Whether you are in the process of launching a new business or have already done so, strategic marketing is a critical component of driving sales. In fact, 97 percent of people learn about local businesses through marketing. The more intentional you are with your marketing efforts, the easier it will be to increase this brand awareness.
Today’s marketing strategies require a customized approach in order to carefully apply the right mix of traditional and digital marketing practices. Both traditional and digital marketing can have a positive impact, but only if you have a well-devised marketing plan.
For all businesses, there are a few core concepts to have in place before you ever launch your marketing. Here’s what you need to know.
Cross Off the Business Start-Up Steps
All small businesses require a few start-up steps that will lay the foundation for a strong marketing strategy. To begin with, make sure that you are legally set up as a business. This includes determining your legal business name, identifying your classification, and lining up any registrations with the state and federal government.
You’ll also want to have a strong business plan and budget in place for these start up tasks and expenses. For example, if you are opening a transport company in Delaware, you will need to address the cost of forming an LLC in Delaware first.
Once your business is fully formed and off the ground, you can shift your focus to running your business and marketing your products or services.
Develop Your Unique Selling Position
Your USP (unique selling position) would be the unique reason why your customers should buy from you and not your competition. The USP is what will be the foundation of your marketing messaging. It would be wise to define what you do differently and to use that with potential customers before all else.
To begin developing your USP, you need to answer the following questions:
- What do you like most about your service and products?
- What special knowledge or skills do you possess?
- What makes your customers come to you?
- How do customers benefit by purchasing using our services?
- What aspects are highlighted when your business is described to strangers?
Once you have fully developed your USP, you have the foundation formed to begin developing your marketing plan.
Research and Develop Your Marketing Plan
According to HubSpot, the best way to begin developing your marketing plan is to follow these steps:
1. Conduct a situation analysis.
2. Define your target audience.
3. Write SMART goals.
4. Analyze your tactics.
5. Set your budget.
There are many free resources available to help you get started on your marketing plan, but this step should be considered one of your biggest investments, both time-wise and financially. How well you plan your marketing is often an indicator of how successful your company will be. Here is a list of the best digital marketing books as a resource to learn more about marketing strategies.
While this is a high level view of what to do before you launch your marketing, we hope it will give you some basic starting points. Because of our experience with small business start-ups, we’d be happy to coach you through these steps and more!
Jenny Green, Co-Owner of Fisher Green Creative, specializes in digital strategy development, social media marketing, and SEO for small businesses. Away from helping clients or studying the latest marketing trends, Jenny volunteers her time coaching youth soccer, enjoys a cold craft IPA, and works to save the elephants. Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn or email.