When starting a new business there’s a lot to be done and putting all the pieces in place can be a bit overwhelming. This is especially true when learning how to market your new enterprise. With the multitude of marketing options in today’s world, it is easy to find yourself spending most of your budget simply testing campaigns and not making any serious headway. Having a clear strategy for starting, maintaining, and analyzing your marketing plan is vital for success. Here are five simple tips to help get you on your way.
- Set a Budget, Timeline, and Target Market
When trying to figure out where to start with your marketing strategy, it is essential for you to identify your budget, timeline, and target market. With so many marketing options available, having these three things clearly identified will help you focus your efforts and pinpoint what will work best for your company and current objectives. If you have a small budget, focusing your strategies around social media and bottom funnel efforts will have the most impact for your dollar. If your budget has a little more room in it, then you can look towards ad campaigns that focus on branding, which may include display and awareness campaigns.Having a clear timeline for your marketing plans will help you stay focused and will assure you complete the necessary steps before moving on to your next objective. If your marketing efforts are time sensitive, PPC is one of the most impactful channels when it comes to seeing immediate results. If you have others helping you execute your marketing plans, be sure to keep communication open and regularly check-in with them to make sure everyone is on track and your objectives remain aligned.
Being clear on who your target market is will help reduce wasted and unnecessary ad spend. For example, while a comprehensive Facebook ad campaign may look impressive, if your target audience is B2B and not using Facebook in a professional capacity, then even the best campaign will not yield positive results. Likewise, if you’re trying to target teens and young adults then allocating your ad budget towards traditional radio as opposed to Pandora and Spotify may be a missed opportunity.
When thinking about your marketing initiatives it is essential that you don’t just focus on what you can afford, but also how you can fully maximize your ad spend via the most effective and highest converting channels.
- Utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Content Marketing Plans
Having a strong marketing plan that includes SEO and content marketing will help fill the gaps in your marketing efforts. With today’s increasingly competitive landscape it is often not enough to just build a few Google Ads focused on popular keywords; there is a much larger audience that can be captured via a strong search engine presence – making SEO an essential piece of the digital marketing puzzle. High quality, keyword specific content can help increase the effectiveness of your SEO efforts, while also providing value to your customers, placing your brand in high regard within your target audience.
- Integrate Social Media Marketing
To say that you are going to post to Instagram once a day or make a comment or two on Facebook is not an actual social media marketing plan. Take the time to sit down and come up with a clear and consistent messaging strategy across all social media outlets, integrating a mix of various content types, such as promotional, educational, and community engagement.As with any strategy, an effective social media plan will be well thought out, organized, and include goals that are measurable and time sensitive. If you are working with a team, make sure that all necessary stakeholders have a clear idea of what your goals are. More importantly, be sure everyone knows what your desired social media message is. Make sure that your brand stays true to itself and is identifiable from one platform to the next.Evan LePage points out that, “Having these objectives also allows you to quickly react when social media campaigns are not meeting your expectations. Without goals, you have no means of gauging success or proving your social media return on investment.”
- Use Paid Search Marketing to Jumpstart Your Efforts
When done correctly, paid search advertising is one of the most profitable marketing channels and can quickly increase the number of qualified leads coming to your website. Start by doing keyword research to determine what your customers are searching for in hopes of finding the type of product you provide. Tools like Ahrefs Keyword Explorer are extremely useful in coming up with strategic keyword searches that hone in on your target market and their purchase intent, rather than casting a wide net that is likely to produce a lower ROI.Once you have pinpointed your keyword focus and have your ads set up, you can change gears and move on to your next marketing initiative, right?Be sure to track and analyze your data regularly and adjust accordingly, which is my fifth and most important tip.
- Track and Analyze Data and Adjust Accordingly
There is nothing more important than making sure your marketing plans are on track and effectively working to accomplish the goals originally set. Regardless of the different strategies and marketing channels, all data should be tracked and analyzed regularly.Tools like Google Analytics and SEMrush are essential for keeping track of your various marketing campaigns and website performance. These analytics tools can provide valuable insights to where clicks are converting to sales, how customers are being acquired, and where they are being lost.As this data is collected, be sure to analyze your campaign performance and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Sometimes the hardest thing to do with something as overwhelming as creating a market plan is just knowing where to start. By beginning your plan with a clear idea of your budget, timeline and target market, you can then work to understand where to focus your attention. From there you can move on to the remaining four steps with confidence and success!