How to Create a Strategy That Goes Beyond Tactics for Promoting Your Business
Launching a podcast. Investing in social media market campaigns. Creating a blog. The possibilities for promoting your business are endless.
Today, many discussions about how to market your company get mired in tactics and can cause quite a bit of confusion — invest the time to develop a strategy to guide your outreach and marketing investments.
Here's how to craft a strategy that will maximize your ROI.
Explore What Your Audiences Need
Creating a successful strategy starts with understanding what current buyers and prospective customers need. There are several ways to determine what those needs are, but they all start with the basics:
- Define who you're trying to reach.
- Spend time learning about your target audiences.
- Have conversations with your customers and prospects.
- Conduct original market research.
- Explore what the experts in your field are saying.
- Develop profiles of your typical customers, including what they're looking for and how they consume information.
A deep audience understanding provides the foundation for the rest of your promotional strategy.
Clarify Your Objectives
Next, it's important to set some overarching goals. Strategically, what are your objectives? High-level objectives can include:
- Create brand awareness with a specific group of customers such as B2B technology buyers.
- Create momentum behind a new product launch.
- Develop opportunities to bring an existing product to a new market segment.
- Raise brand awareness in a new geographic market.
Defining what you're trying to accomplish will help you focus in on the opportunities that are most likely to get a strong return.
Articulate Your Unique Value Proposition
Understanding how you stand out in the market and what draws customers to you makes it easier to formulate powerful messaging. Messaging should be anchored around your brand's mission, vision and unique value proposition. Your mission and vision describe what you're trying to accomplish as a company and how you get it done. Your organization's value proposition describes what value you bring to customers and what makes you different than other companies. To define your value proposition:
- Define the problem you solve for customers.
- Consider what benefits and solutions your products or services bring. How do your customers' lives look different and improve after buying from you?
- Know what makes you unique. Your competitive advantage might include innovative products, technology that others can't copy or a unique service model.
- Bring it all together and fill in the blanks: "We help [this audience] solve [this problem], and [this] is what makes us different from our competition."
A clearly articulated value proposition in all your communications will make it easier for your customers to understand what you have on offer — and how you can help satisfy their needs.
Plan for Execution
You've outlined your audience, goals and messaging. Now it's time to consider the tactics you'll use to execute your vision. For example:
- If your strategy focuses on building positive word-of-mouth marketing, you might consider tactics such as customer referral programs, cultivating profiles on review sites or targeted social media marketing campaigns.
- If your objective is to build an industry reputation as a thought leader, you may want to focus on tactics such as speaking at conferences, placing articles in specific publications or launching a content marketing initiative.
Also consider how you can best reach your customers:
- Determine where your audience spends time and how you're likely to connect with them.
- Put your effort in the channels that are the best for your business, based on the complexity of your execution, budgets and timeline.
By creating a plan for executing on your vision, you'll have a clear roadmap for your promotional efforts. That makes it easier to stay focused and keep your efforts on track.
Measure Your Success and Use Data to Pivot
Thanks to better marketing technology and tools, it's possible to collect performance data on every part of your digital outreach. Take the time to build on your goals to outline success metrics. For example, if you've decided to use social media and paid advertising to drive new leads for a campaign:
- Determine how many leads you need for the campaign to be successful.
- Regularly review how many leads the campaign has generated.
- Invest more if a campaign is going better than you expected.
- Stop and reassess if the tactic falls flat.
Defining and tracking metrics gives you the flexibility to pivot toward tactics that will move the needle forward.
Take the time to design a strategy — you'll limit wasted marketing dollars and laser focus your efforts on the areas that matter most to your business.