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Marketing strategy is one of the most important things to have in place before you start marketing your small business. Your small business marketing strategy is your roadmap for how you’ll achieve your vision, and it guides all your marketing tactics. Here is how to create a marketing strategy in 6 simple steps.
The Complete Roadmap for a Killer Launch
You're probably sick of hearing it and, frankly, I'm sick of saying it, but your marketing strategy is your roadmap to achieving your vision. It's pretty bloody important.
“My vision,” you say? Well, it's that big scary thing you want to achieve someday in the future. Everything you do either brings you closer to that vision or takes you further away from it.
Your marketing strategy is simply to make sure that you're on track to achieving your short-term goals and it brings you closer to achieving your long-term vision. That’s strategy. What are tactics? Well, tactics are the actions that you take. So, for example, running a Facebook Live is a tactic, running Facebook ads, engaging with people to grow your Instagram following. Those are all tactics.
You can chase after the latest popular tactic – so, for example, if everyone's hosting webinars you can host a webinar – or you can let your marketing strategy guide your tactics.
Maybe, hosting webinars doesn't actually fit into your marketing strategy. It doesn't bring you closer to your goals and it ends up being a waste of your time. Or, maybe it does fit into your marketing strategy, but you need to host a webinar on a certain topic or to a certain audience in order for it to be in line with your vision.
If you know how a tactic fits into your business marketing strategy, you can make sure you're using your precious time and energy in the most effective way possible.
Most business owners focus on the tactics without thinking about their small business marketing strategy. Chasing after tactics might get you results but you'll wind up feeling overwhelmed at how many things there are to do – because there sure are a lot of things to do.
You'll hinder your results by spreading yourself too thinly, you'll end up not focusing on the most strategic marketing tactics and you won't develop that consistency – that is, consistently showing up your audience.
Is it something you need to fork out hundreds or thousands of dollars for? No, it is not. A short, simple marketing strategy is more than enough if you're a one-man-band and you know your business inside out. You can literally draw it on the back of a napkin if you like. Just as long as it's on paper (or on digital paper).
So, let's create a marketing strategy for your small business.
Step 1: Set some SMART goals to guide your small business marketing strategy
On your piece of paper or napkin or iPad or whatever, write four headings: 6 months, 12 months, 5 years and 10 years. Under each of these headings, I want you to set a couple of goals for each.
Make sure your goals are SMART – so, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
Specific: It needs to be pretty clear what you want to achieve
Measurable: You need to have some sort of measure. So, it might be a number or a KPI or something that you can measure reliably.
Achievable: Don't go setting yourself goals to make a seven-figure revenue in six months if you're just starting out – that's not achievable and it's just going to demotivate you.
Realistic: Very similar to achievable – aim high, but not unrealistically high.
Time-constrained: You've got to set a time limit for yourself, otherwise you'll just keep procrastinating.
An example SMART goal could be: “make a six-figure revenue in the next 12 months”.
For your 10 year goal, I want you to dream really big. One of my 10-year goals is to have a team of 20 people in an office by the beach on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. It's not that huge of a goal and it's achievable, but it's a long-term vision. Whenever I'm having a bad day, I think about this beachside office I'm going to have, with this awesome team, and it keeps me motivated.
If you're a service-based business, you could also think about including some dream clients in your goals. So, they might be really big businesses that, right now, you can't imagine ever working with, but that you'd love to work with. Just add them to your long-term goals because it gives you something to be focused on.
Step 2: Set some marketing objectives to focus your marketing strategy on
So, you've got your SMART goals. Now, you need to think about what to do to achieve these goals.
Let's say, for example, you set a goal of making a six-figure revenue in 12 months. Say that you sell a $1,000 online course – you need to sell 100 of these to hit six figures. If just 2% of your email list converts into paying customers, you need to build an email list with 5,000 people on it. Right? So, 2% of 5,000 is 100 people and 100 people x $1,000 is $100,000. There's your six-figure revenue.
In this example, your marketing objective could be: “grow my email list to 5,000 subscribers in six months’ time”. It's a SMART goal – it’s specific, it's measurable (5000 subscribers), it's achievable, it's realistic and it's time constrained (because it's 6 months).
Maybe as part of your way to achieving your goals, you need to boost brand awareness, in which case, you could set some objectives around growing your Instagram following or participating in some influencer marketing. These are just some examples. Your objectives can be anything to do with any of the platforms that you're present on and that your audience is present on.
Step 3: Know your audience inside out
I can’t stress how important this is! Defining your ideal customer or client is probably the most important step in creating a marketing strategy.
You need to think beyond the demographics. Think about things like what their problems are, what their hopes and dreams are – what keeps them awake at 3 o'clock in the morning? If you know your audience inside out, creating content for them and marketing to them becomes so easy.
Yes, the demographics are important, but their psychographics and their interests are even more so.
Every time you do something in your business, ask yourself “what would Jane Doe think of this?”
Finally, you need to think about which platforms your audience are on. Why? Because there's no point being on Pinterest if you're marketing to middle-aged plumbers.
Step 4: Plan your content and create a content strategy
Think about the problems you can solve for your ideal customer and then brainstorm how you can solve these problems using content marketing. So, for example, my ideal customer often struggles to reach new audiences, which is something I've solved with my free e-book on 50 ways to promote your content.
You don't need to create a free download for every single problem they have, but a couple of solid ones are a good idea.
Again, think about where your audience is present and don't feel like you have to be everywhere.
Your content topics are super important as well, so don't write about organic food products when you're trying to sell Facebook Ad services. Map out a couple of core topics and make sure that they tie in with your long-term goals. Your content should ideally position you as the expert or as the best in your space and it should really be adding value to your ideal customer or ideal client’s life.
Try to avoid writing about your business too much. Yes, it's nice to know that you've opened a new branch. Yeah, that's something you should post on social media but it's not worthy of an entire blog post or an entire podcast episode.
Step 5: Plan your promotion and your tactics.
Once you've created your content, think about how you'll promote it. Here's a little hint: think about where your audience hangs out. If they're in Facebook groups, promote there. If they're on Instagram, promote it there. For more ideas on how you can promote your content, download my FREE e-book below.
It helps to map your content promotion on a calendar so that you can make sure that you're consistently showing up for your audience. You don’t have to plan a whole year in advance. But, if you know what topics you're going to cover and when you're going to post on each platform, then at least you have some direction.
Step 6: You need to execute.
There's no point creating a marketing strategy if you can't actually put it into action. Stop sitting there – get out there and create the content. Put your marketing strategy into action and get present on those platforms.
And, that's it! That wasn't so bad, was it? Creating a small business marketing strategy isn’t as terrible as we all think it is. And, yes, I've said it before so I'll say it again – it's pretty important.
Now – go through these steps and create a marketing strategy of your own.
The Complete Roadmap for a Killer Launch
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