It’s Time Again … Time To Etch Out A New and Bold Marketing Strategy
How’s it already time to strategize a new marketing plan? You’ve been so busy kicking small business ass that you didn’t realize how quickly your last strategy flew by. Now it’s time to sit around the table and etch out clear goals and a bold marketing strategy for your next big goals.
You might have a monthly revenue goal in mind—one that’s going to move you closer and closer to becoming that million dollar company you’ve been working so hard to be for the last 5 years. It’s just out of reach but you know you can there with this goal in mind. Or maybe you’re finally ready to expand from your single location and open up a brand new branch in a city that can bring your business to that next level.
Now’s the time to accomplish those clear, ambitious goals because you it’s time to make it happen. All you need is to get around the table, strategize, and accomplish the goals you’ve set out to achieve. Don’t let this strategy time get pushed to the side by other business owner duties. Without a plan, you’re just wishing for success.
Make it happen—it’s time to laser focus. So where do you start?
A Goal Without A Strategy is Just a Dream
As a small business owner wearing all the hats, it’s easy to get swept away by urgent tasks and forget about the important ones. Take a step back and figure out what’s urgent, what’s important, what’s both, and what’s neither. Do the things that occupy most of your time inform your goals? Or are they driving you away from the business you want to be?
Hone in on the goals that are going to get you to that next level of business—the ones that are ambitious and “dreamy”. And then incorporate a strategy that can help make these dreams a reality.
Strategies give direction towards these goals. They allow you to measure your success, understand where you might need to make changes in order to improve, and pinpoint where you might need to pivot your current business practices. Strategies keep you focused and on the path to achieving those goals. Because after all, a goal without a strategy is really just a dream.
Content is Many Things
Let’s get clear on content. What exactly encompasses content? Although blogs are probably the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word ‘content’, content is much more than just writing new blog posts. Social media, videos, infographics, case studies, eBooks, white papers, interviews, podcasts, repurposed and curated work, it’s all content.
Any and all types of content has to be derived from a particular strategy surrounding that type of content. Consistency and timing, topics, targeted audience, type of content, and where the content will be shared are all significant elements of content and of content marketing strategies. This week’s newest blog? There should be a strategy behind it that focuses on how that specific topic will resonate with your intended audience, the focused keywords that will contribute to SEO, the day of the week the blog post will be published, and the 3 other channels you will be sharing the link to in order to drive more traffic to the page.
The many things of content takes thought, strategic, a goal, plan, and then execution. Without all of these elements, a blog post is just a webpage full of words. Give it some meaning and focus with a marketing strategy.
How To Create A Bold Marketing Strategy
Was last quarter (or last strategy) successful? What worked and what didn’t? Analyze your numbers, analytics, and your previous goals. Did you make progress? Did you get distracted by bright and shiny things? Do your previous efforts support the growth you have in mind for your upcoming bold marketing strategy (think new employees, more/better office space, new equipment, more exposure, etc.)?
Maybe you made strides in an area that doesn’t line up with your current goals. Or maybe you’re making less progress on your goals than you were hoping at this point in the year. Maybe you don’t have the data to measure progress at all. So, if we can agree that we want MORE out of this strategy than the last, let’s discuss 6 tips to help focus our marketing ideas.
1. Start with the Dream
A strategy is infinitely easier when you’re crystal clear on your vision. When’s the last time you checked in on your dream for this business?
Go grab a sketch pad and some markers (trust me, it’s more fun with colors). Now set a timer for 20 minutes and list everything you’ve wanted to do that you’ve been putting off.
Get energized for another slugfest strategy by reconnecting with all the fun ideas you’ve had—the ones that always wind up on the proverbial back burner (or the literal one, if you’re a chef). Want to do a new video for your website? Anxious to give your website a facelift with more interactive features? Maybe you’re wishing you could send your loyal customers branded tchotchkes, like corkscrews, bookmarks, stress dolls, hoodies, etc. Now’s the time to mark these off your wish list and make them happen, dammit.
Maybe you want to revamp your website, but that seemed too time consuming the last time you got around the table. Or your team just wasn’t ready to review your brand and content quite yet.
Once you have your list, mark which wish list items are urgent (you can achieve them in 6 months) or important (taking this on will lead to long term success). Find any overlap? Add that to your goal sheet. Now’s the time to make that bold move and go for it!
2. Know Your Audience
Next to your vision, your audience is the most important influencer of your strategy. If your work doesn’t improve the lives and experience of your audience, it’s not important. Knowing the ins and outs of your audience will help you develop better content for them and create more conversions. Win-win for you both! Here’s what to identify about your people.
Know more about them than their age and location. Targeting 40 year-old women who live in your area is not knowing your audience. Get to know them like you’re taking them out for a drink and asking them personal (but not too personal) questions. How much do they make? What are their interests–fitness, healthy foods, horseback riding, witchcraft? Establish where they live, their age, and their buying concerns and motivations. Then, tailor your content, strategy, and brand elements to what those people want and what they will be interested in.
