Updated: Jun 15, 2020
Small businesses are often operating off of passion, talent or skill. Many times without the business savvy or resources for properly structuring their businesses for success from inception.
Missing strategies can cause business leaders to feel greater pressure and a lack of confidence in the direction of the business. The various strategies businesses need to develop are Business Strategy, Sales Strategy, Growth Strategy, and Marketing Strategy. Before founders and business leaders have the monetary resources to hire a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to oversee marketing efforts, they are usually managing marketing efforts in addition to all other business needs. This can be very overwhelming and of course, it leads to missing pieces in a small business’s marketing strategy which can impact the business' productivity and profitability.
If you are a business owner and running marketing on your own, here are 12 marketing strategy tips that you should be aware of to help your business thrive:
1. Identify your Mission and Vision
What fuels your business and why? Your mission and vision statements define the value that your business provides and will guide the work of both you and your employees. Without having a clearly defined reason for why your business exists and how it operates, you and your team are at risk of being distracted from where you’re aiming your efforts.
2. Know Your Unique Value Proposition
Many businesses sell and offer similar things and services. Many businesses also operate in similar ways but every business should have a unique brand based on unique values. In a world of options, your customers should be able to quickly understand what makes you different. What makes you different can be as simple as your “why” and the reason why you are doing what you are doing (i.e. offering natural products, fresh foods, affordable options). Your unique value proposition explains and shares what you do differently if not better than your competitors.
3. Have an Elevator Pitch
Your elevator pitch communicates the most important aspects of your business and services in a concise way and in a short amount of time. One essential part of being an entrepreneur is networking and building relationships with other professionals. Your elevator pitch comes in extremely handy when connecting with others over brief time periods where you are required to share what you do, who it is for, and what you are looking for.
4. Know Your Audience
The more you know about your audience, the more powerful your marketing and digital marketing efforts can be. Knowing your audience enables you to better attract, engage, and convert your desired audience. In digital marketing, key components of good digital marketing include identifying and acting on the specific characteristics of your ideal customers, including geographic, demographic, and psychographic variables.
5. Develop a Brand Style Guide
Without having the basics, your business risks standing on an unsteady foundation. As many businesses grow, the basics, if not already established, can be forgotten. Without a brand style guide, a business that is bringing in new team members risks having their marketing look inconsistent and brand falsely represented. A brand style guide is a packet that contains your brand hex or hue colors, brand fonts, instructions on logo usage, the tonality of the brand, and guidelines for the designs of email signatures, letterheads, business cards, thank you cards, etc. A consistent brand is a strong brand.
Check out this example for Google's Brand Guidelines here.
6. Invest time in Brand Consistency
In addition to having a brand style guide, it is important to translate this document into a consistent identity online and offline. As a business, it is incredibly important for people to be able to easily identify your business or brand across platforms. No matter if your audience is on Instagram or LinkedIn or at a networking event, they should be able to quickly identify your business via your branding.
7. Carve out a Roadmap or Strategy Calendar
Business activities should not be conducted on a day-to-day basis. As an entrepreneur, you need to know how your business decisions will impact your business performance 3, 6 and 12 months from now. Plan your business strategy on a roadmap that covers 3 months of activity at a time, expanding to 12 months of activity. Today it is not only important to plan your marketing strategy via a roadmap but to also create a content plan using a roadmap as well.
8. Establish an Online Presence
Every business should have a website that demonstrates the value of the products and services it offers its audience. Having online presence via a strong website legitimizes your business. Furthermore, websites with strong SEO strategies have higher chances of lead generation from search engine queries. Your website should be able to speak for you in demonstrating your competitive advantage and should lead customers to transact and do business with you.
9. Establish a Social Media Presence
Today, there are over 3.48 billion people using social media, that makes a total of 45% of the world! Because of the large audience of people spending time daily on social platforms, businesses should highly consider also being in the spaces and places where their audience is engaging. Your business profile should highlight your business, the work you do and the audience you reach. The value of the services or products that you offer should be shared as you create a presence across platforms. Multi-platform presence is even more important now as audiences are spread out and on a daily basis engaging across multiple platforms throughout the day.
10. Diversify Your Marketing Tactics
Relying on one digital marketing tactic is not sufficient enough to grow your brand. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have proven to have flaws as the platforms have experiences outages several times over the past few months. A diversified marketing strategy including online and offline marketing tactics such as email marketing, event marketing, and search engine marketing can all complement social media marketing. Offline marketing is still a powerful marketing tactic for lead generation. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend networking events, conferences, industry events, and continuing education opportunities to help drive leads and to fuel the foolproof method, word of mouth marketing!
11. Invest in Thought leadership and Personal Branding
People connect with people. This means that building an audience for your personal brand will help increase exposure for your company. Now more than ever, CEOs and founders of companies are coming out to the forefront of their business and connecting with the audiences that support their business. Global executives attribute 45% of their company’s reputation to the reputation of their CEO. How a CEO interacts online is directly tied to the success and appeal of a company in a major way. Elon Musk is a great example of a business leader whose personal brand garners more engagement than his businesses with more Twitter followers than 3 of his companies (Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity) combined.
12. Develop Standardized Processes
Developing a standardized process for how your service marketing clients make it easier to onboard new employees and to keep yourself accountable for every step of the process. Examples of processes that can and should be standardized include vetting new clients, your client in-take process, and how you service clients during the life-cycle of your working relationship.
If you're looking for help with any of the above tactics, email me at Sandra@EncounterMPR.com!