Andrew Riedel, SEO Gold Coast
We are in an economy that is highly competitive. Many businesses have reduced their marketing budget substantially. Personally I disagree with this strategy as the core to any business is to bring on new customers. If you do not have sufficient customers, you do not have a business. But whatever marketing budget you have, you need to spend it very wisely and have a solid, well thought out, scheduled strategy to get the best return on investment.
No matter the size or intent of your business, being successful requires the development and consistent implementation of a clear internet marketing strategy. Before you ever consider creating a website, brochure, advertisement, logo, or even a Facebook page, you must first begin by mapping a path to success through the development of a consistent, focused marketing strategy. Here are 5 keys to creating an effective marketing strategy:
1. Defining Your Product Or Service
It is crucial that you know exactly what product or service that you are in the business of delivering so that you can very clearly and concisely convey the correct message to your correct audience. Further, it is also important to go beyond simply defining your product or service, but also be clear about what need it is fulfilling – what is it that your customers are really buying? It is critical that you get this done in order to define exactly who your customers are and your target audience is.
2. Recognizing Your Target Market
For optimised use of your business’ time and resources, it is most effective to select a target market, or ‘ideal customer’. You do this by segmenting the market, which basically means grouping consumers based on shared characteristics. You may segment according to geography, income, age etc. Once you have done this, select one segment to target your marketing program to. It is most effective to select only one segment. When choosing which segment to pursue, you may want to ask yourself questions like, ‘Is there a segment that is not currently being served?’ ‘Which segment am I able to reach and would be responsive to a marketing campaign?’ ‘What characteristics unify my segment, and what sets them apart from other segments?’ Your marketing budget will bring you greater return if you use it to promote a single product to a narrowly defined target market.
3. Identifying Your Competition
No matter what market you are in, there is always competition of some kind. In addition to simple direct competitors, there will surely be something besides your product competing for the potential client’s money. Identify the other costs in your target market’s lives, and reason why they should spend their money with you instead. You must establish your competitive advantage or unique selling point, especially in the highly competitive world or internet marketing.
4. Developing Awareness
So once you have clearly identified your product, target market, competition and unique selling point, it’s time to take action to spread the word to the public. Generally a potential customer will have to be exposed to your product 5 to 15 times before they are likely to think of your product when the need arises. You must stay in front of your clients consistently if they are going to remember your product when that need arises.
5. Building Credibility
Not only must clients be aware of your product or service, they also view your brand positively. Potential customers must trust that you will deliver what you say you will. The best way to build credibility is through consistency. Be consistent in every way and in everything you do. This includes consistency in what your brand stands for, the message you deliver, the level of customer service, and the quality of the product. Some argue that consistency is more important than having the ‘best’ product.
6. Determine How Your Strategy Fits Into The World Wide Web
Marketing on the web can be very different to other forms of marketing, so plan carefully. You have to have a campaign that captures your audiences’ attention in the first 3 seconds. So plan bold and interesting headlines and imaginative graphics that stand out from the norm. Video marketing is great to get your message across. Your potential customer gets to see who you, and your staff really are. The right video will get people to pick up the phone.
7. Set Up A Schedule In Advance
Unfortunately a lot of businesses have an ad-hoc approach to their marketing. They need more money, which means they need more clients and they have a knee jerk reaction, often spending money with the next person who rings them up with the next great advertising idea. Your business should have a plan set out for the next 12 months, or at the very least the next 3 months. You know exactly where your budget is being spent. You know exactly what actions you need to take. If you are only planning 3 months in advance, then at the end of every month, add the next month to the plan, this way you will always have an internet marketing strategy going out 3 months.
One of the things we do here at SEO Web Magic is to assist our clients with their marketing strategy. We don’t just build websites or do Search Engine Optimisation we look at your entire business and help you turn your website into a work horse. We help plan out a sales funnel for your website and incorporate the entire process into your marketing plan.
Give us ring if you want to know more.