Before starting your first marketing journey, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed – there seems to be so much to do that it’s difficult to figure out a good strategy, or even where to start. If you’re looking to find out the basics of marketing, read on to find out everything you need to know to make your marketing strategy strong, powerful, and guaranteed to bring in customers.
Firstly, What is Marketing?
Marketing is essential to any business – it is how you communicate with your target audience and consumer base, and without it, it would be impossible to make a name for yourself. It gives you the chance to show people exactly what your business is about – you can use marketing to advertise your products or services, as well as build connections with your audience and expand your consumer base.
There are seven key areas of marketing that you need to at least be aware of, and more preferably, make good use of. These areas include:
Email marketing: As the name suggests, this is reaching out to customers and advertising via email. This is known to be one of the most successful forms of marketing, giving you returns of up to 4,200% – not a bad figure!
Online video marketing: Here, we’re talking YouTube, and other similar platforms (like Vimeo, for example). YouTube is the second biggest search engine, only being beaten to the top spot by Google, and it’s a busy place for potential customers. Placing advertising on other people’s videos, and creating your own channel to share with your target audience, are two great ways to gain some attention.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): Search engine optimisation is one of the most useful tactics in directing your target audience straight to your website. By using a variety of keywords (both exact and long tail), you can hatch on to exactly what your audience is looking for, boosting your rankings in web searches and driving up your reputation.
Content marketing: Content marketing is successful for one key reason: people want their problems solved. By offering useful, helpful content, you’re bound to develop a good rapport with your target audience who are likely to come back to you in the future.
Public relations: Public relations is all about how people see your brand, and what image you’re giving off to potential customers. At the end of the day, you need to build a relationship with your potential clients, and public relations helps ensure that happens.
Social media marketing: You’d have a hard time trying to find someone who doesn’t use social media nowadays, and it’s the perfect place to start marketing. Not only is social media content great for being shared, and reaching a vast range of people, but you can also create a community. This will help your audience feel like they’re part of a group and like they’re part of your business and its journey.
Influencer marketing: Using influencers is a great way to not only grab people’s attention and draw them into your business and its products or services, but it also helps improve your reputation, as your business is valued by someone who is prominent to a lot of people. It helps a lot if this influencer is related to your target market; if you’re looking to sell your construction services, maybe don’t opt for the frontman of the newest boy band, for example.
Using a combination of these is the best way to get a good base for your marketing. The question then is what approach do you need to take?
Develop a Marketing Strategy
Every business needs a strategy for marketing, or it’s likely to come across as disjointed, confusing, and ultimately be unsuccessful. Making sure your marketing is aligned, has a clear message, and has the same aims is the best way to make sure you make the most of any investments and draw in the most amount of people.
The first question you need to consider is who you’re trying to reach. You need to have a clear target audience in mind – this will help you focus your marketing on those most likely to buy from you. For example, if you’re running a business for backpackers, you’ll want to focus on younger people as this demographic is more likely to buy and use your services.
You then need to think what it is you want them to do. The most obvious answer right now is that you want them to buy from your business, but think about it in more detail – there’s more than that to gain from marketing. Do you want to create a community for your brand? Do you want to encourage people to share your content? Do you want to encourage a high quantity of visitors, or focus on a smaller quantity that keep coming back? Take time to consider what it is exactly that you’re looking for, and use this as the basis of how you plan your marketing strategy. You can have different aims – that’s one benefit of using many different platforms.
You also need to make sure you have a method of measuring your marketing’s impact on others. Social media is great for this – sites like Facebook already offer you plenty of statistics and data to look over, so you can easily see what’s working and what isn’t, and change your plans based on the data.
Implement the Four P’s
Once you have a basic strategy, you then need to work to implement the four P’s of marketing – product, price, promotion and place.
Product is the base of your business, and what your marketing should centre around. Consider the variety and range of products you’re offering, how it is serviced, and how it’s presented to customers. This should all be included somewhere within your marketing.
Price is not just about how much you charge – you also need to take into account other things. Discounts and sales are a big part of marketing, and can really drive people to your business. You also need to consider what sort of profits you’re making, taking into account expenses, and what sort of options you’ll offer to customers for payments.
Promotion is about, as the name suggests, how you promote your product. This means the channels you use (both offline and online), as well as what sort of message you want to promote, both in terms of your product and your brand. Promotion goes hand in hand with place – this is where you then distribute your products.
Implementing these 4 Ps is the key to a good marketing strategy – without them, it’s not as easy to grow your enterprise. With both of these, think about your branding materials – you need your website and all of your marketing content to look good, as this will be the base of your sales in the online world. If you’re unsure of how to do this, a graphic design course could help you out.
The best advice for marketing is to take steady, calculated steps. With patience, you’ll be able to develop an incredibly successful business, and gain the reputation and profits needed to grow.
Isabella Goode is a young, passionate writer with extensive experience in business, blogging and all things technology. She understands the importance of introducing new solutions to any business to keep it ahead of the competition, so she creates engaging content on business management, leading teams and using technology to drive beneficial corporate change.