Marketing your business can be confusing if you don’t know where to start or what you should do. This guide on marketing basics will give you all the information you need to know to market your business well, whether you are just starting out or have been in business for years. From deciding how much you can afford to spend on marketing to identifying your target audience, this article marketing 101 will provide practical and actionable advice that will help your business succeed in the long run.
Define your goals
In order to market your business effectively, you first need to know where you want it to go. Don’t let marketing become an ad hoc undertaking, define what success looks like before you start throwing dollars at things. It might be lead generation, or it might be that you’re looking for social validation. It could even be as complex as picking a target demographic and working backward from there. Whatever your goals are, make sure they’re clear in your mind before diving into action.
Know who your customers are
Before you develop your marketing strategy, you have to know who your customers are. Take a long, hard look at your market and demographics. What is their average age? What is their salary? Are they married or single? Do they have kids or not? This will be important information when choosing which tactics to use when reaching out to potential clients. Write down all relevant information about who your customers are so that when it comes time to implement your strategy, you’ll know exactly how and where to reach them.
Choose a channel
Start by choosing a channel for your business. Whether you want to start a website, sell your products in a brick-and-mortar shop or open an online store through eBay or Etsy, there are certain steps involved in starting up. Before you choose which channel is best for you, know what makes each one unique and how each one operates differently. Here’s some basic information on each option. Once you decide which one fits your goals and resources, take it from there. It can be helpful to create a timeline that details when you need to have everything set up before launch day arrives.
Track and measure results
If you’re marketing your business and not tracking your results, how will you know what’s working? Even if you don’t have a lot of traffic to your website or aren’t sure how it’s performing, if you don’t track results and improve what works and move on from what doesn’t, then none of it will work. Use analytics software such as Google Analytics to track site visits, conversions , bounce rates, page views, social media mentions and more. Track and measure everything that can be tracked, and use that information to make informed decisions about where to spend your time .
Review your marketing materials
Before you do anything else, take a hard look at your business’s marketing materials. Look at your logo and slogan; does it project professionalism and convey what you want to say? Is your branding consistent across all materials, including business cards, promotional materials, online properties like Twitter or Facebook accounts? Also look closely at everything that goes into your customer experience, from interactions with front-line employees to how easy it is to navigate your website.
Don’t be afraid to do it all over again
You’ve launched your business, and you’re eager to get going. Before you do, look back at your original business plan and see what has changed,and what hasn’t. Sure, you may not be getting as much traffic as you thought in your first quarter, but that doesn’t mean you have to scrap your whole marketing strategy and start again from scratch. Take stock of where things stand so far
Marketing a business is about attracting and capturing customers. Any marketing strategy you pursue must be designed to help your customers find you, understand who you are, what you do, and how they can best benefit from working with or buying from you. If your marketing message lacks any or all of these characteristics, then it’s not likely to bring in new business. For more information on how to create a successful marketing campaign for your company, check out some online guides for small businesses.