You can call them anything you like: The secret sauce. The holy trinity. The secret ingredients. No matter what you call them, these three ingredients are absolutely vital when it comes to small business marketing success. Even if you have no marketing experience whatsoever, this article will help you find your course. To take your business from zero to hotshot, you need to
- A strategy
- The willingness to learn
The First Key: Strategy
Like just about anything you do, when it comes to conquering marketing and making it effective, you have to sit down and strategize your approach. Otherwise, you’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks. This will not only be a waste of your time, but it will waste all the effort you are putting into your business.
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Wouldn’t you rather have a plan for marketing success instead of just hope?
Always remember that you’re building something for the long haul. Instead of longevity, you will only see short term results if you don’t lay the foundation for your marketing. This foundation is – you guessed it – your marketing strategy.
So you might ask yourself: What are the best marketing strategies?
The best answer for right now, “Just have one!”
Need a marketing strategy? Learn about our digital marketing consultation & planning support.
Marketing Strategy Planning: Top 3 Steps
- Sit down and make sure the goals of your company are clearly defined.
- Know your mission and what you stand for inside and out.
- Then, build a strategy that you think will best communicate the message you want to send to your ideal audience.
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The Second Key: Consistency
If your brand and overall marketing aren’t consistent, then you’re making your customer work. It becomes hard for them to understand who and what you are all about. And, sometimes, they may forget about you altogether. Then you’re left having to start over again to build that trust up again.
Consistency is all about making a promise to your ideal audience and making sure you keep that promise over and over. Remember, you are building this business for the long haul – there isn’t time for the “one and done” mentality. For example, if you decide that social media marketing posts are going to be part of your digital marketing strategy, you have to be diligent about the task no matter how sidetracked you get with other things.
As a busy person trying to build your business, it could be easy to put that task on the back-burner, breaking your communication line with your customer. When a customer sees that you started posting relevant content regularly and then all of a sudden “crickets”, it shows a lack of consistency with your message. A.k.a, a lack of trust.
Do you want your brand to shine and compete with the big boys?
Consistent marketing will take you to the next level. And note this, every marketing campaign may not be successful, but slow and steady wins the race. Don’t get discouraged or give up just because you didn’t see winning results right out of the gate.
A few risks you take by not being consistent:
- Mistrust – Your audience will wonder where you’ve been and lose trust in your brand. This makes your brand feel undependable or your potential customers may not even recognize you anymore.
- Lost momentum – From an advertising campaign standpoint, if you start and stop your ads, the longer they are offline, the higher the loss of momentum that you have achieved over time. If other businesses are staying the course with their marketing dollars, then they will begin to gain a foothold and take the market share. Once your digital ad campaigns are back online, the cost of regaining the lost footing is higher.
- Starting over – For email marketing campaigns specifically, you most likely will have to warm your list up again and struggle to get your open rates in your favor. This can be very daunting.
- Inefficient – Starting and stopping is simply inefficient. Having to go back and figure out where you left off is frustrating to say the least.
- What did we do last time that worked so well?
- What did we say we would never do again?
- Shoot, where is everything I need?!
- Confusion – Regardless of how often you publish content online, it’s important to adhere to a schedule. If the type of content, quality, or publishing cadence are not consistent, it can really confuse your audience.
Create a great customer experience and build trust. Be reliable, consistent and be present.
The Third Key: Learning
In order for your business to grow, you can never stop learning. We all know that. How many times have you learned by trial and error? And, how far have you grown from that?
From a marketing perspective, what worked last week may not work this week. So… never stop testing!
👉The internet and marketing, in general, are constantly evolving!
The way people interact with your business along with their expectations as a customer change faster every day. Customer demands are high and you have to constantly pivot to meet their expectations.
Let’s face it: Building a small business isn’t a small task, nor is it an easy one at all. You are bound to approach issues and questions along the way that are completely out of your wheelhouse. Delegating responsibility is a good strategy to ensure everything gets done, but knowledge is power.
If you choose to work with a marketing agency partner, they should be guiding you along the way. You should understand everything they are recommending so you can collaborate with them more effectively. They bring the marketing strategies, you bring the business knowledge, but you both have to understand one another in order to rock.
Marketing done right should help you learn:
- What messaging resonates with your audience
- How do your customers perceive you as better than the competition?
- What promises make them want to work with you?
- What days and times of day work best to send communications or campaigns out
- Are you answering your customers commonly asked questions and sales objections? Or, are you spending too much time answering and educating on a sales call that you should be closing instead?
In summary, knowledge is power & never stop testing! Your marketing will become more sophisticated if you always keep your eyes and ears open. See what others are doing that’s working but do it your way. Be creative in your thinking. And, never assume. Test, test, test!
Make sure that if you have to part ways with your marketing agency or an in-house team member, that you can hand it off easily again without having to start from scratch. A good marketing agency should be providing you great documentation, sharing their marketing expertise and guiding you along the way. They should not be pigeon holding you, owning your data or keeping you in the dark in any way.
TIP: Make sure they ask you questions. How can they market your business if they don’t even know all the intricacies about it? It goes both ways.
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In Conclusion: How to Be Successful in Digital Marketing
Even if you don’t know anything about marketing whatsoever, these three keys are going to be essential in getting you into the next level.
Let me leave you with this analogy…
Have you ever bought a home before? You find a great home that is within your budget. You invest money and time over the years into home improvements to make it truly yours. Not only do all the blood, sweat and tears pay off to get you your dream home but it also increases the value of your home.
It goes without saying that it’s the same for your business. The investment you put into your marketing efforts is only going to up the value of your business in the long-run. Have a plan, follow-through, be consistent and never stop trying new things!
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If you are struggling to define a marketing strategy that you feel confident investing your time into or if you’re simply lacking the resources to carry it through, we can help. Sign up for hourly consultation to help get you unstuck or request a Free Strategy Session to learn how your business can reach marketing success.
What’s your approach to digital marketing? Leave a comment below.