Do you know you need a marketing strategy but don’t know where to begin? You may have the most amazing product but if no one’s ever heard of you, that’s a problem. I’ve had the pleasure of working with multiple companies in exactly this position. While there is a lot that goes into the development and implementation of a successful marketing strategy, making sure you lay the proper foundation is crucial. Here are 5 basic steps to go through that will help you start off on the right foot.
1. Review your brand messaging
When reviewing your messaging be sure that your story is both clear andconsistent. No one should have to work hard to figure out what you and your company are doing. Make your value proposition easy to find and connect it to your vision. It is imperative that you have all this in place before you start to push your brand out into the public. First impressions matter and you may not get another shot if you don’t capture and convert on the first try.
2. Identify your target market
Who are you targeting? Is your business B2B, B2C, or some combination of the two? The way you develop your strategy will completely change dependent upon who your target consumer is and what information they find valuable. Exploring and understanding your audience is such an important phase because once you put yourself in their shoes, you can develop content that will appeal to them and speak to their problems. Remember, its all about them and what they need.
3. Understand where your target market gets information
It’s important to have a grasp on where your target consumer is communicating. For example, if your target is a C-level executive you’re probably going to want to focus more on your LinkedIn marketing. On the other hand, if your target audience is 16-21 year olds you may want to spend some time focusing on Instagram and Tumblr as a marketing channel. Age, gender and other factors play into where you want to focus your marketing. Here’s a breakdown of age trends on different platforms.
4. Identify key consumer issues that you can address
What solutions are you bringing to the table with your product/company? How are you tackling this differently than the competition? Clarifying this early on will help you begin to understand how you can join the conversation and become a thought leader in your category.
5. Develop a content calendar
Quality content generation and curation is now the way that marketers are staying relevant. Impressions are now not as important as the level of engagementwith the consumer. While content marketing is a huge area and deserves it’s own post, here are a couple things to think about as you get the ball rolling.
- Follow issues that are trending and create blog posts to be disseminated through social media on relevant industry topics
- Sharing quality content is a great way to become valuable to your target audience
- Frequency is important but you’ll want to emphasize quality above all
- Think about what you would want to read/learn about and share that
I’d love to hear from you- what has worked for you in the beginning stages of development?