Setting up a small business marketing strategy is a necessary task for your business if you are looking to scale up your success. It’s never too late to create a marketing strategy, especially if you don’t have one already. While starting from scratch might be time-consuming, having a marketing plan allows you to stay one step ahead of the competition with your outreach.
Why Should You Set Up a Marketing Strategy for Your Small Business?
A well-thought-out marketing strategy serves as a helpful guide for your team, and it can be useful in a variety of ways. If you put your guide together properly, you can reap a slew of advantages, including:
- Team synchronization on smaller and larger-scale endeavors.
- Instant access to a strategy for achieving your specific marketing and sales objectives.
- Accessing marketing metrics for determining the success of your activities.
- A step-by-step guide to producing and disseminating content marketing and sales materials.
- Easy evaluation of your small business marketing budget so you may focus on what’s most important.
More importantly, it provides you with a clear image of the route you’re on, helping you to see every aspect of your overall marketing goals.
How to Set Up a Small Business Marketing Strategy?
A strong marketing strategy is a significant competitive advantage for your small business that is well worth the time it takes to develop. Here are the steps you should take:
1. Conduct a Detailed Market Research
You may have a basic notion of where you want to take your marketing, but you must place that idea inside the context of a buyer persona. This entails conducting market research to have a better understanding of both your business and your target audience.
Market research is an important component in creating a market strategy. It’s all about gathering data that reveals your consumers’ thoughts, buying habits, and geographic location. Furthermore, market research may help you create an initial sales projection, track market trends, and keep tabs on what your competitors are up to.
To properly understand your market and what makes your audience engaged with your small business, you need to ask yourself a set of questions that expose the unknowns and the truths.
- What platforms does your target market use?
- In your field, how does a typical buyer’s journey look?
- What are your competitors’ email marketing, social media, and blog strategies?
Finding the answers to these types of questions will help you develop your marketing strategy, allowing you to focus your efforts and avoid wasting time on ineffective activities.
2. Analyse Your Product and Services
You as a small business owner or marketer, together with your sales staff, must be the foremost authority on the product or service you’re offering. While you obviously know a lot, try to approach it from a different angle. Ask yourself questions like:
- What kinds of product-related inquiries might someone who is unfamiliar with your brand have?
- What distinguishes your products and services from those of your competitors?
- What are the most prevalent problems with your product that your consumers have?
Answering these questions helps you identify knowledge gaps and educational possibilities, both of which will help you develop a strategy.
3. Define Your Target Audience
You’d be surprised how many small businesses haven’t defined their ideal customer or target market yet. They may claim to know who that person is, but the target audience evolves and changes with time. Things change as the market changes, and who you thought you’d be selling to may look a little different after some time.
That’s why it’s critical to not just assess who your target audience is on a regular basis, but also to pin down specific traits and document them. This is all part of having an efficient marketing strategy because you won’t be able to sell your goods if you don’t know who you’re marketing to.
Trying to reach out to everyone with your product or service can be costly and futile. Your marketing efforts will be more focused if you group or segment your potential clients based on certain traits. In general, segmentation is based on things like:
- Demographics – age, gender, level of education, income, occupation
- Behavior – loyalty, attitude, willingness to buy, usage rates
- Lifestyle – social status, personality, and personal values
Your target market should have a need for what you’re selling and be willing to pay for it.
4. Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
A USP is a distinct reason your clients choose you above your competitors — it’s what makes your company stand out. It’s critical to determine what sets you apart from the competition and be able to communicate that to potential customers. This usually shows your unique knowledge or abilities.
It’s possible that your USP is a fresh or unique offering, or that you provide great service. Start by answering the following questions to establish your USP:
- What features of your products and services do you enjoy the most?
- What unique abilities or knowledge do you possess?
- What draws clients to you rather than your competitors?
- What are the advantages of buying your products or services for your customers?
- When you describe your company to strangers, what features do you usually emphasize?
5. Set Clear Goals
Get as specific as possible with what you intend to accomplish with your marketing strategy. More revenue is an apparent goal, but it’s considerably more useful to break it down into smaller, more attainable objectives.
