Marketing strategies are the plans and actions that a company takes to promote its product or service. Marketing strategies can be as simple as word of mouth, but some companies use more complex methods such as advertising campaigns, public relations efforts, and social media marketing.

A marketing strategy is ultimately how you will connect with your customers. So having a well-considered marketing strategy is key to success. There are many different types of marketing strategies so which ones should you choose for your business? How do you prioritise them?

Understanding Marketing Strategies

A clear marketing strategy should revolve around the company’s value proposition, which communicates to consumers what the company stands for, how it operates, and why it deserves their business.

 

This provides marketing teams with a template that should inform their initiatives across all of the company’s products and services. For example, Walmart (WMT) is widely known as a discount retailer with “every day low prices,” whose business operations and marketing efforts are rooted in that idea.

A marketing strategy is the business’s game plan to connect customers with their products or services. A marketing strategy contains the companies value proposition, brand messaging and should aim to connect with their customers in a relevant and meaningful way.

Marketing Strategies vs. Marketing Plans

A Marketing Strategy is the “why” behind your marketing efforts, this is the overarching business strategy.  The Marketing Strategy should be a long term view rather than than individual marketing plans because they should focus on value propositions and brand values.

In other words, marketing strategies cover big-picture messaging, while marketing plans are the specific details of specific campaigns.

Benefits of a Marketing Strategy

The ultimate goal of a marketing strategy is to achieve and communicate a sustainable competitive advantage over rival companies by understanding the needs and wants of its consumers. Whether it’s a print ad design, mass customization, or a social media campaign, a marketing asset can be judged based on how effectively it communicates a company’s core value proposition.

 

Market research can help chart the efficacy of a given campaign and can help identify untapped audiences to achieve bottom-line goals and increase sales.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of those intangibles. We know it has an enormous impact on the bottom line, but attributing ROI is near impossible, especially with Apple’s IOS 15 update. That said it is still by far one of the best ways to engage with leads and customers and provides a unique medium between consumer and company. A carefully crafted email strategy can lead to enormous returns. Most studies show the average ROI for email marketing is $42 for every dollar spent. – DMA

1. Building an email list

Depending on your industry, you might have to go and find people to email to, but do not buy a list from a third party, this has inherent legal implications and most of the time is junk data. Instead you could develop your blog, free content, lead forms and customers. Offer customers a newsletter subscription pop up on exit intent or have a static subscribe form in your footer to passively gain subscriptions over time.

2. Segmentation

This is how you can tailor your message, the more relevant and timely the content of the email is to the person receiving it, the more they will engage with it and the lower your bounce and spam rates will be which will benefit the health of your email list in the long run as well as creating a happier experience for your leads. You might segment lists based on demographic data or more advanced methods such as previous email engagement, focusing your content on those who have opened an email previously or have clicked a link but not purchased yet. You can also segment based on past sales or even engagement with your website.

3. Content Creation

Just like any other piece of content, not all emails are created equal. When creating an email or a nurture campaign, remember the cardinal rule of inbound marketing – provide value to your  leads and customers alike. There is no sense  spamming people with offers to buy something if they haven’t engaged with your product or service before. Instead treat an email like a golden ticket to build a relationship with your leads, think about what you can tell them or send them that would help them solve their issue, need or want. Examples of this might be your latest and greatest blog post, e-book, online tool or info about new products or services.

SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the method of increasing a website’s traffic from organic search results. It involves things like creating content on a blog or landing page, keyword research, link building, and performance improvements. There’s a lot to cover with SEO but getting the basics down isn’t as scary as you might think and you can make a huge improvements to your business over the long term.

The best way to get started with SEO is to create a blog, this will not only help Google (and other search engines) see that your website is relevant and trustworthy but it will give your audience an extra resource and more content to consume. Over  the long term you can use your blog to drive purchase decisions.

1. Improve Site Speed

The time it takes for your website to load is crucial to both the Google algorithm but also to the user experience. Not only will Google rank your site higher (in part) depending on how fast the page loads but also user behaviour is widely reported to be driven by how quickly they can get the content they want. For example, Amazon did a study on their own site and found that every 100ms in added page load time cost them 1% in sales.

Depending on your CMS there’s a range of solutions but a good place to start is to benchmark your site as is and then improve one thing at a time and run the bench mark again. Don’t change a bunch of things at once as you won’t know what has had a positive or negative influence. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is a great place to start, it will give you a score out of a hundred for mobile devices and desktops.

