Have you been tasked to ‘get your marketing’ sorted but you don’t know where to start?
I know it can feel daunting. There are so many options and ways of marketing and only so much time or budget. But don’t worry, it’s not that scary.
It’s all about going back to marketing basics and setting yourself up to succeed.
1. Have a plan with defined goals.
2. Get your house in order.
3. Adopt a digital-first attitude.
4. Embrace social and content marketing.
Please don’t go quiet on marketing right now.
Instead, focus on activities that will give you the greatest return, while raising your visibility ready for when the market changes again (and we know it will). Ride out the storm and tackle low cost tactics that will keep you top of mind and being known as the expert and go-to-solution.
Marketing Basics start with a plan
The best marketing plans are tightly aligned to your business goals and simply highlight the path to get from A-to-B to achieve your goals.
If you haven’t set business goals yet, it’s your reminder to spend time to get clear on where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow. If it’s easier, start with 3-month blocks to kick-start your efforts.
Marketing’s goal is to help the business deliver on those objectives.
Common marketing goals relate to:
1. Awareness (solutions/brand)
2. Lead Generation
For example, you may have a goal to attract 10 leads a month into your sales pipeline (which = 30 over the next three months). Or you may have a goal to raise the profile of the CEO and secure speaking gigs.
Once you know the goal you can start to plan activities that will support reaching it.
TIP: Know your numbers. If it costs you a lot to get a lead and you know prospects aren’t buying right now, your profitability decreases, and your budget gets chewed up fast.
Know who you are and who you serve
Get crystal clear on who you are – known as brand positioning – is a marketing basic you can’t ignore.
Knowing who you are can guide every touchpoint within your business and influences the way you do things and the type of client experience you create.
The more consistent you are, the more memorable you become.
What does your company stand for? How do you want to show up in the market?
– your values
– why you exist
– your value proposition? In a crowded market your differentiator could be how you approach things, your features and benefits, or if you are a sole trader, is could be YOU?
Get inside the hearts and minds of your audience – referred to as customer personas or target audience
Marketers always bang on about getting to know their audience, and for good reason.
Without an audience of buyers, you won’t be in business. So, it makes sense to understand more about them.
- why do they need you?
- what problem does your solution/product/service solve for them?
- what language do they use to describe things? Can you use it too?
- what do they expect from you
- what aren’t they telling you
- what’s the urgency? Is there a pain point that tips them over the edge and into google?
Unsure about what’s going on for them? Ask. Use customer surveys, focus groups, 1:1 conversations, and plenty of social listening. Facebook groups are a mine of information for how people talk about their pain points.
You can use your insights to create better experiences, design relatable content, share offers they actually want, and meet them where they hang out.
Create a consistent look/feel and tone of voice
Consistency builds trust and helps people recognise that it’s you. And if they recognise it’s you, they are more likely to remember you.
– brand (colours, style, font, imagery
– personality (tone, style and experience)
A connection on LinkedIn recently told me, they love my branding, as when they see my colours pop up in their feed, they know it’s me and slow down to read what I have to say.
Build your content marketing strategy using your voice and understanding of your customer.
Adopt a digital-first attitude
There’s no doubt about it, client’s expect a schmick digital experience. They get it everywhere else, so they want things to work the same with you. It’s essential to think of the digital experience first.
It starts with your website
You need a google friendly, client-focused website that clearly leads them on a path to working with you.
Although they have come to check you out, it’s more about how you can help them than talking yourself up.
Make it easy to get in touch, buy your thing, sign-up, or make an appointment via a calendar booking service.
Pay attention to SEO as it helps people to find you. And pay attention to the little details.
Digital onboarding, making it easy on your customers and staying in touch.
Get social with the goal to lead people into your world
Social media is fantastic. It’s a low-cost way to get in front of your audience and show them what you’re all about. People want to do business with like-minded people with similar values. Social media is the perfect place to give people a sneak peek into your world.
The only social channel you need to be on is the one where your client’s hang out. For most B2B service business that means LinkedIn.
But you must be intentional about how you do that. Too much about you and people get turned off; too much sales content and people scroll past.
Share helpful, educational, oh, that’s relatable, that’s so me, content if you want to be successful.
To be good at social; you need to be social.
Start engaging and talking with potential clients, peers, and thought leaders in your niche.
Expect to spend 30 mins a day doing this.
And don’t forget to give people a pathway to working with you where it brings them into your world. The risk for social media is that you are at the whim of the algorithm, and it could change at any time.
Better to start your own lists (prospects and clients) so you can communicate directly with them.
Get the marketing basics right and the rest are just tactics.
To succeed in business, you need the basic marketing foundations in place; goals, brand, digital-first and a plan to connect and sell to your audience.
Once you’ve nailed the marketing basics you can start to dabble in tactics like advertising, campaigns, and lead nurture. Because if you miss out on the fundamentals and go straight to the fun stuff, you point them to an unrenovated house which doesn’t create a good first impression and you’re wasting your money.
There’s a place for marketing basics right now. Are you paying attention to them?
About the Author
Rebecca Cofrancesco is an experienced marketing strategist and content creator.
She works with professional services brands and offers freelance services without the overhead of a full-time employee.
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