to work with Cherry from Simply C Photography (see our Experts page), who stated in a recent presentation:
“Our brains are naturally hardwired to prefer dealing with visual information over text, processing images 60,000 times faster than text.
The right images can add significant value to your brand and support the message you are trying to get across.
60% of consumers say they’re more likely to consider or contact a business that has an image show up in local search results.
As Elliott Erwitt so eloquently put it: “The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.”
So knowing the old saying ‘ A picture is worth a 1000 words’ its worth considering the use of great photo’s to enhance your marketing.
Branding makes a memorable impression about you on consumers, and allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice. keep it consistent – the visual side of your business will be remembered.
Don’t just have one advert out there and expect the clients to come flooding in. You have to have a number of strategies to reach a wider audience, in fact a start up should have 10-12 on the go at the same time. Whether its traditional print to the various social media platforms now available.
This is where you use the research of your competitors, your target market and test and measuring the results works out where you are going to focus your budget.
Your research may indicate your target market is mainly;
- Online focused, think about a digital campaign. Eg informative or useful website, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), various online platforms eg Facebook vs Instagram or LinkedIn Vs Twitter.
- Face-to-face, like business networking events or trade shows.
- Printed adverts, from glossy magazines to postcards through their door might be the route to take.
It’s likely that to achieve your desired results you will need to do a combination of a number of marketing activities.
Like each area of your business from finance to HR a process ensures accuracy and consistency and marketing is no different. Successful marketing is based around a process, where you test and measure everything you do, until it’s as effective as you can get it.
Test (or try) a marketing strategy and then you measure the results you get. Run the campaign again with one change (as each change allows you to measure again the results and see if that one change made it better and more effective and better results):
Tweak a headline – If your new headline generates a 10% increase in enquiries or sales – keep the new headline and dump the previous one.
Next test a different offer, again if your response rate increases – keep it. If it reduces change it and test that change.
Even when you are busy don’t stop marketing – it is a common mistake people make to stop marketing when busy. But think about this – the work you have now is probably from weeks, months or even years of marketing / branding getting the name out there.
If you stop now – you will be forgotten! your leads will dry up and and when the work stops you have to re-start the whole process again. Its not worth it – keep the marketing ticking along – keeping you at the forefront of peoples minds. If you are that busy that you are worried you can’t cope it about deciding if you need help from a coach to help you to move on to the next level!
Budgeting your marketing is important at all times, ensuring you are not only able to afford the marketing, able to cope with the workload, but also that the marketing you are doing is effective.
Once you’ve developed your marketing strategy you should continually evaluate and re-evaluate your business activities (test & measure).
When deciding on your marketing strategies consider:-
- Target Market
- Test & Measure
Referrals are the best form of marketing you can get – not necessarily for quantity, but for quality. People buy people and like to use the products and services from companies they have been recommended to.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and recommendations. If you do a great job – your clients will become your sales force!
Marketing is a massive area of running your business and all the tips and ideas can not be covered in one FactSheet – so if you need help on a particular area don’t hesitate to contact us, whether this is; Social media marketing / Marketing Strategies / Test and measuring / Identifying you target market
Remember your marketing campaigns may not be perfect to start with, they become a work in progress until you get the results you desire.
“Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time” – Henry Ford