If you’ve got a great idea for a business then it’s normal to get excited about the journey you’re about to undertake. However, the idea and big vision and will to succeed will only get you so far. To really make it, you’re going to need to know how to market your business. This is a huge part of any business, but most entrepreneurs aren’t experts in marketing – their skills lay elsewhere. But don’t fear, because with a few hints and tips, you can get your marketing strategy off the ground.
Knowing Your Customers
Your company culture is very much determined by your vision for the company, but this should be filtered through the lens of what your potential customers want when it comes to marketing. That’s why it pays to really know who your customers are and what they want. By conducting market research, you should have a clear understand of their lifestyles, the language they use, what they’re passionate about, and so on. Once you have an understanding of them, your marketing strategy will be all the easier to develop.
Your Different Platforms
You don’t need us to tell you that the internet is a pretty big space, and to get ahead you’ll need to make yourself visible. How you do this is your marketing. There’s your website, your search engine ranking, your social media channels (more on that later), your blog, your PPC campaigns and so on. There’s a lot of different channels you can go through, and it’s worth looking at all of them to determine where you should be.
The Big One: Social Media
Social media has changed the game when it comes to online marketing. Through the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the rest, you’re able to connect with customers – both current and potential – and brand your business in ways that have never been possible before. Because it is so important, it can pay to get social media marketing help and make your channels as fruitful as possible. Whoever your audience is, they’ll be on social media – so go get them.
The Key: Good Content
It used to be that having content that had specific keywords or inviting titles would be enough to get ranked highly on Google, but those days have long past. Whatever platform you’re using (Google or otherwise), the key is to have quality, not quantity. It pays to invest in having well researched, well written content and plenty of visual stimulation on your website, because this is what people want – and Google and other sites are increasingly concerned with delivering what people want.
Knowing the Rules
There’s a long list of things that you should be doing, but there’s an even longer list of things that you shouldn’t be doing. Before you really get your marketing campaign underway, you should endeavor to understand the types of things that can turn people off and have them running away from your business without a second thought. An example of this would be having an over complicated customer process whereby they can’t access what they need to access without jumping through hoops, having spelling and grammatical errors on your permanent website pages, or having too many unnecessary popups. It’s just a fact of life that the internet is greatly competitive and if you give any customer an opportunity to walk away, they probably will.
And The Online World
Knowing what the audience wants is important, but so is understanding the online world. It is not like the real world and you can’t treat it like you’d treat anything else. It’ll be beneficial if you spend time looking at what your rivals are doing online and getting the right feel and tone of what is required. If you’re already an active internet user then this will be easier. How would you explain to someone what a meme is, if they didn’t instinctively know it already? This type of deeper knowledge will help in the long run.
Be Ready to Adapt
The one thing about online marketing is…it’s never static. It is always adapting, and most of what you learn in your initial grounding in marketing will most likely be obsolete within a year. Once you know the language of marketing, however, it’ll be much easier to adapt and find long term success. Be agile, be ready to move forward in whichever direction trends take online marketing, and keep an open ear for any changes – at the moment, video is king, but what will be next?