3. Break Down Your Sales Funnel
Each stage of your sales funnel requires a different strategy and different content to successfully grab the attention of customers and move them further down the funnel. Identify each stage of your sales funnel and analyze what type of marketing elements are working, in what stages they’re working, and where your small business can improve.
You might have awesome blogs, ads, and a website that brings in loads of customers in the awareness stage. But maybe from there people aren’t converting into the consideration stage. Strategize about the various types of content you can successfully incorporate into your bold marketing strategy to get more out of your audience. Create articles and demo videos to target customers in the consideration stage.
Send out personalized emails with testimonials and product reviews to incline customers to purchase when they’re in the conversion stage of your sales funnel. Understanding the sales funnel and knowing what types of strategies you can implement in each stage will do wonders for your upcoming strategy.
4. Switch It Up
Posting one blog a week is not a content strategy. You’ve got to switch it up, create different types of content, and use your content on varying channels. If you wrote that awesome new blog post this week, incorporate it in your next newsletter, post about it on social media, and talk about it on your upcoming podcast. Drive your audience to view your content in a number of ways so the most eyes get on each element of your marketing strategy as possible.
Here are some suggested types of content to consider incorporating in your upcoming bold marketing strategy.
Video marketing is a real hit right now. It’s 2019 and people want to watch (rather than read) the cool stuff you have going on. Film a quick, simple video to show them. You’re throwing an awesome event? Cool. Make sure to capture some clips while you’re there so you can share them later. Or film live video for your social media feeds while you’re there–your audience will love to see what’s going on. And no need to fret about video marketing, you’re not trying to win a Golden Globe. It can be short, sweet, and filmed on your iPhone if it’s all you got.
As small business owners you’re probably all creative geniuses in one way or another (you created a business for cripes’ sake). Create epic content from your brand for your brand. It can be any type of content–blogs, how-to videos, infographics, eBooks–anything that your brand creates itself.
Good ‘ole email. We might receive a lot of email ads from some of our favorite brands every day, but it’s only because email marketing is the bee’s knees of bold marketing strategies. Email marketing works for almost anything that you want your audience to see. Got a new blog up? Send it in an email. Have an epic event next month? Invite your email list. Got some big, exciting, spine-tingling company news? Yep, send an email for that too.
Tired of taking the time to create every single aspect of your bold marketing strategy? You don’t have to. Curate content and share it through your brand. Not all of your content should be created. It’s a great strategic plan to incorporate curated content as well. Share information on social about a fundraiser that your brand is passionate about. Incorporate user-generated content in next month’s content calendar. Just share something that isn’t actually yours to grab attention from other audiences.
We’ve all got a favorite podcast. Some of us listen to silly shit that makes us laugh while others use their time more wisely and listen to stuff they can learn from. Whether you’re one guy or the other, that podcast has a strategy itself–it creates content based on a plan to try and attract a specific audience (you). Why not develop a podcast for your small business? Talk about the stuff you want to put out to your audience and develop episodes consistently–weekly, biweekly, whatever works for your brand and your overall marketing strategy.
5. Stay Connected with Those Who Keep Your Lights On
If your customer base has grown, you might have struggled in the past with maintaining a dialogue with your existing clients. It’s understandable, but now’s the time to increase your efforts to make your audience feel like you’re there for them.
Like we said above, there are so many channels that can be put to use in your marketing strategy. Think about all of your external communication (your newsletters, blogs, social media, websites, printed piece, etc.). Do all of those have a strategy that keeps them consistent and does your business justice by keeping customers connected? If not, implement some things to make them feel special and also affiliated with your brand.
Share the Instagram stories that they tag you in on your social media. Engagement with them personally whenever possible. Reply to social media comments, follow them on Instagram, like their photos, send them personalized emails. Keeping in touch and staying connected to the people that make your business go will only keep them happy and engaged and attract new people who want to feel the same way about your brand.
6. Leverage Your Old Strategy
Did your company create some rockin’ content in the past? If so, revisit it. Good content isn’t meant to be published and then die; you want to get some life out of good, effective content.
Have your team look back over everything they created that executed previous strategies. Determine which efforts had the most impact and repurpose the good stuff again. There are many different ways you can make this strategy effective. Repurpose an old blog with updated stats and more content. Share old blogs on social media again to get your audience to go back and take a look at the great information you have for them. Turn older, lengthy blogs into new informative videos. Reshape a single blog post into a series of posts with a bundle of additional information. There are plenty of ways to repurpose old content. Get creative.
Need Some Bold Marketing Strategy Help From The Experts?
Last content strategy was an encouraging time for your small business and this new bold marketing strategy now becomes The Strategy of Crushing Numbers for entrepreneurs everywhere.
Need help? Bareknuckle creates a unique flavor of story-driven, trackable brand marketing strategies in Reno and beyond to help you propel past your goals. Let’s chat!