What Is a Marketing Strategy?

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Having a good marketing strategy is crucial for the success of your business. Think of a marketing strategy as your business’s game plan to reach new customers. Today, we’ll run through the basics and the groundwork that is needed to create a quality marketing strategy, so you can start planning ahead and get on your merry marketing way.

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Marketing Strategies and Business Building

What is a marketing strategy, actually? Well, I’m glad you asked. A marketing strategy is created with your business objectives and goals in mind and is grounded on your company values and brand image. It is developed using promotional campaigns directed towards increasing sales. Your marketing strategy works as a framework, a plan that’s connected to your entire business. It’s about seeing the bigger picture, how the pieces connect toward achieving your vision, and then, planning each step carefully.

Without a marketing strategy, you wouldn’t be able to achieve every goal you set. It’s like going on a road trip to a place you’ve never been before and not having a map. And, if you’re navigationally challenged like me, then you need all the help you can get! A marketing strategy is your roadmap, not just for your marketing but to help you reach your business goals.  You need to create priorities and make actionable goals that can help you achieve those objectives. Although multitasking has its benefits, when it comes to creating business plans, it’s better to follow a step by step guide on achieving business goals. Focus on finishing one objective, then move on to the next one. A quality strategy should guide you through each step of your business growth. (And help you make sure you don’t stress out about your marketing).

When you have a stable and consistent marketing plan, you’ll be able to deliver consistent results, which ends up being much more profitable.

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Long Term Strategy

You’re probably wondering why you need a long term strategy, when you are still not sure how the short-term strategy will work out. After all, you want immediate results, right? Sure, you can spend less time creating a quick and efficient marketing campaign that delivers results. But what will you do after the campaign is over? You need a big picture plan.

If you spend a bit more time creating a long-term marketing strategy, you’ll save much more time in the future. You won’t have to create a new plan each week or month. Instead, you can focus on new campaigns and trying out new marketing methods, from email marketing to SEO.  

Let’s illustrate this with an example. If you’re only thinking about your next post on Instagram, you’ll spend a lot of time searching for good photos, writing captions, etc. But if you have a content plan, you can organise a brand photoshoot and get plenty of Instagram-ready photos, which you can schedule to be posted in an instant. This will save you lots of time, and time IS money, especially for small business owners. Not to mention, you’ll have more direction on where your business is heading overall, as opposed to just having tunnel vision for the ‘now’.

When you have a stable and consistent marketing plan, you’ll be able to deliver consistent results, which ends up being much more profitable.

Writing a Marketing Strategy

In order to create the perfect strategy, you need to understand both your customers and your competitors. First, start with conducting market research (so you know what’s going on out there in the big wide world) and then, tackle the following:

  • Visualize your ideal customers. Think about the demographics, values, goals, and pain points of your ideal audience. While you should consider age, gender, geographical location, education level, income, and occupation, it’s important to focus on the goals, values, and pain points of your customers when you are creating a marketing strategy. This helps you to connect more deeply with your customer. You have to get inside their head (in a non-creepy, non-aggressive way…)
  • Research your competition. You’ve gotta know who you’re up against. By doing so, you can work out what makes your products and services unique. You can cut through the noise by offering competitive prices, high quality, or a better location. You could also appeal to certain demographics that share your company’s values and lifestyle choices. 
  • Write your unique selling proposition. Use the knowledge you’ve gathered about your customers and see how your business can respond to their needs and what benefits you can provide. Summarize your business offer in a couple of sentences. That will become your pitch anchor in all your campaigns, branding, messaging, and other elements of the marketing strategy. Remember that you don’t want to create particular marketing slogans right now but to write a framework for future marketing efforts. 
  • Set a budget. There is no point in building a marketing strategy if you don’t have the means to implement it. You need to know what resources you have available so that you can ensure that every step of the marketing strategy will be followed. Your marketing efforts shouldn’t ever force you into debt. Be realistic and remember that you can start small.
    Pro tip: We believe you can DIY most of your marketing. Plus, there are plenty of free, super affordable tools and services you can find online to help you build your business. Check out our recommended ones here, and our own Canva template packs here, for all your DIY design needs.
  • Establish your brand. You need to build a solid brand image to become distinguishable and memorable in the market. In order to cut through the noise online, you need to have a consistent look and feel. This means your brand colors, fonts, imagery and voice are cohesive across all marketing channels. Once you establish your brand, stick to it. Your brand image is not the place for indecisiveness, my friend!
  • Pick the marketing methods. Look for methods that can reach your target audience most effectively. Check out different methods, from content marketing to classic advertising, and see what resonates most with your target audience. Find out where your target audience is the most active online and utilize those platforms to convey your brand messaging. This is where understanding your ideal customer is key!

