Whether it’s to increase sales or grow your consumer base, marketing is a core functionality needed for the success of your business. The competition in any market is fierce, with various businesses selling products to the same set of customers. Marketing allows you to distinguish your business from the competition and become a trusted brand in the market.
So how do you convince customers to choose your business over others? One useful strategy is to market the benefits of your products rather than their features. Don’t explicitly ask the customer to buy your product, rather convey how your product will solve a problem they have.
Additionally, your communication needs to be concise and consistent through all marketing channels. A marketing plan including the following will help you do just that:
- A SWOT analysis, involving reflecting on your strengths and weaknesses, conducting competitor analysis, and identifying market trends. This develops an understanding of where you stand and how to perform better than your competition.
- Creating a buyer persona that includes demographics such as age, education level, gender, income, location, and other variables of your target market. Your communication needs to resonate with the likes and attitudes of these individuals.
- Setting SMART (i.e., Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals. According to MileIQ, this is a tried-and-tested goal-setting technique allowing you to allocate time, resources, and labor efficiency.
- Deciding on marketing channels to be used and budget to be allocated.
A well-made marketing plan will serve as the blueprint to your business’ success. Additionally, as no one knows your business better than you, creating and implementing the plan yourself will save you thousands of dollars charged by marketing agencies. Moreover, it provides you with control and flexibility over your activities.
Now let’s dive into various marketing channels and strategies you can use:
Get on Instagram
Use your Instagram profile as a canvas to convey your story to your consumers. A good brand story is the best distinguishing factor for your business. It propels you from another company trying to sell products to a brand that people connect with. This creates a loyal community of customers who regularly buy your products and promote them organically.
Additionally, Instagram’s new shop feature allows you to list all your products, and make direct sales in just a couple of clicks, increasing your conversion rate and revenue.
It’s not absolutely necessary to depend on an agency to create posts for you. Some platforms have made it incredibly easy to make posts. However, you may want to work with a marketing agency to create eye-catching posts and raise your profile. If your business and agency are going to be sharing ideas, emailing images can take considerable time. Fortunately, you can use a JPG to PDF tool to convert images into PDFs which makes them much easier to send. You can even merge multiple images onto one PDF.
Your customers are the best medium to promote your business. According to Invesp, 90% of customers are expected to trust your brand if recommended by a person they know. This is a higher conversion rate than any form of paid media.
Reach out to regular customers and encourage them to become brand ambassadors of your business. Feature them on your social channels and website. Additionally, encourage them to refer your business to their friends and family. A strong referral program will serve as an inexpensive and effective channel to grow your customer base.
The best way to introduce yourself to customers is by giving away your product for free. At first, this might sound like an expensive and risky strategy, however, when done correctly will exponentially increase sales. A prominent example is Girlfriends Collective, an ethical sportswear brand that decided to give its product worth $80 for free. The result? They received more orders than they ever had and their website crashed on the first day.
However, they also added a clause that customers had to share their purchases on Facebook, leading to thousands of organically created impressions and instant brand awareness. Numerous more brands have used this strategy to get a foothold in the market.
Developing a strong marketing plan and following the right strategies will help you to create strong long-term customer relationships and outperform your competition.
Senior entrepreneur business marketing: What next?
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