If you’re just starting out or have recently launched, it’s obvious that you don’t have millions of dollars in your marketing budget. You can also have an amazing product or service, but if you’re not getting it in front of the right people, you’re dead. The old saying builds it and they will come, unfortunately, doesn’t work. The good news is that with the right strategy, you can market to your consumers with the right messages in the right marketing channels at the right time.
Develop a marketing strategy
First just have one. There is no silver bullet or magic framework. The key is to have a plan and over time figure out what’s right for your business.
The strategy is everything. Among the hundreds of marketing channels out there (PR, influencers, events, digital, podcasts, print, newsletters, partnerships etc), it’s important to pick the ones that will work the hardest for you for the smallest amount of money. A good marketing plan starts with placing strategic bets on a few channels where your customer is most likely to see your message AND take action (like, share, buy, comment, sign up, review). You’ll also want to make sure you’re engaging with consumers at every stage of their purchasing journey, all the way from awareness to purchase intent, to taking action on the purchase itself. Even after the purchase, you have the opportunity to place messaging in order to foster loyalty and advocacy.
Have a consumer-first mindset
Knowing where your consumer spends time and where your consumer doesn’t spend time will help you cut out the noise, narrow and focus. Many entrepreneurs have heard the term ‘ideal client avatar’ – and there is a reason for this. Take the time to visualize who your ideal consumer is down to the places they shop and where they spend their time online. This can also help to drive strategy in two important marketing channels.
Partnerships are a fantastic way to get your message heard – instead of having to go through the hard work to build your audience from scratch, you can tap into a partner that already has a large audience that’s the same as yours. Who is your ideal consumer following?
Digital marketing can also help you to gain quicker reach if you know which digital channels to focus on. Is your ideal consumer on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram? What Google AdWords do they use to search for your product/service? Do they follow certain brand ambassadors? What media outlets are they reading? Regardless of your target segment, there’s likely a massive amount of time spent online – reading the news, checking email, catching up on blogs, shopping, downloading apps. Here you can have a virtual brand web to draw consumers in.
Compare yourself to others
I know what you’re thinking: I want to stand out and do something different than my competition. That said, seeing where your competitors are advertising and marketing tells you two things: 1. That they’ve seen success from marketing and advertising in those channels, and 2. That you’re likely to benefit by offering a superlative offering while appearing alongside them. This doesn’t have to be your main focus, but it can provide some inspiration, give clues, and help you to narrow down.
Know what your goals are
What is it you’re looking to achieve? Do you want people to buy? Do you want people to be aware? There are different marketing channels that work better at achieving different marketing objectives. Different digital tools, like Facebook ads, for example, enable you to position your message in a way to achieve a specific goal, whether that is a purchase, or simply to grow your audience.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to measure where you’re generating the most leads or sales and allocate even more budget to the channels that are working hard for you. You cannot amplify what you do not track.
Put your strategy into place
With intentional action, and time to review and iterate, it is possible to develop a high-impact, low-cost marketing strategy. Start with your ideal consumers, look to your competition, and then measure your progress. Rinse and repeat.