If there is one thing that business school has taught me, it’s that you need to work smart, not hard. There is no set guideline that will lead you to success because different things work for different brands.
That is why I have put together a step-by-step business marketing strategy that you can personalise to your business and benefit from it:
#1. Set your goals
- Identifying what your goals are
This depends upon which stage your brand is in. If you’re new to the market, your goal will be to create brand awareness.
However, if you’ve gained a foothold in the market, perhaps your goal is to expand your business further. Similarly, an established brand’s goal will be to increase or maintain market share.
- Define SMART goals
Source: Impulse Impressions
Specific – If you’re penetrating the market, who are you targetting? Where is your target audience located? Specify when, who, where, why and how you plan to implement your strategy.
Measurable – Set tangible measures so that you can monitor and calculate results
Achievable – If you want to increase market share, set a number that is challenging but possible
Relevant – Focus on areas that need improvement and that can yield the maximum benefits
Timed – Make sure that whatever your goal is, you set a timeline for achieving it and ensure that it gets done in time
These sound like baby steps, but you’d be surprised at the difference planning and scheduling can create for your business.
#2. Know your customers
When catering to your customers, there are 3 things that you need to ensure:
- Identify your customer needs by creating a customer profile
- Regularly review trends so that you can market effectively
- Find new customers alongside retaining loyal customers
#3. Study your competitors
When studying your competitors, the first thing you need to do is create a competitor profile.
Source: FLA Consultants
However, this is the point where many businesses make a mistake. The idea of studying your competitors is not to follow in their footsteps but using the research to differentiate your brand.
See what your brand is offering that is different from others and use it to create a competitive advantage.
If you’re struggling to compete amidst fierce competition, it might be a good idea to conduct the SWOT analysis. This analysis will help you improve internal strengths, diminish weaknesses, identify opportunities and eliminate any threats.
#4. Make contacts in the industry
When targeting your customers, don’t forget that keeping contacts within the industry can prove to be extremely beneficial. Here’s how:
Getting your brand endorsed by celebrities or other famous personalities that people look up to will make consumers trust your brand. It’s the oldest trick in the book but it still works.
Take the example of Louis Vuitton. The brand recently hired Selena Gomez as the face of their new campaign, and their post got a million likes in under 2 hours since Gomez is the most followed personality on Instagram!
Source: Vogue Australia
But why is endorsement so effective?
Research shows that individuals between the ages of 18-24 take on an active role in developing their identities and appearance based upon celebrities.
Since they are more prone to celebrity brand endorsements than other age groups; if your brand is targetted towards this age group then endorsements will prove to be highly effective.
- Guest blogging
Consumers who make rational purchase decisions do their research before buying a product/service.
Guest blogging is one way for you to create trust between your brand and consumers. To do that, make sure you post on high-authority blogs that consumers visit.
Also, you need to choose blogs which your own target audience are likely to visit, otherwise your efforts will go to waste!
Make sure you come up with interactive content that engaged your readers and viewers. Incorporate infographics and visuals so that your consumers don’t lose interest.
#5 Improve your SEO
Source: QL Tech
- Use relevant keywords
To make sure your website ranks higher in search results, use keywords that your customers are likely to search for.
For example, if you sell mountain bikes, you can add the words mountain bike gear, mountain biking, mountain bike racing, mountain bike trails etc.
These are keywords that your customers or consumers who are interested in the sport are likely to search for. To find profitable keywords for your brand, check out this guide by Medium or use Wordstream’s Keyword Tool to find high-performance keywords.
- Generate backlinks
See these hyperlinks within this article? That’s me backlinking to other websites.
The more backlinks you manage to generate for your website, the higher Google will rank you in search results. However, they need to be relevant in order to improve SEO, so make sure you focus on quality and not quantity.
Try to get as many big names in the industry to share your content or endorse your website to create strong and credible backlinks:
- Create a great website
Your website itself determines your search engine ranking. If you have a website with a minimalistic design that is easy to navigate, it will automatically result in a low bounce rate; thus, leading to improved SEO.
Similarly, if you have an efficient internal link structure, your website experience will be better for visitors, again improving your SEO.
