7 Steps To A Killer Marketing Strategy
noisey boys blog
September 16 2020 / Published by Ronan C
From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, our lives are awash with one thing, content. Whether it’s online or physically, content is one thing we can never escape from in our daily lives. As a result, we have all unconsciously adapted to filter out and ignore all the seemingly irrelevant and boring advertisements that are put in front of us daily.
From a business perspective, the last thing they want is their digital marketing and social media marketing efforts seeping through the cracks and being virtually ineffective.
Much like a house, marketing campaigns rely on a solid foundation in order to be effective, the foundation in this sense refers to the marketing strategy. Without a viable marketing strategy, everything will fall apart.
According to Investopedia, a marketing strategy is defined as “a business’s overall game plan for reaching prospective customers and turning them into customers of the products or services the business provides”. This goes for all aspects of marketing strategy, including social media marketing strategy.
I believe that being able to create a marketing strategy that suits your business is key to achieving your goals.
After reading this blog you will know the seven essential steps in order to form a killer marketing strategy for your business.
Step 1: Setting Marketing Goals.
For every good marketing strategy there has to be a set of well defined goals, this goes for all areas of business, particularly in regard to your social media marketing strategy. You should be asking yourself, “What do you want the end result to be?”, is it building brand awareness, increasing sales, growing your pool of leads, or escalating engagement. Certain goals can even be more specific, such as “Increase the brand's engagement within the 18-25 year old age bracket”. The list is endless.
This is the first and probably one of the most important steps when making out a template for your own marketing strategy, which can at first seem daunting, but you simply have to put yourself in the mindset of where you want to be and what you want to happen as a result of your marketing actions. These goals are very important to your business as they allow important decisions to be made by various departments of the business.
A useful tool when setting marketing goals is make sure they are “SMART”
This makes sure that all the goals you set are relevant to the success of the business and are focused on growth and development.
Step 2: Carry Out Market Research.
For you to make further decisions with your marketing, you must now find out more about your audience and what kind of person would benefit from your products/services. Market research is a method of discovering more about the niche you currently occupy and the practices of competitors. Delving into competitors marketing strategies is a great way for you to learn more about the niche that you are in, it also gives you guidelines about how you can improve particularly regarding their social media marketing strategy. Looking at the strategies of competitors is only one method, if you are in a B2C business there are several different options for market research, including an individual interview, a survey or a focus group. These methods are also similar for a B2B business.
With any form of market research, it is essential that the information you are gathering is not biased in any way, if it is biased that could seriously distort the overall look and direction of your marketing strategy template. The typical principles apply, such as you must not know anyone or influence anyone’s answers in your test group, whether it be a survey or focus group. You must use neutral questioning in order to not force them to sway to one side rather than the other.
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product fits him/her and sells itself” – Peter Drucker
Step 3: Identify your Target Audience.
Interpreting your market research is the next step, using all the information that you have gathered in order to identify your target audience, a method of doing this is using your research to create customer profiles, this basically is a diagram of your ideal consumer, detailing information such as their interests, habits, gender and age.
Knowing these characteristics of your target audience allows you to define your niche, which in turn will help you to achieve your goals through your advertising campaigns. It is all about finding your ideal customer and directing your strategy towards that type of customer. Particularly in digital marketing, if you try and target an audience that is too broad, your campaign will not be effective enough and will as mentioned before slip between the cracks with no action being taken. This does tie into your social media marketing strategy. That is why market research is crucial when it comes to defining your businesses marketing strategy, whether you are a start-up or an existing business.
Another factor along with knowing your target audiences’ interests and habits both online and physically is their needs and wants. This is one of the core elements of marketing and one of the principles on which decisions are made about your product. Your product/service must be desirable by the people you are targeting, it has to be tailored to suit that particular individual based on the customer profile that you created earlier. If you are marketing in a B2B setting then the product/service is of course targeted towards a certain type of business, as will the market research be changed to accommodate a business.
Step 4: Set a Budget.
Like everything in business, including your overall marketing strategy, there must be a budget. This applies particularly for your social media marketing strategy, as businesses will usually run Facebook and Google ads. If you would like to learn more about Google ads and the pricing associated with them, check out our recent blog post. This will tell you all about how you can use Google ads to benefit your own business and drive traffic. Google and Facebook are two of the heavyweights when it comes to online advertising, they should be at the forefront of your mind when it comes to deciding how much you can spend.
