January 20, 2022 | 4-minute read (786 words)
Having a strong market presence with top-of-mind brand recall is critical for success, whether you are an experienced entrepreneur or just starting a new firm. Marketing increases brand exposure and creates leads that convert into purchases, resulting in increased revenue. In other words, a marketing strategy is a must-have for any company.
With small businesses struggling to gain a presence in the market, a well-thought-out marketing strategy includes actions to help you grow up and differentiate yourself from the competition. Regardless of your time or financial limits, you can create an efficient marketing plan and you do not need to be a professional to do so.
The following are seven steps for developing a marketing plan for small business owners.
1. Start by evaluating your company
Assess your business circumstances before drafting a marketing strategy. This assessment will serve as the cornerstone for your marketing strategy. Create a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) study to establish where you are to define your marketing goals. Making a SWOT analysis is the most effective technique to determine which sections of your business are operating well and which areas require improvement.
For example, your company may have good website performance, which is a strength, but terrible social media results, which is a weakness. Meanwhile, keep an eye on your rivals' marketing strategies and take note of where they succeed and where they fail, then utilize that information to develop ways for your company to stand apart. To generate suggestions for your marketing campaign, combine the results of your review with tools like Google AdWords and Google Analytics.
2. Establish a financial plan
It's time to consider investing when you've figured out your present business situation. Establish a budget after determining how much you are willing or able to invest in a marketing campaign. Avoid second-guessing yourself by being practical when settling on the amount. Your success will be determined by a well-crafted plan and its complete execution, regardless of how much money you invest. Higher returns and better brand recognition are both possible with the correct one.
3. Don't undervalue your time
Are you able to set aside the time necessary to advertise your company? Are you going to lose your concentration? These questions may be answered by keeping track of results, which requires consistency and effort once your goals and objectives have been established. Although it is unnecessary to revisit the marketing plan every month, watching what is and is not working closely is vital. The plan's supporting pillars must be solid.
4. Create a goal-setting plan
You're familiar with the industry; you have a SWOT analysis and a budget in place. It's now time to set marketing objectives. According to experts, marketing objectives should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-specific. For example, if you want to boost your business's lead generation, you may set a goal of 10% growth in six months. This is a specific, quantifiable, feasible, practical and time-bound goal.
Remember that before you outline the goals for your small business, you must first establish the general marketing objectives.
• Increasing brand recognition
• Generating more leads
• Establishing a robust online presence
• Increasing social media presence
• Engaging with the audience
5. Determine who you want to reach
Are you aware of your target audience's demographics? Are they based in a specific location? How old are they on average? It's critical to determine your target audience before developing a marketing strategy.
When selecting your target audience, various factors, including their geography, lifestyle characteristics and the sort of business you run. Knowing who your target market is will assist you in developing the most effective marketing approach for your company. If millennials prefer to consume material online, for example, paper advertisements are unlikely to reach them.
6. Choose marketing methodologies
List the marketing methods you wish to use to achieve each objective once you've established your marketing goals and defined your target audience.
For instance, if you aim to increase leads by 10% in six months, you may use a variety of tools and methods, including:
• Developing and optimizing valuable content
• Facebook promotions and competitions to drive traffic to the website
• LinkedIn marketing
Assess the budget to establish what's practical and doable in a specific time period once you've chosen a method for each goal you've specified. This is also the time to select if you'll outsource or construct the marketing plan in-house.
7. Putting your work into practice
Finally, you've completed your marketing strategy. Making a to-do list and prioritizing your projects are the next steps. Then it's time to start putting your marketing strategy into action for your small business. Keep track of your progress, measure your outcomes and adjust your plan as needed.