At the core of business success- regardless of size or industry, is powerful marketing. Achieving the financial bottom line depends on the ability to make sales. And aside from having the right products and services, the other significant piece of that puzzle is ensuring the offerings reach in front of the target audience.
Navigating that can be a challenge, albeit an exciting one. It involves combining the right skills and knowledge and working with a visionary team. More importantly, it involves curating a killer marketing strategy.
A marketing strategy is the general game plan a business uses to reach potential consumers and convert them to paying customers that want to keep coming back.
Essentially, a well-created marketing strategy aligns a team to crucial goals and helps businesses identify their target audience’s pain points while encouraging them to capitalize on current trends.
Simply put, a good marketing strategy is essential to maximizing your ROIs. Well, here is a comprehensive guide to how to create the right one:
Set your goals
The first step in any marketing strategy is having goals that reflect the overall business goals. The best way to craft marketing strategy goals is by choosing and defining the mission statement.
A mission statement will describe what the business marketing strategy seeks to achieve and the objectives that will help it get there. It helps create the core message for the marketing goals that will be a guiding light all through the process of creating marketing goals.
Next, write down your goals in a daily planner so you can track them and hold yourself accountable.
Understand the market
There is a market that your strategy needs to plug itself into. Understand that market to know how best your strategy will fit into it. An excellent way to do that is by poring over marketing analytics to get the best picture of the market.
Ensure you look at the market performance from several perspectives and understand the strengths and weaknesses of your business. Identify the trends-emerging and established, to comprehend how your business can leverage that in its marketing efforts.
Identify potential challenges and find a way to work around them when curating your winning marketing strategy.
Know your customers and create buyer personas
Customers are the heartbeat of any impactful marketing campaign. Your marketing strategy needs to reflect that from the planning stages down to the execution.
Ample research that defines the target audience’s age, gender, job, likes and dislikes, etc., should inform your marketing strategy.
Your marketing tactics will be right on the money if they target specific buyer personas. Your ability to anticipate customer needs which you unearth with a proper understanding of your prospective customers will get you miles ahead of the competition.
Your marketing success has a better chance and is more relevant and targeted if you have all the finer details of the people your offerings are trying to appeal to.
Know the competition
It does not stop with knowing the market and your target audience. Familiarity and understanding of the competition are also essential in creating a winning marketing strategy.
Know how fellow players in your industries navigate the marketing aspects of their products and services. Understand what has worked in their favor and the bits they might be missing with their campaigns.
Researching the competition gives you a reliable sounding board for your marketing strategies.
Furthermore, it is easier to set yourself apart from the sea of people offering similar products when you have some information on them and their products. You can also find the best channel to outwit your competitors.
Understanding the competition is an essential part of any marketing strategy. It will cement you as a leader in your industry and your offerings as the best.
Understand your offerings
You cannot market that which you do not know. Knowing your products in and out is essential to any marketing campaign or strategy setting. Use the 4Ps of the marketing mix to understand and define your products and services.
First is the Product. Examine your offerings and what makes them unique in their quest to meet the needs of your target audience. That will help you spot additional features you can input when formulating your marketing strategy.
Then, look at the Price. Understand how your prices compare with the competition in the market and find ways to make it more appealing like using promotions, etc. The other P is promotion.
Now, try to find more avenues to put your products in front of consumers. Identify channels that align with your brand identity. The final P is Place.
You need to know where to sell your products and services, how easy it will be for customers to reach the place and how you can distribute your products.
The 4Ps will help you understand your products better. That way, you can polish some aspects in your marketing strategy to make your products more appealing.
Hire the dream team
Sometimes, the efficiency and success of your marketing strategy come down to the team behind the dream. It would be best if you had a marketing team of professionals to dedicate their time, skills and knowledge to your marketing strategy. Each member of that team should have clearly-outlined roles.
Some crucial marketing positions that could use experts are graphic design, PPC advertising, social media management, Search Engine Optimization, Account management, data analytics and the likes.
You can also outsource services like outreaching bloggers for guest posting and link building to an agency.
A good marketing team will help to oversee and navigate brand awareness, campaign management, doing market research, developing marketing materials and monitoring social media and executing online marketing initiatives.
Break down the marketing plan into bite-sized tactics
You have goals and objectives for your marketing plan, and the next step is making them manageable and achievable. That calls for individual marketing tactics.
Some things to consider are the content to use for your marketing efforts, be it blog posts, infographics, Youtube, eBooks, etc. Another thing to factor in your bite-sized approach is the channels you will use to reach your target audience.
Some of the Possible channels are LinkedIn, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. Your choice of channel should depend on your ideal buyer persona. It also helps you have daily, weekly and monthly goals.
Breaking down your marketing strategy this way ensures that everything you do everyday compounds to the bigger goals. Marketing strategy goals have a better likelihood of achievement when they are better defined.
The goals of your marketing strategy need to have a timeline for execution. You will have laser focus when you have a deadline for completing goals and reaching objectives.
Creating timelines keeps your marketing strategy on track while allowing you to lay the best plans for every stage of your marketing strategy.
It is not enough to have a goal and plan for your marketing strategy. Go further into outlining, defining the objectives, and identifying techniques that will help you achieve the goals.
Your techniques, methods and tools will depend on your specific business and objectives. A method you could use in your marketing efforts is social media marketing.
And a significant part of that is a content strategy. Content marketing is essential for a wholesome digital marketing strategy. It is no wonder having blogs has become somewhat of a necessity for most companies’ inbound marketing strategies.
That said, merely having a blog does not cut it. Your blog and its content have more value if the target audience interacts with them. Establishing a loyal audience is no easy feat, but it is possible when one knows how to get the word out.
An excellent way to do this is to guest post on real blogs. Guest posting will allow you to collaborate with third parties in a bid to drive organic traffic and establish yourself as thought leaders in your field.
You can also build organic backlinks to your website and the result is increased brand awareness, improved Search Engine rankings and exposure to new and more diverse audiences.
Set a budget
Things cost money. Your marketing strategy will too. You do not want to bleed your accounts in the name of curating a cutting-edge strategy. Your strategy needs to work within the confines of your set budget.
Allocate enough money to achieve your marketing goals, but do not go overboard or be wasteful trying to use every marketing technique available. Furthermore, the techniques you employ need to give a significant return on investments for them to be worthwhile.
How else will you know if the marketing strategy you have created works? You need to have ways to measure the performance of your marketing strategies. Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you can use to track success. A KPI you could use is the increase in organic traffic.
Have the KPIs in place when developing your marketing strategies. Select appropriate tools to measure the success of your marketing goals.
You could leverage online software like social media schedulers which will provide you with essential analytics to understand what your target audience prefers. Google Analytics also does a neat job of measuring webpage and blog performance.
A powerhouse marketing strategy is essential in reaching the target audience. It ensures word about your products and services gets to even those that have never heard about your offerings and converts them to repeat customers. A defined strategy also saves time, cost and resources.