In 2017 I was asked to share my marketing tips during the Startup Coffee Story: The Entrepreneur Advantage.
I was grateful to do so, because I have been going to this meet-up for some time now, and the speakers and the people I meet there always inspire me. Thus, to be able to stand and speak in front of them was an amazing experience.
The presentation came naturally because the audience represents my “ideal client” (startups and small companies). Based on my own experiences, I know first-hand about the challenges they face, as well as how they approach creating a marketing strategy. The hardest part of all this is to not forget why you embarked on this journey. What motivates you? What is your passion?
If we look at the companies we love, at the products and services we use, you will notice that we choose that brand, product, or service not because it is the best or the most popular, but because we connect with the story behind it. If you look closer, you will notice that this story that makes us click comes from the passion of the people behind the brand. This passion should be the foundation of your marketing strategy.
Besides passion, you also need to keep some other factors in mind. Here are five tips to guide you in creating a solid marketing strategy:
Have an end goal!
Before you start doing anything, you need to know:
· Where are you going?
· What do you want to achieve?
It is very important to have this identified in the beginning, so you can better direct your efforts towards achieving your goal and not wasting time and money on things that are not relevant.
Having a marketing strategy, or just a campaign for that matter, without an end goal is like going on a holiday without knowing where you are going. How do you know what to pack if you don’t know your destination? Are you going to the seaside or to the mountains? Should you bring your trekking shoes and mountain gear or flip-flops and a swimsuit? All of this depends on your destination.
The same applies when you are creating a marketing strategy. What do you want to achieve?
· increase website traffic
· increase followers on social media
· increase YouTube video views
· place yourself as an authority in an industry
Depending on what you want to achieve, you will know what platforms and tools to use, where to focus your energy, efforts, and budget, as well as what type of partnerships you should be making.
For example, if you want to drive more traffic to your site, you could focus your energy and budget on SEO and Google ads. However, if you are interested in placing yourself as an authority in your industry, you should focus your time on writing quality content and securing speaking engagements.
It saddens me to see so many companies who have no direction. They engage in different marketing activities just because they see others doing it, but in the process, they end up wasting a lot of money, time, and energy on activities that don’t bring anything in return.
ALWAYS HAVE AN END GOAL IN MIND!
Know your audience
In order to know what platforms to use and the tone and style to adopt, you need to first know who are you addressing. Before creating anything or choosing the platforms to use to achieve your end goal, make sure you know the answer to the following questions:
· Who is your client?
· Where does he or she spend his or her time?
· In what are they interested in?
· How often are they on that platform?
· What do they like?
· What do they not like?
You do not want to discuss mountain gear with someone who is terrified of heights and spends his or her free time scuba diving.
Rome wasn’t built in one day. The same applies to your marketing efforts. You can’t achieve your goals overnight. It takes time, and it takes effort, and you need to be consistent. What does that mean?
It means you need to post daily on your social media, write something at least once a week, and keep up with your videos.
To help my clients remain consistent, I create a daily agenda for them. From the start, they know exactly what they need to do each day for the length of our contract. They know how many times a day they need to post on social media, as well as how many articles they need to write, by when, and where to publish and share them. Everything is outlined in a very clear and concise manner.
This helps them not only because they know what they need to do, but also how long it will take. With this information, they can evaluate if they are able to do the work themselves, need to hire someone to do it or outsource it.
Tip no. 4
Measure, measure, measure
Before creating SPIN Ideas, I worked for a media company. While there, I worked with a variety of organizations: small, medium, and corporate clients. I was surprised to see so many of these companies spending their budget on advertising without keeping a close eye on the campaigns or measuring results properly. They were putting so much energy and time in the creation of the content (either the article, landing page, or banners), yet their efforts stopped there.
Your marketing efforts should be organized based on results and on clients. You need to see how people react to your posts, what they visit on your site, what they click on, what they read and share, and based on that, adjust your content and strategy accordingly. Google Analytics, together with all the other measurement and analytics tools, should become your best friends.
Tip no. 5
There are several things you need to do to be present. Firstly, make sure you engage with your audience. It is not enough to just post something on Facebook and do it on a daily basis. You need to make sure you reply to all the comments, likes, and questions your followers may have.
What better way to be present than by attending the events where your audience is present. Talk with them and find out what they think, want, and like. Show them you are there for them.
Another way to be present is by creating partnerships with relevant parties. You can’t be everywhere at the same time, at least not from the beginning, and it is even harder if you are a small company and your budget is limited. However, if you partner with other companies that complement your activities, it will give you access to a larger audience.
I would like to leave you with one last piece of advice: DO IT!
They say, “Those who don’t jump will never fly.” If you want to follow your passion, set up your goals, create a plan, start writing, create videos, interact with your audience, go to events, measure your results, and adapt your strategy accordingly.
If you don’t know how to do all this, ask for help. Go and hire a marketer or a marketing agency. Hire a copywriter to write if you don’t know how to do it. Hire someone to help you with video creation.
There are so many options. You just need to act and do it!
Regardless if you go on a holiday or plan your marketing strategy, make sure you choose your destination, know the people who are joining you, share your story, make sure people understand it, and be present.