Today, there are more marketing channels to get in front of potential customers than ever, and the whole of the marketing industry is evolving and seeing innovation like never before. But how do you find out which platforms to use - and equally importantly - how to use them effectively? These 5 steps will help you create and execute realistic marketing plans for your business or personal brand.
1. Define Your Audience
Who do you want to reach? Start by figuring out who your target audience is. If you are starting a new business you’ll want to get out of the building and talk to potential customers. Find out what sector of the market your business should focus on. For example, if you are trying to offer accounting services to small business owners, you may find that one sub-set of targets is more reachable or more willing to use your services.
If you have an existing business you should spend serious time analyzing your Google Analytics, social traffic, and audience demographics to identify who your customers really are. After identifying the profile of your audience you’ll want to find out where they spend their time.
2. Identify Your Resources
How much time and money can you spend on your marketing? If you have 5 hours a week but no money you’ll have to create a different type of strategy than someone who may have 1 hour per week and $1,000 monthly marketing budget. Categorizing your initiatives to divide growth hacking (free creative strategies that take time) or paid advertising will help you stay organized and focused.
3. Explore Various Platforms
Depending on the goals of your campaign you may find that one platform works better to reach your target audience. Also, if you are a one person team or have limited resources you do not want to spread yourself too thin and underdeliver across multiple channels. Make sure you’ve created an account on the major platforms (like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr) so that people can find you. Even if you don’t post regularly, you’ll want to save your username and keep them consistent across each medium.
Where does your target demographic spend their time?
Understanding where your audience lives is a crucial step in selecting the right platform. Spend time Googling who is joining each platform.
If you’re trying to reach 15-25 year olds, SnapChat is worth exploring.
If you are marketing to 45+, Facebook is most likely your best bet. Likewise, LinkedIn and Twitter are important platforms for business professionals and individuals interested in developing their personal brand.
4. Always Be Testing
After selecting the platform with the highest potential return on investment, you will want to start testing your strategies. Each medium has a different style of consumption and it is crucial that you carve out your niche in the ecosystem while staying true to the platform’s voice.
Spend time on YouTube watching the best instructional videos on the platform of your choosing. Make sure to use search and find conversations happening right now that you can add value to.
Search.Twitter.com is a great tool to find your target audience and add them to your circle. Search is also a powerful tool on Instagram, Pinterest and Vine.
On Facebook, be sure to search for open or closed Facebook Groups where your audience lives. Each medium is already populated enough to have reliable and active groups that you can become a major player in.
Create a minimum of 3 different strategies to test through 7-14 days. Be clear about your goals and expectations so that you can gauge success of your initiatives each day, and measure them with pre-decided metrics for your startup. Continue to iterate and work towards the most effective strategies by trying new methods of content creation, conversational dialogue and organic outreach. Your strategy will go stale if you don’t continuously work to improve it and stay one step ahead of the curve.
Rinse, Repeat & Progress
Once you’ve picked one major platform and created a sustainable strategy you’ll want to analyze your results on a regular basis.
Start to identify what makes your content go viral or how you’ve drove conversions to your website. Add a feedback loop to identify where your new users/customers are coming from.
Also, make sure to always stay active on Google Analytics so that you understand the customer funnel. Social marketing never sleeps! Don’t think that a strong campaign today will translate into better results tomorrow. You have to always be networking, learning, and adapting to new techniques on your medium of choice.
Feel free to reach out to us through our request a quote link to start your marketing journey. We are experts in helping people and businesses build and scale their reach to their target audience.