The million-dollar question that every business wants to know is how to market your business.
If every business knew how to market their business and do market research before launching, 20% of companies wouldn’t fail within the first year and 50% after 5 years.
In fact, 97% of people learn about businesses online more than anywhere else.
Business owners looking for a way to increase brand awareness need marketing. Not only is marketing a must-have for promoting your products and services, but optimizing your online resources is also critical for your business’ overall success.
If you’ve already officially launched your business, check out these strategies to effectively market your business, and understand the most important things you’ll need to begin marketing and acquiring new customers from organic search.
What's on This Page
- What's on This Page
- What is Marketing?
- Market Research
- Target Market
- Brand Identity
- Marketing Business Plan
- Best Marketing Techniques and Activities
- 1. Build your website
- 2. Boost your ranking with SEO
- 3. Consider SEM/PPC advertising
- 4. Using Social Media to Market Your Business
- Strategy by platforms
- 5. Create optimized blog posts
- 6. Brochures & Flyers
- 7. Networking
- 8. Print Advertising
- 9. Word of Mouth marketing
- 10. Cold Calling or Telemarketing
- 11. LetterBox Drops or Direct mail marketing
- 12. Email Marketing
- 13. Public Relations
- 14. Donations/Sponsorship
- 15. Host free webinars
- Set Smart Goals and Marketing Budget.
- Build Brand Loyalty
- Review Marketing Plan/Strategy
In this post, we’ll assist you with building and optimizing your marketing strategy using market research, by targeting the market, promoting brand identity, and by sharing some of the professional business plans and ideas.
This will help you to attract new customers and drastically grow your business.
What is Marketing?
I wonder why marketing is an important aspect of product development, sales pitch, or retail distribution. But it makes sense when I think about it.
The main purpose of marketing is to research and analyze your audience all the time, send out surveys, conduct focus groups, study online shopping habits, and explore “Where, when, and how does our customer want to communicate with our business?”
Therefore, marketing is the process of making people interested in your company’s products and services. This happens through market research, target market analysis, and understanding your customer’s needs.
The marketing relates to all aspects of a business, including product development, sales, distribution methods, and advertising.
Today’s buyers hold all the power while making a purchasing decision. And, they are also doing some of the research online. Have you ever thought of adopting this marketing strategy to match today’s customers’ shop and purchase?
According to the recent statistics, 80%-85%of the Instagram users follow a business account, and millions of people explore the search engines to browse their needs.
So, the marketer should go where the buyers are going. This might sound true, but how deeply do you understand exactly where your consumers are conducting their research, and what’s manipulating their decisions? This is where market research comes into view.
Market research collects information about your business’s buyer’s personas, customers, and target audience to determine how effective and successful your product or service would be.
It tells you where your audience is conducting their own buyer research about products and services similar to those you sell.
The market research also tells you what’s trending in the industry, what your target audience and customers want, and what’s influencing their decisions to change and buy.
Conducting market research can help your businesses grow better, but doing it right is just as important.
Before you dive into how users are make buying decisions, you must first understand who they are.
Every business, entrepreneur, and sales team need to know their customer. Who is the ideal fit for your offers? What are their priorities and interests?
Answering these questions can help you arrange the deals you’re most likely to win.
But how do you find a target market, and what exactly is it?
A target market can be defined as a group of customers and audience for which your products and services are aimed. It’s usually determined by the industry.
For example, if you’ve created a B2B Software product that helps remote software teams, you’d probably focus on other companies within the software industry. After all, that’s who you designed the product proposing around.
A target market can be represented by a few different variables. Consumers can be split by geographic, demographic, and behavioral factors.
Here are the factors that represent a target market: age, income, gender, lifestyle, behavior, location, interests, and values.
The terms’ brand’ and ‘logo’ are frequently used interchangeably. A logo can be the symbol to represent a business, but it is not the aggregate of a brand. In fact, creating a logo is a small step toward building a strong brand identity.
With millions of businesses trying to make a name for themselves, building a strong brand has become crucial for businesses to market their business and differentiate from their competitors.
If you’re working to develop your brand identity for your own business, it’s important to understand what a brand is and what is required to make one.
A brand identity comprises of what your brand says, your values, what you want people to feel when they interact with it, and how you communicate your product.
Fundamentally, your brand identity is the personality of your business and a promise to your consumers.
A brand identity is one with a face, mission, and trust that attracts people to agree with what your business offers. But once these target audiences become prospects, that same brand identity gives them a sense of belongingness and trust. A product generates customers, but a good brand effectively helps you to market your business.
If you want your company to become a beloved and well-known brand name, it will take some time and work.