2. Create Unique Content

Creating unique content is often the greatest challenge for most marketers. The Content Marketing Institute shows 54% of marketers find producing engaging content a challenge. Creating unique content is important to ensure the search algorithms rank your site higher, quality over quantity is the old SEO rule and it still holds true today but as the algorithms get more sophisticated, it’s increasingly important to provide ‘Unique Value’ to your audience. Rand Fishkin from Moz explains that unique value is increasingly being prioritised and is looking for content that solves the visors search intent which “no other sites on the web are specifically providing”.

3. Link Building

Often the bane of many new bloggers, link building remains a key component to ranking higher on Google. To build authority in a topic, search engines like to see other websites linking to yours as a way of measuring how relevant your content is to solve the users search query.

PPC

PPC (Pay per click), is the type of advertising that charge advertisers when a visitor clicks on your ad within the search engine result page (SERP). The advertiser can choose to display ads when the user searches for specific keywords or phrases into the search engine. The most common example of this is Google ads, you’ll often see these at the top and bottom of the Google search result:

paid ads

PPC is an important topic for any business and shouldn’t be rushed, if you haven’t started on your SEO and Email Marketing strategies first then start there before investing in PPC.

Understanding the basics of how Google will rank your site and how it will charge you is a great place to start. Once you have a good bank of content and leads coming in you might start out with a small budget to trial some important keywords tied to your organic content.

1. Finding your keywords

This can be a complicated journey, you may know what products and services you sell but how do you know what people are searching for online? Well, keyword research is the best place to start, this is the process of finding and reviewing search terms that people use in search engines so that you can optimise your content or ad words.

2. Setting your budget

The good thing about Google ads is that  your cost per click will be equal or less than the maximum bid you set as Google is auctioning your ad versus your competitors so you should set your budget to the maximum a

Cost Per Click (CPC): Learn What Cost Per Click Means for PPC

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Social Media

Social media marketing is one of the largest and most effective types of marketing strategies with more than 3.9 Billion people globally using on average 8.8 different social media platforms. It’s easy to see the appeal social media has for marketing your business.

Social media marketing does have a low bar for getting started which makes it an easy place to start but like most things there’s a lot of competition out there so to get a good ROI you’ll want to think about who you want to see your content and what actions you want to drive.

1. Define your target audience

Defining your target audience will help you figure out what you are going to post and what content you’ll want to create.

You should have an idea about who uses your products or services so take that a step further and start building buyer personas, these don’t have to be totally accurate but will give focus to all of your content and posts. It will make your messaging more consistent and relevant to your audience.

For example, Tentree, the sustainable clothing brand, often post about environmental sustainability projects to show their audience their activity behind the scenes matches with their core brand message.

tentree

Consider details you already have about your customers like:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Hobbies
  • Purchase history
  • Stage of life

2. Content creation

What are you going to share? Don’t overthink this too much, intimately your social media posts should be a reflection of your business, who you are and why you do what you do. They can be product related or brand related.

A good thing to keep in mind is that your content should be helping your audience solve their goals or challenges.

Another thing to consider is the 10 second rule, that is you have 10 seconds to engage with someone before they continue scrolling, this is especially true for video content. A good rule to keep in mind is making the content relevant to your brand and the message you’re trying to convey. Don’t post for the sake of posting, have a purpose behind it.

3. Which social media channels to choose

What are you going to share? Don’t overthink this too much, intimately your social media posts should be a reflection of your business, who you are and why you do what you do. They can be product related or brand related.

A good thing to keep in mind is that your content should be helping your audience solve their goals or challenges.

Here are the top 21 social media sites to consider, the big ones are Facebook and Instagram but depending on your business context that might not be the best place to start. If you don’t have a good idea where your ideal buyer would be spending their time online then consider surveying your audience to find out their top social media platforms.

With that in mind it’s good to recognise that different social media platforms benefit from a different style of post. For example:

  • LinkedIn – A professional network more so for B2B audiences. Better posts tend to ben more transactional, focusing on products and services rather than cat pics.
  • Facebook – With more than 2.8 billion monthly users Facebook is the leading social network. Most brands tend to use a more imporsonal approach to their content and Facebook Groups can be a good way of connecting with your audience.
  • Instagram –  Synonymous for visual content, Instagram is best reserved for brands with an easy visual appeal, particularly if you sell physical products. Not best platform for driving traffic but a great branding tool.
  • YouTube – Obviously the leading video content platform, YouTube is ideal for brands  that have a strong visual appeal and can easily translate that into a video medium but probably one of the harder platforms to crack without a dedicated video production team.

There’s a lot to learn about marketing strategies but that’s all part of the journey, remember to break everything down into chunks, focusing on one strategy at a time. Once you understand the basics you can master more advanced techniques and ultimately represent your brand in the best way possible.

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