Start with understanding your business. Without this step, you’re not going to get very far. Many clients approach agencies with a unique problem to solve, and hundreds of strategists are chomping at the bit to prove themselves. Unfortunately, when those marketers start to ask the important foundational questions that will inform their tactical recommendations, business owners are often at a loss for how to answer.
So in a way, Step 0 is to know your business inside and out. If you’re unable to directly answer where you are now and where you’re headed, marketing tactics should be the least of your worries. That crucial step being established, let’s move on to the heart of this article — building your marketing strategy.
What are you selling?
This doesn’t necessarily mean a product or a service. Whether it’s an idea, a community, a way for non-profits to connect, or a fully-capitalistic money-churning machine, it’s important to know what you’re selling down to a tee. Savvy business owners often know they need marketing, but have a hard time conveying their needs because of a lack of understanding for their product’s value in the eyes of the consumer.
If you know why your client needs your product, you can cater your tactics to indicate urgency for that need. Ask yourself:
- How does the audience currently respond to my product?
- How is it different than the competitors?
- Why do they come to me rather than competitors?
Who is in your target audience?
When we say audience, we’re not just talking age, gender, and dwelling location — we’re talking about how they think, how they operate, and their willingness to change or adopt a new mentality. If you can’t answer these questions, it’s imperative that you dive into understanding your audience.
Many marketers, Mountain Mojo Group included, would call your target customers “personas,” or individual representations of your collective target audience. Knowing your personas is critical to determining effective key messaging that will be used across all lead generation content and campaigns.
What will they likely respond to?
Consistent key messaging is the line that often divides the amateur campaigns of new marketers and the content of veterans. Ask yourself which of your business’s core propositions will the audience respond to. The answer to this question should be a statement.
For example: Alex will value Mountain Mojo Group’s unique marketing insight due to his appreciation for strong graphic design.
Just ensure you have an intended message for each of your potential audiences, and you are set.
How will we generate leads?
Now that you have your audience and message, it’s time to start creating content. Develop a regular workflow for creating content that accomplishes your business’s unique sales goals. Beyond addressing just the personas, consider their current willingness to become a customer. Marketers call this the marketing funnel, or buyer’s journey. In the buyer’s journey, the user moves from visitor to lead, lead to qualified lead, qualified lead to customer, and customer to advocate.
Your content should address each persona at each level of the buyer’s journey, regardless of where they start. In this way, you can ensure the user gets the content most relevant to them, at the right time, in the proper format. Speaking of format, try to keep the content types diverse when developing new material. Blogs, videos, social media posts, case studies, and testimonials all address different levels of the buyer’s journey, and none should be pushed to the side.
How will we nurture those leads?
A number of marketing tactics can help with ushering those leads further down the marketing funnel, but the most common forms of lead nurture tactics you may want to consider are:
- Social media: community engagement is an excellent way to establish thought leadership and instill brand trust
- Email marketing automation: segmented persona lists function to ensure only the right content is served to a potential customer
- Retargeting ads: allow you to follow up with web visitors after they have left your site through display advertising networks.
How will we close, then adapt?
The last full step of the process has to do with handing your qualified leads to sales. In some businesses, this is as simple as convincing the customer to make a purchase. Otherwise, your conversion rates relies more heavily on the salespeople involved.
Now, the game’s not over just because you’ve won. Think about your business like an awesome summer blockbuster that your customer just watched. You want the your viewers to go out to their individual communities and spread the word. Then, you listen. Absorb all of the reviews you can, and start developing a fantastic sequel.
Not sure where to get started? Need help spreading the word? Mountain Mojo Group is ready to help. Drop us a line and ask about how we’d get started with your strategy.
By Alex Carel