Track Your Results

You might create the perfect marketing strategy, but your potential customers might not respond to it. Sadly for us marketers, that’s part of the biz. Track your marketing efforts to see what works and what doesn’t. It’s crucial to frequently update your marketing strategy with these insights. When your marketing strategy evolves, your business will grow as well!

Using Marketing to Grow Your Business

Now that you know what makes a successful marketing strategy and what to think about when writing it, let’s move on to business growth. Can marketing help a business grow? The simple answer is: yes (heck yes!)

To grow your business, you need to nurture existing customers and look for new ones. While your marketing efforts should mostly be focused on driving sales by reaching new consumers, you shouldn’t forget about your existing audience. It’s kind of like high school friendships. Don’t ditch your loyal friends for the cool kids who you met at a party. That would make you a bad friend.

On your social media, include regular posts and promotions that address loyal customers and ask for their feedback. Have open discussions and listen to what your audience has to say. It’s better to have ten loyal customers than trying to reach twenty new ones that won’t care about your business for more than a week. (Just like high-school friendships).

Thinking and planning

For example, use email marketing to inform your existing audience about new sales and offer them an additional discount. Hosting events can also be a great way to get to know your customers and build a stronger relationship with your audience. A quality webinar once per month might be just what your customers need to stay engaged and to feel nurtured by your business!

Sales Driven Marketing Strategies

While there isn’t one answer to the question of which strategy you should be using, there are plenty of tools and methods you should try. Here are some of the most common strategies out there. Remember to find out what works best for your business and your customers specifically. 

Social Media Marketing

Utilize social media for small business marketing as much as you can. Find out which platforms your target audience uses and be present on them. Respond to their messages, open discussions, share your thoughts and ideas. It shouldn’t only be about your product or service, right? Be human! Be friendly. You want to provide value and create a connection with your audience that will lead to a long-term business partnership based on trust. 

Also, you need to know the specific features of each social media channel, so that you can make suitable content for that platform. If you don’t know, start researching right now! Get all the information on social media content marketing that you can get. This doesn’t mean you should only know the basics like Instagram is for pictures and Twitter is for short text posts. You need to know how each network functions in terms of user experience. Especially those that are crucial for your business. You’ve gotta get to know the rules of the game.

Every network has a unique proposition of engagement, and you should understand how it works if you want to reach your desired audience. If you’re struggling with the use of social media, you can always outsource your social media marketing and hire a social media manager. Although that can be costly, it can be worth the money to see a huge increase in sales.  

Video Content 

Videos are in right now, whether you like it or not. YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world! Your customers are using it to find solutions to their problems, and you should make sure that your business offers those solutions.

Make video tutorials, or create videos in which you’ll review different products. It is not advisable to make an ad for your business, since it appears very salesy and can turn off most potential customers. Instead, you should make relevant content that provides valuable insights for the viewers. Video keeps eyes on your content longer than a still-shot, and in marketing, the more eyes on you the better!

Blog Away

Blogging isn’t dead. Your friends might have teased you about keeping a beauty blog when you were 17, but nowadays- blogging is cool, my friend. If you don’t have a blog for your business, you should start one right now! BUT, that doesn’t mean you should write about random topics. Research keywords your target audience is using on Google, and you’ll get relevant topics. Talk about what interests your audience! You might also want to hire an SEO specialist to optimize your content after you’ve finished writing it so that you can ensure your blog will reach the right readers. As for platforms, share your blog everywhere your audience happens to be online, from LinkedIn to Facebook!

Get a Shoutout From Influencers 

Have you ever purchased a product because your favorite influencer recommended it? Influencer marketing is a powerful strategy to consider for your business. The key is to find the right influencer. Reach out to someone who speaks to the same audience that you want to target and negotiate a deal that works for both of you. Make sure you agree on terms ahead of time. 

Lead Magnets

Who doesn’t like free stuff? But for a lead magnet to be effective, you need to present the right thing. Find out what your target customers need. Could your target audience use eBooks, worksheets, checklists, consultations, or something else entirely? This is THE way to build your email list and is a key part of your marketing strategy. 

Targeted Ads

Traditional advertising methods are effective, especially when you use targeted ads. If you know the demographics of your target audience, don’t hesitate to get paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, etc. Just remember to track both the conversion rate and click-through rate to see if your ad is effective or whether you’re just wasting your money. We recommend running ad campaigns through Facebook Ads Manager instead of simply “boosting” or “promoting” posts. 

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Final Thoughts

These are just examples of digital marketing strategies that are the most common to helping businesses grow. However, there are many strategies you can implement that can help you increase your sales. Are you looking for a particular marketing strategy to grow your business? Get in touch with me or sign up for my course!