Marketing Business Plan
Ask any successful sportsperson how they managed to win so many games, and they’ll tell you they had a unique plan for every game they play. To have a fighting chance against their opponents, they prepare a specific game plan according to each opponents’ weaknesses and strengths.
The same logic applies to market your business. If you want to build a company that can beat the competition, you need to prepare yourself for a battle before entering a market.
Therefore, writing a viable marketing business plan and following it religiously is one of the most important steps.
A marketing plan is a strategic path that businesses use to execute, organize, and track their marketing strategy over a given time. Marketing plans can include different marketing strategies for all the marketing teams, but all of them work toward the same business goals.
Business plans guide you along the difficult journey of growing a company. Referencing one throughout your journey will keep you on the path of success. And if your business plan is convincing enough, it can also influence investors to give you funding.
Business plan format
Before you start with your business plan, you might be wondering, “Where do I start? And how should I format one?”
A business plan is a document that details how a business will achieve its goals.
The business plans include the following sections:
Executive summary: This section includes an overview of the company, team overview, and unique value proposition.
Market opportunity: This is where you’ll define the opportunity in the market. Where is the gap in the industry, and how will you fill that gap?
Key features and benefits: In this section, you will review the key features and benefits of your products and services.
Pricing and revenue: This is where you’ll decide your cost structure and revenue streams.
Target audience: This section will describe your customers’ details – your audience’s psychographic and demographic information.
Marketing strategy: Here, you’ll discuss how you’ll increase your customers with your marketing strategy.
Competitive landscape: This is where you’ll explore and detail who the top competitors are.
Financials: This is where you’ll detail the budget and funding required and discuss investment opportunities.
Some business plans include more or less information, but these are the key details you’ll want to include.
Best Marketing Techniques and Activities
Here in this post, we’ll help you build and enhance your marketing strategy using inbound marketing, setting you up to attract new customers and finally grow your business. Organic traffic is the most cost-efficient way to acquire and market your new business.
1. Build your website
Having a professional-looking website is one of the most important resources you will create for your business. This is where you will show who you are, where you are, what you offer, and how a potential customer can get in touch with you.
Next, look for a user-friendly and mobile-friendly website. Your site’s design will show your brand’s personality and differentiate your business from other online businesses. It should possess a well-organized site structure that can affect how your rank in the SERPS.
If you’re new at business, you’ll possibly want to build your own website. If you opt to do so, you can use a CMS (content management system) to do so, preferably WordPress.
If you haven’t started building your own website, check out this guide to build a website.
Most CMSs offer templates for your site that you can get for free or purchase as needed, then customize to your brand. There are a handful of affordable and free options for various skill levels – from beginner to advanced.
Once you’ve created your website, CMS platforms also offer plugins to optimize your content for search. This will help you rank better in Google.
2. Boost your ranking with SEO
If you already have a business and a website, have you ever searched for it on Google? If so, did you think, “Why isn’t my website showing up on Google?” If so, you must have thought, “How do I rank on Google?” or “How can I improve my Google ranking?”
Many factors come into the observation of why a certain site appears in the top spots on the search engine results page (SERP). These top factors can be having relevant keywords placed on your website, having high-quality content, the length of your content, how fast your site loads, and how often you post content.
When all this accomplished, search engines try to find the best piece of content to present to the person searching for it.
For example, if you are searching for the best restaurant in California, it wouldn’t be helpful to find a website that has closed down and is located in California. However, it would be helpful for you to find a restaurant in your area with great reviews, contact information readily available, and an easy-to-navigate website.
To rank higher on Google or other search engines, you can use the power of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
SEO is a technique that helps your site rank higher in organic search results, making your website more visible to people looking for your brand, product, and service via search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing.
In general words, we can say that SEO is the basic concept of structuring your website and blog posts to be the best shape for first appearing on search engines.
SEO strategy consists of a few things – on-page SEO research, buyer persona research, and keyword research. These three things can help you learn how to market your business with your target market, searching online, and position it to get revealed to the right people.
3. Consider SEM/PPC advertising
If you’re working hard on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but still looking for an extra boost, consider PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising.
With this search engine marketing (SEM) technique, you use Bing Ads or Google AdWords to show up higher in search results as an advertised listing.
PPC is a paid advertising model that falls under search engine marketing. With PPC, the advertiser or the promoter only pays when people communicate with their ad through impressions or clicks.
Before you dive into PPC, make sure your landing page is optimized. If you are paying by the click and those who click on the page don’t convert, you will lose advertising dollars.
Paid advertising can help you rise to the top in this competitive market and be seen by customers who may not know that you exist. It can help you promote your marketing initiatives, rank for difficult keyword terms, and ultimately improve brand awareness.
