What is a marketing strategy for small businesses?
A marketing strategy is how you map out your vision, mission and business goals with the steps you need to achieve them. It helps you define your current clients, identify potential customers and develop ways to connect with all of them in a meaningful way.
Why is a marketing strategy important?
A well-defined marketing strategy will save you time and money in reaching your perfect audience. And if all goes to plan, it will help the right customers notice your business before learning about your competition. Small business growth is so much easier to achieve when you have marketing strategies in place.
How to develop a marketing strategy for SMEs
The two areas you need to be super clear on when developing a marketing strategy for a small to medium business are your objectives (why am I doing this?) and knowing your audience (who exactly am I talking to?).
How to set objectives for your marketing strategy
When developing a marketing strategy for your brand, product or service, clarify what you hope to achieve and set your objectives.
Is it to:
- Attract new customers? (lead generation)
- Engage with your audience more? (brand awareness)
- Increase sales from existing customers? (upselling)
- Grow your email list?
- Build meaningful relationships with customers? (customer loyalty)
These objectives don't have to be big, especially if you are just getting started.
Know thy audience.
Defining who your target market (absolutely perfect customer) is the fastest route to connecting with them. Understanding your buyer's persona - what makes them tick and their problem that can be solved using your product - is the bond of any marketing strategy and goal. Specifying your target market and connecting with them on a personal level increases your chances of selling to them.
Do you have 6 minutes? Great! Then check this video out on addressing your customers' pain points.
Understanding your audience and speaking their language is the foundation of any good marketing strategy. Spend as long as you need to get this right, and you will save time and money.
How to build a small businesses brand
Ask any non-marketer 'what branding means?' and almost always, the answer will include the word 'logo', but really, only 5% of your brand is the logo. https://metigy.com/metigy-learning/hayden-bleasel-corellium/
Branding is every possible experience from design to post-sale that one could have with your business. Yes, a brand needs to make an excellent first impression and keep it up with consistent imagery and presentation, but Branding goes much further. It's how you attract and relate to your customers and how they feel about you when using your product or service.
Your Branding is about how you want to be perceived, and defining that needs to come from your business's mission and vision, values, culture, and strategies.
Once you are clear on the intention of your marketing strategy, who it is you want to communicate with and how you want to be perceived, it's time to get your message out! For stage, consistency is key.
Consistency of imagery, tone of voice
Maintaining a consistent brand message through words and visuals is crucial to marketing a growing business in a competitive marketplace. How else will a potential customer remember your brand?
There is this old marketing/sales rule called 'the seven touches' or 'touchpoints'. It's about how a potential customer needs to see a message or experience a brand (brand recognition) at least seven times before being motivated to take action.
To achieve brand recognition, you need this sweet marketing combination:
- A consistent look and feel to your images and copy.
- Frequency of your communication.
To work out when, where and frequency needed for consistent communication, use the social research platforms offer, including the specific feedback from your data as a guide. The section below titled 'Data' goes further into this.
Keeping with a specific color palette, mood, or a particular editing style will help you stay true to your brand in terms of look and feel, as does keeping with the same font and layout on your imagery.
However, creating your brand story does not mean leaning on one post style or inserting your logo on everything. If you have defined what your followers and potential customers want to see, interact with, and share, you can play! Varying the style and composition of your content will help keep your brand top of mind.
Creating the right tone of voice is a common marketing problem. If you are finding the tone of voice for your brand hard to nail, revisit your objectives and your target audience. A great trick is to imagine speaking directly to the person like they are a friend (one of their friends). Keep it real and consistent - whether you are speaking 'casually' or professionally or in a casual professional manner, stick with it!
Branded content with graphic design and video content.
Great online branding is kind of same, same but different. You need to have a consistent style, voice and regularity, but mixing up the format is what will keep things interesting and your audience engaged. On-brand videos and great graphic design can bring your messaging to life.
If creating regular content is not your jam, or you just don't have the time to make it, check out our Creative Services.
How to build your brand in different marketing channels - Organic social, display advertising
The organic content you make through posts, vlogging, podcasts or blogging is how your voice, messaging, and brand develops authority and trust. It's the space (when you're ready to establish a more substantial online presence) that you invite your new perfect customers to visit via targeted display advertising.
For SMEs, we give a thumbs up to Google Ads as a cost-effective way to advertise. The Ads are pay-per-click (PPC), an attractive way to invest in paid advertising while minimizing the risk of wasted ad spending.
Want to know more about advertising your small business online with Google Ads - read this article. It goes deep on how Google Ads work and how to make the most of your data to get the best search engine results.
And here are a few tips to increase your organic reach - without spending a dime.
The role of AI in marketing strategy - recommendations and insights working around the clock to save time and never miss an opportunity.
Successful business marketing is all about responding to change with innovative problem-solving. Every business and its challenges are unique, but the need for an answer is always last Wednesday. Here is where AI data plays a significant role in the success of a marketing strategy.
A marketing strategy backed with a minute to moment data specific to your brand will see you beating competitors to the punch.
There are many layers to how AI can help business owners improve their performance and bottom line. To get the best results, you need to provide the direction. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are nothing but data without us. It cannot exist and function properly without the human touch to inform its ones and zeros. When AI is used to total capacity, the results and the answers you need to move forward are immediate.
Here's an example of how AI can help increase organic reach.
Tools for creating a marketing strategy
Metigy helps businesses just like yours address the fundamental questions around marketing strategy with AI. Get a better understanding of your best-performing channels and content with our insights and recommendations, persoanlised to your brand.