Jumpstart Your Marketing in 5 Steps
Do you take the appropriate marketing steps to ensure your plan succeeds? As business owners, we typically engage in what we know best, or what comes easy, and we make excuses for the rest.
Our weaknesses don’t have to prevent us from growing. Here are five steps you can take today, that regardless of your budget, will breathe life into your anemic or nonexistent marketing plan.
Step 1. Get your team together.
Draw from the strength and creativity within the walls of your own company. Commit to an annual S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. Getting your entire team engaged and on the same page develops the first step in brand loyalty. When your team buys in, they get others to buy in as well.
Step 2. Study, don’t copy, your competition.
Many miss this step. It’s not enough to be aware of your competition. With little effort and some google search savvy, you’ll discover significant details about your competition. For example, you can find insight into their marketing strategy, their target market, how much they spend on marketing, the effectiveness of their customer service, and where they might have weaknesses. This research will give you insight into your marketing, and how you need to compete. Be careful not to duplicate; you want to differentiate from the competition, not be the same.
Step 3. Get uncomfortable.
If you are just getting started or have a minimal budget, you’ll need to engage in some activities that may be outside your comfort zone. I recently explained to a friend, “anyone can do sales, it’s a discipline like any other. The more you exercise discipline, the better you become.” If you need content, invest 30 minutes a day reading content that you feel would interest your market. Then, create better content based on your reading. If you’re not a writer, take your phone and record your thoughts. Then, give those thoughts to a writer and ask for a blog. There are creative and inexpensive ways to accomplish any marketing discipline. Google your idea and find the most economical way to achieve the task.
Step 4. Don’t be the marketing expert.
One of my most difficult tasks is getting clients past the idea that they need to be the marketing expert. Marketing is an evolving process based on evolving business objectives. As a business owner, the more you understand your business objectives, the better you will be at defining marketing goals. The more clearly you set your marketing goals, the better chance you will have in achieving your business objectives. When you understand this, then marketing will merely become an exercise you manage for success.
Step 5. Don’t allow dollars to cripple your execution.
No company on earth has enough money for marketing, yet every company has enough money for marketing. Why? You can always do more, and you can still do something. Regardless of your company size or the size of your wallet, every company can engage these steps and grow their business.
If you don’t have additional dollars you can still take these steps:
- Be selective. Make sure every dollar you spend produces a return. It doesn’t have to be an immediate return but it should have at least one key performance indicator to determine the success.
- Put more thought into your creative. Spending money to enhance your brand can quickly put you ahead of your competition.
- Do more research on your competition and let them create your marketing strategy for you.
- Engage your customer. If you get feedback, comments or criticism on any of your social channels, respond immediately.
If you have some money, be selective, but don’t hold those dollars hostage into forcing each dollar to produce three. Make revenue goals that increase your marketing dollars. Be committed, and have patience.
Additional Marketing Tips.
- Make sure you respond to ALL comments to your content whether it be on blogs or social posts. Engaging with people especially if it’s negative feedback shows care and creates brand trust.
- Make sure your website is mobile compliant. This may take some additional effort but it’s a must.
- Increase your search engine optimization by improving your site speed. Make sure all of your images are optimized for the web.
- If you haven’t done it, get an SEO site audit today! Making sure the structure of your site is correct for Google is essential to success.
- Don’t pay a penny for bogus SEO experts. See my blog on search engine optimization for how to recognize what you are paying for.