I have developed a high sense of discernment when it comes to marketing strategies and ideas. It helps to have more than 20 years in marketing my own companies, employers’ companies, and my friends’ businesses. That kind of experience also instills a curiosity, considering business, consumers, and therefore marketing changes quickly and continuously.
There are some truths that stay relevant through the years, and methods that work well because they are modified versions of reliable tactics.
The tried and true strategies combined with cutting-edge technologies really come to life when creativity and a solid understanding of your audience are applied.
If I Were Queen of the Universe.
A List of You Must Do to Develop Successful Marketing Strategies:
Before you grab strategies and start running, you have a very important “to do” list to give your marketing strategies a shot of ever working.
Let’s briefly review a few marketing pieces that I believe should be at the core of all business growth plans. You should have these things before talking to anyone about marketing.
1. Write Your Vision, Mission, Values, and Culture Statement
Writing your business plan with a well thought out vision, mission, and values statement is like magic.
Because the people within your organization are the most valuable resource you’ll ever have – whether just you or thousands of people in multiple locations – you will save money and pain by taking some time to articulate what type of work culture you want to create.
Fast Company recently wrote an article, “Why Purpose-Driven Companies Are Often More Successful.” In it, they say, “Starting and surviving in today’s economy is hard, but the companies that figure it out have something in common: the pursuit of purpose, alongside the pursuit of profit.”
2. Write Out Your Business Goals
You won’t know that you are succeeding without knowing what you’re trying to do.
Write your goals out and keep that list alive and active! You’ll impress yourself by what you get done.
Real results build momentum.
3. The Best Marketing Campaigns Use Brand Standards
The Content Marketing Institute defines a Brand Style Guide as being, “a holistic set of standards that defines your company’s branding. It references grammar, tone, logo usage, colors, visuals, word usage, point of view, and more.”
Authenticity is getting more and more important in our world flooded with so much information that it’s difficult to sort something that is real from made up nonsense. Having a guide to refer to that outlines your brand standards will help your entire team stay on brand.Having a guide to refer to that outlines your brand standards will help your entire team stay on brand. Click To Tweet
4. Know Your Audience
If you don’t know who you’re talking to, how do you know what to say?
Honestly, this is one piece of marketing strategies that is far too overlooked. Don’t be that guy.
As you develop your marketing materials, few things are as important as having a clear view of your target audience’s biggest issues, questions, interests, and even lifestyle habits and hobbies. Armed with this awareness, you can position yourself as the “go to” who meets their needs and answers their questions.
It is also crucial to understand the BENEFIT and “happiness” you provide your audience with what you provide. By doing so, you can avoid the pitfall of focusing on benefits – instead, you can consistently paint the picture of how amazing their life will be (and how much less crappy) once they hire you.
5. Establish a Marketing Budget
Without the funds to invest in growing your business, you’ll either have to invest your time …. or fail.
Not sure how much to budget? Many business owners start at 10% and grow that once they see success.
The bottom line is: if you can spend $1 to make $5, you want to spend as many $1’s as you can to grow exponentially.
If I Could Make You Do Anything: Tactics for Virtually All Marketing Strategies
I have been known to tell business owners, “If I could make you do anything, it would be ….” and I’d share some really reliable nugget, something that works in almost all marketing strategies, something that I am completely confident would surely change your trajectory to grow even faster.
Now that the housekeeping is done to prepare your business to scale, I will share with you my list of a few of those things that come up often.
1. Have a Great Website
Your website is really the HUB of your marketing.
Online ads, social media posts, email campaigns, even TV, radio, and print ads refer people to this amazing miracle of modern science.
Great Website design should
- Generate leads
- Provide information to prospects and clients
- Build your brand
- Position yourself as a market leader
- Prompt prospects to TAKE ACTION
Your website can do those things with the basics
- Responsive design
- SSL Certificate
- Strong call to action (CTA)
- Simple and obvious navigation
- Active blog
- Lead capture
- Compelling offer
- Value-focused messaging
2. Be Obvious! Don’t be So Fancy!
Clever may catch someone’s eye, but it rarely brings in the sale.Clever may catch someone's eye, but it rarely brings in the sale. Your win is when you're audience gets what you're saying. Click To Tweet
Successful are the companies that are obvious about what they are selling. Elusive is the tricky entrepreneur who wants to show how smart he is, but his audience has no idea what he’s talking about.
You win when your audience “gets it.”
3. Create Download that Hurts You to Give Away
This is hidden in this article, but this one tip could make you so much more money faster than you ever imagine.
Consider how much it costs you to get an email address from a prospect.
If you get it in person, it took everything up to that point to get in front of her, then you had to come out and ask (if you’re even brave enough to do it).
For those online email addresses, that little email box on your website is going to be VERY lonely if you don’t have a high-quality giveaway.
What makes a “high-quality giveaway”?
Think about your best client.
Why did he come to you?
What was his biggest pain point, if you had to tell me?
What could you GIVE him, for free, even if he wasn’t your client, that would alleviate some of that pain?
Make a list of tools, solve a problem – WITHOUT teaching your prospects anything (people like tools, worksheets, and resources MUCH more than having to learn anything up front).
