When people hear the words marketing strategy, especially at the beginning of a new business venture, they tend to get overwhelmed. You’ve finally put all the pieces in place in your business and know you need to do some marketing, but an entire marketing strategy can sound intimidating.
What most people don’t realize is a small business marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complex. You don’t need graphs, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations.
In fact, you can keep it pretty simple.
Remember the 5 W’s (and an H) that you probably learned in school somewhere along the way? Who, what, when, where, why, and how. This is a great framework for storytelling and event communication and, yes, small business marketing strategy too.
Start outlining your marketing strategy by simply answering the 5 W’s (and your H) but with in a slightly different order. Instead of starting with who, it’s important to start with why.
Why exactly do you need to market your business? For most, the answer to that question is in order to meet their business goals, So, what are your business goals? What are you hoping to accomplish with your business? Why is it important to you that this business is successful? Why are you passionate about it? Everything in your marketing strategy needs to align back to what you’re trying to accomplish as a business.
Who is your audience? Are they mainly women or men or both? What do you know about the demographics and psychographics of your audience? Knowing some basic details about your audience can help you decide what platforms will be better for marketing your business. Also think about what matters to them and what their biggest pain points are, which can help you tailor your message.
What are your key messages? What does your audience want to know and what do you need them to know? Think about the voice of your businesses. How do you talk about your business and how does your business sound in its marketing? Make sure you’re telling your story effectively and consistently.
Where is your audience? In other words, on what channels and platforms can you find them? Email, direct mail, social media, word of mouth, and your website all fit into this category. Are you getting a better engagement through an email campaign or Instagram and Facebook? Maybe it’s both. Think about the various ways you can reach your audience and make sure you’re including those channels as part of the marketing strategy.
When & How
The when and how are the action steps in your strategy. What do you need to do next to get your message in front of your audience? This might include updating your website or stopping or starting a specific social media channel. Maybe it’s time to start designing some postcards that you can send out to clients. No matter what it is, be sure to include your timeline and budget implications for each action steps.
The most important thing to know about small business marketing strategy is that it’s not a static thing that you do once. Your marketing strategy will evolve as your business evolves. While you want to be consistent and give specific action steps time to work, you’ll also need to make some adjustments as things change in your business.
Need help developing a marketing strategy for your small business? We regularly work with small businesses to help them develop a communications plan that’s customized to their unique business needs. Reach out to us today to talk about the communications plan process.