How to Build A Marketing Strategy as a Small Business Founder
You’ve come up with a brilliant idea, made it a reality, and now it’s time to sell it. As an entrepreneur, marketing should be a key part of your business right from the start. You need to put the same amount of effort into marketing your product as you did in creating it in the first place. Otherwise you will become part of the 95% of newly launched products that fail.
In part one of our series of marketing tips for small business founders, we will teach you how to craft a go-to-market strategy that will help you attract your ideal customers, how to develop a digital marketing strategy, and how to set your brand apart in your market sector.
Attracting Your Ideal Customers
Before you even launch your product, you need to carry out in-depth planning and research to come up with your go-to-market strategy. This work will show you exactly where your product or service fits into your target market and will lay the foundation for your marketing plan.
Coming up with your go-to-market strategy starts with asking yourself, who is your product for? What problem does your product or service solve? You need to start within your target market and drill down within this group to find your ideal customers. It’s important to remember that your product isn’t for everyone, so there is no point in trying to market it that way.
To understand how best to market your product, you should create customer personas. These are characters based on the qualities of your ideal customer. You need to consider factors such as where your theoretical customer lives, their age, interests, education level, income range, relationships status, and much more. With this information, you can tailor your content, messaging, and future products and services to match the needs and behaviours of your target audience.
You can also learn a lot about your ideal customers by looking at your competition’s customers. A competitor analysis can show you what marketing channels they are using, how they engage with their customers, their pricing strategies, what they are doing well, and how you can do better than them.
Today, customers don’t want to be sold to, they want to learn. You can attract consumers to your brand by educating them through your content and building relationships on social media. Build trust and credibility by showing them you understand their pain points and nudging them to conclude that your product or service is the solution to their problems.
Finally, you will only be able to attract customers if you are meeting them where they are. There’s one thing all your ideal customers have in common: they are online. This is where digital marketing comes in.
What Your Digital Marketing Strategy Needs
Digital marketing should be at the core of your marketing efforts, and your plan needs to be built around your business goals. Are you trying to boost brand awareness, increase conversions, or something else entirely? With your strategic goals in mind, you can begin to create your online marketing goals. These goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
Next, you need to consider how you will communicate with your ideal customers at each stage of the marketing funnel, which is your customer’s journey. There are five main stages – awareness, consideration, conversions, loyalty, and advocacy – and you need to think about how you will talk to your customers at each different stage of the funnel.
There are several ways you can do this and one quite rightly getting a lot of buzz these days is social media marketing. Social media is undoubtedly the most popular online activity that internet users engage in, with the total number of social media users in 2021 exceeding 3.6 billion. This number is expected to increase to more than 4.4 billion by 2025. Social media marketing provides a cost-effective way for you to get your brand in front of potential consumers, engage with them, and increase conversions.
As you are starting out, don’t try to do it all. You should pick the top channels used by your ideal customers and commit to regularly interacting with them on those platforms. An easy way to decide is to look at where your competition has their biggest followings and try to find success in the same place.
Once you’ve honed your digital marketing strategy, including your social media marketing plan, you can save as you spend with Neat’s corporate card perks. For example, you can save 30% off social media content with marketing management software Hootsuite. For every $100 you spend on Twitter ads, you get $50 in ad credits, and with Google ads, you get 100% cashback on your first $100 spent.
Create a Brand Your Customers Can Connect With
Without forgetting what we’ve already told you, what your marketing strategy comes down to is creating a brand that your customers can connect with. Price and convenience are no longer the top factors when it comes down to consumer choice anymore – your customers want to support brands whose values and actions they align with.
What this means for you as an entrepreneur is that you need to translate your passion for your product or service into your marketing messages. For example, use your mission statement as the basis of your slogan or tagline. The best part? Your love of what you do is free.
Start Your Marketing Efforts Off Right with Neat
At Neat, we believe in making international business a reality for entrepreneurs around the world. We can offer your new business an alternative to a bank, and we are designed to support you wherever you go.
With our corporate cards, you can set up card limits to ensure you never overspend beyond what you’ve put aside in your marketing budget. Plus, you get 1% cashback on every transaction, which you can funnel straight back into powering your marketing campaigns. Learn more here.