August 14, 2019

865 words 4 minutes.

4 Easy Steps to Create a Winning Marketing Strategy

A woman wearing overalls and a scarf using her laptop in an artist's workshop.

Does it ever feel like you’re doing everything right when it comes to marketing your business… but you’re still not seeing the payoff?

You’ve got a website.

You’re on social media.

You’re sending out emails.

You’ve even invested in PPC ads.

You’re throwing time and resources at digital marketing efforts. But if you’re not being strategic, you’re never going to get the results and ROI you want.

Here’s how to create a marketing strategy that actually works for your small business.

Why Do You Need a Marketing Strategy?

What’s the first thing you do when you plan a road trip? You probably take down the address to input in your navigation system. You make sure your car has enough gas to get there.

In other words… you prepare.

Think of marketing your small business in the same way. If you want to arrive at your destination on time, you’ll map out your journey.

If you want marketing success, you need a plan.

It’s not enough to have a website. You need a marketing strategy. A documented marketing strategy is your roadmap to success. It helps you understand where you’re going and how to get there – and ensures you don’t detour along the way.

Did you know? 46% of executives interviewed cited lack of an effective strategy as the biggest obstacle to achieving their marketing goals.

A documented marketing strategy helps you identify the following:

  1. Your specific goals and objectives.
  2. Your ideal audience.
  3. What problems you can solve.
  4. Your clearly defined value proposition.

Your marketing strategy doesn’t have to be a huge complicated report. Get started by answering these 4 questions:

What Do You Want to Achieve?

What exactly are your goals when it comes to your marketing efforts? If you only have a vague sense of what you want, such as “more leads” or “more sales”, it’s hard to measure the success of your efforts.

Instead, think SMART about your marketing objectives. SMART marketing goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time specific

“Get more leads” is a vague goal. A SMART goal is “increase lead database by 100 new prospects in the next 3 months.” This goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time specific.

Who is Your Audience?

If you’re going to add 30 new leads/ prospects to your database in a month, you’re going to have to define what a quality lead is.

Take a look at your book of business.

Which clients/customers tend to bring you the most business, come in regularly, and refer friends to you? What is you specialized niche? Is there a certain market that you’d prefer to market to?

Identify your audience, or marketing persona, with as much specificity as your SMART goals.

  • Where is you customer/ client located?
  • What’s their age, gender, and income?
  • What does their daily routine look like?
  • Where do they spend time online? (Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.)

Now that you know who your audience is, ask yourself:

What are their pain points and challenges?

It’s crucial to know the problems facing your ideal customer/ client.

Here’s why:

Most people will go out of their way to avoid traditional advertising; skipping past TV commercials, changing radio stations when an ad airs, and throwing away print ads that come in the mail.

But everybody has a problem that needs an answer. Everyone has a challenge and is looking for a solution.

Start identifying the unique challenges facing your audience and look for ways your services can provide a solution. If you’re “advertising” to clients, you’re a nuisance. If you’re helping solve their problems, you become a trusted resource.

Why You?

Many business owners make the mistake of putting themselves first when it comes to marketing their business. But putting yourself front and center of your marketing efforts can actually be a detriment.

Your ideal client should be the focus of your marketing efforts. Your marketing efforts should solve their problems. Earn their attention by providing a solution to their problem. Then you can earn their trust with your experience and knowledge, as well as testimonials from other clients and customers.

Why are you uniquely qualified to solve their problem?

What sets you apart from the competition?

What’s your niche?

Why should they allow you to be their business of choice?

Today, customers/ clients are inundated with messaging about saving the most money or getting what they want fast.

Think beyond the standard jargon to determine why your audience should consider your business over competitors.

Determining what your unique value proposition is – what makes you different and better than the competition – can help you rise above the noise in your competitive industry.

Creating a documented marketing strategy takes time. But it’s time well spent.

Once your strategy is in place, you can proceed with the digital marketing elements that will help you reach your specific goals. It will keep you focused as you create content, such as blogs, videos, or podcasts. It will guide you as you invest in paid advertising channels. It will help you craft effective email messaging.

Today’s marketing landscape is vast, confusing, and the rules are ever-changing. Let your marketing strategy be your guide on the path to success.

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