9 essentials when marketing your business
Whether you’re just launching or have been in operation for years, there are many ways to market your business. If you’re selling online, in person or through social media, let’s look at the essentials when marketing your business.
Here are 9 essentials when marketing your business:
Tell a great story about your business
The first step for marketing your business is to tell the best story possible. It should be about how you solve a problem for your customers, and it should be different from the stories told by your competitors.
Your story may be as simple as “We created an app that makes it easy to make nutritious lunches in under 10 minutes” or as complex as “We built the first self-driving car service with human attendants on board.” Either way, create a narrative that sets you apart from others in your industry and explains why your product is valuable to people who don’t know all the details of what makes it special.
Know your audience
It’s important to research your target audience, and understand who they are.
You’ll need to know their geography and demographics. Know where they live, work and play. This can help you craft more effective marketing campaigns that speak to their needs.
You’ll also need to to know the psychographics of your audience. Psychographics are the characteristics that describe how they think, feel and behave. Knowing these things can help you tailor your marketing message to speak to their needs and wants.
Know where your audience is. There are many different ways to find out where your audience lives and works, including:
- Analyse your customer list: Are most of them in a specific city or region? Do they have a common employer? Are they mostly men or women?
- Use Google AdWords & Facebook ads: These tools will help you target the right people based on their location.
Knowing your audience is irrelevant without knowing how to reach them.
- Use LinkedIn & Facebook Groups. You can find groups related to your business, and then look at the profiles of members to see where to find them.
- Use a survey tool such as SurveyMonkey that lets you create customised surveys and gather data from them.
Understand the fundamentals of marketing and sales
In order to succeed at marketing, you must understand the difference between marketing and sales. Marketing is generally considered to be the process of communicating information about products or services to potential customers. Sales is defined as the process of obtaining commitments from prospects in exchange for payment.
Sales is often associated with direct selling – a method of selling that requires face-to-face interactions with customers, helping them discover their needs and recommending a solution based on your product or service offering. Direct selling can be a highly effective method of increasing revenue if done correctly; however, it involves working harder than many other types of businesses because you are required to build relationships with your potential clients and keep track of customer data over time as you continue building trust through each interaction.
Nail down your brand strategy
One of the most important things you can do for your business is to establish and maintain a strong brand strategy. A brand strategy is the overall plan for how you want to represent yourself as a business, beyond just marketing. To be effective, it should be flexible enough to fit with a variety of situations and changes in the market environment – but at the same time, not so flexible that it becomes meaningless or confusing to potential customers or partners.
A good brand strategy should be aligned with both your business goals and your marketing strategy, but they are two very different documents: while branding sets out how you want people to perceive your company (your values and mission), marketing helps them find out about it (how they’ll see what makes your company unique).
Figure out your best marketing platforms
When it comes to deciding what marketing platforms will work best for you, consider the following:
- Who are your target customers?
- What is your budget?
- How much time do you have to dedicate to this venture?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do they fit with certain platforms better than others? For example, if you’re a social media person who loves getting involved in online conversations and communities, Facebook might be a good option for you. If SEO is more up your alley (and if so, congrats!), then sites like Reddit could be a great place for discussion and engagement.
Don’t forget about social media
Social media is a great tool for your business, but it’s not the only one. In fact, social media shouldn’t be the only way you market your brand.
However, it is an important method of marketing that shouldn’t be ignored because it allows you to connect with customers in ways that would otherwise be impossible. You can share helpful information and content related to your industry without having to pay for ads or other forms of advertising. With social media, you control what gets posted and how often users will see it pop up on their feed or timeline.
The key here is consistency—you want to make sure that your followers are seeing relevant information from you as often as possible so they keep coming back for more!
Be an expert in something, and share helpful information for free
If you are an expert in a particular area, then consider sharing information that’s valuable to your target audience. You need to be sure that it’s unique and not easily found elsewhere. The content needs to be helpful and not just entertaining. It should also feel authentic and not self-promotional. Make the content interesting rather than boring!
This strategy is effective because it aligns with what your target market wants: They want answers to their questions quickly and efficiently, so give them exactly what they’re looking for by offering free advice on whatever subject(s) pertain most closely with your business/brand.
Work hard to meet people who have influence over your target audience.
You can’t directly market to your target audience, but you can reach them through people who influence them. Your goal is to meet and establish a relationship with someone who will help you connect with your potential clients.
When meeting influential people, it’s helpful to keep the list of “people I would like to meet” short – no more than five or six names. If your list gets too long, it becomes overwhelming and is less likely that any one person will be able to help you out.
Once you’ve identified who these individuals are and created a plan for meeting them, make sure that when they do get together (whether in person or over email), they have something interesting or valuable enough to share with each other so that their interaction is meaningful.
A good way of doing this is by having something prepared ahead of time such as an article or blog post related but not too closely tied back into what they do professionally. Share this resource during the conversation so as not only provide value but also demonstrate interest in learning more about their work/the wider field (which shows respect). This makes it easier later when asking questions which might otherwise come off as nosy or self-serving because now there has been some sort of mutual exchange where both parties feel respected rather than simply talking about yourself all day long.
Make time for face-to-face marketing
Face-to-face marketing is still effective. It’s the most personal way to market, and you can build relationships with your customers that will be useful for years. You can find out what people want, and get feedback on your business, all in one place.
As technology becomes more advanced, it’s becoming easier for businesses to reach out and connect with their customers. There are a lot of different ways to market your business today—from websites to social media. But there’s still nothing like face-to-face marketing.
In short, there are lots of different ways to market your business and brand. You don’t have to do it all at once – in fact, it’s best if you don’t. But if you focus on one or two methods at a time and make yourself an expert in those areas, you’ll find success with them sooner rather than later.