Marketing is very important for a small business. Without marketing, there would be no way for your business to grow and expand or even just to stay afloat. You’re not equipped to handle the marketing of your business by yourself, though. It’s just one of those things that good practice dictates that you should hire a professional for. But how do you know what it is that you should be paying this expert to do? How do you know exactly what you need from them? What will make the difference between your company taking off in the first year and floundering for 12 straight months? It’s simple. You need to have a marketing strategy in place first before you go hire people to help run your business. Regardless of what kind of business you have, you will get a lot of value from this post. You see, it’s marketing problems that are universal across all businesses, not just small businesses. However, small businesses or startups face challenges that other medium-sized and large companies don’t have to deal with. So, if you are a solopreneur or run a small team, you need to know the essentials of marketing your business.
You probably recognize the following scenario. You’re sitting at your desk, pondering on how to grow your business and increase sales when a question pops into your head: what is my marketing strategy? There may not be one specific thing you can point to, but you know that if you had a tangible marketing strategy it would help you reach more customers. This article explains how to create a marketing strategy for a small business.
Define Your Target Market
Defining your target market is the first step in creating a marketing strategy for your small business. It’s important to know who you’re aiming at and where they are so that you can reach out to them effectively.
Who are you trying to attract? What’s their age, gender, and income level? Where do they live? What are their hobbies and interests?
For example, if you’re starting a new business as a freelance writer, it might be helpful to define your target market as people between the ages of 25-40 who are busy professionals with an interest in writing about personal finance.
While this may seem like a very specific group, it’s important that you don’t make your audience too small. If you only want to reach out to people who are busy professionals with an interest in personal finance and nothing else, then you’ll find it difficult to find enough people in your target market to make up for the fact that there aren’t many of them.
The key is finding a balance between specificity and scaleability: You want your audience to be defined enough so that you know how best to reach them, but not so specific that it becomes difficult or impossible for anyone else outside your niche group to connect with them.
For example, if you own a restaurant in New York City, your target market might be people who live in the city who are looking for a good meal. You might want to put up advertisements on Google or Facebook to reach this audience—but if you’re targeting people outside of New York City, it might not make sense to spend money on ads there because they won’t see them anyway.
The best way to define your target market is by brainstorming with your team and coming up with a list of characteristics that describe who they are and what they care about (for example: “They like eating out at new restaurants” or “They love trying new things”). Once you have those characteristics written down, think about how they could be used as keywords in an ad campaign or website content so that when potential customers search for those terms online, they’ll find what they’re looking for right away!
To create a marketing strategy for your small business, the first thing you need to do is research your competitors.
- Research Competitors
To start creating a marketing strategy, you need to first research your competitors. If you’re starting a new business, this step is pretty straightforward: just Google the name of your business and see who comes up first. If you’ve been in business for a while, it’s important to make sure that your competitors are still relevant and that they’re still doing well. You don’t want to check out an old competitor only to find out that they went out of business years ago!
You’ll want to look at how these competitors market themselves, what their website looks like, what social media accounts they have (and how many followers/likes/etc.), and how long they’ve been around. This will give you some insight into what’s working for them and what isn’t—and if there are any gaps in the market or opportunities for innovation or expansion.
Why do this? Because it will give you insight into what they’re doing right—and wrong—and help you get an idea of what kinds of things appeal to your target audience.
Start by reading reviews written by people who have worked with them, and look at any social media accounts they have. You can also look at their websites to get an idea of what kind of language they use in their marketing materials and how they present themselves as a company.
This will help you understand how other companies in your industry are trying to appeal to customers, which will give you ideas about what might work for yours.
Create a List of Marketing Mediums
If you’re looking for a way to market your business and get it in front of the right people, then you’ll need to create a list of marketing mediums. To do this, start by creating a list of places where you think your target audience might be hanging out. Are they on social media? Do they read blogs? Are they active on forums and message boards? Once you’ve made your list, take some time to research each place. Look at what other businesses are doing on these sites and what kind of content is getting shared or talked about the most.
Once you’ve done that, come up with a plan for how you want to use each medium at different times during your campaign. For example, if one of your goals is lead generation, then you would want to put more emphasis on social media than email marketing because social media allows users to interact with content in real time (as opposed to sending them an email where they have to go back through their inbox later).
If there’s one thing we know about marketing campaigns—they’re always changing! So make sure that when you’re creating your strategy, you leave room for flexibility so that if something doesn’t work out like expected, then it won’t derail everything else that’s going well
Set Deadlines and Stick to Them
When you’re creating a marketing strategy for your small business, it’s important to set deadlines and stick to them.
It’s easy to get distracted by new ideas and opportunities, but the best way to make sure your marketing strategy succeeds is to be able to focus on it consistently over time. This requires setting clear deadlines for each component of the strategy, and sticking with those deadlines.
For example: say you’ve created a social media campaign that will run for two weeks—from Monday through Friday. You’ve decided on the type of posts you want to share, how often they’ll go out, and who they’ll be shared with. You also have a plan in place for how often you’ll respond to comments or questions from customers on social media during that two-week period. But what if something comes up? What if someone asks about a product or service that isn’t even mentioned in any of your posts?
The answer is simple: don’t worry about it! If something comes up during your marketing strategy that wasn’t included at first but seems like an opportunity too good not take advantage of while everything else is running smoothly, then do so! Just remember not to let distractions derail your original plan—you’ll end up with less-than-stellar results
Build a Marketing Plan Template
The first step in creating a marketing plan for your business is to build a template. The template will help you organize your thoughts and ideas, and it will provide a guide for the rest of the process.
Start by brainstorming all of the different ways that you can market your business. Write down everything from simple things like handing out flyers to more complicated ideas like setting up an ad campaign on social media. Then, prioritize each option based on its cost effectiveness, how much time it will take, and how much money it will require.
Once you’ve done this, start thinking about how each option relates to your overall strategy for growing your business. For example, if you know that you want to expand into new markets over the next year, then advertising might be a good option because it allows you to reach potential customers in other areas without having to do much work yourself (just pay someone else). On the other hand, if you’re just starting out and don’t have much money or time at all yet then maybe handing out flyers would be better because they’re free and easy enough that anyone can do them!
Takeaway: Marketing is essential to the success of any small business and needs to be prioritized when building a business plan.
If your marketing strategy is the cornerstone of your business’s success, it’s important to have it planned out and executed in a way that best fits your marketing goals. The tips we shared above should help you create a plan for your small business’s marketing efforts. Of course, it may involve a bit of work, but when you’re successful, you’ll be able to say that you developed an effective marketing strategy all by yourself. That’s something to feel good about!