In other words, PPC is your shortcut to getting to the top within your niche. And, if done responsibly, PPC can be integral to your inbound marketing strategy.
4. Using Social Media to Market Your Business
As I scroll through my Facebook or Instagram every day, I notice new posts and stories by my favorite online store. Their posts are always creative and on-brand.
It encourages the interaction between the customers, their followers, and the company. Most of the social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer affordable advertising options that can help you target your posts to a specific audience.
But why is social media so important for marketing? And what actually is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is creating content to promote your business on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your unique content should be relevant to the specific platform it’s being shared on to help you increase brand awareness and boost conversions.
Social media is all about meeting your target audience and socially interact with them to showcase your brand.
Strategy by platforms
Best for: Brand awareness; advertising
Audience: Generation X and millennials
Industry impact: B2C
Best for: Public relations; customer service
Audience: Primarily millennials
Industry impact: B2B and B2C
Best for: Natural-looking media, behind-the-scenes, and user-generated content; advertising
Audience: Primarily millennials
Industry impact: B2C
Best for: B2B relationships, business development, and employment marketing
Audience: Baby boomers, Generation X, and millennials
Industry impact: B2B
Best for: Brand awareness; entertainment, and how-to videos
Audience: Millennials, closely followed by Generation Z
Industry impact: B2C
Best for: Brand awareness; advertising
Audience: Primarily Generation Z
Industry impact: B2C
Best for: Visual advertising; inspiration
Audience: Primarily older millennials and younger baby boomers
Industry impact: B2C
Now that we’ve studied the fundamentals of each social media network let’s discuss social media marketing types.
Paid social media marketing
Paid social media marketing helps with targeting audiences and driving sales.
It is a method of displaying advertisements or sponsored marketing messages on social media platforms and targeting a specific audience. Pay-per-click advertising, display ads, and branded or influencer-generated content are all examples of paid social media.
Organic social media marketing
Maintaining an organic social media presence can be free. It generally doesn’t cost anything to post on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Any costs you gain would come from the work it takes to create content and engage with your community with your social media feed. It can be through dedicated team members or outsourcing to freelancers or agencies.
If your business is running on a low budget, and you’re confident you can create thoughtful content, organic social media marketing might be the right avenue for you.
You can judge the main difference between paid and organic social media by their respective names. Paid social media content is shared with the audience but promoted at a cost. Whereas you post organic social media content for free, generally to reach your followers and the people they choose to share it with.
5. Create optimized blog posts
Content and blogging are very important when it comes to your search engine marketing or ranking. The more often your chosen keywords appear in your high-quality, unique, and helpful content, the more likely you will appear in search engine results.
A great way to market your online business and become an authority on your products or services is to blog. Make sure you’re writing with SEO in mind.
Therefore, in general, a blog is a website with regularly updated content about a topic-oriented topic or a specific keyword.
Customers read blog posts to find helpful industry content; thus, blogging helps you drive more traffic to your site.
Every person or a user that lands on your website provide you an opportunity to generate a new lead.
For example, if you write a blog post that 50 people read, you have 50 opportunities to turn those readers into customers by putting a call-to-action on that post. That call-to-action is anything that asks the reader to exchange their contact information for something like a free eBook, a free checklist, or a free consultation.
6. Brochures & Flyers
Putting up brochures or flyers in coffee shops, local libraries, and businesses is a unique way to market your business in offline locations where people spend a lot of time.
You can create free flyers and brochures on Canva or PowerPoint. Depending on your industry and niche, it might even help you reach an ideal client.
For example: if you’re a physical therapist, you could hand out brochures to nearby hospitals or local gyms.
It’s a vital piece of information about your products and services that a customer can take. It keeps the structure and design of your business in their hands that will remind them of your services. Here are some key benefits of having a brochure for your business:
A well-designed and a well-written brochure can help you to promote your company. If you want to grow as a business and reach out to more audiences, think about creating one.
Studies have shown the most successful marketers are those who depend heavily on the power of networking.
Finally, pursuing opportunities to connect with industry professionals with varying interests and perspectives is essential to your own business growth. However, networking can be exhausting.
Event marketing is the promotion of a brand, product, or service through in-person communications. There are multiple forms of event marketing, and each can be tailored to address a marketer’s specific goals.
Being able to have a stranger’s discussion will boost your confidence and increase your chances of making your networking time spent well.
Event marketing can be attending an event exhibition to educate potential customers on your company’s product offering or hosting an event to build relationships with customers. It can even include digital events such as live-streamed workshops or webinars.
