How To Create A Marketing Strategy
Updated August 2021
Writing an effective marketing strategy is essential to not only getting customers for your business but the right kind of customers. Sure, you could hit upon a piece of content that goes viral, but if it doesn't bring the kind of attention you need, it's not going to serve you.
We'll walk you through our step by step approach to create your ultimate marketing strategy.
Creating a good strategy doesn't have to be complicated, it just needs to fulfil these two criteria:
- It provides value to your true consumers
- It works with your lifestyle
We believe that the most important ingredient to a successful digital marketing strategy is sustainability. Can you actually implement it into your daily life and is it pursuing goals that you have set for yourself and the business?
Define your goals
Perhaps the most important step. You need to spend some time thinking about the goals of your business and ensure that they're in line with your personal goals. You might find a lot of people telling you to set some big six-figure sales targets but they won't bring you success unless it's what you really need.
Start with your ultimate goal for yourself and your business and then break that down. If you want your business to allow you to travel, what are the smaller events that need to happen in order to bring you to that?
For example, you might need a global customer base in order to travel with your business. This would mean you'd have a smaller goal of building an audience across 5 different countries within two years.
List as many of these as you can think of, they'll be important for structuring your strategy on a month to month basis.
What are your strengths & weaknesses?
This step is often overlooked but is crucial to fulfilling criteria number two; working with your lifestyle.
We could tell you that going live on Instagram every day will bring you all the customers you need, but if you dread public speaking it's probably not something that'll help you thrive. Perhaps you're an excellent writer? Customers will connect with your authenticity and so a long-form Instagram caption will always do better than a video IF it plays into your strengths.
If you're struggling, take a look at the tasks that you always find yourself procrastinating on. Chances are, they're the ones that don't speak to your strengths.
Even if a strength doesn't seem relevant, include it in your list. You never know how you might be able to work something into a marketing campaign that would set you apart from your competitors.
Who is your customer?
Your customer IS the most important factor in this but, it's important to ensure that a strategy is sustainable for you first.
You should spend the most amount of your time on this step as it's crucial to ensuring that the time you spend communicating with your audience is spent on the ones that are your true consumers.
What is a true consumer? These are the people that truly buy into you and your brand and not just like your Facebook posts. There are ways to get more likes on Instagram, but it's not about the numbers if they don't turn into customers.
We've put together our in-depth guide to defining your consumer so that you can be sure you're talking to the right people!
Defining Your True Consumer
Create a timetable
Now that you can get into the mind of your customer, and you have your goals in mind, you need to map out where you and your customer will cross paths. These are your marketing 'touchpoints.'
To do this, draw up a timetable of a week and plot out your customer's life. Are they in a 9-5 job? Do they take an evening yoga class? Put in as much detail as you can. This will be key when you come to creating your marketing calendar.
Creating A Marketing Calendar
On that same timetable, map out your ideal working week. Are there days you want to spend outdoors? Finish early on a Friday? No social media on a Monday? Whatever boundaries you want to set for yourself and the business, write them out.
Every activity on that timetable is either an opportunity or a consideration when communicating with your customer. If they're commuting at 7am, will they be able to read your blog post? No. But could they listen to an audio version instead?
Choosing the marketing mix
Now we know what the customer is doing and how this might affect our communication with them, it's time to figure out exactly where this communication takes place. When you were defining your consumer, you should have a list of all of the places your customer exists.
A marketing mix is the selection of platforms and marketing activities that are part of your strategy.
You don't have to use every single platform that your customer is using, however. The key is to find the ones that you can use effectively for your brand and that suit your strengths and weaknesses. If your customer spends a lot of time scrolling Instagram then that is likely to be central to your strategy. If they also listen to podcasts, consider using this as a means to market your business.
Regardless of whether a platform or 'place' that your customer exists appears to be a place for advertising, it's an opportunity to communicate. You don't need to sell your product or services at every touchpoint, you just need to provide value that will be associated with your brand.
You've got your marketing mix, now to provide the value. You know that your customer will likely be on Twitter on their lunch break. So you want to put out a Tweet at 12pm to catch their attention - what do you say? We have the structure of your strategy but it's crucial that the content you put out is of value to your customer.
If that 12pm Tweet is just a running list of why your product is better than your competitors, you might catch a sale or two from the people that were already primed to buy, but not from those who just wanted to be a bit mindless in their lunch break. That's an opportunity to entertain, to be light-hearted and convey your brand and personality. You don't need to make their whole day, you just need to create a connection that demonstrates that you see and understand them.
Think, content first.
What can you create that expresses your brand personality and provides value to your customer? Value can be in the form of:
Bringing it together
You now have all of the elements of your strategy. You know who you're talking to, where to find them, how to provide value and most importantly you are doing this to bring you closer to your own goals. This will be the core to all of your marketing activities and you can build more specific campaigns on top.
We recommend creating a monthly marketing calendar that'll make your strategy easy to follow and take into account smaller goals or events.
When you have a brand event, product launch or something big you want to market for, go through this process again with that in mind as your key goal.
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We help small business owners like you create a practical, effective marketing strategy - without the guesswork.