Recently someone asked me if there was one thing that I, as a marketing person would tell them about marketing what would it be?
I thought for a minute and then I told them the most important thing you need to know as a marketer is who your target market it! Of course, that's after you know what product or service you are selling! It's impossible to sell, or create a strategy, a campaign, or know who or how to market if you don't know who you are marketing to.
See, it the old days of marketing it was more about being seen in general, now we have micro-niches, that really fine-tune who our ideal client avatar (also a newer term) is. So there you have it, know your target market and you'll be all set. No, just kidding! But having that information is super, super important. In fact, it's one of the steps in creating a marketing plan which is the starting place for creating your marketing strategy.
Let's back up a step, creating your marketing plan is like the overarching marketing approach or overview if you will of how your business is going to approach marketing. Once you have a marketing plan then you can think more about the strategy or the approach to getting the things on that plan to happen. It's like setting a goal and then reverse engineering it down to the actionable level so that you can make the goal a reality.
A Marketing Plan and Strategy go hand in hand. And they are a living document. Please, please, please don't do a marketing plan and then not look at again for 5 years or even for 1 year. For it to be effective you need to keep checking in on it.
You may be wondering why do I need a marketing plan for my business: so here are 3 reasons your small business needs a marketing plan/strategy:
1) A marketing plan/strategy tells you and your employees where you want to go. Even though the plan is a living document it still set for a definite amount of time. It's a road map to getting your business to move towards your goal and helps everyone get on the same page. In case you get hit by a bus or something. 😉
2) It can help you secure funding. Even if you are not going for funding now, it's import to understand that you may want to in the future and that funders will need to understand how you plan to repay them. Being able to provide a document that shows that you have thought it out and have developed a plan to do that is key in funders eyes.
3) It helps you evaluate new opportunities. Now just because the plan is a living document doesn't mean you should be changing it around every day. Having a marketing plan/strategy in place helps you make a decision when a new opportunity pops up. Say someone calls you out of the blue and asks you to speak at their conference where they are expecting 1000 small business owners to be in attendance. This sounds like an amazing opportunity, but let's take a look at how it fits into your plan.
Do you have anything in your plan about wanting to be a speaker? Is your target market a small business owner or do you help stay at home moms? Compare the opportunity to what your plan is and ask yourself how does this help me reach my goal? Maybe it's just something that needs to wait until next year, or it maybe it's not something that is right for your business at all!
There you have it, the first steps to thinking about marketing strategy and planning. What other ways have you found that marketing planning has been beneficial? Pop over to my Facebook page and let me know.
Why You Should Use Royalty-Free Music For Small Business
The right song can make or break a video. The music tells you how to feel about what's happening! If the Jaws theme song was playing as you were about to go for a nice swim in the ocean, wouldn't it make you think twice? So having the right music is everything! But who has hours to sit and listen to clips just to find THE ONE? No one! It can take hours and sometimes days to find what you're looking for. So that's why we suggest building your own library of music when you find THE ONEs you like.
In case you're new to using royalty-free music for small business videos royalty-free (RF) means that copyrighted material I.e. the music, can be used without having to pay a royalty each time it's used.
The creators of the music don't need it, they create to create or to earn income from their amazing work, but when we marketer and small business owners put it together with visual images or make a video that's when the music really tells a complete story.
It's important that the music you use in your videos is royalty-free either with a credit or without because you don't want someone to come back after you for stealing their creation. You could end up in a lawsuit and/or having to pay out thousands of dollars. So whether you decide to use credit required music or just buy it outright you have to know what you're allowed to do with the music.
Don't get caught having to pay more then you need to, pick RF music and use it the right way.
Wondering What the Pros Do When It Comes To Marketing Time Management Let's face it, you didn't start your small business to do marketing. You may have started it because you what to help people, solve a problem, or change the world. Whatever the reason I can almost guarantee that it was for love. The love of your passion!
So if you don't love marketing (I can't understand it myself 😉) then marketing becomes a chore. And nobody likes chores. Flashing back to my twelve-year-old self having to dust and vacuum the living room here. So how can you use your time more effectively?
Here are 3 things that the pros do when it comes to marketing time management tips.
1) Time Block. You've heard of time blocking before and blocking out time for marketing is no different. But don't just block time on your calendar and label it marketing. Look at your strategy and reverse engineer what you need to do to make that launch happen, or get that event to go off without a hitch. Now start blocking off time. Be sure to put in specific labels. Marketing doesn't tell you what you're working on. "Newsletters" though tells me what to do when my reminder goes off. You can even say Newsletters for September if that helps you focus.
2) Investment In Marketing Education, Training, and Skill Development. Who's done this....I don't have time to tell someone how to do this I will just do it myself? What about this one...I probably should take that class, but I just don't have the time/money/interest to do it. We all know that education and training for yourself or your team is a vital part of creating an effective team. If you're ready to hand off your marketing project but you don't have time to train your replacement (why do we always think we have to do everything ourselves), my suggestion is to do a video of your screen while you're working on the project. Then your team will always have the video to refer back to. Spending time on training and education is an investment in your business, not a wasted expense.
3) Don't Waste Time On Things That Aren't Working. Each small business is unique and what works for one might not work for the other. Don't worry if things aren't working. If you need more time to work out the kinks go for it, but if something is really not getting the best marketing return on your investment, be ruthless, and cut it out! As Uncle Joey would say on Full House.
Your time is valuable don't waste it! Try these few time management marketing strategies today and see what works for you.
Five Lessons From The 2nd Biggest Marketing event of the year...It's Back to School time (B2S) and that means shopping of course! I'm teaching a class at the local university and even I went back to school shopping this year. By now if you're a back to school shopper you're probably done with clothes and shoes and you might be into or just finishing the list is additional school supplies. How do we know where to go for our back to school products? It might be the store local to you, it might be the place that your parents always took you when you were growing up, but it's also likely that it's the place the marketers tell us to go!
Outside of Christmas, Back to School is big! It just is! So here are 5 lessons for marketing for back to school.
1) Online "holiday/event" or real-life holiday/event it doesn't matter, you can still use this event to promote, sell, and share. If you're not in a traditional B2S industry, get creative about your marketing. Or just jump on the bandwagon and say you're celebrating this year. Just make sure you know your marketing strategies for back to school before you jump in.
2) Leverage the (#) hashtag. Make sure any digital marketing you do for B2S includes the #backtoschool hashtag and other relevant hashtags. Don't forget to use you're branded hashtag! Go ahead and join the conversation. #helpingsmallbusinessesgethitononline
3)Look at your product selling history to identify the product trends for back to school and then boost sales by doing live, video demonstrations, or sharing graphics about how your product fits into peoples school lives.
4) B2S is all about kids. If you have a kid-friendly product get kids involved in your campaigns. If your product or service is adult-focused build campaigns around phases like " young at heart" "you're never too old for back to school", etc.
5) Generate buzz with giveaways. Who doesn't LOVE a free giveaway? Create online contests to get consumers excited about your product or service.
What is your best B2S product or service and how did you market it this year? Pop over to my FB page and share what you did with the small business community.