8. Print Advertising
From the printing press methods to pop-up ads, advertising has changed with time. Advertising is all about creating messages to encourage and motivate someone to take action.
Print advertising refers to posters, bulletins, postcards, flyers, mailers, and other physically-printed promotions. It can also refer to newspaper and magazine ads.
Good advertising is designed to be really influential and memorable. It should break through the clutter and noise of everyday life, demands the viewer’s focus, and disrupts their attention.
Whether on a hoarding or the back of a restaurant menu, advertising can go to work for your business in a variety of ways:
Advertising can be executed in various ways. Radio commercials, branded t-shirts, billboards, and social media testimonials all count as advertising.
9. Word of Mouth marketing
Word of mouth marketing looked different years ago. Social media didn’t have specific methods to encourage it, and the rate of spreading information has got faster. As a marketer, not being aware of these steady changes might impact how your image is perceived by the people.
Word of mouth is a form of marketing that can boost sales and its proven effective since many customers trust peer recommendations over a brand.
Though this form of marketing is not new, the way it happens online has changed over the years.
WOMM is a term that can be used when satisfied customers promote a brand. It can be seen in many ways, from face-to-face conversations to social media shout-outs and video blogs (vlogs). It’s a great way to gain and nurture loyal customers from your existing customers.
Social media has indeed played a huge role in how word of mouth marketing is executed and analyzed online.
10. Cold Calling or Telemarketing
Cold calling marketing used to be one of the best and only prospecting strategies salespeople could use to promote and market your business online.
Cold calling is a sales technique that involves calling people with whom you have you have never spoken or have no existing relationship. It’s still part of the modern marketing strategy, but there are better ways to conduct this outreach.
Plan and be prepared for each call. Use corporate databases, business intelligence tools, and search engines to profile a company. Explore their social media accounts to discover weak points and other opportunities.
11. LetterBox Drops or Direct mail marketing
Everything old is new again. Although direct mail’s response rate has decreased over time, it’s still a valuable tool for salespeople and marketers. The Direct Marketing Association found direct mail’s response rate is 4.4%, compared to 0.12% for email.
Direct mail or letterbox drop is a marketing strategy that involves sending a physical letter, brochure, package, mailer, postcard, etc. to your current customers. It’s used in B2C and B2B selling, more commonly with consumers.
Like emails, letter drops allow targeted marketing campaigns to focus on area demographics for cold leads, or your own lists crafted using existing customer data.
For your letter drop campaign to be successful, you must pay attention to two factors: the distribution and the material of the campaign.
The letter drops should be well designed, the message should be clear, precise, and direct.
All the pamphlets should use the same color scheme, should include the logo, website name, and other social media platforms associated with your business. This will help the previous customers to remember your brand and take necessary actions.
You can also include an offer in your letterbox and try to hunt for targeted audiences that would show interest in your business.
12. Email Marketing
Once you start building out landing pages and creating regular content, you’ll want to share them with the audience who seem more interested in learning about your product. For this reason, we suggest building an email marketing strategy.
Email marketing is the method of targeting your customers and audience through email. It helps you boost conversions and revenue by providing customers with valuable information to help achieve their goals.
We just want you to send emails enough to keep your customers informed and engaged.
There are many effective ways to use email marketing.
Remember, your subscribers and customers want to hear from you and want to relate to you. Be a genuine resource, so that they look forward to opening an email from you just like they would do with their friends.
13. Public Relations
Are you looking to expand and market your business’s reach? Would you like to showcase your brand to new people?
If yes, welcome to the world of public relations.
PR or Public relations is the practice of leveraging social media channels to promote your business and nurture a positive public perception.
It is also the process of managing your company’s brand and communications, especially in times of crisis. PR articles are opportunities to market your products and services and gain exposure for your brand.
To save you time, we have listed some of the absolute best examples for your next campaign – Lyft & Netflix: Strange Mode, HostelWorld: Even Divas are Believers, Logitech: BS Detection Spoof, and Stabilo Boss: Highlight the Remarkable.
Therefore, PR is how your brand manages the spread of information, so it’s like branding. PR and branding’s main difference is that PR is focused on communication, whereas branding relies on visual elements like logos, marketing materials, and websites.
To build goodwill for your business and establish a positive association of your brand, sponsorships, and donations are a great way to gain exposure to your business.
This way, you are promoting your business on social media, on your own email marketing, in press releases or on the online website.
Many non-profit companies offer monthly giving programs and donation memberships, like the one from Charity: Water. These programs are respected because your company doesn’t have to fundraise so actively and so often, and they can help you raise more money. The average monthly online donation is $52 compared to the average one-time gift of $128.
Marketing your non-profit gets your cause in front of fresh customers and informs your donors about how they can consistently contribute to your cause.
