Every great product or business all started out the same: brand new. Brands like Nike, Coke and Betty Crocker have developed a strong loyal customer following, but it took a marketing strategy to get there. You can use the same tactics Fortune 500 companies use to develop a marketing strategy, just on a smaller scale.
Follow these five steps to create a small business marketing strategy.
1. Define your business
Ever look at successful businesses like Pinterest, Google or Apple and wonder how they did it? Small businesses don’t always have the luxury of employing a marketing arsenal, but it doesn’t mean one can’t be successful. Small businesses shouldn’t jump into the market without developing a marketing strategy. You need to define your business by developing objectives, a mission statement and outlining your target customers and competition. Begin your research by preparing a SWOT analysis:
- Strengths: What makes your small business unique?
- Weaknesses: How are your vulnerable?
- Opportunities: Which marketing strategies can lead to growth?
- Threats: Who is your competition?
After you’ve defined your business objectives, it’s time to determine how you’ll position your small business in the marketplace. Remember to keep your target customers in mind when developing the four Ps of your marketing strategy:
- Product: What’s the right product or service for your customers?
- Price: The number to meet your sales goals while making your customers happy.
- Promotion: Which channels will you run your marketing strategy through and how often?
- Place: Where will you distribute your product or offer your services?
3. Content strategy
Marketing is only one piece of the puzzle. In order to promote your small business and engage with customers, you need to develop a full content strategy. Get rid of marketing strategy silos and make an effort to implement your strategy in all aspects of your business. Determine how your target customers like to communicate and then establish the following:
- On which channels will you communicate?
- How often will you communicate?
- Who will be responsible for developing content?
- How will you engage customers in a conversation?
4. Establish and measure goals
The only way to know if your small business is a success is by establishing goals and measuring your ROI. Don’t be afraid to start small. This is the time to test the market and really see how your small business fares. We recommend developing several goals that directly pertain to your small business objectives (e.g. website traffic, social media engagement, e-newsletter subscribers and open rates, sales, etc.). Create benchmark goals throughout the year in order to track your progress.
Congratulations! Your small business has reached the end of its financial term. Now it’s time to pull all of the metrics and review your marketing efforts. As you review, ask yourself the following:
- How did your competition react?
- Did your brand break the positioning clutter?
- How effect was your content strategy?
- Where your goals too lofty or too attainable?
- How will you adjust your goals and marketing strategy?
Tell us your small business marketing strategy success stories!