When owning or running a business, you want people to purchase what you’re producing! Many small business owners underestimate the power of a good marketing plan. Time and again, marketing is cut it out of the budget completely or a family member/intern is tasked to “take care of it with minimal spend going toward talent and advertising.” Understanding YOUR target market is crucial when creating your Website, social media voice, company logo, location of ads, etc. Handing this off to someone without experience is incredibly risky when you are trying to make a name for yourself.
You need a solid game plan if you are stepping into the ring of digital Marketing. Think of this as the ABC’s of your plan of attack. Consumers and/or businesses need to be Aware you have a Website and social media pages, in addition to a Budget so you can properly get your message out there and create targeted Content to convert “clicks” into “customers”. A website will not automatically generate income, a Facebook page will not automatically acquire followers, and banner ads need to reach the audience you are looking to attract by directing them to landing pages designed to KEEP their attention with.
We constantly remind our clients that in order to see results, they must stick to the marketing plan and budget that was put in place specifically for them. In general, companies should expect to spend 8-10% of their annual gross revenue on marketing and advertising. Even though digital marketing has sped up the time it takes to see results, companies should not expect miracles to happen overnight. It is important to give the marketing process time to resonate with their intended audience.
Learning to love your data…
Setting up analytics on your website provides intelligence on what is working, when it is working and with how many people—very important when you are spending hard-earned money. Reviewing your analytics regularly makes it easier to make informed decisions about your campaigns. You can change your target audience, your artwork and your messaging as often as you like, and analytics will provide you with the insight needed to do this with more success. Even with all of these tools available why are so many business owners still not investing in their brand?
But where do we start?
There are so many places to put marketing dollars that it can be overwhelming. Branding, PR, advertising, a new Website, SEO, events, social media, email, CRM systems…knowing how much to do and spend is crucial. Without a thought-out plan, ads won’t perform as well. The same is true with mailings, social media, etc. It takes more time to come up with messaging on the spot, or for random social media posts, than putting everything down on paper and in a schedule.
Fear of commitment?
Launch meetings are used by agencies to educate business owners on why and how marketing budgets are vital and also to set expectations for the company. Amy Zucchi-Justice, Founder & Managing Director of The Karlyn Group explains; “We build in a research/set up period to make sure we are all on the same page from the beginning. We have met with many businesses that aren’t serious about their marketing. They haven’t spent money on marketing at all, and as a result, do not grow, or remain in business for long.” Why would you want to skimp on your brand? A poorly designed website can lose customers before they even leave the home page. A website without the right user experience is throwing money out the window. There are similar disasters with a bad logo, an unclear mission statement and ads that simply direct traffic to a generic home page.
We aren’t sure if it is the fear of spending money, or just the lack of knowledge on the importance of hiring an expert. There are so many options when hiring a marketing expert that don’t involve committing to a full-time employee with benefits, which will help you save considerably. Companies can work with a consultant, a freelancer or an agency and pay per project, per hour or on a monthly retainer. There are solutions for every business owner, and you can control your spend month to month if need be. To find out more about pricing, contact us here. A consultant can create your entire marketing strategy and run it, or just provide the blue print for you to run on your own. They can create content for blogs and articles, or just post for you on your social media pages.
Getting organized is a good start.
A marketing plan will help you to bring everything together in one document that you can follow and adjust as needed. It will keep you on track and hold you accountable to your commitments. It should include a timeline of marketing activities and budget so you can plan for the year. Your plan should include:
- Target market and secondary market
- Mission statements and taglines for campaigns
- Website build/update schedule with site map
- Campaign timelines for email, social, mailings, newsletters
- Follow up/drip campaigns
- Social media calendar
- Event schedule and possible speaking engagements
- A budget assigned to activities
Marketing requires patience and dedication. It goes beyond social media and should contain a multi-tiered approach that works together. With access to data and analytics available at your fingertips, companies should make it a priority to review them monthly to make better marketing decisions. Hiring the right marketing help is very important when so much is at stake. Investing in your business should be a priority.
The Karlyn Group works with small to medium size companies that want to take their marketing to the next level. Our team can put together a plan and strategy that meets your goals and unique needs. The Karlyn Group is part of your team—we become part of your team. Contact us with any questions you may have.