At the core of every business is a strategic marketing plan that helps spread the word about your brand to as many consumers as possible. Nowadays, having a strong online presence is crucial as most customers shop online or rely on online platforms to learn about businesses. However, words like return on investment (ROI), conversion rates, and targeted ads can all sound daunting, especially if you are new to the business world.
At the same time, having so many marketing aspects to consider, such as branding, promotions, pricing, and social media, can all seem overwhelming. That said, there are ways to develop an effective and strong marketing strategy without necessarily making a huge investment or exhausting all your resources. By knowing where to focus your priorities and attention, you can help your business grow and generate higher profits!
Research Your Market
Every strategy has to start with a thorough understanding of the market. You know that you want to increase your visibility and reach more customers, but who exactly are you targeting in the first place? Start by researching your target market and understanding their needs, wants, purchase behavior, and thinking patterns. This information will help you understand what channels you can use for marketing your product and what strategies will best appeal to your customers.
Likewise, conducting market research gives you insights and trends that can help you forecast sales and understand your competition. Know that developing a marketing strategy does not happen in isolation. To do it effectively, you have to know what others in the industry are doing, so you can look out for opportunities that you can capitalize on, such as untapped markets or industry niches.
Set a Budget
Marketing activities will come at a cost, so before executing anything, it will be helpful to come up with a budget to know the extent of your expenses. Though expenses may vary significantly depending on the nature of your business or your intended strategy, there are some aspects that you should not leave out. For example, web design and development, branding, printing of collaterals, advertising, and hiring marketing staff or agencies are common elements that you need to consider in your budget.
Profile Your Target Market
When developing a marketing strategy, it is important to know who your potential customers are, so you know where to focus your efforts. One way to do this is by profiling your target market and identifying their characteristics to know how you can address their needs. Segmentation typically occurs on four levels: geography, demography, behavior, and lifestyle, so go through each of these factors to come up with a clear customer profile.
Leverage Social Media
You have the freedom to select the marketing channels you want to use to promote your brand and company. However, among the many choices you have, social media should be at the top of your list. Up until today, the wave of social media continues to be huge, and it is clear that the hype will not die anytime soon. Thus, you can leverage these platforms to capture your target market and engage with them to create a connection with your customers.
Make a Website
In today’s day and age, having a website matters more than ever. It is one of the best ways to solidify your online presence and communicate your company’s brand, and it is also one of the first places that customers will look for to learn about your business. Make use of search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to ensure that your web design is responsive to different devices. See to it that your website is user-friendly as you want to boost organic traffic and get your site visitors to convert into customers.
SEO can be tricky to implement, so if you are determined to increase your search rank, it may be beneficial to hire an agency to help in this aspect. Optimizing your website requires many considerations, such as using the right keywords, backlinks and calls to action (CTAs), rich snippets, and other elements. Thus, it may be best to leave this job to professionals if you do not have the expertise or resources.
At times, marketing ideas may not translate to your desired results as many factors can affect the success of your strategy. Thus, you must always test your ideas to see what works and what does not. You can try your approaches on staff members or even a few of your potential customers to gauge their response and determine the idea’s feasibility. Know that the first idea may not always be the best, so take the time to try different tactics to ensure you come up with the best strategy.
Monitor and Track
After you execute your marketing strategy, you still have to keep a close eye to see if your marketing activities generate your desired results. Monitor them continuously and review your marketing plan every few months–ideally every three months–to ensure that your investments are translating to profitable returns. The business landscape is always changing and innovating, so retaining the same strategy may not necessarily retain the same results over a long time.