What Exactly Is A Marketing Strategy?
Contrary to popular belief, there is no standard definition of a marketing strategy. However, according to the Oxford Dictionary, a marketing strategy is a “planned course of action designed to increase sales.” In simple terms, it is the overall plan your company uses to market its products and services to the public. A well-thought-out marketing strategy will include elements such as what your product or service is, how you will sell it, where you will sell it, when you will sell it, to whom you are going to sell it, and so on.
A good marketing strategy should be comprehensive, detailed, and easy to understand. It should also be simple, clear, and logical. Effective marketing strategies will always consider the target audience you are trying to reach, the competition in your industry, the unique selling proposition (USP) of your product or service, and the tools and resources at your disposal.
Enhancing Business Through Effective Marketing Strategies
What is it that makes a successful marketer? They are someone who can clearly define the problem their target customer has. Then, the successful marketer comes up with a solution to this problem. This is not always easy. You see, many of us have been sold a bill of goods when it comes to our customers. We think they are just like us. They have the same wants and desires as we do. This is not true. Customers are a different breed.
What I mean is this:
“Most of the time, your customers are more concerned with getting what they want than with how they get it!”
Here’s how to reach your target audience through marketing strategies:
Tip #1: Always Test Your Marketing Strategies
Don’t just take my word for it, TEST! Many business owners only “test” their ideas when they have no other choice. They’ll say things like, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Or, “If we don’t understand it, it’s too complex, so let’s not mess with it.”
These are all poor decisions. Making poor decisions is what got you into this situation in the first place. It’s time to stop messing around and start taking control. If you don’t test, you’re going to be caught flat-footed every time a change needs to be made.
Definitely not a good idea. By the way, testing does not mean you have to break the bank. Just a little will go a long way. Remember, your goal here is to get a feel for how your customers receive your message.
Tip #2: Know Your Market!
This is perhaps the most important tip of all. If you don’t know your market, it’s like trying to drive a car without having a map or a GPS device. You might get somewhere, but you’ll undoubtedly be lost long before you arrive. Know your market, and don’t be shy about getting detailed information. Don’t just ask people to tell you they are interested in what you are selling. Instead, ASK FOR DETAILS!
Tip #3: Use The Right Social Media Platform
Your business must have a presence on the RIGHT social media platforms. Why? Simply because more people are on those specific social media sites than any other place on Earth! You see, there are approximately 2.2 billion active users of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram. There are only about 730 million active users of MySpace, Pinterest, Reddit, and Tumblr. That means more people are using these specific sites than all other sites combined. Let alone all other sites, including the biggest.
By far, the most profitable sites are those where your customers are already hanging out. They’re the ones who have already bought from you or someone like you. They’re the ones who have already expressed an interest in what you have to offer. These are the people you should be focusing on first.
Tip #4: Don’t Underestimate Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Did you know the first three words of A Google Search are almost always? Relative To What The User Is Looking For?! That’s right. What they’re looking for is a solution to their problem. They type a word or two into the little box and then click on “search.” The very first thing that pops up in the list of results is usually the very thing they were looking for. In fact, according to a recent study by Google, 89% of users only click on the first three entries in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). That means, if your website isn’t among the first three sites listed when someone uses a search engine to look for something, you are severely limiting your chances of getting any traffic at all—and seriously limiting your chances of making a profit.
Tip #5: Don’t Forget About “Long Tailed Keywords.”
Have you ever wondered how many people use specific words or phrases in their Google searches? Well, according to the latest research, there are now over 2.5 billion searches per month. And, every single one of those 2.5 billion searches includes the word “marketing” or some version of the word “marketing.”
In fact, out of all the words and phrases used in Google searches, the word “marketing” comes up almost twice as often as any other word or phrase. Yet, most website owners completely ignore this fact. They create websites that cater to what people are actually typing into the search engines. Not what they really want. Here’s an example of what I mean: Let’s say we have a website that sells pet products. We could name our website “PetsRUs.com” and put up a page that says something like:
How many times do you think someone would type the word “marketing” into a search engine? Probably hundreds of thousands of times. Yet, using the exact word “marketing” in your website’s H1 title tag will only bring up about 20,000 results. Using a long-tailed version of that word (like “marketing campaign” or “marketing effort”) will pull in over 2 million hits. That’s a 1,000,000% increase in traffic! And, it has nothing to do with how well your website is written. It has everything to do with how well you understand what people are really searching for.
Tip #6: Write Killer Headlines And Descriptions
It seems like such an obvious thing to do, doesn’t it? Yet, so many website owners forget this basic fact. Why? I think it’s because they are so used to writing long words and phrases in their headlines and descriptions that it seems like “common sense” to them. It’s not common sense. It’s simply brilliant business. If you want to capture the people’s attention who use search engines to find what they want, you have to write in short, simple sentences. It’s just like writing for the readers of any other publication. It’s not complicated. In fact, if you are really serious about growing your website profits, it will be the easiest thing you ever do.
Tip #7: Always Strategize Your Marketing Strategies
It’s amazing how many website owners wait until their websites are up and running before they sit down and start thinking about how to profit from their sites. This is a fatal mistake! You must always think about how to increase traffic and sales to your site… even before you put a single word of content on your site. The first step in this process is to make a detailed plan that includes things like What specific goals do I want to accomplish? How much money do I want to spend? What time frame am I working in? (i.e., How long do I have to achieve my goals?) What specific actions do I need to take?
The Final Say
Marketing for small businesses can be challenging. It’s hard enough just to get your foot in the door, let alone make it through the process of selling to your target market. But there are proven ways to cut through the clutter and focus on what really works.
By following these simple steps, you will have a clearer vision of your market, learn to hone your marketing skills, and be able to communicate your value to the people you are after clearly.