I’m sure you’ve seen this on many websites:
That is an example of a broken internal link. To make sure your link structure works, keep updating your website frequently and make sure you remove old or broken links.
The key is to keep everything simple. Test your website to see where you, as a user, face any issues and fix them accordingly.
Beagle’s website is one of the most visually appealing websites that won the award for the best website gallery, so you can follow in its footsteps:
Last but not least, make sure you get a secure connection for your website, otherwise, Google will warn visitors that their connection is not protected which could seriously harm your website’s conversion rate.
Why? Because customers will always have the fear of being scammed by untrusted websites, so make sure you develop trust and convenience for your website visitors to improve your brand’s reputation, and ultimately, revenue.
#6. Create a landing page
If you’re not familiar with the term, a landing page is one that is created specifically for the purposes of a marketing or advertising campaign.
If you want to improve your SEO, it’s best that you create an eye-catching landing page so that visitors stay on-site longer. A study in 2014 revealed that the best marketers achieve a 10% or higher conversion rates on their landing pages!
Airbnb has a great landing page that you can take inspiration from for your business:
It’s minimalistic, yet it provides all relevant information and most importantly, it motivates visitors to sign up with the idea of making easy money.
#7. Hold a webinar
Source: Big Marker
A webinar is a great way to educate your followers about a topic.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be directly related to your brand, but if it is good, it will help you make connections in the industry as well as gain a strong following; thus, improving your SEO.
Take a look at the following tips to create an effective webinar:
- Talk about the trendiest topics that your audience wants to know about
- Conduct a follow up to see what you’ve done right and what can be improved
- Don’t conduct a webinar for the purpose of lead generation, do it for your customers (because trust me, it shows)
Remember, the key to success is always consistency. And consistency requires repetition.
Remarketing can be used as an effective tool in just about any industry:
Source: Looking LA
Here’s another way to use remarketing for your business marketing strategy:
Suppose you sell beauty products. You should have a list of all your regular customers’ information and when they made a purchase from you. If a customer purchases an eye cream from you (and the regular lasting time for the cream is 2-3 months), send out a business text message reminding your customer to repurchase the product.
If you make it sound personal and provide an incentive (such as a discount) it will ensure that your customers return to make a purchase.
Source: Neil Patel
Similarly, many clinics use the same strategy. Before an appointment, they send out a text or email to the patient reminding them of their scheduled appointment.
Patients tend to forget appointments especially if they are scheduled months in advance, so this tactic helps brings in a lot of revenue that would otherwise have been lost.
#9. Don’t forget your Corporate Social Responsibility
Today, this is more crucial than ever.
With increasing awareness about the negative impacts of the economy and industrialisation on the planet, brands and consumers are moving towards eco-friendly processes and products.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest global businesses. Starbucks has vowed to ban all plastic straws in its stores by 2020. Similarly, McDonalds Chief Sustainability Officer, Francesca DeBiase, issued a statement:
“As the world’s largest restaurant company, we have a responsibility to use our scale for good to make changes that will have a meaningful impact across the globe,”
The global food chain ensures that it’s packaging comes from renewable, recycled or sustainable sources.
The point is, businesses are increasingly accepting and acting on their responsibility to contribute towards more sustainable living, which is why you need to do the same.
Unfortunately, small business owners cannot always afford to invest in environment-friendly alternatives. However, you can always start out small by supporting the right causes.
Moreover, there are small businesses who have broken barriers and managed to incorporate environmental-friendly products and packaging.
LUSH cosmetics went viral after it introduced bath products with no packaging to save the planet:
#10. PPC Ads
If you have a small business, Pay-per-click ads are great for you.
You can use them for remarketing or simply creating brand awareness, but the best part is that you’ll only be charged if a user clicks on your webpage.
Moreover, PPC ads are highly cost-effective so they won’t sink your resources to an all-time low. Here’s an accurate depiction of what PPC ads cost and create a return for Amazon sellers:
This business marketing strategy is guaranteed to be effective. All it takes is incorporating these tips integrated towards one end goal.
Moreover, make sure you tweak this strategy according to your business because the most important thing is to stand out. When you have something unique to offer to your customers, you will have a competitive advantage over all other businesses in the industry.