No matter how hard you work at your marketing, you’ll never achieve the results you’re looking for if you don’t nail down a few core principles. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is thinking that marketing is about creating a great ad or posting on social media every day.
While these tactics may be a part of your marketing strategy, to truly succeed, you need to dive deeper. Here’s a look at five of the most important core principles that will build the foundation of your marketing success.
Before you start spending your time and money on marketing activities, make sure you’ve got a solid strategy. Begin by identifying your perfect client or customer, and take the time to go beyond basic demographics. Things like age and household income are important, but you’ll also want to think about who they really are.
What keeps these people awake at night? What problems do they struggle with? What are their dreams and aspirations? Understanding the answers to these questions will help you create a marketing plan that truly resonates with your target audience.
It’s also important to think about how your ideal customer spends their time. What types of television shows do they watch? What radio stations do they listen to and what magazines do they read? Which social media channels do they use?
When you know where your target audience “hangs out” you can make sure you’re there too.
It’s tempting to want to be all things to all people, but this is a sure path to failure. To really succeed with your marketing, you need to get specific with your target audience. For example, instead of trying to sell a grocery delivery service to “everyone who eats,” you may decide to focus on shopping for health-conscious individuals, or narrow it down even further and become the delivery service for busy vegans and vegetarians.
Once you do that, you can address the specific problems these people face and create marketing campaigns that position you as the absolute go-to person to take care of their needs. Now, instead of directly competing against the major players in the grocery delivery industry, you can explain why you’re different and why that makes you the better choice.
While taking this approach will narrow down your audience, it will make it easier to convert the right customers. And if you deliver what you promise, you’ll benefit from both customer loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing.
No one likes to be sold to, and most people don’t enjoy feeling like a pushy salesperson – so don’t do it! Instead, create a marketing plan that focuses on providing value. This may include strategies such as writing a weekly blog, creating webinars that explain how to use your products, or adding other types of valuable information to your website or social media platform.
Not only does this open the door for you to approach potential customers in a non-threatening way, but it also allows your prospects to fully appreciate your expertise and look to you next time they have a problem to solve.
One of the worst things you can do is let your marketing ebb and flow with your schedule. It’s common for business owners to do a ton of marketing when they have time, then disappear when things get busy.
You need to show your clients and prospects that they can count on you to do what you say you’re going to do – and that includes being consistent with your marketing.
Start by figuring out what you can reasonably do with the time and resources you have available, then commit to sticking with it. Create your marketing plan, then block off time to work on it. This way, you won’t find yourself scrambling at the last minute or deciding to skip it “just this once.”
Making personal connections is a critical part of your business marketing success. Whenever possible, make a point to show your customers and prospects that there are real people behind your business. Share photos and videos of you with your family and your team and give “behind the scenes” peeks into your business. Also, be sure to respond to comments on social media and reply to reviews right away.
Don’t forget to connect with other business owners. This is a great way to collaborate, learn new things, and reassure yourself that you’re not alone in this crazy world of business ownership. It’s also a great idea to look for other business owners you can send referrals to. Having a network of professionals you can trust is invaluable, and word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing.
Start Mastering Your Marketing
It takes some time to master these steps, but once you do, you’ll see a major shift in your marketing results. This will allow you to focus both your time and your budget on tactics and actions that actually work and start really connecting with your target audience.
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