Entrepreneurs spend hours focusing on setting up the right business plan. While a business plan usually includes a brief overview of the marketing strategy, startups need to focus more on creating a marketing plan that will help attract consumers to the platform.
In this article, we will explain the different steps startups have to follow in devising a marketing strategy.
Step 1 – Identify the Marketing Mix
The first port of call is to understand the key aspects of a marketing plan. For instance:
- What are the products your company will sell?
- What will be the price?
- Which platforms will you use to sell the product?
- Where will you promote the product?
The entire marketing plan will revolve around the product type and your target consumers. For example, let’s say your startup idea is an academic platform for students. The vast majority of students turn to the internet to find answers. They might simply type “need someone to write my paper” or “best cheap websites for students” to identify these platforms.
This means that one of the best ways for an academic startup to reach students is to use the Google search engine as its marketing tool. However, if your product focuses on entertainment for students, social media platforms might be the better option.
Step 2. Define your Business Goals
As a new business, it’s critical for a startup to have well-defined goals. This way, the marketing objectives can also be designed to focus on the same aims. Moreover, it will also help you measure the progress you are making with a marketing campaign.
Here are some questions to consider when defining the marketing goals:
- What are the long-term objectives of the startup?
- What is the target market?
- What are your unique promotions or competitive advantages?
- What are your revenue goals?
Rather than laying out this information in broad strokes, startups will need to think of being accurate. The more specific these goals are, the more measurable your digital marketing strategy will be.
Step 3. Set a Marketing Budget
After identifying the goals, the next step for startups is to set up a marketing budget. Without allocating funds, you might have no idea how much you end up spending and might not be able to calculate the “Return of Investment” (ROI) for a specific campaign.
Remember that you need not spend tens of thousands of dollars on your marketing strategy. With tools like social media, you can always start small, hyper-focusing on consistency and generating traffic. Once you generate an ROI, you can build on your strategies to expand your reach.
Step 4. Do Competitive Analysis
It is also essential for startups to know what their competition is up to when creating a marketing strategy. Otherwise, you might venture into the market without figuring out what you should be offering to the audience. After all, you will indeed want to offer your audience something unique in order to deviate their attention from the existing providers.
Even if you have a fair “idea” of what your competitors are doing, it is essential to do proper research and study their previous marketing strategies.
Step 5. Define Your Brand Voice
With virtually thousands of businesses out there, you need to make sure that your brand has a unique voice. This also means that brand imaging should remain consistent across all marketing channels. The tone of messages, content, images, ads, videos, and other marketing media have to be synched with the brand image.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get creative with how you approach marketing campaigns. Instead, the key is to incorporate the same voice that your audience identifies with.
Step 6. Audience Segmentation
Depending on the product your startup is offering, you might be targeting different demographics. It is crucial to have multiple marketing approaches for each type of audience within your target groups. This is why segmentation is important.
For instance, if you are a clothing brand, your marketing strategy for adults between 30-40 would be different from how you sell to those of age between 20-30. This segmentation and targeting will help startups provide relevant and personalized messages to all types of audiences within their target market.
Step 7. Create Marketing strategies
All the steps we discussed above are to help startups create the right marketing strategy. Once you have your competitor analysis, goals, and budget and have identified the target market, the next step is to develop specific strategies. You do not want to start publishing content that doesn’t offer any value to your customers.
Moreover, the strategies should also capitalize on the marketing trends so that your brand will be able to obtain maximum visibility in the marketplace. Moreover, you should also be smart about the types of content featured.
If you are taking on an evergreen approach, then long-form blog articles might be the right way to proceed. On the other hand, if you want to make the best of trends, a short-form video marketing campaign might be most fruitful. It is also important to know which channels and tools to use in regard to the marketing budget you have set aside for each phase.
Step 8. Measure the Results with Key Performance Indicators
As we noted above, you should always monitor how your marketing strategy is performing. This is important so that you can make changes in areas that need improvement. For instance, your campaign might be successful in driving traffic to your website but might fail to convert them into sales. This means that you will need to focus more on your landing pages or offer a better customer experience on the website.
The metrics to follow will depend on the type of products you sell and your marketing campaign. However, some of the most popular KPIs used to measure marketing metrics are the following:
- Conversion metrics
- SEO marketing metrics
- Search traffic metrics
- Engagement metrics
- Click-through rate
- Marketing Qualified Leads
These are only a handful of the metrics available. These days, there are several marketing apps that come with analytical tools that help business owners track their progress without needing any professional training.
What Happens After You Launch a Marketing Campaign?
A marketing strategy is not likely to get you a boost in sales overnight, especially if you are a new player launching in the market. It takes time, consistency, and dedication to ensure that you reach your target audience and, more importantly, persuade them to make purchases.
Make sure to do your due diligence by keeping up with the trends and following customer feedback to refine your strategy and come up with campaigns that offer value to your audience.