Effective marketing sits at the cusp of a successful business. With the right strategy, you can position your products and services to attract your ideal audience, lower your spending budget, and get you closer to your goals of growing and maintaining a popular business.
But it all starts with a plan. Of course, that plan can be challenging to begin if you’re a business owner without marketing experience. Still, non-experts can learn to market their business properly by taking the right steps to set their strategy on the path to success.
6 Steps to Develop a Marketing Strategy That Works
Consider the following steps, which give a basic outline of what it takes to develop your marketing strategy.
1. Bring Together a Team of Experts
First, think about bringing in some marketing expertise. Since you haven’t developed a marketing strategy before, attempting it alone can feel overwhelming. Even just one or two people who understand marketing can be a tremendous help.
Look for a freelancer or two who has experience with social media and website marketing. Having experience with paid ads, search engine optimization, and various forms of content marketing can also be an asset. Using freelancers can be more affordable than hiring someone part-time or full-time, as you can use their services on more of an as-needed basis.
2. Determine Your Goals
Now, decide what goals you have for your marketing. It’s best to narrow your vision to just one or two primary focuses to start with, such as expanding your website reach or building brand awareness. You can always pull in different goals later.
Then, write down some steps to achieve those goals. Make both short-term and long-term goals, outlining what you can do over the next week, month, quarter, and year to keep working toward those marketing goals.
3. Develop a Budget
A budget can determine what you should and shouldn’t spend money on right now in terms of marketing. Unfortunately, getting your marketing off the ground tends to be one of the most expensive steps, as it usually includes branding and brand awareness.
There will be multiple steps of your sales funnel, and each step should have its own budget. Expect to pay the most in the awareness stage, the first step in the process. As you move onto the interest, decision, and action phases, you’ll typically spend less and less, as your funnel will help you capture some of the most interested customers by the action phase.
4. Design Fictitious Customers
What kinds of people are going to be interested in the products or services you sell? These are your ideal customers. Create customer personas (or use more advanced methods like customer modeling) that you’ll use to tailor your marketing strategy to those people. Customer personas come in handy for media kits, branding campaigns, and marketing strategy meetings.
When creating customer personas, include:
- Personal demographics, like age, gender, and interests
- Financial and employment information
- Family and marital status
- Needs, wants, likes, and dislikes
- How the customer prefers to be marketed to
- How the customer consumes content most (blogs, videos, mail, etc.)
- Questions the customer is likely to ask
5. Use the Right Tools
Marketing tools can make it easier to adhere to your strategy. Some tools analyze the success of your campaigns, others automate content posting, and others help you manage your email list.
Consider how marketing tools fit within your budget. If you can, choose one or two that will take some time off your hands and increase the effectiveness of your campaigns. You can also use free tools, like ShareThis’ share buttons and follow buttons, to help you get started growing your audience.
6. Analyze and Tweak
A good marketing strategy still needs revisions from time to time to keep it up to date and doing its best work for your business. Use analytics tools for auditing your campaigns to find opportunities for improvement.
For instance, your YouTube channel might benefit from a refresh of your videos’ thumbnails, while you might focus on improving your blog posts’ meta descriptions to encourage search engine traffic.
Marketing Your Way to Success
There are a lot of steps, twists, and turns you’ll take in your marketing strategy. This article serves as a basic guide in starting the process, but it’s a good idea to absorb all the information you can about each step. Eventually, your marketing strategy will be one you feel confident in.
Continue learning about marketing on different platforms and strategies used by industry experts by following along with the ShareThis marketing blog. Want to get started with your marketing strategy quickly? ShareThis’ social media share buttons take just minutes to install. Plus, share buttons make it easy for your website visitors to spread the word by sharing your content on their favorite social media networks with a single click.