How to Market Your Business
Ever been asked “how to market a business”? If so, you are definitely someone we want to chat with. Marketing gurus are sometimes difficult to come by and the good ones seem even more rare. It's sort of like coming across a rare dog who’s best friends with a cat...
Anyways, let's get to the point of why you’re here. If you’re a business owner, you probably ask yourself what you can be doing to market your business. The truth is, the type of marketing your business requires depends on the type of business you operate in, the industry you are competing in, your target market, location, market position, and a bunch of other factors. This week we want to talk about 5 effective marketing strategies that are transferable to your business regardless of size or industry.
1. Get Organized
This step is crucial and the most successful marketers will all agree on one thing– you can never jump into a project without a plan. Whether your business has already launched or is in the works of being launched, having a sound marketing plan in play will prove to be invaluable. As strategic marketers ourselves, we like to say that your day to day marketing work needs to be built out with the intention of having it ready to go three months before the launch date. In other words, think ahead. Work out the details in a strategic plan with accountable rollout deadlines, touch sequences, communications strategy, advertising, local business promotions, social media, and a B2C/B2B marketing strategy. If you have taken the time to create a marketing plan, then a lot of the necessary elements are in play and you can get ready for the next step– marketing execution. If you are launching a startup, here’s a few things you need to have ready to go when your business goes live:
Responsive website that is mobile friendly
Social Media accounts
Set up and claim your Google Business Profile (local prioritization)
A clear understanding of your target audience
As a motivational resource, here’s a gif of the most organized dog you’ll ever meet.
2. Leverage Digital Marketing
If you have been following along with our blog in the past you will know that we are a team of creative marketers/consultants and our marketing services revolve around creating and executing effective digital marketing strategies to help businesses grow. Digital marketing, in its essence, is online marketing whose main focus is the promotion of brands to connect with potential customers using the internet and other forms of digital communication. This includes not only email, social media, and web-based advertising, but also text and multimedia messages as a marketing channel.
Long story short, digital marketing is here to stay and doesn’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. In the ever-increasing evolution of the digital world we live in, there are new tools and strategies to improve your digital marketing performance. Most businesses today will reap the rewards of digital marketing if done correctly, especially in any kind of ecommerce or online type of business. With that being said, digital marketing is also extremely effective for both B2B or B2C types of businesses. Here are some key elements to make sure is a part of your digital marketing plan:
A consistent branding kit
A consistent communications strategy & touch sequence
Platform specific promotional strategies
Collecting and using data to make informed decisions
Keeping up with modern day trends and best practices for all digital marketing channels
3. Prioritize Brand Marketing
This one is a doozy. Brand marketing is the crux of your business's social image. There are a lot of branding guidelines to adhere by in order to successfully build and grow your business. This type of marketing is all about what your customers take away from your business, including first impressions to larger social issues. Not only is brand marketing a part of the marketing mix (4 P’s – product, place, promotion, and price) but it has its own prospect once the product gains the brand name. In other words, brand marketing is not only important as a visionary aspect of your brand identity but it will also play along with every other aspect of your marketing strategy and will be applied across social media accounts, websites, communication strategies and more.
We like to think of branding this way– A brand for a company is like the personality of a person. I think most people will agree that personalities are encouraged and valued to be unique. So should your business, right? When developing your brand, it’s important to be mindful of 4 key steps to create a successful brand image:
1- How you want the brand to feel
Meaning, take into account the purpose, personality, color scheme, font, and logo design.
2- Implementing your voice & tone
The main difference to be mindful here is that brand voice is how your personality is expressed through language. Think of it this way. You have the same voice all the time, but your tone changes depending on the context. You have one tone when you’re calling your friend and another when you’re meeting your boss.
3- Consistency is key
This is the most important step. By making sure all your elements work together in harmony, you’ll be creating differentiation from your competitors. Things get tricky when businesses grow and scale due to the fact that your brand consistency needs to be communicated effectively with the rest of the team. Tip: build a brand kit that’s accessible for all internal personnel.
4- Evolve your brand over time
This may come as no surprise, but evolving to stay relevant is important. It takes time to build your brand presence and they should naturally evolve over time. The brand you’ve created so far is a great foundation but does not need to remain set in stone. Determine which elements should be locked (like your logo) and which need to adapt over time.
If you consistently follow your brand purpose and deliver on your promise, your brand will eventually be associated with an idea or emotion in the minds of your customers.
As brand marketers ourselves, we can help you develop the strategy to not only build your brand but also progress it to build more robust relationships with your customers. Reach out to the experts at Oak Street to learn more.
4. Measure Performance Based Marketing
What is performance marketing? Performance-based marketing, also known as pay for performance advertising, is a form of advertising in which the purchaser pays only when there are measurable results. These types of campaigns typically surface when it’s time for your promotional strategy and your business is operating in a competitive market. More specifically, this type of marketing has also been called affiliate marketing but in its essence, performance based marketing is the umbrella and affiliate marketing is just a segment of that umbrella.
The obvious profits coming with affiliate marketing is the promotion of your brand through affiliates and publishers with their own audience, budget and influence range. In addition to that, you’re increasing market share, targeted traffic and audience engagement. The most important thing, performance marketing reduces your risk, improves the market expanse and budget size while enhancing your brand and ROI. Besides, performance marketing is fully trackable, measurable and can be improved.
In a nutshell, the purpose of performance based marketing is so that your business can come out on top of its competitors. To better describe what we mean by this. Here’s a gif of a dog who comes out on top of his competition…. Literally.
Measuring how these different campaigns are working is of huge importance. When investing financial resources, it is crucial to know where the dollars are being spent most effectively. Data is what tells the story on performance so it needs to be a priority to measure what is happening so accurate decisions can be made to optimize investments. Performance-based marketing is not a set and forget approach, it must be continuously optimized for the best results.
5. The Goal is to Go Viral
Clever Girl... 🦖 🦕 Props to you if you read that and immediately thought of Jurassic park.
Let’s focus our last topic on something big... Something grandiose... Something Jurassic (see what we did there)! Let’s talk about viral marketing. Granted, viral marketing is not something that you can guarantee but in the event your marketing campaign goes viral, your business will start reaping the rewards almost immediately. Let’s briefly look at 4 clever viral marketing campaigns to date.
1. “The Dress”
2. “Straight Outta Compton” Meme
3. “Oreo's Lights Out Super Bowl” moment. If you're a football fan, you may remember a moment of darkness during the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII. ...
4. #LoveWins by Visa
Going viral offers tons of brand exposure and free word of mouth advertising, which in return is a huge lift in growing your business. But more often than not, creating viral content is seemingly tough but being aware of viral content marketing opportunities is a great way to promote and adhere to the emotions of your target audience.
While all five of these areas are going to be something that you should incorporate into your marketing plan, the exact structure should be customized to best reach your business’s target audience. Marketing is never a one size fits all solution, so effectively reaching your target audience should be a major driver in prioritizing different initiatives. If you would like some help growing your business or know of someone who is looking for some marketing experts, we politely ask that you visit our website and get in touch with us.