This week we wrap up our series of articles on how to master the 4 spheres of your business with the cornerstone area of Marketing.
Marketing can be one of those areas that seem daunting to business owners... there are so many options out there and so many "experts" telling you different things. On top of that, the technology is changing so rapidly, it can be hard to keep up. But it doesn't have to be overwhelming. We recommend to our clients to keep it simple to start with and cover the basics, then expand as you grow.
So what are those basics you need to cover? We're glad you asked:
1. Have a Professional Brand
Your Brand is your business' identity, and it needs to convey in an instant what your business is about. Your brand builds trust with your customers and builds value in your business, so it's important to have a well thought out brand and logo, that represents exactly what your business stands for.
So how do you create a brand?
1.Use unique words that reflect your strengths or your competitive advantage
2.Use memorable images, shapes, and colours that represent what you stand for
3.Convey your Personality - are you professional, friendly, helpful, creative, bold?
4.Reflect your Values - what does your business stand for?
Even If you already have a logo for your business, it's worth asking yourself these questions above to make sure your brand represents what your business stands for.
2. Find your Target Audience
Your target audience is the group of people most likely to be interested in your product or service. This may be defined by Geographic area, by Demographic, by Socio-economic grouping, or a combination of all of the above. For many businesses, recognising the best target audience is quite simple, if you are a plumber, for example, you may choose the geographic area that you want to serve, and decide if you want to service domestic or commercial market. For others, it may be broader than that, and your target audience could literally be anyone, so you may want to choose a demographic to give yourself a targeted starting point.
You can also go into more depth with your target market by asking yourself, who are your most profitable customers? Where is the most volume? And who are the ideal customers that you like to work with or provide the most value? It makes sense to target the customers that give you the best ROI for both your services and your energy.
3. Leverage your Online Presence
In this day and age, its imperative that you have an online presence. If people can't find you online, your business is basically invisible.
Your website should be modern, responsive and have a good call to action. You want it to be as easy as possible for potential customers to find what they are looking for, so ask yourself that question first. What are people wanting to know or find? Then make sure it's on your homepage, or easily found on the menu. Your website should be the HUB of information for your business, it's where all your content and pictures should live, and it's where you want to send people to convert them to customers.
Nowadays social media is how you connect with your customers and engage with them online, and its good to have that 'social proof' that your business is doing well. It's worth finding out where your target audience spend their time online and make sure you are there as well. They may be a younger demographic on Instagram or Snapchat, or an older demographic on Facebook. Also which social media platform you choose will depend on what business you are in - for example Instagram is very visual and ideal for fashion / food / fitness and the like, whereas Twitter may be better aligned with businesses that share the latest news & current affairs.
If you're just starting out in social media then choose one platform and start from there. Be sure to optimise your page by including plenty of information and images, and update it regularly. Your social media page is like your megaphone - it's the place to talk about your latest projects, achievements, industry trends or articles that you've written, leading people back to your website to be converted to customers.
4. Share interesting content
In this digital age, everyone gets to choose exactly what content they want to watch, read, and listen to. Long gone are the days where there were only 3 TV channels and 1 newspaper, and to get customers advertisers just had to place an ad in the newspaper or the yellow pages.
So its super important now that you are creating and sharing interesting content with your target audience, so they'll be interested in engaging with you. Good content can include blogs, recent project updates, galleries of images, a video of whats happening in the office, product launches... the list goes on. Great content serves a number of purposes:
1. Helps with SEO - putting content regularly on your website and social media helps google find you when people are searching, so you'll be higher on the organic search rankings;
2. Positions you as an expert in your field - it's good to share the expertise from within your business to reinforce that you are experts in your field and enjoy the credibility that comes with that.
3. Lead Generation - sharing engaging content on social media can lead people back to your website to be converted to customers;
4. Builds a relationship with your audience - they'll look forward to hearing from you and being updated on your news, product offers or competitions.
5. Test and Measure
The other problem can be that business owners see Marketing as an expense, whereas in fact, your Marketing is actually an investment. It's an investment in lead generation and therefore sales and success. Your Marketing activity should have an ROI figure that you are trying to achieve, and everything you try (EDM's, mailouts, Facebook ads) should be tested and measured to ensure you are getting that return on investment. That's an article for another day, but essentially in Marketing, you'll need to:
If you could use some low cost Marketing tactics to get you started, download this list here.
Not already an Action Centre client? We'd be happy to review your business with you and suggest some systems that will help you grow. Contact us below for a free, no-obligation business review with a senior Action Centre coach.
You’ll find having an Action Centre business coach is just like having a marketing manager, sales team leader, trainer and recruitment specialist - wrapped in one - all for one nominal investment. We are the business partner you need without sharing your profits - with over 60 years of collective coaching experience to keep you on track and accountable for your own success.
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