As a business owner you should understand that all marketing should be done, with the sole aim of building brand awareness, whilst earning attention and engaging your target audience for the future. In this way, when the time comes and you actually advertise or try to sell something to your target audience, they already feel as if they know, like, understand and trust you.
Create a Marketing Plan
Every business should have a marketing plan, especially new businesses, a marketing plan should include the following:
- A short description of your company
- Your mission and goals
- Your core money-making focus
- Where you are today within the market
- Who your competitors are
- Who your target market is
- The marketing mix
- The strategy and tactics you plan to use to reach your audience
- A schedule to implement
- Your overall budget
It’s important to do this because without a marketing plan, you are far less likely to achieve your goals and arrive at the destination you want to arrive at.
Create a Marketing Strategy and Tactics for Each Channel
If you plan to have a marketing mix of a website, a blog and social media along with offline marketing such as TV advertisements, radio and newspaper, you need to write it all down and create a special strategy and tactics for each. Your marketing mix offers different ways to reach your audience as it should, but they can’t all live together in the same individual strategy, and your tactics will be different for each channel and sub channel.
For example: Your Facebook marketing strategy, while it falls under social media marketing, will not look the same as your Twitter strategy or your LinkedIn strategy, because they’re as different as a racing car and an old dilapidated car.
Be Realistic about Your Budget
If you’re like most small businesses, you’ll only have a limited marketing budget. It’s important to understand this and to focus on what works and what you can do. In this case, online marketing and social media are going be much more effective for your business because it costs a lot more money to get involved and to run a successful television advertising campaign.
To avoid wasting money you need to understand that if you cannot do something the right way, don’t do it. It will end up a waste of time and money. The same goes for pay-per-click advertising. If your budget is small, it may not work for you. Businesses with small budgets should stick to marketing that is almost free other than time spent and invested by the business.
For those reading this that currently do carry out pay-per-click advertising, have you made sure your website is mobile friendly, either responsive or a separate mobile website. If it isn’t your business is wasting around fifty percent of its pay-per-click advertising budget, as every mobile user that clicks on your advertisement will leave your website as soon as they arrive, simply because more and more people access the Internet on smart phones and tablets.
You’re Business Website
Don’t skimp on your website, in today’s Internet savvy world every business should have an excellent website. Your website should include:
- An engaging design aimed specifically at your target market
- Ensure your website is responsive
- Contain relevant content that is regularly updated
- Contain a blog that has new articles added each month.
- Includes a specific landing page for use with pay per click campaigns
- Includes AB Split Testing
- Includes Heat maps
- Includes an Email Newsletter
- Includes Security features
As I’ve designed websites for over twenty years now, the above list is what I consider to be the barest minimum every small business should aim for. A website such as this will not cost the earth, I know we offer packages including all of this for around $350 – $500 per month.
Many businesses fail before the get started due to a bad website, so ensure yours is up to today’s standard and if it’s a few years old, get it checked out to ensure it still works as you intend it to.
Finally, create and open social media accounts with all social media websites. Fill out the profiles all the way, including pictures and information. Remember, this is sort of like a resume for your customers. If you hide who you are, and aren’t “real,” they’re going to ignore you as if you aren’t even there. You want people to learn about your business so be yourself, be likable, and be trustworthy and accurate in your representation of your business.