If you create that tool, list, worksheet, or exclusive resource that you are AFRAID to give away, your list will grow so much more quickly.
I guarantee it.
If you are afraid that your competitors might see it and get ideas: it may be a good giveaway.If you are afraid that your competitors might see it and get ideas: it may be a good giveaway. Click To Tweet
Worried that prospects will take it and use it themselves or hire someone else to do it? Then it is very likely to get your email addresses.
I bet now you’re asking, “What good is an email address from someone who is going to go to my competitor with that golden information, or just use it himself?”
This is why it is worth so much to you:
YOU are now the thought leader.
Your competitor is behind you. It is YOUR ideas that the prospect took.
People rarely take action.
If they take your most amazing tools, ideas, or anything that you’d rather they call you to get – they are very unlikely to take action. YOU are the trusted adviser now, so you are the one they come to once they realize they are not taking action without help.
You not only grow your list, but you bring educated clients that understand your way of doing things. You’ve already started training them.
4. Add Blog Articles Every Month
Blog posts are a brilliant way to grow your website. Here are just a few reasons I’m completely in love with this way of getting your message out.
- Every blog post is a new landing page
- Targeted giveaways for specific categories and email capture at the bottom of blog post grow your email list
- You are the thought leader, teaching your people about what you know
- Each article is another keyword rich page for Google to pull up
- Your website will rank for more keywords
- Blog posts provide some of the best content for social media (which drives new traffic to your website)
- These articles also give you amazing email newsletter content
- Tools like “Click to Tweet” and share buttons grow your exposure on social media
5. Send a Monthly Email Newsletter to Your List and Updates or Special Offers In Between
Email is the dominant tool for professionals, and despite the huge rise in social media popularity, 78% of teenagers use email. Click here for an awesome article with lots of stats about email usage and how it relates to email campaigns, from OptinMonster.However, no one likes spam, so don't do it. On the flip side - we all like to get emails from people we respect, especially when it includes information that is about something we're interested in. Click To Tweet
We typically send one email per month out with an excerpt from a recent blog. If we have news in between the newsletters, we send those out formatted like an email we’d send to a friend.
Make your emails value-centered, not to frequent, and remind your audience that YOU are the go-to in your industry.
6. Stop Selling on Social Media All the Time!
You want your audience to ENGAGE with you. Your social marketing strategies should revolve around providing value.
When you refer someone to your Facebook page, do they scroll down photos and videos of you, your products, sales graphics, and other content that screams “buy!” and “I’m the best!”?
To truly engage visitors, first do no harm. Don’t scare away your target audience by putting out a message that you aren’t listening.Stop selling all the time! To truly engage visitors, first do no harm. Don't scare away your target audience by putting out a message that you aren't listening. Click To Tweet
Engage back with your followers, and when you get a comment, reply.
Most importantly, develop a content plan that offers a variety of types of content:
- Local Information
- News About Their Hobbies
- Answers to Questions You Are Often Asked
- Event Images
- Tag Leaders
- Congratulate Someone
- Take a Poll
- Share a Story
7. Systematically Post on Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter Company Profiles
Don’t skip social platforms just because you don’t enjoy them yourself!
Google posts appear on your Google Business page. And, like I always say, “Google owns the world,” so make sure links to your blog posts and social updates appear on one of the most important platforms in the world
LinkedIn is great for your professional image. Because LinkedIn favors posts with links within LinkedIn, updating your business page with a great tip from your blog post (with a link back to it, of course) is a great way to share links. In turn, share that post on your personal page to make LinkedIn happy for the fact that you’re sharing a status link within their own platform, you build your brand, and you share a link back to an internal page on your website. Everyone wins!
Twitter isn’t just for famous people. When I first started OMH Agency, Twitter was almost unheard of in our hometown of Billings, Montana. However, our clients trusted me and we systematically updated Twitter with nuggets and links, as we would on the other platforms. The result was increased traffic! Analytic data showed that, even in the very beginning, our clients enjoyed clicks on those Twitter posts (even though they had very few followers, likes, and retweets).Twitter isn't just for famous people. It's a real thing for real people. Click To Tweet
You Are the Rock Star
The most powerful marketing strategies sets you up with a strong stage and amazing set.
It is time that you realize that, in your audience’s eyes, YOU are the rock star.
You’ve done the homework, prepared your messaging, the whole team has clear brand standards to follow, and your audience is in love with you.
As you pour out value after value, amazing tips, free tools and information that improve your target audience’s lives, they become grateful and rely on your knowledge.
Then, when you show up in person with a post about what you’re up to, reveal another layer of your own personality, or give a glimpse behind the curtain of your amazingness, they’ll soak it up.You are the rockstar!! When you show up in person on social media with a post about what you're up to, your audience will soak it up. Click To Tweet
Those will be the posts, emails, podcasts, or other nugget that draw your fans to you. That is what they’ll share and engage with.
The value you pour out leading up to it is what nurtures them to that place.
YOU are what makes the magic happen.
WE help prep them, like the audience warm-up guy before a live TV show. Well developed and skillfully implemented marketing strategies will always bring your wildest dreams to life.
Let your fantastic service bring it all home.