This month we got chatting to digital marketing agency and Branston Court tenants, huzzah! digital, to get their pointers on how to write a killer marketing strategy for your small business.
When you’re a small business and are most likely doing all your marketing in-house, it can become one of those things you sort of pick up when you’ve got time. Occasionally it works out and you get leads off the back of your fleeting activities, but generally not so much. Hey, we’re not judging! With so many other things to think about, customers, clients, finances and the like, marketing often gets pushed to the bottom of the pile in small businesses.
The trouble is, those customers and clients you want to attract won’t be drawn in if they don’t know who you are or what you stand for. It’s not always as simple or as transactional as putting the effort in and immediately getting the ROI back, especially if you’re not a retail business. You’ve got to get buy in from your target market on more than just what you do, they have to resonate with why you do it too.
You’re most likely faced with this common conundrum: you haven’t got time to spend hours and hours each day working away on marketing, nor do you have the money to spend on a full-time marketer – so how do you stay on top of it all?
You need to get yourself a marketing strategy. More importantly, you need a strategy that you can execute by yourself that doesn’t take up huge amounts of time. Sound too good to be true? Believe us, it’s totally doable. With proper planning and channel strategy, you’ll be able to focus your energies where it really counts.
Here are our 4 tips for building a kickass marketing strategy for your small business:
1. Define your brand message
It might sound really obvious, but you’d be surprised how many businesses (big and small!) haven’t got their core brand persona nailed. You essentially need to choose what type of person your brand is going to be and roll this out across all your channels for an interconnected brand experience.
The best way to do this is to run a brand identity session with your team to work out what approach your brand needs to take. Things to consider are tone of voice, calls to action, words that describe your business and most importantly, your overall objective.
2. Know your audience
Learning about where your customers spend time online and what they like to do is instrumental in being able to target them properly. It’s also a massive time-saver for you so you don’t end up wasting your efforts on channels where your audience isn’t spending a whole lot of time.
Use a combination of your own expert knowledge of your industry and customer base along with research and analytics from your social channels to profile them into separate personas.
3. Plan out your time
Armed with the knowledge of who your audience is, where they are and how to approach them – you’re now ready to develop your channel strategy and plot out allocated time for each platform.
For instance, if you know your audience is largely under 25 and interested in travel, you’ll know they spend a lot of their time on social media showing off their latest holiday destination. In this case spending a couple of hours a week on your Instagram schedule and engaging with followers and influencers is a great use of your time.
If you’re targeting senior business leaders, engaging with groups on LinkedIn might be a better use of your time. Or even taking it offline and hosting a networking event where they’ll get to meet you face to face and you can learn even more about them.
4. Measure your success
When you’re not used to marketing it can sometimes feel like you’re putting a lot of effort in and seeing little ROI, it can just be a case of not tracking your progress properly.
As incredible as it would be, it’s not always as simple as time in = money out, sometimes it’s more like time in = warmer leads. Which is still a great thing and, of course, eventually leads to money out with a little nurturing. The difference is the way you interact with your customers at different stages of the marketing funnel.
Looking at things like website hits, where those hits have come from and whereabouts in the funnel they are dropping out will feed back into your plan. Then you can easily readjust your messaging and CTAs until you find what works for your audience.
Marketing ROI is a marathon, not a sprint. Be sure to set KPIs that keep this in mind or you’ll find yourself feeling a little flat when in reality, you’re actually doing a great job at warming up your leads and improving customer loyalty.
Looking to learn more about digital marketing for your business or start-up? You’re in luck! We’re hosting a ‘Digital Marketing 101’ seminar where the huzzah! digital team will take a deep dive into what it means to market a small business and how to streamline your efforts across SEO, PPC, Email, Social Media and Content.