Setting your budget is paramount, and in order to do so it is likely, depending on the size of your business that you must collaborate with other departments, in order to prevent overspending, as this could hugely affect other parts of your business in a negative manner. A budget is particularly applicable for your social media strategy but it is of course important for your general marketing activities outside of social, an example would be if you were to put an advertisement on the side of a bus, you must manage how much you would like to spend on said advertisement.
For your social media marketing strategy, organic posts are great assuming you have an audience but even if you do you will probably only reach 5% - 10% of them organically with any particular post, if you do want to get a certain message out as efficiently as possible and have the potential to see massive impact and ROI in your business you need to be looking at paid advertising on platforms like Facebook, Instagram & Google.
Step 5: Develop Strategies.
Now that you know your budget and who you are targeting, now it is time to figure out how you are going to get your message out there in order to promote your business. Usually this involves content creation, whether it be on social media or other platforms. Of course, there is also the option of using traditional advertising outlets such as billboards, newspaper, radio, T.V but make sure your efforts are trackable and always follow the S.M.A.R.T guidelines from above. If going down the traditional media route the steps are still the same you will need to go back and look at your customer avatar from earlier and ask yourself, ‘does my dream customer walk past this billboard? Does my dream customer listen to this radio station? Does my dream customer read this paper?’
Jumping back to social media, a good social media marketing strategy example would be, GoPro, particularly on Instagram their content shows what they are all about as a business, even if you just skim through their feed. This is mainly down to the use of colours. Colours are the first thing you notice, especially in a social media feed such as Instagram. It is a method of drawing in potential customers and enticing them to learn more about your business and what it does. If you are interested in colour psychology in marketing, you should definitely check out our recent blog post.
What colour leads into is the importance of theme in any area regarding your advertising output, this is because you will more than likely be crafting different types of ads to appeal to different types of people within your target audience. They must have factors in common and the overall message must be the same, because as we all know it can get very repetitive and boring when you see the same ad repeatedly, it is then automatically ignored.
Colours have a powerful and unquestionable effect on branding. The right colours can distinguish your brand, attract customers and create strong brand-based loyalty, while the wrong colours can sink you in the marketplace.
Step 6: Implement Your Strategies.
Now you must put everything into action, turning this from an idea into reality is not as easy as it seems, like everything in a business there are numerous moving parts in order to create a killer marketing strategy. Combining all these factors together will allow you to serve your target audience better than your competitors, which in turn gives you a huge competitive advantage. The main problem for a lot of businesses when reviewing their marketing strategy is that they are cautious to act on new found developments that could yield a competitive advantage, in all areas of business there is an element of risk that is always present, but acting on this risk is vital for business growth year on year. Putting a new marketing strategy into place requires collaboration from all areas of the business, not just the marketing department, because if successful and sales drastically increase it will affect all departments in your business.
Although this process is quite long, it is best that you attempt to have your marketing strategy up and running as quickly as possible, this is because if you are looking to introduce new methods or mediums of spreading your message, most other businesses are constantly innovating in the area of marketing and your business must be ready when opportunity comes knocking. Putting things into practice is the best way to find faults, because you can only conduct so many trials. Applying your strategy practically is the only way to know just how effective it will be.
Step 7: Evaluate Your Strategies
Once your strategies have been in place for a certain period of time, it is now time to evaluate their overall performance and decide whether or not this change of strategy worked. For evaluating your overall marketing strategy, you must pay attention to metrics, because they will tell you the real story of how your campaign is doing. Important metrics to evaluate are engagement (for social media/online) and the holy grail in my opinion cost per conversion (CPC). When looking at marketing on a macro level there really is only 1 metric that matters: ROI, how much did I spend and how much revenue did I generate. Engagement will tell you how many people overall interacted with your posts/content, giving you a very good indication of just how popular it is with your chosen target audience.
These metrics along with other indications will allow you to identify certain parts of your strategy that may not be performing very well. There are always going to be parts that you are going to have to change and modify in order to serve your target audience in the best way possible. As marketing is a space that is always changing and developing there are always improvements that can be made and it is also increasingly important that your business listens to the customer, their needs and wants are paramount to the success of your product/service so constant research is needed to monitor developments in this sense. These metrics are a mainstay of all social media marketing strategies and they are vital to all companies that use social media in any form to communicate with their potential and existing customers.