How To Create a Killer Marketing Strategy (with step-by-step instructions!)
Check out the original blog post, here.
Regardless of if you’re a brand new business or have been established for quite some time, a killer marketing strategy is something every business owner needs to know how to do.
You wouldn’t start your business without a business strategy, so why would you start marketing your business without a marketing strategy?
It’s essential for events like new launches, rebrandings, big news, and other business occasions to help keep your goals visible and clear. Not only that, but it’s an easy way to stay on track and measure your progress and success.
In fact, many entrepreneurs recommend going through your marketing strategies on a regular basis and updating them when needed. Factors, events, and plans may change, so a marketing strategy should be as flexible as your business is.
What is a Marketing Strategy?
When starting off with your marketing strategy ideas, it’s best to start off making SMART Goals. And no, we’re not talking about goals that are of high intelligence — we mean Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based.
SMART Goals are a tool you can use to guarantee that the goals you are setting are actually achievable within the timeframe you’re considering. Once you have your goal figured out, making a Marketing Strategy is the next step.
A Marketing Strategy refers to a business’s overall game plan for attracting clients, increasing brand awareness, and improving sales. Without a marketing strategy, you may find yourself without direction and without measurable goals.
With that in mind, let’s go over how to make a marketing strategy!
1. Research your Potential Market
Before you can figure out your marketing strategy, you first have to determine which market or audience, you want to be selling to. Regardless of whether it’s a physical product or a service, researching your market should always be your first step.
The three main items you need to research during this phase are who your market is and what their buyer personas are, which channels and platforms they use, and what brand voice and tone will be best to use.
Let’s focus on the first item…your market and buyer personas.
Market and Buyer Persona
Before you can learn how to create a marketing strategy, you need to determine your target market.
A Target Market is the group or groups of people you are going to be serving. Understanding your customer base is one of the first key steps to a successful marketing strategy.
Without knowing who your target audience is, what they are searching for, and what their issues are, your business could struggle with creating an effective plan.
The easiest way to research your market and buyer persona is to take a look at your potential competition’s social media channels. Who follows them? What are their demographics? What issues do they need to solve?
Once you have all this information, you can create Buyer Personas.
Buyer Personas are the fictional, generalized representations of your target customer. By creating a persona of your market, you can be sure that you’re going to market to people who are actually interested in what you have to offer.
Check out an example of one of our Buyer Personas below to see what kind of information you need to collect…
Channels and Platforms
Your buyer persona will also determine which platforms you will be using for your business.
Social Media platforms tend to vary in demographics. For example, if your target audience is women between the ages of 25 and 35, you might be using Instagram and Pinterest. While if your audience is businessmen between the ages of 30 and 45, you might be using platforms such as Twitter or LinkedIn.
Brand Voice and Tone
Unlike concrete items like buyer demographics and most used platforms, your brand voice, who your audience hears talking, and tone, the way in which you write, can be completely up to you.
Depending on your product, service, and business, your voice and tone can be more playful and cheeky like Chipotle…
Or more friendly and educational like Whole Foods Marketing…
Regardless of what direction you decide to take your voice and tone, just make sure it’s something your audience will be able to relate to!
2. Determine Your Product or Service
You might have done this step before you research your market and that’s ok! But we recommend figuring out your target audience first.
The reason for this is that it’s easier to then determine what gaps are in your market and the types of goods or services your target audience is really missing.
While the sheer abundance of infomercials, advertisements, and products out there can make it look like there’s something for everything, there are still gaps out there if you focus on looking for them.
One of the easiest ways to determine market gaps is to simply ask your customer.
What are their pain points?
How can their lives be improved?
What product or service in their lives are they missing?
3. Research Your Competitors
Once you’ve determined your target audience and your product or service, the next step is to research your competitors thoroughly.
Researching your competitors not only lets you determine their strengths and weaknesses, but it can also help you assess what can make you different and what is going on in your market.
The biggest question you want to answer when researching your competitors is…
What can I bring to the table that they don’t?
4. Identify Your Goals
Now that we’ve recognized your market, your product or service, and researched your competitors, the next step in compiling a killer marketing strategy is to identify your goals.
We recommend writing down the Four P’s of Marketing and branching out from there…
Once you’ve determined your Product, Price, Place, and Promotion, you can figure out how you plan on completing these goals.
5. Identify Your Resources
Your goals have now been identified, so let’s make sure you have the right tools to measure the success of those goals!
Online software like social media schedulers, Google Analytics, and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools are essential for keeping track of all the information and analytics you need in one or two different sites.
Our CRM, Zoek Dashboard, is perfect for those looking for all of the Reporting and Tools for your online marketing campaign right at your fingertips. You can even log in and check it out for free!
6. Outline Your Tactics and Make A Timeline
Your marketing strategy is starting to take shape! Now is the perfect time to assemble all your marketing goals, business goals, resources, timelines, and notes into an organized platform to help you achieve your end result.
There are plenty of online resources to help with strategy organization but here are a few of our favorites…
This is what we personally use at our business to organize our Marketing efforts! It’s a great web-based visual tool to help plan and keep track of your strategy and is easily accessible from almost anywhere.
Trello is another fantastic web-based tool best for list-making and note-taking. It’s not as in-depth as Milanote, but it’s incredibly easy to use and best of all…free!
If you’re looking for a platform that is a combination of the two previously mentioned organizational tools, then Asana might be for you.
7. Research Your Results and Adjust Accordingly
Congrats! You’ve officially figured out how to create a marketing strategy! How’s it looking?
Things still might feel a little unsure at this point and that’s totally fine; marketing plans are meant to be adjusted. Once you put your strategy into action, you might find some things working better or not as well as you had imagined.
When this happens, research those results and modify the plan to fix your end goal.
In the End…
Learning how to build a marketing strategy isn’t something that happens overnight or without effort. It takes time, research, and dedication to ensure you’re reaching the right market, with the right product, in the right ways.
Stick with it! Figure out your SMART Goals, listen to your customers, analyze your data, and adjust when needed.
By actively revising your marketing strategies over time, your business will continue to reap greater rewards.
If you’re still in need of some marketing strategy help, make sure you follow our Social Media pages where we offer free advice and tips for Small Business success.
Kellyann Doyle is a Content Marketing Writer at Zoek, an SEO, Web Design, and Digital Marketing Agency that assists small and medium-sized businesses with their online footprint. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in 2013 from the University of Houston with a Major in Communications and a Minor in Marketing and has been working in the Digital Marketing world ever since. When not working, you can find Kellyann trying new recipes, enjoying a good nap, or watching Friends for the 500th time.