I cannot overstate the importance of a marketing strategy for a small business, whether online, offline, or both. It is like driving to a new destination without GPS.
You might eventually find your way, but you have a good chance of getting lost. However, you will get there faster if you have the right map.
After 25 years in marketing, I've found that the following process is the most helpful in developing a comprehensive and, more importantly, effective marketing strategy. It may look a bit overwhelming all at once. But, like any challenge, it can be tackled by taking some basic steps.
Now, let's go through each step of our process in more detail. It's easiest to think of our process within the framework of two key concepts: Target Audience, steps one through three, and Brand Messaging, steps four through six.
Market segmentation divides the market in smaller groups based on what they find to most relevant. Relevance is a recurring theme in digital marketing, so it is fitting that it is the first place we start.
To qualify as a market segment, the group must
In its most basic form, it can be considered a tribe.Affordable Tools to Help
The target market is the market segment(s) where your product or service has a unique advantage and/or where it will be perceived to be providing its greatest value.Affordable Tools to Help
Is the personification of the target market. It is the archetype. He or she exhibits all the characteristics that the target market does.
This person isn’t real, but he or she is relatable and believable to the target market because he or she exhibit real behavior common to all the group.
This is different from a stereotype. A stereotype is simply the lowest common denominator of traits or extreme case that the whole group may or may not possess.
A persona will be accepted by the target market. A stereotype will be rejected
To recap the first three steps, they all focus on your target. How are they different? The last three steps help you explain how you are different and why you are relevant to them.
An insight is an emotional need you can leverage to change your target’s behavior by showing how your solution solves it.
To be considered an insight it must meet these criteria.
The benefit is a statement that shows how you solve their emotional need
This puts your brand message into a competitive context. You always have someone or some brand competing for your customer’s attention.
Therefore, you have to create some space within your customer’s mind that you can own. Positioning does just that.
This is the creative part where you pull together the insight, benefit, support points, and positioning into one element
This is the moment of truth so it helps to have an experience hand during this step.Affordable Tools to Help
To recap, we discussed the target audience and message, which form the first half of a marketing plan. The second half covers how we will get the message to our audience and how we plan to execute it.
For a low involvement purchase, your digital strategy will most likely focus on
For a medium involvement purchase, your digital strategy will be a blend of short a long term tactics
For a high involvement purchase, your digital strategy will most likely
Because many perceive SEO as ‘free,’ everyone wants to develop that first. That can be a great strategy, but it does have limitations, especially for a small or new business. It can help to think of these two things as part of a simplified metaphor:
An A-list celebrity and an aspiring actor both want to go to a posh Hollywood event. Which one is more likely to be on the guest list? It is the A-list celebrity. This is a good metaphor for SEO, as Google has stated there is a brand bias. The more well-known you are, the more likely you’ll be on the guest list.
The aspiring actor could still go to the same event, but he or she would have to pay. That’s SEM. He or she would have to compete with the others for a limited number of tickets.
The importance of internet marketing for small businesses builds on the final step of the previous FAQ, the marketing campaign. The main reason why small businesses need digital marketing is cost and access.
Access to the broader marketplace using traditional methods is usually cost-prohibitive for many. Plus, there is no way to objectively measure the impact.
One of the benefits of digital marketing for small businesses is the ease of access to the market. While it’s not costly to enter, it can be challenging to be heard. If you have a well-defined target and a compelling message, your chances greatly increase.
One of the other benefits of online marketing for small businesses is the ability to directly measure results. In many cases, results can be directly attributed to purchase or buying signals. In others, you can objectively measure your results versus benchmarks.
These are two of several reasons why small businesses need digital marketing and why digital marketing is important. Many turn to a small business digital marketing agency for help.
We get this question often. Or, it’s often asked more specifically: how to market a small business on social media?
The answer is the same for both. It depends on your target, their media consumption, and their interests. This emphasizes the point that without a good understanding of the target, any marketing effort will be sub-optimal.
Therefore, you would follow the same steps as outlined in our process. It doesn’t matter how you plan to market until the last step.
The last step will differ in that we are choosing to launch our marketing campaign online. The digital marketing channels of choice are a function of purchase involvement. Purchase involvement is a measure of how much effort your customer puts into deciding to purchase your product or service. An example of a low involvement purchase is a candy bar. It does not require much effort.. The opposite is true for a house.
Different digital marketing services do better for certain levels of purchase involvement. You need to find the right mix. Social can be great for low involvement, less so, for high where SEO services do better. This is where a small business internet marketing company comes in handy. They know the digital tools and can guide you.
Webflow hosting scales automatically to handle millions of concurrent visits. All site plans serve sites through our Amazon's Cloudfront CDN and accelerated using Fastly, loading sites in milliseconds.
We offer fast email support to paid accounts and prioritized help for team accounts. Community support (forum.webflow.com) is available to free accounts.
If you're new to building websites, our video tutorials will get up and running quickly. If you already know concepts behind CSS and the box model, you will feel at home in Webflow.
We offer a range of services, all of which exist to help you smash your goals and stand out from the crowd.
Our designs are built for speed and utilize design to enhance a clear message hierarchy so they are fast, responsive, and intuitive.
The goal of our SEO services is to help raise your visibility with search engines, so your pages get the credit they deserve.
Smart SEO can help you build your ranking over time, but expertise in PPC lets you jump to the head of the line.
Smart social media marketing can drastically improve the visibility of your content or drive real one-on-one engagement with your customers. The key is know which strategy is right for you.
Email marketing has withstood the test of time for one simple reason. It works.
To this day, no other marketing tactic has been shown to have a great return on investment.
Natural language processing opens a whole new way to personalize your interactions with your customers.
Our services range from simple text bots to voice search