Business marketing for 2014 – part 1
Marketing your business successfully has been an issue for business since the beginning of trade itself and yet surprisingly many business owners are still prepared to throw money at it without any real knowledge of what is returning the best results, therefore where their time and money is best spent and where it is wasted. As long as sales go up in the short term then the advertising budget has been well spent, right? Indeed most businesses lack a coherent plan for this most important of spends. To this end I write and in part one we will discuss planing your marketing strategy.
Step 1: Make a marketing plan.
2014 sees technological advances strive forward at a rate unimaginable to most people 10 or even 5 years ago and indeed there are people today still blissfully unaware of the power these advances can bring to your business marketing in an on-line environment. Plan with this in mind.
You will read many ways to plan your marketing strategies, personally I like to work backwards from my goal. Firstly set yourself gaols and time-scales to achieve these goals. Be realistic with both goals and time, it much more rewarding to achieve a smaller goal and move on than to set the bar to high and fail to achieve your target. Remember achieving your goal will depend on the time and effort you can afford to dedicate to making it a reality, these won’t just happen on their own.
As an example lets say you have been looking at social media as an outlet for your business marketing and you want to set up a Facebook business page, you know that to be of use this must be updated on a regular bases and building an audience to see your updates is key to its success. We are coming into February so lets say a time-scale of 3 months until May 1 St. What level you set your goal will be directly related to the time you have to give to this and perhaps how you are set up to do it, i.e. Do you have a smart-phone which would allow you to do this on the move, perhaps you take the train to work – is this time you could give to this?
Once you have your goal, time-scale and know what time you can afford to give to this then you will know better what you can hope to achieve. So lets say you are going to give this one hour per day between now and May and you see achieving 300 likes to your page as a realistic goal, write it down! Put your goal at the bottom of the page and where you are now at the top, what goes in between is your plan or one part of your business marketing strategy. Another tool I find very useful for planning is mind mapping and there are plenty of open source (Free) versions available, the on I use is called View Your Mind and can be found here http://sourceforge.net/projects/vym/
1 St February – Create Facebook business page.
Get involved with FB communities relevant to your business.
Write informative posts 2+ per week.
Write short titbits twice a day – let people peek behind the shop front.
Share content from others that is relevant to what you do.
Plan content creation of your own – video/pictures/posts
Communicate – this is social media, be social
Focus on your goal.
1 St May – 300 likes
This is only one aspect of something which may be on a business marketing plan amongst many other things, you will decide what best suits your business, the important thing is that you make a plan and use it to guide your marketing strategy.
How do you measure your success?
If with something like the above example of a Facebook business you would probably say “That’s easy – I hit my target of 300 likes!” but how do you know if it has helped your business make more sales? This is where tracking comes into play allowing you a comprehensive look into what your efforts have brought into your website, and the subject of Your Business Marketing 2014 part 2