Marketing objectives will assist you in defining what you intend to accomplish through your marketing efforts. Your objectives should be SMART, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
It’s easier for your team to figure out how to reach your goals if they’re real ideas rather than just something you know is important for your bottom line. It also aids in identifying the many ways you’ll assess the success of your efforts, ensuring that you’re about to meet your objectives.
6. Adopt Strategies Based on Goals
After having set your goals, it is time to adopt related strategies to achieve those goals. The strategies you should adopt are:
- SEO Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Paid Ads
Determine how your objectives fit into each of these strategies, as well as how they all work together to produce your overall marketing plan. For example, if one of your goals is to produce more leads, make sure you’re developing and posting the correct content to do so.
Plan exactly which strategies you’ll use and which goals they’ll help you attain. Incorporating this into your marketing strategy will allow you to quickly determine how you want to measure the success of your efforts.
The options that you can choose to apply your marketing strategies and generate leads for your small business:
- Business website
- Online shop
- Social media
- Brochures and flyers
- Networking events
- Print advertising
- Word of mouth
- Cold calling
- Letter drops
7. Develop Your Brand
Every company, regardless of size, will most certainly require a brand. A brand is more than just a logo, a color scheme, or a slogan. A well-established brand communicates who you are, what you stand for, and what you can give to your target clients.
As a small business, you can use social media to establish your online presence and develop your brand. Among social media platforms, Instagram is the most efficient one for your small business. Here are the reasons why you should use Instagram for your small business:
- It is free unless you want to use the Instagram paid ads or collaborate with influencers.
- There are about 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram.
- It is a visual platform and you need more visual content from your products or services than textual content.
You can gain a lot of recognition on Instagram through an Instagram followers service. If you have too many tasks, you can outsource your Instagram tasks to content scheduling systems. Moreover, you can automate your Instagram direct messaging communications easily as well.
8. Take Your Budget into Account
Prioritizing your small business marketing budget is critical to the success of your campaign. We don’t all have an endless marketing budget, therefore we can’t just spend money without thinking about it.
Identifying your budget first can help you choose which activities are reasonable and which should be put on hold for the time being. Once you know how much money you have, divide it up by putting the most money into the effort that you believe will yield the best results.
Investigate what other small businesses and direct competitors are spending money on and why. Then, as time passes, you may assess the return on investment of your various efforts to see if your money is being spent wisely.
There’s always room to tweak and adjust your budget to ensure that you’re spending wisely. Simply keep putting your money where it will go the furthest, and you’ll avoid wasting money on underperforming strategies.
Here are the elements you should include in your marketing budget plan:
- Website creation and maintenance
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) approach
- Branding design
- Promotional material printing (business cards, brochures, signage, etc.)
- Promoting donations and sponsorships
- Hiring people to help with marketing.
As a general guideline, marketing should account for three to five percent of your current or planned annual revenue. If your small business is new, you may need to set aside extra dollars at first to establish your brand.
9. Nurture Your Loyal Customers
Because your customers are the lifeblood of your business, it’s critical to treat them well and inspire loyalty. Exceptional customer service can keep customers coming back and help you stand out from the competition. Customers’ loyalty can be increased by implementing the following strategies:
- Delivering on your promises going the “extra mile” and providing benefits that exceed initial expectations
- Using feedback and complaints as an opportunity to improve services
- Using social media, blogs, or e-news to communicate regularly with customers
10. Monitor Your Performance
It’s critical to keep track of and evaluate your marketing efforts on a regular basis to see if they’re yielding the expected results, such as greater sales. To begin, assess your marketing plan every three months to ensure that your operations are aligned with your strategy.
When you introduce a new product or service, if a new competitor joins the market, or if an issue that affects your industry occurs, revisit your plan once your company has grown. Regularly analyzing your sales figures or watching customer behavior throughout an advertising campaign are examples of monitoring activities. You can also use and evaluate free analytic tools to assess the success of your social media or internet efforts.
Every business requires vast research before it is established. The tips above can give you a clue about what initial things you should consider before establishing your small business. Remember that you need to be patient and do a lot of hard work until you achieve your goals. Wish you the best of luck!