How to Build a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy
Whether you are starting a new business or building on an already established company, having an effective and cohesive marketing strategy can keep profits high. Making informed and thoughtful decisions when it comes to marketing helps ensure that your brand is exposed to those that will engage with it.
A comprehensive marketing strategy includes many different moving parts working together for the success of your company. Here are a few of the most important aspects of any marketing strategy:
Create a Marketing Budget
Creating and abiding by a budget is vital to the success of both your company and your overall marketing strategy. The budget should be calculated based on the length of time your company has been in business as well as the average annual income.
As a general rule of thumb, young companies between the ages of 1 and 5 should put 12 to 20 percent of their gross revenue to marketing. Starting out aggressively helps to attract a larger audience faster. Older companies with 5 or more years of experience can expect to budget significantly less, around 6 to 12 percent of their overall revenue. This is because they have had more time to establish brand awareness and build up a consumer base.
If you are starting a brand new company, the rules are not so cut and dry. As with younger businesses, you will want to allocate a large amount of your budget to marketing. However, the exact number or percentage you should devote to marketing depends on the investments available to work with.
Build a Brand Guide
A style guide, a brand bible, or a brand guide — whatever you call it, it is an essential tool that is needed when creating a comprehensive marketing plan. A brand guide is shared within a company, solidifying how an organization chooses to present itself to the world. It helps maintain a certain level of appearance and gain consumers’ trust.
To ensure that your brand guide properly represents your business, make sure to include this information in regards to the company:
A branding guide should not only tell your company’s story, it should also clarify specific marketing style rules, like which fonts to use in print and digital platforms, which colors to use, and how to use the company logo appropriately. It should specify dimensions and outline the logo look to maintain a consistent appearance across marketing platforms.
Target the Right Audience
Determining your target audience is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your marketing strategy. By looking at your current customers and determining why they buy from you, you can help determine who to target to in the future.
Take the time to carefully analyze your goods or services, listing each and noting the benefits they have. From that list, make a list of the types of people who would have or need those benefits, and aim for an audience within that group.
Whether you are an established company or are just starting up your own business, look at your competitions’ consumers. By looking at who they are targeting, you can determine which niche markets you fit best into. Don’t target the exact same audience, but keep the demographics relatively the same.
Practice Effective SEO Strategies
In a digital world, it is imperative that a company includes an effective SEO plan in a marketing strategy. Researching key terms that bring traffic to your site, you can give a general overview of how your company ranks for relatable words. Platforms like SEMRush allow you to see what the competition is for specific keywords, allowing you to tweak your target terms accordingly.
The content on your site is key to SEO success. It not only gives consumers quality information, but it helps engage them in your brand. Publish new content at least every week if you want to gain page authority. Write content that is evergreen and relevant while adding in valued keywords where appropriate.
Use effective link building tactics. Your SEO strategy should include a plan for both backlinks and internal links. Having your company’s URL on authoritative websites is a huge factor in how search engines rank you. The more websites of high authority that link back to your website, the greater your leap in search engine rankings.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is essential because is it allows businesses to get direct and free consumer feedback from their audiences. Many companies ask their customers for opinions and advice on social media as a part of their overall marketing strategy.
Social media helps increase brand awareness, pinpoint a target market, and build relationships with consumers. By integrating your marketing efforts into social media, you can begin conversations with customers. Social media marketing allows you to tell your story to those who may have never heard of you before.
Email marketing is great for lead generation and overall sales conversions. These days, email marketing platforms allow you to segment lists by specific demographics or characteristics. In doing this, you target the right information to the right consumers by treating each of them as a valuable player in the game — not another nameless face.
Email marketing should be tested, optimized, and re-tested through various campaigns. Marketing platforms today facilitate A/B testing, allowing you to analyze email campaigns and determine what is not working and what is. By determining the most effective message for a specific group of consumers, you can effectively match them up with products they will buy.
Marketing is a blanket term that is composed of several different departments and companies working together to make one thing happen: connect more people to a brand or mission. When all aspects of a marketing strategy come together, a company thrives.