We all wish we could promote ourselves and our businesses better.
And doing so online is an integral part of that.
Ultimately what you want to achieve is a seamless product, pricing, placement and promotional strategy to win more business.
But how can you achieve that in a straightforward and efficient manner that is going to pay instant dividends?
Here are five easy steps to market yourself better:
1) Do you research
In order to develop a marketing strategy first you need to do you market research to get an insight into your customers’ behaviours and needs.
It also enables you to determine market trends, sales forecasts and keep up with what the competition is doing.
Then you need to decide on your target market based on geography, demographics, behaviour and lifestyle, that fits in with the product or service you are selling.
2) Develop your own brand
From that you must develop a unique selling point (USP) that makes you stand out and gives your customers a compelling reason to buy from you.
This should reflect what you do differently and your expertise and specialist knowledge and skills.
Developing a strong elevator pitch can also help to shape your USP and focus your mind on your core competencies.
Once you know explicitly what your USP is then you need to develop a brand and logo which engages with your customers and clearly explains what your business is, what it stands for and what it delivers, as well as building trust and credibility.
3) Choose your marketing avenues
With so many ways to interact with your customers online, you are almost spoilt for choice these days.
But you need to make the right one.
Depending on the best medium to reach your customers, you can select anything from your website, blogs, press releases, videos, infographics, email newsletters and marketing campaigns, apps and social media.
They all have their benefits for use in different situations, whether it’s driving traffic to your website, increasing sales leads or conversion, or just staying in touch.
At the very least you should develop your own website that’s attractive, functional, accessible and mobile-friendly.
Consider getting a website developer to do this so that it looks as professional as possible.
You can also use external tools including business directories such as Google Business and Google Places, with links back to your website in order to promote your company.
Tying in with this, you should ensure that you thoroughly research and use the right keywords within your content to increase your search engine optimisation.
A newsletter is an effective way to capture new customers by asking them to subscribe to follow your activities or to receive a free offering like a tip sheet or ebook.
Blogs are another useful resource, but you need to make sure that they are timely, relevant and link to your website or latest promotion.
You should always repurpose your content for different audiences you are trying to reach.
But don’t overlook the value of more traditional methods including word of mouth, networking events and seminars, trade fairs, phone calls, texts, business cards, brochures, flyers, letter drops, posters, print advertising and editorial, and sponsorship.
4) Define your goals and budget
Having done your research and established your own brand and routes to market, then you need to work out what you want to achieve and how much you are willing to spend to do that.
An acronym I use is that your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.
As a rule of thumb, you should spend about three to five percent of your annual turnover on marketing, but you may need to allocate more if your business is new.
You also need to factor in costs for website development and maintenance, SEO strategy, design of branding, advertising, and employing staff to undertake these activities.
5) Monitor and review
Once you have decided on your goals and budget it’s time to put your marketing campaign into practice.
Then you need to constantly watch and reflect on how it’s performing and whether it’s achieving the desired outcome, such as improving sales.
This may include reviewing your sales figures every month or monitoring the number of hits and clickthroughs on your website using tools such as Google Analytics.
Finally, get feedback through customer reviews and testimonials to make sure you are on track.
Get in touch
- Struggling to devise a strong marketing strategy? Want to get your business out there but don’t know where to start? Give me a call on +44 (0)7949 590213 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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