Make an alert in your local newspaper and remember to leave your company’s information like brand, logo, and URL (website name) or use internet marketing by including donation information on your website.
Some of the charitable causes you can donate to are:
15. Host free webinars
A webinar allows potential customers and audience to sign up for a short online course hosted by you or your brand. These courses are generally between 30 minutes to an hour and allow you to provide tips and answer questions related to a topic your business is familiar with.
This strategy can boost your credibility in your field and offer you sales opportunities and potential leads.
You can host a webinar using free tools like GoToWebinar, ClickMeetings Webinar, Zoom, and EasyWebinar.
Set Smart Goals and Marketing Budget.
Goal setting is probably one of the toughest things you have to do to market your business.
It helps the marketers to implement the right goals, brand new activities, and then tackling them.
Goals are great as they help you to prove how effective you are, keep you focused, and push you to be better. The thing is, goals are useless if they’re not planned in reality. That’s why it’s crucial to set SMART goals. Here’s what we mean by creating a SMART goal:
Specific: Set real numbers with real deadlines. Don’t think of, “I want more visitors.”
Measurable: Make sure that you track your goals. Don’t hide behind social influence and brand engagement.
Attainable: Work toward a goal that is puzzling but possible.
Realistic: Be honest with yourself as you know what you and your team are capable of. Don’t forget to overcome any hurdles.
Time-bound: Give yourself a goal. Don’t keep pushing towards a goal you may hit someday.
Marketing goals also helps you make guided budget decisions. These budgets can be difficult to establish for businesses.
For example, if you own a small business, you might think of the marketing expenses you should start with.
Build Brand Loyalty
Do you know it costs you five times more to gain new customers than it does to retain them? And the existing customers are 50% more likely to try a new product as well as spend 31% more than new customers.
The above statistics clearly show the importance and impact of a successful customer loyalty program. Let’s learn things by defining customer loyalty.
Customer loyalty is a customer’s will to repeatedly return to a company to conduct business due to the remarkable and delightful experiences they have with that brand.
One of the main reasons you want to promote customer loyalty is to effectively market your business, and the customers can help you grow your business faster.
But how do you prepare for it? How do you keep happy and satisfied customers with your loyal brand?
Well, we have some ideas.
Communicate with the customers: Instead of focusing on networking meetings, SMEs, and employers, you can remind customers through simple gestures such as by sending an email, greeting postcards during special occasions, or newsletters and updates.
This will help build your brand to be remembered, recognized, and strike an emotional bond with the customers to promote loyalty.
Email marketing: You should use email to market your business and build upon an existing relationship with your customers and leads by providing relevant information to help them take action on their goals.
That’s right, email marketing isn’t about you, or your business. It’s about your customers.
If you keep this rule in mind, your subscribers will read your emails, but they will also look forward to more informational emails from you every time.
Unless you have the manpower, capital, and free time to build a personal relationship with your customers individually, email should be your best marketing friend.
Reward customers: Implement a system that rewards loyal customers and encourages more purchases.
Present small rewards as an offering for being a part of your business and encourage repeat customers by increasing the value of such rewards as they move up the loyalty ladder.
This solves for the probable issue of members forgetting about redeeming their points because the time between purchase and fulfillment is too long.
Build a community: Customers will always trust their friends or relatives more than they trust your business. You can always turn this into a positive gesture by managing a community that encourages customer-to-customer interactions.
One way to build a community is by adding a community forum. It encourages customers to communicate and interact with one another on various topics, like retelling service experiences or troubleshooting the product.
Customer loyalty is tied to your business’s bottom line, your ability to grow better, and retention. Start today by analyzing which customer loyalty tips you’re going to tap into for beneficial results.
Review Marketing Plan/Strategy
A Marketing Strategy Review is a complete survey of your promotional plan, goals, systems, and current movements being executed in your business. The goal is to perceive what’s working and what isn’t so you can distinguish areas for development.
A fruitful survey will assist you with pinpointing your marketing qualities and shortcomings, so you can settle on keen choices about where to place your assets later on and ensure you’re not tossing dollars out the window.
Customers are changing, technology is changing, and competition is constantly growing. That’s why you should review your marketing plan regularly and make the required improvements to set yourself apart from the competition.
You should also keep an eye on your competitors to check what they are up to, and you can utilize their best techniques to fuel your business growth.
Reviewing activities include:
Marketing is the most exciting and wonderful business sport and considered the heartbeat of every successful business.
Every action you take to reach out to customers and generate sales is a marketing activity.
The key is to test and test, to improvise, to interact playfully and know what you are doing, and why you are doing it.