If you’re planning to start a business, all the best! But remember, there’s a long and difficult road ahead and it takes a lot of muscle to build a sustainable company. Having said that, if you start with the right foundation, your venture will be rewarding.
And if you’ve already launched your business but you don’t have a concrete marketing plan, you’re behind. I didn’t have one myself when I first launched my business, I pretty much just said I was open for business lol. But I have learned a lot in the past few years and am still learning new things about everything that takes to run your own business today.
Not all business tips or marketing plans work the same, and one or two may work better than the others. For example, Pinterest and Instagram are great for a food blogger because you are showing images that are more attractive there and people are looking for inspiration and instructions to create wonderful things.
Another example is Facebook and LinkedIn, those work together well to build your network and share text or video content.
To be as successful as possible, you need to find the right marketing approach in the early stages so that you start on the right track.
Don’t be alarmed to hear this. It’s not too late to find the right marketing plan for your business. You just need to make sure you spend enough time to come up with the best possible marketing approach.
Here are four ways to boost your visibility and bring more customers your way.
1. Know Your Target Audience
Before you do anything else, decide whom you’ll sell your products or services to.
This is a crucial step. Don’t skip it and don’t assume your brand is for everyone. Doing this will only set you up for failure.
Begin by segmenting your target audience. This will help you identify the best market for your brand.
Start broad and slowly be more specific. However, depending on your business, you may have to target a wide range of individuals.
For example, if you’re a clothing business, you might sell clothes to women, men, and children of all ages. You can narrow down by targeting people who will wear clothes for fitness or physical activity. And you can get more specific and target certain sports, such as cycling or running.
So, to find the marketing approach which is perfect for your business, narrow down your target audience. This will help you create a brand that’s more appealing to a specific group. However, remember that going too specific can alienate a huge portion of the consumer market. So tread carefully and find a market within the middle ground.
2. Branding — Have a Clear Identity
To communicate effectively what your business does and what it stands for, you must have a clear identity. Your brand is not just about appearance. I’m not a brand expert but my friend Joie Gharrity is an expert in this area and I highly recommend checking her content out.
After knowing what your business represents, you’ll need a suitable name, a logo, images, and colors that will all convey this message to your target market. This is where you work on your business’s appearance and keeping it consistent in all areas you are marketing your business.
You can design your logo by yourself or you can hire a freelancer to do it for you. And once you have a logo, put it on everything – business cards, advertising, email signatures and so on, to create awareness and visibility.
Remember to go the extra mile to make sure your brand is memorable and valuable to your target audience even if you remove the logo. If you don’t use your logo, you can use your website address.
3. Conduct Market Research
Once you identify your ideal audience and come up with a memorable brand, it’s time to come up with a marketing plan.
However, before working on your marketing campaign, start by validating your hypothesis. Remember, just because you plan to target a certain audience, it doesn’t mean this group of consumers will automatically like your products or services. So, begin by determining if your target audience wants what you’re planning to offer.
One of the primary reasons many companies fail is because there’s no market demand for what they offer. Thus, conducting market research early on is a marketing approach that will help you find out if your venture is worth pursuing.
To build a successful business, have a differentiation strategy. Establish what differentiates your company from the competition. Figuring out how your brand compares to other similar products or services already in the market will make it easier to create an effective marketing strategy.
4. Test and Measure All Your Marketing Campaigns
Once you start marketing your products or services, you must determine how effective your campaigns are. This will help you calculate your ROI (Return On Investment), and you won’t throw your budget down the drain.
Use online tools such as Google Analytics to measure various metrics, such as where your traffic is coming from. Other analytics you can check is the social media platforms you are using too.
Measure your conversions and monitor your engagement on social media. Also, look at data from your email marketing campaigns. Look at your open rates, click-throughs, bounce rates, and unsubscribes.
Use your results to make changes and improvements. For example, you can try to see how segmenting your audience will impact your results.
By testing and measuring your campaigns, you’ll see what’s working and what needs to be changed or scrapped completely.
Set goals to make sure you’re striving to improve.
Don’t Give Up
Coming up with the right marketing approach is daunting, and it takes time. There’s no one best marketing approach — experiment to see what works well with your audience and what brings the best results. Tweak it and improve on it and you’ll have a perfect marketing approach and plan that will improve your ROI and generate more sales.
Start with one social media marketing plan. If it doesn’t work out, try another on a different social media platform. You can try again with the one that didn’t work out for you at a later time, you can even work with a marketing expert or virtual assistant to handle the social media platform you don’t have time for or is an area you do not want to spend time on.
Having more than one social media platform to market on is important because you want traffic coming from more than one source. A social media platform can eventually lose popularity to another and there is a risk you can have your account locked or suspended.
Which social media platforms do you like best and why?