What is the purpose of marketing?
Marketing bridges the gap between you and your ideal client. It’s a way for you to reach out and prove why your product/service is something that they need.
At the most basic level marketing gets the word out about your business. However, when used correctly it is so much more than that. Marketing can work harder for you by not only informing your audience, but gaining their business.
What separates mediocre marketing from exceptional marketing is your strategy and measurability.
What is your marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy should be composed of different campaigns. A campaign is a sequence of messaging or activities meant to accomplish a specific, singular goal (get more customers, promote a product, etc.).
There are many different ways to accomplish a campaign. Popular ways include: online/social media, print media, television/radio, and/or in-person.
What is best for your business will depend on a few factors:
- How many people do you want to reach?
- How familiar is the average consumer with your product/service?
- How much time/capital do you want to invest in it?
Level of reach
Are you trying to gain an entire client base, or are you trying to attract a few new clients? Your marketing strategy should reflect this. To reach the appropriate scope of clients adjust the period of time a campaign runs and/or the number of platforms you run the campaign on. If you’re working on campaign X to attract Y clients, you can still run X on a variety of platforms, but be sure to change the graphics and copy to best suit that platform.
Level of familiarity
If your product/service is unique you may have to spend part of your marketing budget in an introduction phase. Some businesses need no introduction. People already have a general idea of what they do. Think trade business (AC/heat, electric, plumbing etc.) or popular services (interior design, catering, lawyers etc.). If you provide a more niche service/product, don’t market with assumed understanding. Give your clients a basic introduction of what it is you do. If they don’t know or understand, they won’t buy.
Level of investment
Different marketing strategies will require different amounts of time and money. How much you’re willing (and able) invest can make the difference in the level of success of your campaign. That doesn’t mean low-cost or free options aren’t successful. They require more of your time. You will spend more time monitoring and measuring the impact of a free/low cost option. Your labor should be factored into your investment. Higher cost options usually come with more enhanced features and automated quantitative metrics saving you time. Either option can work, but be prepared to work to get the most out of every campaign you run.
A campaign should suit its medium.
Tailor your message to your platform. That doesn’t mean that all your emails have to be about topic X and social media about topic Y, but it does mean that you should be aware of what campaign you’re running and where you run it.
For example, if you’re trying to get new clients you should have a campaign that is dedicated to recruiting and networking. If you also want to promote a new product you should set up a separate campaign that targets existing clients and gives them more information on this new product.
Both of these campaigns can run on different platforms: (email, social media, advertisement etc.), but the copy (not the message) and graphics may change slightly to best utilize that particular platform.
Use each medium to its full advantage. Make your copy and images work best for where you’re posting.
- Social media: Use hashtags wisely! Too many, vague, or unrelated hashtags can deliver your content to the wrong feeds. Be specific and research which hashtags are trending/impacting your business and clients.
- Email: Be persistent, but not a pest. If you become a burden to your clients’ inbox they will unsubscribe. Keep your content relevant and timely. Aim for no more than 2-3 emails in a month. Once you establish a relationship with a client you can begin sending them more specialized information and promotions.
- Print: Be as eco and cost conscious as possible. Simplify your color palette and text. Make the copy bold and concise.
What are you tracking?
Always make campaigns measurable! Careful quantitative metrics will let you know if a campaign is working (or isn’t). It is imperative you keep track. Good things to measure are: clicks, follows, unsubscribes, and interactions. You want your content to work for you. Have a target number for each action. If your marketing campaign isn’t getting the right amount of clicks/interactions or the number of unsubscribes is too high, re-access your strategy.
Putting it all together
- Create individual campaigns: You need a different campaign for each goal you’re trying to accomplish. Break your goal down into specific messaging. Determine what will make the campaign successful. Have specific numbers and goals. Launch as needed.
- Manage, adjust, and monitor all ongoing campaigns: Don’t walk away from a campaign as soon as you hit send. Think of it like a car. It needs maintenance. Keep fueling it with new information and tweak what’s not working.
- Track and measure a campaign’s success: Know your campaign’s worth. Track resources being used and look for returns. If you’re spending more on the marketing than you’re seeing returned, stop that campaign. You will only be able to do this if you closely follow how a campaign is performing.
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