The challenges of marketing your business have never been bigger. Now days people are constantly surrounded by all kinds of promotions. That's why sometimes it can seem like you can’t get your turn on getting the attention of potential clients. And, let’s be honest, grabbing the attention of the audience is the most important part of any business strategy.
Talking about strategy, many businesses don’t even have a marketing strategy. And if they do, they haven’t updated it for years because they’re following the ‘’that’s the way we’ve always done it’’ rule. Still, there are many factors that make up a reason for not being so up to date with it. For some it’s the budget, for some it’s the lack of knowledge and/or experience, or the lack of staff. And some don’t even bother making one.
Now, what you should know is that it doesn't matter how big or small your business is. A consistent and purposeful marketing strategy is what makes the difference between being in the game or out of it.
So, what can you do to make sure your strategy is in its best? Most people start to panic and start to take on more than they can handle. First thing that pops into one’s mind is that it needs to be more present on social media. Then there are cold calls, sending out a press release etc. It can be overwhelming. The best way to get past the panic and start doing something purposeful is to bring in someone with enough experience and enough knowledge. Someone to help you create the strategy and make sure that it's being used in the right way. That can be a new employee in your company, but you should consider bringing in an agency instead. Make no mistake, hiring an in-house marketer can have its perks. But the situations where you need to seriously refresh and/or make a new strategy are better off with someone who has a whole team of experienced people.
Whether you choose to work on your strategy in-house or to entrust it with an agency, there are some best practices that you should know about.
Before starting on any new project, you need to have a determined list of expectations you have from that project and for it. And not just you, your team as well. If you’re not on the same page with your team, that means there is something wrong and you need to work on that. It is very important that you meet the same goals. If you don’t know what to expect from them and they don’t know what your expectations are that can seriously put the project off track. Now, this is where hiring an outside source can be very effective. I know you may think: ‘who knows my business and my goals better than me and my team?’’. And of course, marketing agencies can’t read your mind but they can help define your goals better and can provide you with ideas you didn’t even knew where there. For example, your goal is to increase the number of your social media followers. An agency can help you:
- determine your target audience
- determine the specific outcome
- determine the strategy to get you there.
Create and document your strategy
After you’ve outlined your goals and expectations it’s time to get to the part of creating a strategy to make everything go as planned. A research has shown that more than 34% businesses doesn’t have a documented marketing strategy. Having a concise plan and sticking to it is an imperative if you want your business to be successful. What’s important is that everyone in the team knows exactly what you expect from them and what part they have. Even though it seems simple, this is something that you should consider asking an agency for their help. Being precise in the strategy is of great value to you and your business. That's why it's, sometimes, better to let someone experienced do it for you if you already don’t have a strategy or the one you made proved not to be effective. You can try making a plan by yourself and it doesn’t mean you’ll fail, but when it comes to stuff this serious it’s better to play it safe.
Personalize your marketing
A goal and a plan are crucial for making a good marketing strategy. Still, what we're all fighting for is customer's attention. And you don’t want any customers, you want your own group of loyal customers that always come back to you. That’s the main goal to every business. What you want to do is to make a relationship with people, and to do so you need to become personal. Depending on the business you own you can come up with ways to personally address your clients. Something like giving discounts to the most loyal ones can be a great start. But you should also be engaging in addressing them on their social media by replying to their comments. Even though it can be time consuming and overwhelming, if you get help from the agency they’ll do that for you too. Since every agency has a team of people that has different tasks, engaging on social networks and sending emails will be taken care of the same way as everything else you delegated them. But, if you decide to engage in this yourself or to entrust it with the member of your team, the chances are it will drag on and not be as effective as it should since it takes so much time outside of daily tasks.
Invest in content
This is something that applies to any type of business. A quality content is something that should be the rule. Now, content marketing can be very time consuming. If you want to do it right you need to do a research, your content needs to be well written and it needs to provide value to your audience. For those who choose to do it in-house it can be a lot. Also, your team might not have the right set of skills to develop the content you need. Entrusting it with someone who isn’t skilled content marketer can turn out to be bad for your business. Having an agency do it for you can save you the trouble of hiring an in-house content person. That saves both to your and your team members time. Not to mention, again, that the agency comes with the set of people who all have different tasks. That's why they'll commit to them full time.
Finally, whether you choose to go with an in-house team or you choose to go with an agency, the most important thing is that you’re satisfied with your decision. Every business needs a different approach, but these practices can be applied to any type of business. If you would like to learn more about working with a digital marketing agency, contact us for a no obligation, live website audit. We’ll take a look at what you’re doing well and where you could improve your strategy.